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HER Number:MDV8332
Name:Parallel Reave System on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead.


The remains of a parallel reave system are visible on aerial photos on the north-western part of Mardon Down. The line of the southernmost reave can be seen fossilised in adjoining field boundaries and continuing across the north-eastern part of the common.


Grid Reference:SX 770 874
Map Sheet:SX78NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMoretonhampstead
Ecclesiastical ParishMORETONHAMPSTEAD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork remains of medieval field system and ridge and furrow north Mardon Down

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX78NE20
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 445399
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NE/50

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Rowe, S., 1896, A Perambulation of the Royal Forest of Dartmoor and the venville precincts, 131 (Monograph). SDV249697.

Reaves, two of which intersect each other.

Royal Air Force, 19/05/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2082, 4401, 4462-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350392.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977/1981, SX78NE20 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV296054.

(22/08/1977) Rowe (1896) mentions reaves, "two of which intersect each other", near the cairn circle (SX 78 NE 5) on the northern slopes of Mardon Down. Banks forming a rectangular field system centred at SX 766874 are visible on the air photographs and part of this is almost certainly that observed by Rowe.
(24/12/1981) The features displayed on the AP's (1947) cover 88 hectares and are mostly a continuation of the field system adjoining the common. Sub-rectangular fields of varying sizes are visible on the ground as rubble banks 1.5m. wide and 0.3m. high, apparently built around, and thus later than the cairn (SX 78 NE 5) at SX 76768768. They may represent a pre-historic field system with later utilization. On the slopes their construction is better preserved, with less vegetation, and the enclosed areas show evidence of Medieval or later ploughing.
The banks are up to 0.8m. high and 1.4m. wide with double faced orthostatic walling (though rebuilding may have enhanced the size). A later rubble bank some 0.8m. wide and 0.7m. high encloses most of the eastern half of the common and contains the majority of the rig and furrow. It also cuts through the stone circle (SX 78 NE 19) and earlier field banks.

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

Parallel reave system visible on 1947 RAF aerial photo on Mardon Down, aligned south-west to north-east. No intersection of reaves is visible precisely at SX766874. Map object based on this source.

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

Partial lidar coverage; some of the reaves are visible.

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

Some of the reaves recorded by the RCHME are visible. Map object based on this source.

Newman, P., 2017, A Stone Circle and Cairn Group on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead, Devon, 10, Fig 6 (Report - Survey). SDV360188.

Less than 1 metre to the north of the cairn (MDV8310) is a spread, stony, linear earthwork which runs past it in a north-north-east to south-south-west alignment. It is 3.3 metres wide but only 0.2 metres high in the centre. This is very likely to be a reave, one of several known to exist on Mardon Down. Although this feature fades out to the west of the summit path, it can be traced for some distance down the eastern slope.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV249697Monograph: Rowe, S.. 1896. A Perambulation of the Royal Forest of Dartmoor and the venville precincts. Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor. Unknown. 131.
SDV296054Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977/1981. SX78NE20. 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. [Mapped feature: #124342 Also based on 2015 aerial photographs and EA lidar data, ]
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
SDV350392Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 19/05/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2082. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4401, 4462-3.
SDV360188Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2017. A Stone Circle and Cairn Group on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead, Devon. Southwest Landscape Investigations. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 10, Fig 6.
SDV360209Cartographic: Environment Agency WMS. 1998-2016. LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV122149Related to: Field boundaries north of Stacombe, Moretonhampstead (Monument)
MDV8337Related to: Field system on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead (Monument)
MDV119196Related to: Gun pit 40 metres north-east of seasonal pond on Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV105981Related to: Ridge and Furrow on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7270 - Survey of cairn cemetery, stone circle and other earthworks on Mardon Down

Date Last Edited:Jun 29 2022 9:38AM