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HER Number:MDV7955
Name:Bloody Pool, South Brent


Bloody Pool is one of over 40 such pool sites on Dartmoor which may date to the Prehistoric period and may have had a sacred function. This pool was noted in 1960 as having been filled in and its site now forms part of a roadside verge. In 1854, a hoard of Bronze Age metalwork was recovered from the pool, including four bronze ferrules, with three barbed bronze spearheads. All items were broken and are thought to have been votive deposits; the only pool on the moor where such items have been found.


Grid Reference:SX 702 626
Map Sheet:SX76SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSouth Brent
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH BRENT

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX76SW14
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 444953
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76SW/25
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76SW/25/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATTLEFIELD? (Unknown date)
  • POND (Constructed, Early Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? (Between) to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164668.

Des=parish checklist/south brent.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164669.

Fox, a. /south west england/(1973)120.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164670.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164671.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164672.

Anon/arch j. /12(1855)84-5,illus.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164673.

Tucker, c. /arch j. /18(1861)160-1.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164674.

Pearce, s. M. /pdas/37(1979)142,143/the distribution and production of bronze age metalwork.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164675.

Burgess, c. B. /arch j. /125(1968)1-45.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164676.

Pilkington-rogers, c. W. /tda/64(1932)387/the date of the dartmoor antiquities.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164677.

Silvester, r. J. /pdas/38(1980)17-49.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164678.

Needham, s. /pps/46(1980)117-215.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164679.

Pearce, s. M. /bronze age metalwork of sw britain/(1983)454-455(bar 120).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164680.

Way, a. /arch. Journal/12(1855)84-5/antiquities and works of art exhibited.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164681.

Tucker,c. /arch. Journal/24(1867)120-2/antiquities of bronze found in devonshire.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164682.

Burgess, c. B. + coombs, d. + davies, d. /(1972)211-243/the broadward complex and barbed spears,in lynch + burgess(eds)prehistoric man in wales and the west.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164683.

Des=pers comm,mr dance(owner) to j. Allan(1990)/note in parish file.

DANCE, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV168609.

Bronze hoard in bloody pool. Four bronze ferrules, 178mm long were found with three barbed bronze spearheads 356mm long. All were broken implying a merchant's or founder's hoard. Vis=7/6/1960(os). Bloody pool has been filled in and its site now forms part of a roadside verge. A. Fox says "three of four surviving were a heavy barbed form, fastened onto the shaft by a stout metal peg below the barbs. The type is impractical and was apparently evolved for ceremonial use. We can deduce that this hoard was a votive offering to the spirit of the pool" (fox). Found in a very decayed condition. With them were 4 pieces of bronze tube which may have been affixed as ferrules to the lower extremities of the shaft. The spearheads with one exception were barbed (arch j.1855). A hoard in the later bronze age broadward tradition (burgess). The moulds found at dainton (sx86ne/50) would have produced ferrules like those found here (silvester). Vis=pearce lists the hoard in great detail including measurements and descriptions see bronze age metalwork of sw britain (pearce). Vis=it is possible that the findspot is incorrect. For alternative location see sx66se/510 (dance).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164664.

Evans, j. /(1881)338-9,465/ancient bronze implements weapons and ornaments of great britain and ireland.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV164665.

Jewitt, l. /history of plymouth/(1873)15.

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Tithe Map 1843.

Victoria County History, 1906, The Victoria History of the County of Devon, 364 (Article in Serial). SDV238214.

Four Bronze ferrules, 7 ins. long, were found with bronze spearheads at Bloody Pool, South Brent. The spearheads were barbed and 14 ins. long, but all were broken.
Evans lists the finds as a Merchant's or Founder's Hoard.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, p 363 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1960, SX76SW14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV164667.

(07/06/1960) Bloody Pool has been infilled and its site now forms part of a roadside verge.

Robinson, R., 1977-1979, South Brent Parish Checklist (Worksheet). SDV151046.

A legend of a battle is attached to the area of Bloody Pool. The name Bloody Pool pre-dates the finds of Bronze spears etc. in 1855. Recorded in South Brent Tithe Map 1843.

Greeves, T. A. P., 2019, Dartmoor's Sacred Pools. Design in the Prehistoric Landscape, 7, Bloody Pool (Article in Serial). SDV363426.

Bloody Pool, South Brent SX 7028 6262. The only example of a pool on Dartmoor that has confirmed use as a deposit for possibly 'votive' offerings of metalwork, including prehistoric weapons.
One of over 40 such 'sacred' pools identified on Dartmoor that are thought to have potentially been designed during the prehistoric period, and may have been used to deposit votive items, although these Dartmoor examples may have alternative significance as designed prehistoric elements in the landscape. Many are located on ridge tops and in conjunction with cairns, stone rows and other prehistoric features. Further research may well reveal more about these interesting features.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV151046Worksheet: Robinson, R.. 1977-1979. South Brent Parish Checklist. South Brent Parish Checklist. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV164664Migrated Record:
SDV164665Migrated Record:
SDV164667Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1960. SX76SW14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV164668Migrated Record:
SDV164669Migrated Record:
SDV164670Migrated Record:
SDV164671Migrated Record:
SDV164672Migrated Record:
SDV164673Migrated Record:
SDV164674Migrated Record:
SDV164675Migrated Record:
SDV164676Migrated Record:
SDV164677Migrated Record:
SDV164678Migrated Record:
SDV164679Migrated Record:
SDV164680Migrated Record:
SDV164681Migrated Record:
SDV164682Migrated Record:
SDV164683Migrated Record:
SDV168609Migrated Record: DANCE.
SDV238214Article in Serial: Victoria County History. 1906. The Victoria History of the County of Devon. Victoria History of the County of Devon. 1. Unknown. 364.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. p 363.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV39436Related to: Possible location of Bloody Pool (Find Spot)

Associated Finds

  • FDV5827 - FERRULE (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • FDV2304 - HOARD (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • FDV5828 - SPEARHEAD (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Sep 12 2023 9:31AM