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HER Number:MDV20498
Name:Stannon Hill reave system, Stannon Block System


Prehistoric reave system and enclosures on Stannon Hill. Strung between Assycombe Hill Ridge Reave and the East Dart River.


Grid Reference:SX 655 814
Map Sheet:SX68SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 68 SE 77
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SE/180
  • Old SAM Ref: 34498
  • Pastscape: 443877
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARALLEL REAVE SYSTEM (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

RCHME, Middle Merripit and Greyhound Farm Plans (Plan - measured). SDV320415.

NMR, SX68SE77 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV255719.

RCHME, Untitled Source (Unknown). SDV255711.

Cropmark of a sub 'D'-shaped enclosure at SX674825. It encloses hut circles marked on the OS 6" 1963 which are not visible on the AP's. The straight side of the enclosure extends as an apparent reave S to SX66668168 (See PRN 6714 + 26789). Another similar bank runs parallel from SX66718210 to SX67308305 (citing APs).

RCHME, Untitled Source (Unknown). SDV255713.

Only those elements lying within Little Stannon Newtake and Middle Merripit Farm have been investigated. These consist of the SW end of the block system and 2 further areas, not depicted by Fleming the S flank of Stannon Tor and the Ridge N of Hartland Tor. The 3 NE-SW reaves lying in Little Stannon Newtake consist of earth and stone banks 1.5 to 2.5m wide and up to 1m high. Fragments of similarly constructed NW-SE orientated cross reaves subdivided the long rectilinear enclosures formed by the main reaves. A further NE-SW reave lies in partially improved land S of the main block in Middle Merripit Farm. Much robbed it is visible as a turf covered rickle of stones about 1.3m wide with a maimum height of 0.2m. No relationship between the main NE-SW reaves and the shorter subdivided ones is discernable; all junctions have suffered disturbance. At SX65328032 a possible gateway 1.5m wide is one of the main NE-SW reaves is flanked by 2 upright granite slabs. Three upright stones at SX65348018, adjacent to the N reave, have been interpreted as the S end of the Stannon Stone Row but there is no evidence within the surveyed area to confirm this. They may represent the retaining kerb of a cairn, which has been partially obliterated by the reave. Hut circles exist at 2 places within the surveyed area. Centred at SX65388050 are 2 huts and several short lengths of walling which cannot be related to the reave system. At SX6542280149 a poorly preserved hut and enclosure may have been added to the N side of an already existing reave though no direct relationship is discernable. The reaves become obscured by peat as they climb the W flank of Merripit Hill, but they reappear outside the investigated area (citing AP's).

RAF, 1947, CPE UK 1995/4362 (Aerial Photograph). SDV320419.

Royal Air Force, 1964, 6399 (Aerial Photograph). SDV228504.

RAF, 1964, F65/48/6399/19-20 (Aerial Photograph). SDV255717.

NMR, 1977, SX6580/1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV320420.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1983, Middle Merripit Survey Drawing (Plan - measured). SDV321106.

Prehistoric reaves and enclosures on Stannon Hill. One hut circle and an enclosure visible. Shown on Middle Merripit Survey sketch plot.

Fleming, A., 1984, The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor; Wider Implications, 210 (Article in Serial). SDV320417.

Stannon Block System. Strung between Assycombe Hill Ridge Reave and the East Dart River. Circa 3km long by 1km wide. Other details: Part 2.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Field system visible on the west and north-west faces of Merripit Hill.

Fleming, A., 1988, The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions, 37, 50, 53, 127 (Monograph). SDV229071.

The D-shaped enclosure recorded at SX674825 lies adjacent to Fleming's Hurston Ridge main reave. His Stannon Block System lies at the SW end of the latter and is comprised of 4 parallel SW-NE reaves c275m apart. Other details: Fig 21, 29.

Probert, S. A. J., 1992, RCHME Field Investigation (Site Visit). SDV320413.

