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HER Number:MDV2485
Name:Vermin trap 800 metres south-east of Trowlesworthy Warren House

Summary

Includes two lengths of drystone wall forming a v-shaped trap pointing towards the leat. The position suggests it was designed to catch vermin using the leat for access into the warren. Trapping area no longer survives above ground. Both arms are of rubble walling. The south-west arm is 7.8 metres long, 0.5 metres wide and 0.2 metres high, whilst the west arm is 3.0 metres long 0.6 metres wide and 0.6 metres high.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 573 642
Map Sheet:SX56SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishShaugh Prior
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSHAUGH PRIOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: sx56se66
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SE/198/35
  • Old SAM Ref: 24215

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • VERMIN TRAP (XVIII to XIX - 1751 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 431 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Cook, R. M. L., 1964, Old vermin traps on south-west Dartmoor, 200, number 19 (Article in Serial). SDV230549.

Trowlesworthy Warren. Site 19. Wall type 111a. Poor condition. Walls only. Right hand bank of leat 210 metres upstream of number 18.

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

Not recorded.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 140372, 9/4/1995 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Vermin trap at SX57386425. Includes 2 lengths of drystone wall forming a v-shaped trap pointing towards the leat. The position suggests it was designed to catch vermin using the leat for access into the warren. Trapping area no longer survives above ground. Both arms are of rubble walling. The south-west arm is 7.8 metres long, 0.5 metres wide and 0.2 metres high, whilst the west arm is 3.0 metres long 0.6 metres wide and 0.6 metres high.

Robertson, J. G., 1991, The Archaeology of the Upper Plym, 254-6 (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV166324.

English Heritage, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV357602.

This monument includes a vermin trap situated adjacent to and downslope of the Lee Moor China Clay Works leat, lying on a gentle south west facing slope overlooking the valley of the Blacka Brook.
The vermin trap includes two lengths of drystone wall forming a `V'-shaped trap pointing towards the leat. The position of the trap suggests that it was designed to capture vermin using the leat for access into the warren. The trapping area no longer survives above the ground surface but would have originally been sited at the point where the two lengths of walling converge. Both arms of the trap are composed of rubble walling. The south western arm measures 7.8m long, 0.5m wide and 0.2m high, whilst the western arm is 3m long, 0.6m wide and 0.6m high.
Vermin approaching their quarry tend to seek a route that provides visual cover, and the purpose of a trap was to funnel predators along ditches or beside walls to a central point where they could be trapped. This vermin trap forms part of Trowlesworthy Warren, which includes around 64 pillow mounds and 40 vermin traps scattered along the slopes of Little and Great Trowlesworthy Tors. The boundaries of the warren are denoted by the River Plym, Spanish Lake and Blacka Brook. Trowlesworthy Warren is generally accepted as the oldest surviving warren on Dartmoor, although recently doubt has been expressed concerning its medieval origins. It is, however, known that the warren existed by 1651 when it was occupied by John Hamblin, a skinner from Plymouth. The warren appears to have remained in constant use from this time until the first half of the 20th century.

Ridgers, H. + Ridgers, C., 2015, Of Varments and Vermin Traps, 2, number 8 (Report - Assessment). SDV358632.

Muddled description due to the old location of the record placing it too far to the east (old grid reference: SX5744 6428). Ridgers description links to another record MDV55298 and questions whether they are duplicates. This is likely not the case, as this record seems to definitely refer to this scheduled site (Richards, A. F., citing Ridgers.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV166324Post-Graduate Thesis: Robertson, J. G.. 1991. The Archaeology of the Upper Plym. 254-6.
SDV230549Article in Serial: Cook, R. M. L.. 1964. Old vermin traps on south-west Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 96. 200, number 19.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 140372, 9/4/1995.
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.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 431.
SDV357602National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV358632Report - Assessment: Ridgers, H. + Ridgers, C.. 2015. Of Varments and Vermin Traps. A4 Comb Bound. 2, number 8.

Associated Monuments

MDV14148Part of: Trowlesworthy Warren, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV14650Related to: Vermin trap, Trowlesworthy Warren (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7369 - Survey of Granite Loading Bays at Trowlesworthy, Devon
  • EDV8148 - The Upper Plym Valley: The Management of an Historic Landscape
  • EDV8155 - Plym Valley Survey

Date Last Edited:Nov 29 2019 2:20PM