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HER Number:MDV48901
Name:Eylesbarrow Watershed Reave

Summary

The Eylesbarrow Watershed Reave; a nearly 8 kilometre long reave, oriented mainly north-east to south-west. This reave runs from the northernmost of the Eylesbarrow cairns at SX59936861 all the way to the River Plym at SX54556442, where it is the terminal for the Wigford Down parallel reave system. All of the northern sections of this reave are scheduled. Those unscheduled southern sections are included on the list of nationally important Dartmoor sites.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 572 669
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMeavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMEAVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX56NE172
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 439562
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/278
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/434
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SW/333
  • Old SAM Ref: 10626
  • Old SAM Ref: 10627
  • Old SAM Ref: 10628
  • Old SAM Ref: 10629
  • Old SAM Ref: 10669
  • Old SAM Ref: 10738
  • Old SAM Ref: 10741
  • Old SAM Ref: 10743

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 4292 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

The reave is visible on air photographs from SX 54546441 to SX 55306540 across Wigford Down.

Fleming, A., 1978, The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor, 117 (Article in Serial). SDV235265.

The reave crosses Brisworthy plantation and is then visible in the centre of the lane running south-west from the plantation. It runs across Wigford Down, forming the terminal of the Wigford Down parallel reave system (SX 56 SW 22) and into a field wall at SX 545644. It emerges at the bottom end of this wall in Cadworthy Wood, running down a steep slope towards the Plym.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX56NE172 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV233589.

(16/09/1980) Across Brisworthy Plantation (SX556657) the reave is visible as a low bank of earth and stone with a ditch on its east. It ends at SX 55566564 (see plan), short of the sunken lane. The lane is over 1.0m deep and the centre has a normal residual traffic ridge, not the reave. It probably followed the reave on one side as is common practice e.g. (SX 66 NE 52). Beyond, the reave is probably fossilized in modern field walls which occur on the same alignment and it reappears above the disused china clay workings at SX 55116523 and continues south-west as a broad stony bank.
Surveyed at 1:2500 on MSD.

Balaam, N. D. + Smith, K. + Wainwright, G. J., 1982, The Shaugh Moor Project: Fourth Report - Environment, Context and Conclusion, 248-50 (Article in Serial). SDV145845.

Eylesbarrow Watershed Reave originates at one of a pair of cairns (SX56NE36) and terminates on the western side of the Plym Gorge (SX56SW333). Termed a "watershed reave" but only rarely appears on the watershed line. Part of same system as the Saddlesborough Reave (SX56SE115).

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

Recorded on aerial photograph survey overlay.

Fleming, A., 1988, The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions, 39,40,44,56,107 (Monograph). SDV229071.

Eylesbarrow reave was first identified by Fleming as the terminal reave for the small parallel reave system on Wigford Down, which runs over the eastern part of the down, in the direction of Brisworthy Plantation, then across Ringmore Down, on the watershed, and around Gutter Tor, where it apparently ended. Further research allowed him to discover the reave again some 500 meters further east and trace it all the way to its termination at the northernmost of two Bronze Age cairns known as Eylesbarrow. The reave is a classic one, nearly 8 kilometres (5 miles long) and performs a local and regional role; as well as being the terminal for the Widford Down system, it is also the fourth of the southern Dartmoor watershed reaves, running between the Upper Plym and the river Meavy. Other details: Figures 5, 22.

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West (Monograph). SDV137656.

Depicted by Butler.

Robertson, J. G., 1994, The Archaeology of the Upper Plym Valley (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV139549.

Depicted by Robertson.

Fletcher, M. + Newman, P. + Probert, S., 1999, Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor areas in the Plym Valley, West Devon (Report - Survey). SDV346268.

