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HER Number:MDV4111
Name:Great Western Reave, Roos Tor Section


Section of the Great Western Reave running in a north-west by south-easterly direction across Peter Tavy Great Common. Exists in two sections; there is a gap across the summit of Roos Tor. North-western section has a hut circle settlement adjoining on the northern side of the reave. Longest reave known on Dartmoor (circa 10km in length).


Grid Reference:SX 545 767
Map Sheet:SX57NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
Civil ParishWhitchurch
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPETER TAVY
Ecclesiastical ParishWHITCHURCH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57NW30
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 439812
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NW/9
  • Old SAM Ref: 20389(PART)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX57NW30 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV225176.

'Ancient trackway' marked on early 20th century historic map (citing Ordnance Survey 1906 Second Edition map).
An old reave or boundary bank, composed of earth and stones, and called an ancient trackway. SX54517654 to SX54837636. Measures approximately 3.0 metres wide and 0.5 metres high (11/07/1950).

Royal Air Force, 1964, 58/6399, 0042-43 (Aerial Photograph). SDV225273.

National Monument Record, 1977, SX5376, 4/258 (Aerial Photograph). SDV271138.

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

Part of the Great Western Reave.

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

Enclosure sx57nw/57 attached to east side of reave. Partially visible on aerial photographs.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., February 1992 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Short length of Great Western Reave forming the south-western edge of a stone hut settlement. This length runs north-west from SX53977691 to SX53857704. Composed of loose rubble 3.5 metres wide, 0.8 metres high. Field boundaries associated with the settlement appear to abut the reave. All hut circles lie on one side of the reave, indicating that it was respected as a boundary. May represent a boundary between infield and outfield. An apparent field boundary passing under the reave at SX53907696 would contradict this conclusion, but may represent fortuitous arrangement of large boulders.

Devon County Council, 1996, DAP/ABE, 12, 13 (Aerial Photograph). SDV225181.

Newman, P., 2003, The Langstone Moor Stone Circle, Peter Tavy, Devon and its Prehistoric Environs (Report - Survey). SDV255420.

(10/10/2003) Resurveyed at 1:2500 using GPS September 2003.

Newman, P., 2004, Merrivale Range Baseline Condition Survey, 02/08/2004 (Newman, P.) (Report - Survey). SDV346874.

In generally good condition but recently disturbed where the Grimstone leat transects the reave.

English Heritage, 2005-2008, Prehistoric Survey Information (Cartographic). SDV345521.

Map object based on this source.

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

Reave visible on aerial photograph. Section of reave visible on aerial photograph running from SX53837716 to SX54197670. Map object based on this source.

Probert, S. A. J., 2010, A Condition Survey of the Archaeological Sites of Merrivale Range, Dartmoor Training Area, 02/08/2004 (Newman, P.) (Report - Survey). SDV360515.

In generally good condition but recently disturbed where the Grimstone leat transects the reave.

Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

This monument includes twenty-one stone hut circles, a short length of the Great Western Reave, one medieval or post-medieval shelter and at least twelve fields situated on a gentle north-west-facing slope overlooking the valley of the Colly Brook.
The Great Western Reave has a total length of 10 kilometres and is the longest known Prehistoric land division boundary on Dartmoor. Within the area of the scheduling it runs downslope in a north-westerly direction and upslope to the south-east. It is composed of loose rubble, measures 3.5m wide and stands up to 0.8m high. The field boundaries associated with the settlement appear to abut the reave and are therefore more recent. All the stone hut circles lie to one side of the reave and this indicates that the reave was respected as a land division boundary during the life of this settlement.
The rectangular medieval or post-medieval shelter is attached to the eastern face of the Great Western Reave. The interior of the building measures 4m long by 2.3m wide and is defined by a 1.6m wide boulder wall standing up to 0.4m high. For full description see designation record.

National Monument Record, 2016, Pastscape, Accessed 22/08/2016 (Website). SDV359354.

A reave runs from the corner of the newtake wall at SX54847634 to very near the summit of Roos Tor, stopping at the large outcropping rock at SX54387657. It re-commences on the western slope at SX54217669, again just below outcropping rock, and follows a sinuous course downhill to SX53827716 where it again meets a newtake wall. It is in general about 3.0 metres wide, though spread in places, and up to 0.5 metres high, and consists of piled-up boulders with no earth between.
Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD (citing Ordnance Survey, 17/10/78)
The reave continues north-west from SX53997688 in an irregular fashion forming the western boundary to a settlement of which one small field or plot is crossed by the reave. Immediately north-west of the settlement the reave changes in character becoming a double faced orthostatic wall with rubble infill and is of unusual size 3.6 metres wide and 1.1 metres high (see ground photograph). At SX77055385 it is broken through by a modern track.
The length of the thick wall is about 150 metres after which it reverts to normal proportions, 1.8 metres wide and 0.7 metres high as it turns to the north-east. At SX53867727 there is a break to accommodate the field wall of a settlement and a hut. The reave extends for a further 140 metres to a modern field boundary beyond which it evidently continued but is now barely visible and may be represented by a change of slope which curves to the north ceasing on Colly Brook.
Surveyed at 1:2500 on MSD and probable course indicated on Field Sheet within 1:10 000 area (citing Ordnance Survey, 17/11/1980).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV225176Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX57NW30. Oakford Archaeology. Card Index.
SDV225181Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1996. DAP/ABE. Devon Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 12, 13.
SDV225273Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1964. 58/6399. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 0042-43.
SDV235265Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 97-123.
SDV255420Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2003. The Langstone Moor Stone Circle, Peter Tavy, Devon and its Prehistoric Environs. English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report. 25. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV271138Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 1977. SX5376. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 4/258.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. February 1992.
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.
SDV345521Cartographic: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
SDV346874Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2004. Merrivale Range Baseline Condition Survey. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. Unknown. 02/08/2004 (Newman, P.).
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV359354Website: National Monument Record. 2016. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. Accessed 22/08/2016.
SDV360515Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J.. 2010. A Condition Survey of the Archaeological Sites of Merrivale Range, Dartmoor Training Area. A4 Comb Bound. 02/08/2004 (Newman, P.).

Associated Monuments

MDV12817Related to: Great Western Reave (middle section) (Monument)
MDV15036Related to: Great Western Reave (southern section), Walkhampton Common (Monument)
MDV4113Related to: Great Western Reave at White Tor (Monument)
MDV25907Related to: Grimstone and Sortridge Leat (Monument)
MDV20562Related to: HUT CIRCLE in the Parish of Peter Tavy (Monument)
MDV4150Related to: HUT CIRCLE in the Parish of Peter Tavy (Monument)
MDV47620Related to: HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT in the Parish of Peter Tavy (Monument)
MDV15033Related to: Part of the Great Western Reave, Walkhampton and Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV26328Related to: Wheal Fortune Leat (Monument)

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
  • EDV8713 - Merrivale Range: Monument Baseline Condition Survey
  • EDV7275 - Survey of the Langstone Moor stone circle and other prehistoric monuments nearby

Date Last Edited:Aug 31 2021 12:34PM