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HER Number:MDV29954
Name:One of three Prehistoric Parallel Reaves on Cudlipptown Down


One of three Prehistoric parallel reaves which cross Cudlipptown Down from east to west


Grid Reference:SX 538 791
Map Sheet:SX57NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPETER TAVY

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork remains of a prehistoric reave on Cudlipptown Down

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NW/176
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV24.

Vis=27/10/1980 (os) three reaves cross cudlipptown down from e to w from 200m to 350m apart. Turf-covered rubble generally 1.5m to 2m wide and from 0.2m to 0.4m high. Mostly stone free apart from the se which has surface stone, and settlement with limited walled fields. Irregular patches of clear ground are probably natural since there is no evidence of clearance heaps. Only in the nw at sx529792 does a reave provide a significant boundary to a small field system (os).

?PATTISON, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV274136.

Vis=14/1/1988 (?pattison) sx539571. A field system of five reaves approximately parallel, traverse the n facing slope of cudlipptown down. The w part of the down is a good upland pasture of open grassland with only scattered stone, the central and e parts are characterised by medium and dense clitter. Numerous springs rise on the hillside and drain northwards. The reaves divide this area into long strips between 170 and 315m wide.

A AND B, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274137.

Two reaves are previously unrecorded (a and b); the remaining 3 (c, d and e) are recorded as osa=sx57nw85 but (e) is also listed as osa=sx57nw53.

A, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274138.

(a) sx54127982-sx54457966. Reave running nw-se across gently sloping land, slightly across the contours from 310 to 325m od. It commences in enclosed pasture and turns se for 45m as a bank of partly turf-covered medium and large stone rubble 2 to 2.5m wide, 0.3m high uphill and 0.6m high downhill. It is broken by a maintained field wall but resumes to run for 320m across a large enclosed field to sx54457966. The field it crosses is unimproved, extremely wet marsh saturated by streamflow off cudlipptown down, resulting in considerable build-up obscuring parts of the reave. Where best preserved it is a low rubble wall 1.5 to 2.5m wide and 0.4m high composed of medium and large stones and boulders. It ends where tin streaming has cut through the area.

B, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274139.

(b) sx54127960 to sx53997964-sx54127982. Reave commencing just w of a moorland trackway and running wnw for 150m approx along the 330m contour. Crossing an area of medium clitter on gently sloping ground the feature is an intermittent rubble bank of medium and large stones as a boulder line 1.5m to 2.4m wide and up to 0.4m high. At sx53997964 it turns abruptly ne and can be traced as a sporadic feature into enclosed land, picking its way to a junction with the start point of reave a. This last stretch, together with other boulder-wall fragments at sx53917996, sx54227958 + sx54167989, hints at subdivision or a smaller field system in this area.

C, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274140.

(c ) sx52897919 to sx54637916. Reave originating at sx52897919 (although a field boundary continues its alignment further w for 220m) at 320m od and running e upslope to just above the 385m contour. It completes its traverse of the whole down initially dropping downhill to sx53727939 where it turns to climb uphill once more to the 380m contour, entering enclosed land at sx54377922.

C, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274141.

At this point a prehistoric settlement is attached to its n side. The reave continues into enclosed land, adapted into a medieval field system, for 260m to sx54637916. Its course is lost beyond this point but originally may have joined the "great western reave" a few hundred metres further e. The reave is generally a n-facing scarp or occasionally a low, rubble bank, 1.5-2.5m wide and 0.3-0.8m high. It is composed of partly turf-covered, medium and large sized stones though sometimes of smaller stones. Towards the w end, at sx52957921 the reave clearly pre-dates a prehistoric field system whose boundaries around this point are laid out using the reave as an axis. Lynchet formation within the field system has slightly interrupted the reave line, producing maximum dimensions of c.4m wide by 1m high. At sx53617935 there is a crossing with a n-s running linear bank. Erosion on the steep slope here has obscured any relative chronology. Reave (c ) is fleming's "white tor 4".

SX53877914, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274143.