(23/06/1999) SX 59946862 to SX 58066764. Part of Eylesbarrow Reave investigated.
The reave commences apparently from beneath the northern cairn at Eylesbarrow though this relationship may be the result of the spreading of the cairn material. The investigated section runs south-west to the edge of streamworks on the Sheepstor Brook as a turf covered bank between 1.6m and 3.5m wide and up to 1.2m high. Its course is broken several times along its length displaying a stony matrix beneath a turf cap. At SX 58846817 it is joined by a similar feature which runs south to SX 59016799, the edge of a narrow openwork, from where its course is obscured. A contemporary settlement (SX 56 NE 160) adjoins the reave immediately north of the Narrator Brook streamworks.
The reave appears to be more substantial between the Narrator Brook and the Sheepstor Brook, with its average measurement constantly in the high part of its range. Also along this length it is joined by two banks originating from the north. It is likely that this section was reused in the medieval or, most probably, the Post medieval period.

Wessex Archaeology, 2002, Cramber Tor Training Area Rapid Condition Survey, WA039, WA138 (Report - Survey). SDV354588.

Cramber Tor Survey 2002, Sites WA039, WA138.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

Most of the Eylesbarrow Reave is already scheduled (details in the status section of this record) but the most southerly parts are currently unscheduled. These sections were considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument during the Monument Protection Programme. The programme ended before the entire list of sites was successfully scheduled so this is included on a local list of Nationally Important Sites.

Newman, P. + Probert, S., 2005, Ringmoor Training Area: Monument Baseline Condition Survey (Report - Survey). SDV363484.

(08/02/2005) It should be noted that the condition of this feature varies along its length from good in the unenclosed moorland at Eylesbarrow to poor as it crosses Ringmoor Down.
The section of the reave that crosses Ringmoor Down between SX 57576722 and SX 55826586 has been heavily plundered for wall building stone over the subsequent centuries. On the lower north-west flank of Gutter Tor this is particularly apparent as the reave exists as a low turf bank 1.4m wide and a maximum of 0.3m high. In places a sharply cut scarp runs along the lower, north, edge indicating relatively recent robbing. The reave on the crest of Ringmoor Down is at best visible as a slight ridge next to a footpath and is ocasionally marked by small cairns of material that have been gleaned from it but not removed. Between SX 56076611 and Brisworthy Plantation, SX 55826586, its course has been assumed by a medieval boundary.

Newman, P., 2006, Cramber Tor Training Area Archaeological Field Investigation (Report - Survey). SDV233640.

(01/08/2006) As described in 2005. A short section of the reave survives in an unworked island of ground within the tinworking at SX 5889 6822 at the head of Deancombe Brook.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, UP-DZ 4 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

Visited 21/01/2020. Overall condition moderate. Photo taken.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, WLK-DT33 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

Visited 9/8/2019. The reave is mainly covered by grass with whortleberry on the top of the rocks. The W end of the reave is covered with bracken. Overall condition good. Photo x2 taken.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording photographs, UP-DZ 4 (Photograph). SDV363073.

Photo looking 250° showing grass/moss and bracken cover.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording photographs, WLK-DT33 (Photograph). SDV363073.

Photo 1 looking 070° showing grass and whortleberry cover on E section of reave. Photo 2 looking 270° showing W end of reave disappearing into bracken cover.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV137656Monograph: Butler, J.. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Three. Paperback Volume.
SDV139549Post-Graduate Thesis: Robertson, J. G.. 1994. The Archaeology of the Upper Plym Valley. Edinburgh University. Unknown.
SDV145845Article in Serial: Balaam, N. D. + Smith, K. + Wainwright, G. J.. 1982. The Shaugh Moor Project: Fourth Report - Environment, Context and Conclusion. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 48. A4 Bound. 248-50.
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4292.
SDV229071Monograph: Fleming, A.. 1988. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions. Hardback Volume. 39,40,44,56,107.
SDV233589Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX56NE172. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV233640Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2006. Cramber Tor Training Area Archaeological Field Investigation. English Heritage.
SDV235265Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 117.
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.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #93339 ]
SDV346268Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. + Newman, P. + Probert, S.. 1999. Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor areas in the Plym Valley, West Devon. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV354588Report - Survey: Wessex Archaeology. 2002. Cramber Tor Training Area Rapid Condition Survey. Wessex Archaeology Report. Unknown. WA039, WA138.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-DT33.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-DT33.

