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HER Number:MDV27294
Name:Reave system at White Ridge


The remains of part of Stannon block field system at White Ridge recorded in 1990. The field system survives as four parallel reaves leading westward from a north to south terminal reave. The reaves forming the field system vary in character, but are generally composed of rubble walling measuring up to 2 metres wide and 0.5 metres high. The terminal reave is cut in two places by leats which carried water from the East Dart River to the tinworks at Birch Tor and Vitifer.


Grid Reference:SX 642 821
Map Sheet:SX68SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX68SW108
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 623371
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SW/125
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SW/125/1
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SW/125/2
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SW/125/3
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SW/125/6
  • Old SAM Ref: 28683(PART)
  • Old SAM Ref: 28683.3
  • Old SAM Ref: 28683.4
  • Old SAM Ref: 28683.5
  • Old SAM Ref: 28683.6

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV245804.

Des=rchme/duchy farms report - great stannon newtake/(1990)/1:10000 map.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2149, 4309-10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282746.

National Monuments Record, 1977, SX6483, 1/239-240 (Aerial Photograph). SDV262962.

Aph=nmr sx6483/1/239-240(18/5/1977).

Fleming, A., 1978, The Dartmoor Reaves, 18-20; plan (Article in Monograph). SDV244362.

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

SX64428260 Bank extending moorland from a leat SX68SW/124. Visible on RAF 1947 and NMR 1977 aerial photograph.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit, M. J. Fletcher (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

(02/07/1990) White Ridge (centred at SX 647820) is the northern part of the extensive Stannon 'block system'.
In the 'block system' land is laid out in a rectilinear pattern largely without the small fields and settlements of parallel field systems.
This block system, mapped in 1975, seems to be blocks of land demarcated by interconnected reaves which stretched from Stannon and White Ridge in the west to Shapley Common in the east.
Three of the reaves in the White Ridge area are named 'White Ridge North Reave', 'White Ridge Central Reave' and 'White Ridge South Reave'.
This area is identified by Fleming as a zone B. In this zone, the upper part of a valley, circular and ovoid enclosures occur also the land may be sub-divided into parallel strips of roughly rectangular areas (Fleming 1978, 1988).
The White Ridge area reave pattern was investigated and surveyed during the 1990 very dry summer season. Extensions to the known reave system, "new" lengths of reave as well as additions to the three settlement field systems (SX 68 SW 4; 7; 21) were identified. The ridge is covered by a thick layer of peat which almost certainly hides more of the reave system.
The visible evidence indicates that the curvilinear reave which extends from the deep valley of the South Teign River (SX 64368285) southwards towards Stannon Tor (to SX 64538147) is a terminal reave. The four parallel reaves which extend roughly at right angles from its W side down the slope to the heavily silted floor of the Lade Brook create a well-balanced parallel reave system: it incorporates two of the settlements (SX 68 SW 4 & 7). The relationship of the third settlement and its rectilinear field pattern (SX 67 SW 21), to the E of the terminal reave, is not obvious although it is almost certainly part of the Block System.
SX 64348285 to SX 64538147. The Terminal Reave survives as a rubble bank c.2.5m wide and 0.5m high with many boulders and slabs protruding through the turf. Two rather amorphous mounds at SX 64478253 and SX 64398266 lie on or against the bank; one is 3.7m across and the other 2.5m across. Parts of the reave are submerged under the peat layer.
The four parallel reaves, of similar construction to the terminal reave, contain some upright slabs and incorporate on-line large earthfast boulders. The turf-covered banks are on average, 1.8m wide and now 0.4m high.
The White Ridge South Reave (Fleming, 1978) is visible between SX 63968156 and SX 64268147; the White Ridge Central Reave (Fleming, 1978) between SX 63998184 and SX 644581789 and the White Ridge North Reave (Fleming, 1978) between SX 63928209 and SX 64268230. The fourth reave is visible intermittently between SX 64108232 and SX 64268230.
A short length of reave exposed in a peat cutting between SX 64398328 and SX 64438331 may prove to be an extension of the system on the N of similar form to the other reaves it measures c.0.8m wide and is 0.4m high.

Fleming, A., 1988, The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions, 37-9; plan (Monograph). SDV229071.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 144242, 144245-61997? (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

[MPP 144242] (1997) Reave running from SX64538147 to SX64358285. A length of terminal reave 700 metres south-east of the Grey Wethers forming part of the Stannon block coaxial field system.
[MPP 144245] SX 64118231 to SX 64278229. A length of parallel reave 870m SSE of the Grey Wethers forming part of the Stannon block coaxial field system.
[MPP 144246] SX 63918210 to SX 64438207. A length of parallel reave 1020m SSE of the Grey Wethers forming part of the Stannon block coaxial field system.
[MPP 144297] SX 64498206 to SX 64528218. A length of parallel reave 1170m SE of the Grey Wethers forming part of the Stannon block coaxial field system.
[MPP 144300] SX 6395 8155 to SX 6427 8146. A length of parallel reave 1160m south-east of the Grey Wethers forming part of the Stannon Block coaxial field system

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

Reaves are partially visible on the aerial image, which is more accurate than the Royal Commission 1990 survey data in places.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV229071Monograph: Fleming, A.. 1988. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions. Hardback Volume. 37-9; plan.
SDV244362Article in Monograph: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Dartmoor Reaves. Early Land Allotment in the British Isles. Unknown. 18-20; plan.
SDV245804Migrated Record:
SDV262962Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. SX6483. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1/239-240.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 144242, 144245-61997?.
SDV282746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2149. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4309-10.
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.
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. M. J. Fletcher.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #137296 Reave areas need checking / confirming, ]

Associated Monuments

MDV6576Related to: Birch Tor and Vitifer Mine Leat (Monument)
MDV6777Related to: Hut circle settlement 730 metres south-east of Sittaford Tor (Monument)
MDV6748Related to: Hut circles and related enclosures on White Ridge (Monument)
MDV6771Related to: Oval enclosure in Great Stannon Newtake (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8650 - Great Stannon Newtake, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Jun 30 2022 2:44PM