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HER Number:MDV2545
Name:Boundary bank at Trowlesworthy Warren

Summary

Recorded as a reave in 1977 and 1996, this is a stony bank up to 3.8m wide and 0.4m high. It runs north to south along the ridge crest immediately north and south of Little Trowlesworthy Tor. This feature appears to function both as a boundary and as a repository for cleared surface stone. It is apparently medieval in origin.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 576 646
Map Sheet:SX56SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishShaugh Prior
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSHAUGH PRIOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 56 SE 11
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SE/522
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SE/91
  • Old SAM Ref: 22357
  • Old SAM Ref: 28654
  • Pastscape: 439136

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • (Former Type) REAVE (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))
  • BOUNDARY WALL (Constructed, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX56SE11 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV146573.

(28/05/1977) SX 57566483 - SX 57656466: A reave, lying along a flat topped ridge, runs from the false crest, at 305m above O.D. above the Plym valley, for 185m south-south-east towards Little Trowlesworthy Tor, terminating at the edge of the clitter 330m above O.D. It is not aligned on any prominent point and is constructed of orthostats and large natural boulders, and measures from 2.5m to 6.0m wide and 0.5m high. A small, 'D' - shaped hut has been built against its east face. The adjacent gap is probably modern, since the pile of stones which overlays both the reave and the hut has probably come from its clearing.
Three more modern gaps and two vermin traps have been constructed across the reave.
SX 57716451 - SX 57716448: A further length of reave, 30.0m long, runs continuously due south from the clitter at the base of Little Trowlesworthy Tor. It is not aligned on a prominent point and ends at a further area of clitter. It is constructed of a double row of orthostats, with boulder infill, overall 3.0m wide and up to 1.0m high.
Structurally these can be compared with the other linear reaves (SX 56 NE 123) in the area, although very much shorter. They either simply demarcate the ridge at Little Trowlesworthy or are part of an abandoned project. 1:10 000 Survey on A.O. Model. Enlarged survey at 1:500.

Fleming, A., 1978, The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor, 97-123 (Article in Serial). SDV235265.

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

Contains vermin trap, see SX56SE/209. Not recorded in project.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 140341 and MPP 140794 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

MPP 140341 (05/04/1995) SX 5771 6451 to SX 5772 6448. Short length of reave survives as a 3m wide and 0.5m high rubble bank leading south for 35m from Little Trowlesworthy Tor towards great Trowlesworthy Tor. May represent a continuation of another length of reave which lies to the north of the tor and if so would suggest that Trowlesworthy Tor was subdivided during the prehistoric period.
MPP 140794 (Estimated 1996) SX 5766 6467 to SX 5757 6484. Length of reave survives as a 204m long rubble bank measuring up to 5m wide and 1m high. A hut circle is attached to the east side of the reave, which is also cut by a number of historic trackways and two X-shaped vermin traps.
The pillow mound lies south-west of the reave and survives as a 21m by 6m by and 0.5m high, flat topped, sub rectangular mound of soil and stones. A ditch surrounds the mound and survives as a 2m wide and 0.6m deep hollow. A gully leading west from the eastern end of the pillow mound may represent an animal run in which vermin and rabbits were trapped.

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West (Monograph). SDV137656.

Reave depicted and described by Butler.

Robertson, J. G., 1994, The Archaeology of the Upper Plym Valley (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV139549.

Medieval reave depicted and described by Robertson.

Thackray, C., 1994, The Upper Plym Valley: the management of an historic landscape, 93, 102.385 (Report - non-specific). SDV143510.

Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J., 2002, Plym Valley survey (Report - Survey). SDV350782.

(20/05/2002) SX 5757 6486 to SX 5766 6467 and SX 5710 6453 to SX 5772 6449. A stony bank up to 3.8m wide and 0.4m high runs north-south along the ridge crest immediately north and south of Little Trowlesworthy Tor. This feature appears to function both as a boundary and as a repository for cleared surface stone. The area immediately to the west of this bank is largely free of surface stone and several nearby hut circles and an associated enclosure (SX 56 SE 100) have been heavily robbed, apparently to feed this feature.
The longest section, north of the tor, is pierced by several openings displaying vehicle ruts. It is impossible to say whether they are historic or not. The alleged hut circle at SX 5762 6475 possesses neither a levelled platform nor well-defined walls and is probably a more recent feature.
The origin of this feature is probably related to the establishment and development of the Trowlesworthy Farm between the 13th century and the adoption of warrening in the early post-medieval period as the vermin traps within the bank suggest the abandonment of its boundary function by this date.
The presence of the vermin traps indicates that this feature had been abandoned prior to the establishment of the warren at Trowlesworthy.
A short section of similar bank (SX 56 SE 237) is also visible 400m to the south-south-east above Spring Tide and all three sections probably represent an attempt to enclose the whole of the western flank of Trowlesworthy Tors.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015-2017, 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV361462.

Remains of this boundary clearly visible on the aerial photography.

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV137656Monograph: Butler, J.. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Three. Paperback Volume.
SDV139549Post-Graduate Thesis: Robertson, J. G.. 1994. The Archaeology of the Upper Plym Valley. Edinburgh University. Unknown.
SDV143510Report - non-specific: Thackray, C.. 1994. The Upper Plym Valley: the management of an historic landscape. 93, 102.385.
SDV146573Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SX56SE11. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown.
SDV235265Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 97-123.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 140341 and MPP 140794.
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.
SDV350782Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J.. 2002. Plym Valley survey. English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report. Unknown.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #85029 ]
SDV363414National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2020. National Heritage List for England. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV14148Part of: Trowlesworthy Warren, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV56881Related to: Feature adjacent to boundary bank north-west of Little Trowlesworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV15289Related to: Prehistoric Enclosure (O) at Trowlesworthy Warren, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV14359Related to: Vermin trap at Trowlesworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV2474Related to: Vermin trap at 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:Feb 25 2020 11:42AM