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HER Number:MDV2490
Name:Vermin trap at southern base of Great Trowlesworthy Tor

Summary

The vermin trap includes two lengths of drystone wall forming a `V'-shaped trap pointing towards a large boulder lying at the foot of the tor. The position of the trap at the base of the nearby tor suggests that the intention was to make use of the steep face of the tor to help funnel the vermin into the trapping area, which was originally sited at the point where the two lengths of walling converge. The SSW wall is of rubble construction and measures 4.5m long, 0.9m wide and 0.2m high. The WSW wall is 2m long, 1.1m wide and 0.3m high and is composed of large stones.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 579 643
Map Sheet:SX56SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishShaugh Prior
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSHAUGH PRIOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SE/198/39

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • VERMIN TRAP (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

COOK, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV138782.

Trowlesworthy warren. Site 30. Wall type 111. Small, indistinct. Against main rock pile on the south south west face of great trowlesworthy tor (cook).


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV139318.

Cook, r. M. L. /tda/96(1964)200/old vermin traps on south west dartmoor.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV139319.

Des=gerrard, s. /(2002)/mpp alternative action report.


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

This monument includes a vermin trap situated at the southern base of Great Trowlesworthy Tor overlooking the valley of the Blacka Brook.
The vermin trap includes two lengths of drystone wall forming a `V'-shaped trap pointing towards a large boulder lying at the foot of the tor. The position of the trap at the base of the nearby tor suggests that the intention was to make use of the steep face of the tor to help funnel the vermin into the trapping area, which was originally sited at the point where the two lengths of walling converge. The SSW wall is of rubble construction and measures 4.5m long, 0.9m wide and 0.2m high. The WSW wall is 2m long, 1.1m wide and 0.3m high and is composed of large stones.
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. However, it is 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. This monument is in the care of the Secretary of State.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV138782Migrated Record: COOK.
SDV139318Migrated Record:
SDV139319Migrated Record:
SDV357602National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV14148Part of: Trowlesworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV2491Related to: Vermin trap 90 metres west of Great Trowlesworthy Tor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7369 - Survey of Granite Loading Bays at Trowlesworthy, Devon

Date Last Edited:May 12 2015 4:15PM