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HER Number:MDV6517
Name:Field system on Sherberton Common


Field system on Sherberton Common, overlying the Dartmeet parallel reave system and apparently on a slightly different alignment, although some traces of the prehistoric boundaries are still visible. Large areas of medieval or post-medieval ridge and furrow visible.


Grid Reference:SX 693 734
Map Sheet:SX67SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWidecombe in the Moor
Ecclesiastical ParishWIDECOMBE IN THE MOOR

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Dartmeet Parallel Reave System. Earthworks of an extensive area of prehistoric remains including complex field system, numerous hut circles, enclosures and cairns, overlain by medieval remains including Vaghill Warren, farmsteads and a large field syste

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 67 SE 73
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SE/120
  • Pastscape: 443072

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Bronze Age to Post Medieval - 2200 BC to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2149, 4112-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282746.

Vegetation marks of field boundaries visible at SX 694735.

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

Part of the Dartmeet parallel reave system. Modern fields make the eastern extent of the system problematic. It certainly extended as far as Mel Tor and Bel Tor, being visible near Lock's Gate Cross (SX696739) and Bel Tor Corner (SX697733).

Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H., 1979, An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish, 1015 (Report - Survey). SDV337078.

Other details: Volume 5.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX67SE73 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV314384.

Sherberton Common covers about 48 hectares and although it is now rough pasture the area was formerly broken down into rectilinear fields of 1 to 1.5 hectares with banks accompanied by ditches. Most banks are 1.3 meters wide and 0.4 meters high but are probably of post Medieval date. There are a very few traces of an earlier field system presumably of prehistoric origin but insufficient to warrant detailed examination.

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

These are a series of fields on Sherberton Common, but they do not appear to be aligned with the parallel reaves on Corndon Down. They are visible on the Royal Air Force 1947 aerial photograph.

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

Part of Dartmeet coaxial field system (Northern Part) which was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 2004. Other details: Site 43.

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

The remains of rectilinear field systems on Sherberton Common demarcated by banks and ditches that may date as early as the prehistoric, through to the medieval or post medieval period. Several of the fields have straight cultivation ridges with spaces of between 2.0 meters and 3.0 meters between furrows.

Newman, P., 2008, Dartmeet Premier Archaeological Landscape (PAL) Field Investigation Project (Report - Survey). SDV347061.

Medieval or post-medieval fields on north-facing gentle slope of Sherberton Common. A hollow way or droveway, comprising two roughly parallel earth banks between 6.0 and 12.0 meters apart, divides Sherberton Common into two halves, the western half of which has more irregular fields while that to the east has roughly rectangular plots. To the north of Sherberton or Prim Cottage, there is one large field. Each field is demarcated by an earth bank of up to 0.8 meters high with a ditch on one side. Faint evidence of a prehistoric reave system is visible in places but the medieval field builders appear to have disregarded the earlier layout. Several of the field have straight cultivation ridges with spaces of between 2.0 and 3.0 meters between the furrows. The good condition of the field boundaries indicates that the fields may have been maintained until perhaps the 17th or 18th century, although they are absent from the Ordnance Survey map of 1885. The field system continues to the east in a maintained state with high drystone wall banks.

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

Field system and ridge and furrow visible on the 2010 aerial photography.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV235265Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 97-123.
SDV282746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2149. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4112-3.
SDV314384Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX67SE73. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
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.
SDV337078Report - Survey: Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H.. 1979. An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. Vols I - V. A4 Comb Bound. 1015.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV345521Cartographic: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital. [Mapped feature: #97759 ]
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
SDV347061Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2008. Dartmeet Premier Archaeological Landscape (PAL) Field Investigation Project. English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV6030Part of: Dartmeet parallel reave system - northern section (Monument)
MDV30013Related to: Primm Cottage, Widecombe in the Moor (Building)
MDV25369Related to: Quarry at Lock's Gate Cross (Monument)
MDV25370Related to: Quarry on the edge of Sherberton Common (Monument)
MDV80438Related to: Uppacott Leat, Poundsgate (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8296 - Dartmeet Premier Archaeological Landscape (PAL) Field Investigation Project

Date Last Edited:Jul 14 2020 9:30AM