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HER Number:MDV25928
Name:Field system running from Godworthy Corner to Whitchurch Common


A coaxial field system extending for at least 2kms from Godworthy Corner (SX 5398 7694) in the N, over the N, W and S slopes of Cox Tor, and onto Whitchurch Common (SX 5299 7500) in the S. It incorporates sites SX 57 NW 42, SX 57 NW 96 and SX 57 NW 100. Also associated with it are the various scattered settlement features on Cox Tor. NB: This record has a number of related records detailing sections of the field system.


Grid Reference:SX 531 755
Map Sheet:SX57NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
Civil ParishWhitchurch
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPETER TAVY
Ecclesiastical ParishSAMPFORD SPINEY
Ecclesiastical ParishWHITCHURCH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57NW106
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 440017
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NW/107/1
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SW/100
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SW/100/1
  • Old SAM Ref: 22234
  • Old SAM Ref: 22262

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COAXIAL FIELD SYSTEM (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • REAVE (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC)

Full description

Fleming, A., 1978, The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor, 113-114 (Article in Serial). SDV235265.

[Centred SX 531751] Identification of the reave systems in the Cox Tor area is puzzling but two elements are easy to isolate, the Whitchurch Common reaves (SX 531753) and those immediately to the south, Feather Tor (SX 533744) and Heckwood (SX 535738). See plan.
These form a series of blocks of pasture land laid out roughly in parallel over a zone 2km by half km. There is also an isolated, extra-ordinary settlement with long parallel enclosures laid out up and down a very steep slope at SX 527763.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX57NW106 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV270740.

(27/10/1980) On Whitchurch Common is a fine terminal reave located, in this case, to the east of the 'top wall' of a modern field system. Several huts are preserved, together with a fine gateway. The terminal has had its course changed at its southern end, where it appears to stop at an enclosure (Fleming, 1978) [See SX 57 NW 65 for hut circles].
Photograph of gateway mentioned by Fleming.

National Monuments Record, 1982, NMR SF2112, 1308-1310 (Aerial Photograph). SDV345548.

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

SX 5340 7435 Small field system on east slope of Whitchurch Common cut through by leat crf: SX57SW/71.

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

(05/05/1991) A coaxial field system extending for at least 2kms from Godworthy Corner (SX 5398 7694) in the N, over the N, W and S slopes of Cox Tor, and onto Whitchurch common (SX 5299 7500) in the S. It incorporates sites SX 57 NW 42, SX 57 NW 96 and SX 57 NW 100. Also associated with it are the various scattered settlement features on Cox Tor.
The main boundary runs NNW-SSE from SX 5272 7682 to SX 5298 7504, a length of about 2kms. It consists of a fragmentary, discontinuous, rubble bank with roughly W-E boundaries laid out in a striking parallel arrangement on either side.
The main NNW-SSE boundary can be traced from the northern foot of Cox Tor (see SX 57 NW 100). It runs up the slopes for 175m before turning S to climb obliquely along the western slopes of the hill. Here it forms the E side of SX 57 NW 96: it is well preserved, although robbed in places, and comprises a rubble bank of large/medium stones 0.8m high and 2.5m wide. Its W side forms a lynchet scarp, which is probably the product of erosion. Its course is straight, except where it skirts prominent outcrops. Some 430m to the W a fragmentary parallel bank forms the W side of SW 57 NW 96.
At SX 5285 7630 it turns an abrupt corner, its continuation to the S being in the form of a fragmentary stretch some 20m in length, before ending close to an extensive area of clitter and outcrops. It is lost in the clitter for some 250m. At SX 57 NW 41, it may form the eastern side of the enclosure bank which surrounds the hut circle. Further S again its course is marked by the pronounced turn northwards at the W end of SX 57 NW 42. 180m to the S (at SX 5291 7576), on the edge of an area of stone quarrying, it becomes visible again as a low stony bank 0.3m high and 1.2m wide. A slight lynchet effect is visible on the W side. It continues to the SE for 230m, where it changes direction and is overlaid by and abandoned newtake wall. S again it forms the W side of a "D"-shaped enclosure (SX 57 NW 126). S again it has been destroyed by tracks and abandoned newtake. Nevertheless it survives as a low turf-covered stony bank 1.3m wide and 0.3m high. It passes 10m W of the carpark on Pork Hill and close to the hut circles SX 57 NW 65. It disappears under an abandoned newtake wall at SX 5298 7504 (it was not investigated to the S).
To the W and E of this feature the landscape has been broken up by a number of roughly W-E parallel reaves. The clearest examples lie on the SE slopes of Cox Tor where a series of three reaves divide the landscape between the NNW-SSE boundary to the W and the Cox Tor/Staple Tor watershed to the E. The most northerly one (SX 57 NW 42) is described separately. Those two to the S have been laid out at regular intervals of between 390 and 410m. They comprise low, stony banks averaging 0.3m high and 1.5m wide; some orthostats are visible within them. The southernmost one has been cut through by stream works (SX 57 NW 129), but continues to the E for some 380m before being lost in an area of dense stone working. A change of alignment of 44o occurs within the area of streamworking, presumably at the course of the stream.
Parallel with these three, but some 900m to the N of SX 57 NW 42 is the Godworthy reave which forms the northern limit of the system.
On the W side of the NNW-SSE boundary, the parallel reaves are more fragmentary. The best preserved examples are at SX 57 NW 96, where seven main parallel reaves are on the same alignment as the rest of the system (see SX 57 NW 96 for description). To the S traces of the system are overlain by the huts and enclosure SX 57 NW 45.

Gerrard, S., 1993-2010, Monument Protection Programme Alternative Action Report (Report - non-specific). SDV145710.

(15/04/1993) Part of the field system centred on SX 5340 7435 has been considered for scheduling but has been rejected.

Ancient Monuments, 2001, Schedule note (Schedule Document). SDV231323.

(2001) SX 5340 7441 Length of reave 290m north of Feather Tor, forming part of a coaxial field system on Whitchurch Common.
Length of reave and short section of leat. Reave survives as a 1.8m wide, 0.4m high earthwork with occasional protruding orthostats. Main length stretches 400m east-west and approx. midway along a branch 90m long leads to south. Reave is cut by disused length of the Grimstone and Sortridge Leat at SX 53477442, which at this point measures 2.4m wide and 0.8m deep. The present Grimstone and Sortridge Leat cuts through the eastern part of the reave and is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath and around it is included.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV145710Report - non-specific: Gerrard, S.. 1993-2010. Monument Protection Programme Alternative Action Report. English Heritage. Unknown.
SDV231323Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 2001. Schedule note. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown. [Mapped feature: #133429 Southern part of field system shown, ]
SDV235265Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 113-114.
SDV270740Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX57NW106. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
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.
SDV345548Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1982. NMR SF2112. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1308-1310.
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. R. Wilson-North. [Mapped features: #137920 Northern point of field system noted here; see also MDV15026 for detail, ]

Associated Monuments

MDV15026Parent of: PARALLEL REAVE SYSTEM in the Parish of Peter Tavy (Monument)
MDV25904Parent of: REAVE in the Parish of Whitchurch (Monument)
MDV4130Parent of: Reave south of Cox Tor (Monument)
MDV25902Related to: Leat on Whitchurch Common (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Jun 17 2022 4:00PM