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HER Number:MDV21219
Name:Field system on the north-west side of Cudlipptown Down, Peter Tavy


Extensive rectilinear field system of 470 metres by 360 metres on the north-west side of Cudlipptown Down


Grid Reference:SX 530 794
Map Sheet:SX57NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPETER TAVY

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks of a Bronze Age field system with two associated hut circles and adjoining reave and a complex of probable 19th century mining structures and features on western side of Cudlipptown Down

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57NW67
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 439910
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NW/76

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Late Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 3000 BC? (Between) to 42 AD? (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Map object based on this source.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2149, 3175 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282746.

Photograph taken on 11th June 1947.

Royal Air Force, 1964, RAF 58/6399, 042-043 (Aerial Photograph). SDV225229.

Photograph taken on 2nd July 1964. 'Cropmarks' (ie vegetation marks) of a rectangular field system. There is possibly an associated hut circle at SX52937915, within the system.

Royal Air Force, 1968, F42/58/8609, 0035-0036 (Aerial Photograph). SDV221584.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card, 1980, SX57NW67 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV247511.

Visited on 19th October 1980. Centred at SX 52937926 is a prehistoric field system of about 2.0 hectares. situated on steep north and west slopes at the end of a spur, and bounded on the south by one of a number of east to west parallel reaves which cross Cudlipptown Down, visible on the air photographs.The fields are of about 0.25 hectares and curvilinear, constrained by a series of natural shelves which have accentuated the lynchets. These are up to 1.0 metre high; field banks are generally 1.5 metres wide and 0.3 metres high. The southern half of the area has a considerable quantity on surface stone; the northern half very little. This may be a natural effect or the result of clearance. In the extreme north-west there are several large dumps of roadstone type material. No hut circles or hut platforms were found during investigation. Area of fields delineated on OS Field Sheet.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Recorded on raf 1947 aerial photographs

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

(15/01/1988) Centred at SX 529 793: A field system and clearance cairns are situated in open moorland on a moderate to steep SW slope, on Cudlipptown Down. The slope is irregular and benched, and the fields utilise natural terraces where possible.
The field system is irregular and probably the result of growth and agglomeration. It is clearly the upper end of a more extensive system which is visible in enclosed fields to the NW (see SX 57 NW 68).
This part of the system can be divided into three groups; of which (1) and (2) are linked by longer, straighter boundaries.
(1) SX 5288 7929: a group of very small, irregular fields clearly aligned onto, and therefore post-dating, a contour following reave (SX 57 NW 85 C). Fields are laid off from it, mainly to the N but with one to the to the S. The interruption of the reave is very clear, resulting in the formation of a prominent negative lynchet in contrast to a normal bank form outside the field system to the E.
The fields are small and irregular, and there are at least two phases: at SX 5292 7930 is a clear cross-over where a bank running NW to SE overrides another aligned NE to SW.
The field boundaries are either low, partly turf-covered rubble walls of lynchets incorporating much small sized stones. They are between 1.5m and 2.5m wide and average 0.5m in height. In several places, however, lynchet formation has increased the size of the boundaries up to 4.5m in width and 1.7m in height.
There are twenty clearance cairns within this part of the field system. They average 3m in diameter and 0.6m in height, in a range between 2m and 5.4m diameter and 0.25m to 1.1m height. Most are near-circular and bowl-profiled but some are placed on rock outcrops and are more irregular. There are additional patches of clearance onto field boundaries. All are composed of small fist-sized stones, now partially turf-covered.
(2) SX 5315 7954: this fragment of field system lies mainly on a natural terrace. Most of the fields are crossed by the maintained field wall but their boundaries continue into enclosed land (see SX 57 NW 68). There are at least two blocks of fields here, generally small and irregular, but including a larger field occupying the steep slope at the S end of the group. Most of the boundaries are lynchets 1.5m to 4.5m wide and 0.3m to 1.7m high, but some are only stony lines. The large field on the S is ditched externally, perhaps indicating use in the Medieval period. Four clearance cairns were recorded in this group.
(3) SX 5304 7893: the truncated W ends of three fields can be located just inside the moorland. One, at SX 5309 7887, clearly blocks the passage of a reave (SX 57 NW 85 D), its lynchet cut down to a lower level.
Four hut circles are associated with the field system as a whole (see SX 57 NW 137 to 140). Three lie within fields, the fourth cut into a lynchet.
See RCHME 1:2500 survey of Cudlipptown Down.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 95, Map 31, Site 17 (Monograph). SDV219155.

A quite substantial group of fields existed on the west side of the Down built onto both sides of Cudlipptown Down Lower Reave but an unknown area has been engulfed by modern enclosures and what remains has been damaged by mine workings and buildings. Only slight banks and a hut circle remain of the prehistoric settlement here. The reave continues across the field boundary and becomes over built by the present wall.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 95, Map 31, Site 17.
SDV221584Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1968. F42/58/8609. royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 0035-0036.
SDV225229Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1964. RAF 58/6399. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 042-043.
SDV247511Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. 1980. SX57NW67. OSAD Card. Card Index.
SDV282746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2149. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3175.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV133727Parent of: Settlement on the west side of Cudlipptown Down, Peter Tavy (Monument)
MDV56617Related to: Hut circle on west side of Cudlipptown Down, Peter Tavy (Monument)
MDV56624Related to: Mining remains on Cuplipptown Down, Peter Tavy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Dec 21 2022 10:39AM