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HER Number:MDV6115
Name:Reave system on Chagford Common and around Thornworthy Tor

Summary

Extensive parallel reave system around Thornworthy Tor, which extends across Chagford Common to Kes Tor Rock and joins the concentration to the north and also extends west to link up with systems at Middle Tor and on Shovel Down. Partly Scheduled, the southern section of this system is included in the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites. Cable trench excavation in 1989 along the course of the road investigated the field walls in six places and pollen samples were dated broadly to the Bronze Age period, with possible evidence of late Iron Age / post Roman continuity or reuse of the field system.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 665 859
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 443638
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/7
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARALLEL REAVE SYSTEM (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995, 1362-4 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224714.


Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2082, 3286-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV295065.


Ralegh Radford, C. A., 1952, Prehistoric Settlements on Dartmoor and the Cornish Moors, 73 (Article in Serial). SDV337080.


Fox, A., 1954, Celtic Fields and Farms on Dartmoor in Light of Recent Excavations at Kestor, 87 (Article in Serial). SDV231175.

A system of fields believed by Fox to be related to three hut circles. The fields are heavily lynchetted. A prehistoric system incorporated in later system.


West Air Photography, 1975, BT1710, 3,5,6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV274674.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978, SX68NE56 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV274675.

(SX664850 to SX663849) Stone Row. (1971)
This recent publication entry (not on Ordnance Survey 25 inch 1904 or 6 inch 1961 maps) is not a stone row but refers to some large stones set at irregular intervals along the course of a prominent field bank of a field system oriented on Thornworthy Tor (SX68NE146). (1978)


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

This is part of the parallel reave system on Kestor north of this area. They form a series of rectangular fields with two associated hut circles. Visible on Royal Air Force 1947 aerial photographs.


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

Obscure rectilinear field system on all sides of Thornworthy Tor. Extends across Chagford Common to Kes Tor Rock and joins the concentration to the north indicated on the map. Continues to map square SX6684. Not recorded by the Ordnance Survey.
A field system is visible on the south-eastern part of Thornworthy Down, consisting of banks or reaves without any obvious alignment. It is partly flooded by Thornworthy Reservoir.


Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EM, 5, 6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV274678.


Gibson, A., 1990, Excavations at Kestor Field Systems Dartmoor July 1989, 14-16 (Report - Excavation). SDV363148.

The excavation of a cable trench in 1989 along the course of the road to lay underground electricity cables to the houses at Batworthy investigated the field walls at six points (trenches 1-6). The cable trench was plotted through an area of previous disturbance which created difficulties with the interpretation of the buried features, sedimentation and integrity of buried deposits (few finds were recovered). Pollen analysis allotted broad chronological phases to all basal soils which are assumed to pre-date the bank construction. Author theorises the field banks were topped with hedges, rendering the allotted spaces stock-proof.
The best preserved bank was in trench 1 (at approximately SX 6634 8675) where a double orthostatic wall with stone and earth in-fill was clearly visible and had survived relatively undamaged. Pollen profiles appear to match those from the Bronze Age period; these banks appear to be contemporary with the reaves and Bronze Age enclosures on Dartmoor.
Pollen samples from Trenches 2, 5 and 6 however indicate possible later dates (late Iron Age/Post Roman) (dominant heather and grass species, along with some beech, hornbeam and walnut). The presence of wheat/oat and rye may be comparable to an arable phase of c. AD 1000 seen at Holne Moor (Maguire et al., 1983), which could support Fox's theory of post Roman refurbishment or modification of the field system (Fox, 1954). Buried soils from these trenches were disturbed or totally unstratified; may be medieval deposits disturbed by the road construction.
None of the trenches provided unequivocal evidence of Iron Age activity in the area.


Gibson, A., 1990, Photographs from 1989 Kestor excavation (Ground Photograph). SDV363149.

Series of slides from the excavation in July 1989 of the cable trench.


Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 176-7 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Reave system on Thornworthy Tor that extends outwards from the settlement within the rectangular fields (PRN 13013) outwards towards systems on Shovel Down (PRN 54537) and Middle Tor (PRN 48014). Other details: Map 36, 5.


Smith, N., 1992, Teigncombe Plantation Archaeological Condition Survey (Forestry Commission Woodlands) (Report - Survey). SDV360429.

Three south-west by north-east aligned banks noted within the plantation that appear to be a continuation of the reave system on Chagford Common. Overgrown with vegetation; recommended to leave banks unplanted and avoid with forestry machinery.
Map object based on this source.


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

This site was 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.


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

Map object based on this Source.


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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 176-7.
SDV224714Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1362-4.
SDV231175Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1954. Celtic Fields and Farms on Dartmoor in Light of Recent Excavations at Kestor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 20. Unknown. 87.
SDV274674Aerial Photograph: West Air Photography. 1975. BT1710. West Air Photography. Photograph (Paper). 3,5,6.
SDV274675Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978. SX68NE56. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV274678Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EM. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5, 6.
SDV295065Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2082. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3286-8.
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.
SDV337080Article in Serial: Ralegh Radford, C. A.. 1952. Prehistoric Settlements on Dartmoor and the Cornish Moors. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 18. Unknown. 73.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV345521Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital. [Mapped feature: #96736 ]
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV360429Report - Survey: Smith, N.. 1992. Teigncombe Plantation Archaeological Condition Survey (Forestry Commission Woodlands). Dartmoor National Park Authority. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV13014Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13014Related to: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13015Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13015Related to: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13016Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13016Related to: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV79632Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV79632Related to: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV79634Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV79634Related to: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13013Parent of: Thornworthy Tor field system (Monument)
MDV125126Related to: Abandoned field boundaries on Chagford Common (Monument)
MDV125114Related to: Droveway across the northern part of Chagford Common (Monument)
MDV125121Related to: Dry leat north-west of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV125115Related to: Field system around Frenchbeer Rock (Monument)
MDV59163Related to: Hut circle in Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV59164Related to: Hut circle in Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV59165Related to: Hut circle in Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV59169Related to: Hut circle in Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV59170Related to: Hut circle in Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV59172Related to: Hut circle in Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV59173Related to: Hut circle in Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV13014Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13014Related to: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13015Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13015Related to: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13016Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV13016Related to: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV79632Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV79632Related to: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV79634Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV79634Related to: Hut circle in settlement north of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV59167Related to: Hut circle in square enclosure in Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV59168Related to: Hut circle in square enclosure in Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV59176Related to: Hut circle in the Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV59177Related to: Hut circle in the Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV59166Related to: Hut circle near square enclosure in Kestor reave system (Monument)
MDV125125Related to: Leat east of Middle Tor (Monument)
MDV125117Related to: Leat east of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV125123Related to: Leat north-east of Thornworthy Cottage (Monument)
MDV125124Related to: Leat north-west of Frenchbeer Rock (Monument)
MDV125119Related to: Leat on Thornworthy Down (Monument)
MDV125120Related to: Leat south-west of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV125116Related to: Leat west of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV54537Related to: Medieval field system on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV48014Related to: REAVE in the Parish of Chagford (Monument)
MDV6117Related to: Roundy Pound, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV125122Related to: Streamworks north-east Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV125118Related to: Tin works south of Thornworthy Tor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7399 - Condition survey of Teigncombe Plantation
  • EDV7423 - Archaeological survey of woodlands near Teigncombe
  • EDV8133 - Excavations along cable trench within field system at Kestor

Date Last Edited:Aug 2 2019 11:15AM