Associated Monuments

MDV15013Parent of: Section of the Eylesbarrow Reave (Monument)
MDV15014Parent of: Section of the Eylesbarrow Reave (Monument)
MDV15015Parent of: Section of the Eylesbarrow Reave (Monument)
MDV42764Parent of: Section of the Eylesbarrow Reave (Monument)
MDV42765Parent of: Section of the Eylesbarrow Reave (Monument)
MDV42766Parent of: Section of the Eylesbarrow Reave (Monument)
MDV42767Parent of: Section of the Eylesbarrow Reave (Monument)
MDV43596Parent of: Section of the Eylesbarrow Reave (Monument)
MDV43597Parent of: Section of the Eylesbarrow Reave (Monument)
MDV43602Parent of: Section of the Eylesbarrow Reave (Monument)
MDV12716Related to: Alleged cairn, Elyesbarrow reave (Monument)
MDV125783Related to: Boundary stone by reave, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV4014Related to: Cairn at Eylesbarrow (Monument)
MDV4031Related to: Cairn at Eylesbarrow (Monument)
MDV3994Related to: Cairn north of reave on Ringmoor Down, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV20142Related to: Cairn north-east of Brisworthy Plantation on Ringmoor Down (Monument)
MDV29077Related to: Cairn on south side of reave on Ringmoor Down, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV56210Related to: Cairn on south side of reave on Ringmoor Down, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV12718Related to: Cairn on Wigford Down, west of Brisworthy Works, Meavy (Monument)
MDV5619Related to: Cairn on Wigford Down, west of Brisworthy Works, Meavy (Monument)
MDV3992Related to: Cairn south-east of Ringmoor Cottage, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3993Related to: Cairn south-east of Ringmoor Cottage, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV42769Related to: Clearance cairn on Ringmoor Down (Monument)
MDV19422Related to: Corn Ditch to the south of Wigford Down, Meavy (Monument)
MDV25099Related to: Ditch north of the Eylesbarrow Reave, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV28520Related to: Enclosure with two hut circles attached to the Eylesbarrow Reave, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV42770Related to: Feature on Ringmoor Down (Monument)
MDV42768Related to: Features on Ringmoor Down (Monument)
MDV52386Related to: Hut in enclosure east of Combestone Tor (Monument)
MDV25295Related to: Leat south-east of Outholme Wood, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV25086Related to: Longstone Leat, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV52381Related to: Northern hut in enclosure on the Eylesbarrow Reave, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV2219Related to: Parallel reave system on Wigford Down (Monument)
MDV48903Related to: Ring cairn on Wigford Down, west of Brisworthy Works, Meavy (Monument)
MDV2310Related to: Round cairn on Wigford Down, west of Brisworthy Works, Meavy (Monument)
MDV52382Related to: Southern hut in enclosure on the Eylesbarrow Reave, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV20143Related to: Three small cairns on Ringmoor Down, Sheepstor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6239 - Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine
  • EDV7251 - Lower Cadworthy Farm: Archaeological and Historic Landscape Survey
  • EDV7382 - Condition Survey of the Cramber Tor Training Area
  • EDV7443 - Condition survey of archaeological sites in Ringmoor Training Area
  • EDV7569 - Condition survey of Ringmoor Down training area
  • EDV8155 - Plym Valley Survey: EH Project (Feb 2001 - Dec 2002)
  • EDV8227 - Ringmoor Training Area: Monument Baseline Condition Survey
  • EDV8316 - Wigford Down PAL survey
  • EDV4966 - Survey of Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor. The Eylesbarrow archaeological landscape

Date Last Edited:Jul 13 2021 10:40AM