The investigated area of this apparently undeveloped parallel reave system has for the purposes of this survey been limited to that part within the parish of Lydford, and for its E and NE extremities lying in Chagford parish. This area covers some 280ha of enclosed and unenclosed moorland with approximately 150ha of improved land on the W fringes. The boundaries of this system are not well-defined. The W extremity would appear to follow the East Dart River, the N edge is probably formed by the northernmost reave (surveyed during the field investigation). On the S and E no boundary is apparent. The main elements of this system are several parallel stony banks or axial reaves, which are on average 1.8m wide and 0.4m high, and are at intervals of between 120m and 250m apart. They are first visible running east from the left bank of the East Dart River, N of Hartland Tor. On crossing the Hartland and Stannon Brooks they alter course to the NE. Three distinct axial reaves and several shorter transverse reaves are visible ascending the western flank of Merripit Hill. The former are equally spaced and 275m apart. Only one of the 3 axial reaves, the northernmost, is discernible on the E side of Merripit Hill, the others being lost in peat and valley bogs. All 3 can be seen again climbing the W flanks of Water Hill and Assycombe Hill and they apparently terminate at or on the projected line of a transverse reave linking the 2 hilltops. Roughly midway between Water Hill and Assycombe Hill a single well-defined axial reave runs approximately 700m NE from the projected line of the transverse reave before leaving the investigated area. A shorter section of a less well preserved reave lies parallel and 220m to the N. With the exeption of its W end the system appears not to have been very well developed. There is no trace of the extensive infilling between the axial reaves as is so obvious on other systems. Only 2 settlements, which lie in the developed W part of the system, can be seen to be directly associated with the reaves. Other huts lie in open ground and are not physically attached to the parallel system. A total of eight cairns also lie within though they are apparently not connected to the reaves. For a detailed 1:2500 survey of the eastern, unenclosed part of the system see RCHME Statts Brook Survey (RCHME 1992). The enclosed land at the W edge of the system was surveyed during the RCHME Duchy Farms Project (see Middle Merripit and Greyhound Farm Plans: archived at the National Monuments Record, Swindon).

RCHME, 1992, Statts Brook Survey (Report - Survey). SDV320414.

English Heritage, 2004, Untitled Source (Schedule Document). SDV320500.

Coaxial field system, a Prehistoric settlement, two cairns and a stone alignment survive in 'Little Stannon Newtake', c900m southeast of 'Stannon Tor'. The fields survive as a group arranged on a single northeast to southwest prevailing axis, subdivided by transverse boundaries. The boundaries survive as stony banks up to 3m wide x up to 0.7m high. Within the southernmost field is a stone hut circle settlement.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV228504Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1964. 6399. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV229071Monograph: Fleming, A.. 1988. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions. Hardback Volume. 37, 50, 53, 127.
SDV255711Unknown: RCHME.
SDV255713Unknown: RCHME.
SDV255717Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1964. F65/48/6399/19-20.
SDV255719National Monuments Record Database: NMR. SX68SE77.
SDV319854Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV320413Site Visit: Probert, S. A. J.. 1992. RCHME Field Investigation. RCHME Field Investigation.
SDV320414Report - Survey: RCHME. 1992. Statts Brook Survey.
SDV320415Plan - measured: RCHME. Middle Merripit and Greyhound Farm Plans.
SDV320417Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1984. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor; Wider Implications. Landscape History. 6. Unknown. 210.
SDV320419Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. CPE UK 1995/4362.
SDV320420Aerial Photograph: NMR. 1977. SX6580/1.
SDV320500Schedule Document: English Heritage. 2004.
SDV321106Plan - measured: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1983. Middle Merripit Survey Drawing. Middle Merripit Survey Drawing. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV54556Parent of: Hut circle on Merripit Hill (Monument)
MDV70976Parent of: REAVE in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV70974Parent of: Reave on Merripit Hill (Monument)
MDV70975Parent of: Reave on Merripit Hill (Monument)
MDV48016Parent of: Stannon Block System, Assycombe Hill Ridge Reave (Monument)
MDV6616Related to: Cairn 570 metres north-east of Stannon Farmstead (Monument)
MDV6657Related to: CAIRN in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV26789Related to: Enclosure attached to the west side of Hurston Ridge Main Reave on Chagford Common, Chagford (Monument)
MDV119066Related to: Fragments of enclosures or fields on Merripit Hill (Monument)
MDV6714Related to: Hurston Ridge Reave on Chagford Common, Chagford (Monument)
MDV19553Related to: Hut circle settlement on Merripit Hill (Monument)
MDV19556Related to: Streamworks on the Stannon Brook (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 2 2017 2:30PM