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HER Number:MDV56827
Name:Vermin trap or field boundary ditch within Trowlesworthy Warren, Shaugh Prior

Summary

A curvilinear gully is visible as an earthwork ditch on the south-west facing slopes to the north-west of Trowlesworthy Warren House, following the eastern edge of a former field boundary. The ditch may have been associated with Trowlesworthy Warren and used as a rabbit or vermin trap. Alternatively, it could simply have functioned as a field boundary drain.
It could date potentially from the medieval period to 19th century. The earthwork is identifiable on aerial photographs of 1946 and digital images derived from aerial photographs of 2002 onwards.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 566 648
Map Sheet:SX56SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishShaugh Prior
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSHAUGH PRIOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SE/198/101
  • Old SAM Ref: 24232

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DRAIN (Early Medieval to XIX - 1066 AD to 1900 AD (Between))
  • GULLY (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, Devon County Council RAF/CPE/UK/1890 4290-4291 10-DEC-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

A curvilinear ditch is visible as an earthwork.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 140609 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

At SX56676488 a 130 metre long by 1.2 metre wide and 0.2 metre deep gully lying on the east side of the field boundary leading north from an enclosure. It also passes to the east of a pillow mound before reaching the enclosed fields associated with Trowlesworthy Farm. Material upcast during its construction forms a 1.5 metr wide and 0.2 metre high bank on the west side of the gully. This is site no.102 147 in the National Trust Upper Plym inventory. These gullies probably represent a complex system of animal runs in which rabbits and vermin could have been trapped. In the past, shallow gullies such as these have been seen as drainage ditches. However the location, shape and alignment of many, including these ones, indicates very clearly that they could not all have had a drainage function. Their close association with vermin traps in several instances suggests very strongly that they are much more likely to represent animal runs.

Thackray, C., 1994, The Upper Plym Valley: the management of an historic landscape, 53, 102 147 + 152 (Report - non-specific). SDV143510.

Ditch 130 metres long by 1.2 metres wide by 0.2 metres deep runs south and flanked by a bank 1.5 metres wide by 0.2 metres high on the west side.

Environment Agency WMS, 1998-2016, LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution) (Cartographic). SDV360209.

Feature visible on Lidar data.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 1999-2017, Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs, Next Perspectives APGB Imagery SX5664 03-MAY-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363087.

A curvilinear ditch is visible as an earthwork.

English Heritage, 2005, Leats Survey Information (Report - Survey). SDV347529.

Visible as a linear feature on leat survey.

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

Slightly curving linear feature visible on aerial photograph.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2019-2020, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP) (Interpretation). SDV362982.

A curvilinear ditch circa 1.5m to 3m wide and approximately 160m long is visible on aerial photographs of 1946 and digital images derived from aerial photographs of 2002 onwards to the north-west of Trowlesworthy Warren House.
The ditch has previously been interpreted as a possible animal run associated with Trowlesworthy Warren, made to trap rabbits or vermin.
However, the ditch does not appear to have any direct relationship with any of the pillow mounds recorded in the immediate vicinity, whilst closely following the eastern edge of a former field boundary of probable medieval date.
The ditch is interpreted as most probably the remains of a field boundary ditch or drain associated with the surrounding field system, of medieval to 19th century date.
The monument polygon was previously associated with a curvilinear ditch circa 15m to the west, centred on circa SX56676488.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV143510Report - non-specific: Thackray, C.. 1994. The Upper Plym Valley: the management of an historic landscape. 53, 102 147 + 152.
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). Devon County Council RAF/CPE/UK/1890 4290-4291 10-DEC-1946.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 140609.
SDV347529Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Leats Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV360209Cartographic: Environment Agency WMS. 1998-2016. LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital).
SDV362982Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2019-2020. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363087Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 1999-2017. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Aerial Photography for Great Britain Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives APGB Imagery SX5664 03-MAY-2007. [Mapped feature: #123263 The monument polygon was previously associated with a curvilinear ditch circa 15m to the west, centred on circa SX56676488., ]

Associated Monuments

MDV14148Part of: Trowlesworthy Warren, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV56832Related to: Gully within Trowlesworthy Warren, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV14369Related to: Medieval field system at Trowelsworthy Warren Farm, Shaugh Prior (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7369 - Survey of Granite Loading Bays at Trowlesworthy, Devon
  • EDV8148 - The Upper Plym Valley: The Management of an Historic Landscape
  • EDV8155 - Plym Valley Survey
  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)

Date Last Edited:Dec 9 2019 5:29PM