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HER Number:MDV24755
Name:Medieval field system north and west of Gibby Combe, Holne

Summary

Extensive field system situated on a south-east facing slope of Holne Moor overlooking the valley of the Holy Brook, formed by a series of ditched banks. Within the major fields there are a number of smaller strip fields denoted by low banks and several clusters of small clearance cairns. Within the field system there are a large number of earthworks relating to prospecting and extraction of tin.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 683 691
Map Sheet:SX66NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHolne
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHOLNE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 67 SE 120
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NE/220
  • Old SAM Ref: 34427
  • Pastscape: 1078257

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

National Monuments Record, 1979, NMR SF1457, 454-6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV172921.


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

Boundaries of fields are ditched and banked. The northernmost field has ridge and furrow. Total extent of system SX68176947 to SX68456944. Approximate area 2.1 hectares.


Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 152621, 25/5/1999 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Medieval field system north and west of Gibby Combe (centred on SX68376920). A substantial and well-preserved field system formed by a series of ditched banks. Parts of the field system almost certainly remained in use until the post-medieval period when some remodelling was carried out. A detailed survey to untangle the different elements from the tinwork earthworks is needed before this site will be fully understood.


Probert, S. A. J., 1997, Holne Moor, Dartmoor, Devonshire. A Landscape Survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 9 (Report - Survey). SDV173671.

Area of field system depicted on survey.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

The monument includes a medieval farmstead with an associated field system, post-medieval tinworks and leats, prehistoric settlements and cairns situated on a south east facing slope of Holne Moor overlooking the valley of the Holy Brook.
The farmstead sits towards the southern edge of an extensive field system formed by a series of ditched banks. Within the major fields there are a number of smaller strip fields denoted by low banks and several clusters of small clearance cairns. Within the field system there are a large number of earthworks relating to prospecting and extraction of tin.


National Monument Record, 2016, Pastscape (Website). SDV359354.

Centred SX 68456945. Approximately 80 hectares of former fields lie on the moderate east-facing slope of Holne Lee on the eastern edge of Holne Moor. The pattern of enclosures is complex and clearly the product of several phases of activity probably commencing in the later medieval period. The southern end of the system is characterised by relatively small (2-3 hectare), irregular fields enclosing what appears to be a late medieval settlement (SX 66 NE 45) while to the north the fields are larger (5-10 hectares) and more regular.
The brief nature of the occupation of these field is demonstrated by the vast numbers of clearance cairns and relatively large zones of uncleared stoney ground. The fields are largely under bracken and heather but the clearer areas show no signs of cultivation.
Dating these features is difficult though the smaller, irregular fields adjacent to the settlement are likely to be contemporary with it. Similar settlements on Dartmoor have been shown through excavation to have been established at the end of the 13th century and to have been deserted within a period of 150 years (Henderson and Weddell 1994, 135; Allan 1994, 145). There is no reason why this should have been an exception. However the fields may have continued in use. The larger, northern, fields are integrated with a complex series of tinners channels and leats. These types of workings have been shown by Newman (1987, 223-240) to be in operation from around 1450 to 1750 putting the associated fields well into the post-medieval period.
The date of abandonment of this field system is unclear, the current edge of cultivated land has remained unchanged since 1888 (Ordnance Survey 1st Edition historic map 1:2500). Citing Probert, S. A. J., Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Field Investigation, 06/01/1997).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV172921Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1979. NMR SF1457. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. 454-6.
SDV173671Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J.. 1997. Holne Moor, Dartmoor, Devonshire. A Landscape Survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 9. [Mapped feature: #84810 ]
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 152621, 25/5/1999.
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.
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV359354Website: National Monument Record. 2016. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV26489Related to: Medieval enclosures on Holne Moor (Monument)
MDV24759Related to: Medieval field system south-east of Venford Reservoir (Monument)
MDV5253Related to: Michelcombe Arrishes Farmstead on Holne Moor, Holne (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7100 - Holne Moor Survey

Date Last Edited:Oct 11 2016 2:33PM