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HER Number:MDV48009
Name:Field system at Meldon

Summary

Thought to have been a parallel reave system fossilised by modern field boundaries. Environmental sampling when the A30 was widened revealed no firm evidence of Bronze Age activity but a Roman road discovered crossing Sourton Down may post-date the field system.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 553 915
Map Sheet:SX59SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishOkehampton Hamlets
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOKEHAMPTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Remains of a coaxial field system thought to be Bronze Age in date south of Meldon preserved in the modern field layout
  • SHINE: Remains of a coaxial field system thought to be Bronze Age in date south of Meldon preserved in the modern field layout

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX59SE26
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX59SE/163
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FOSSILISED REAVE SYSTEM (Early Bronze Age to Late Medieval - 2200 BC? to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Fleming, A., 1983, The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 2: North and East Dartmoor, 219 (Article in Serial). SDV227880.


Fleming, A., 1984, The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor; Wider Implications, 9 (Article in Serial). SDV320417.


Fleming, A., 1988, The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions, 55,56,62: fig 30. (Monograph). SDV229071.

Meldon parallel reave system; fossilised by modern field boundaries. Must have been at least 2 kilometres long and 4 kilometres wide. At present constitutes the only evidence for coaxial land division in an arc of moorland perimeter between Cosdon Beacon and White Tor. However, the general north-west by south-east orientation of its boundaries occurs with lesser frequency around the moorland fringe from Okehampton to Sourton.


Weddell, P. J. + Reed, S. J., 1997, Excavations at Sourton Down 1986-1991: Roman Road, Deserted Medieval Hamlet and other Landscape Features (Article in Serial). SDV346224.


Fleming, A., 2008, The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions (new, extended edition), 71-2, 79, Figure 30 (Monograph). SDV359200.

Revised text mentions that at time of publication of original monograph (1988), author was unaware of Roman road discovered crossing Sourton Down. The excavations and environmental sampling that accompanied the widening of the A30 road around this time revealed no evidence of Bronze Age activity to date this field system and no reaves were located in the hedge banks examined following the axis of the Meldon system. However, the coaxial alignment of the system was noted and the Roman road was recorded as appearing to cut 'across this landscape', which may indicate the road post dating the field system (Weddell and Reed, 1997). Other theories argue for a Medieval date for the field system, laid out at right angles to the Roman road.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV227880Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1983. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 2: North and East Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 49. Unknown. 219.
SDV229071Monograph: Fleming, A.. 1988. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions. Hardback Volume. 55,56,62: fig 30..
SDV320417Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1984. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor; Wider Implications. Landscape History. 6. Unknown. 9.
SDV346224Article in Serial: Weddell, P. J. + Reed, S. J.. 1997. Excavations at Sourton Down 1986-1991: Roman Road, Deserted Medieval Hamlet and other Landscape Features. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 55. Paperback Volume.
SDV359200Monograph: Fleming, A.. 2008. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions (new, extended edition). The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions (new, extended edition). Paperback Volume. 71-2, 79, Figure 30.

Associated Monuments

MDV120245Related to: Meldon Reservoir (Monument)
MDV51426Related to: Roman road on Sourton Down (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Nov 27 2017 11:39AM