At the 800m point (sx53877914) the reave changes alignment to run ese. At precisely the turn, a prehistoric settlement is attached to the s side. From here it runs a fairly straight course, climbing slowly to 415m od to its junction with the "great western reave" at sx54457901. This length survives as a low rubble bank or a scarp 2-2.5m wide by 0.3-0.6m high, composed of small-medium stones incorporating larger stones and boulders at it progresses e across natural clitter. The last 120m consists almost entirely of large stones and boulders, quite spread.

E, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274144.

This reave is fleming's white tor 3".(e) sx53687881 to sx53927896 to sx54347882. The reave can be seen at sx53687881 in open down though a field boundary to the sw may fossilise its line. It runs uphill from 405m to 420m od as a low turf-covered bank or scarp 2 to 3m wide and 0.3 to 0.5m high. At sx53867893 it is broken, apart from two small stone piles and immediately n of this point is a dog-legged section of rubble bank 2m wide x 0.3m high - possibly the fragmented remains of an attached enclosure.

CONTRA OS 1980, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274145.

At sx53927896 the reave takes a sharp angular change of direction from ene to wsw. From here to its junction with the "great western reave" at sx54347882, the reave ascends into an area of thick clitter and natural rock outcrop and this reflects in its structure; a more massive rubble bank/scarp incorporating large stones and boulders and immovable outcrop. Its final 90m forms the s wall of a prehistoric settlement. To the n and s of a point sx54177885 are 2 lengths of poor, rubble bank; possibly the remains of prehistoric enclosure walling. Although in plan it looks as though the reave should cut across this walling, on the ground there is no relationship; the walling is gapped to either side of the reave (contra os 1980).

NMR, CITING ?PATTISON, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274146.

This reave is fleming's "white tor 2". The reaves are visible on aps (nmr, citing ?pattison).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274147.


Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV274148.

Aph=raf 58/6399/f65/0041-2.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV274149.

Des=pattison, p. /(14/1/1988)/rchme field investigation.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV274150.


D, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV90863.

(d) sx53117887 to sx53877914 to sx54457901. This reave commences 4m e of a pre-enclosure field boundary which has been cut by the maintained field wall. The relationship between this feature and the reave is not visible but the field boundary is possibly part of the system which post-dates reave (c ). The reave runs directly uphill for 800m to sx53877914; from the 350m contour to just above 400m od. The initial 270m of this stretch is visible as a very low turf-covered bank/scarp of small stones, no greater than 2.3m wide and 0.3m high. The next 230m is largely missing but the exact line is marked by 4 small cairns. It looks as if they are made of robbed reave material rather than pre-reave marker cairns. The reave proper resumes 50m w of a crossing with another linear at sx53617910 which possibly pre-dates it (but this is not entirely clear). At sx53777913 is another small cairn attached to the s side of the reave; this may be a marker cairn.

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

Area of parallel reaves running west-east from the northern end of the great western reave.

The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Unit, 1985, The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV340940.

A north-west, south-east reave leaves from just south of Newtake wall at SX54417903 and travels north-west across the north slope of Cudlipptown Down to SX53987915.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Linear feature running west to east on Cudlipptown Down visible on aerial photograph.

Royal Air Force, 23/06/1949, 540/226/5167 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351031.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX57NW63 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV351030.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV235265Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 97-123.
SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV274136Report - Survey: ?PATTISON.
SDV274137Migrated Record: A AND B.
SDV274138Migrated Record: A.
SDV274139Migrated Record: B.
SDV274140Migrated Record: C.
SDV274141Migrated Record: C.
SDV274143Migrated Record: SX53877914.
SDV274144Migrated Record: E.
SDV274145Migrated Record: CONTRA OS 1980.
SDV274146Migrated Record: NMR, CITING ?PATTISON.
SDV274147Migrated Record:
SDV274148Aerial Photograph:
SDV274149Migrated Record:
SDV274150Aerial Photograph:
SDV340940Interpretation: The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Unit. 1985. The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project. The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project. Map (Paper).
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital. [Mapped feature: #86673 ]
SDV351030Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX57NW63. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV351031Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 23/06/1949. 540/226/5167. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown.
SDV90863Migrated Record: D.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7441 - Condition survey of the archaeological sites of Merrivale Training Area
  • EDV7570 - Condition survey of Merrivale Range training area

Date Last Edited:Sep 23 2016 4:58PM