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HER Number:MDV8848
Name:Prehistoric Field System around Hunter's Tor Hillfort, Lustleigh


Field banks indicative of a former Prehistoric field system are clearly visible around Hunter's Tor hillfort


Grid Reference:SX 761 822
Map Sheet:SX78SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishLustleigh
Ecclesiastical ParishLUSTLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX78SE3
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 445590
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78SE/28
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX78SE3

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Mesolithic to Early Iron Age - 4500 BC to 700 BC (Between))

Full description

Cambridge University Collection, CUC/RC8-X, 39-41 (Aerial Photograph). SDV314869.

At NCC Taunton.

Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995, 3346-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224714.

Cropmrks of the fragmentary remains of rectangular field boundaries at SX 763821.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SX78SE3 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV280251.

(07/12/1953) SX 7628 8215 Field banks, probably late Medieval or later in date.

National Monuments Record, 1980, SF1748, 168, 180 (Aerial Photograph). SDV279663.

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

Visible and recorded on open moorland between SX76008266 and SX76458198, with patches of ridge and furrow around SX764821.

Silvester, R. J. + Quinnell, N. V., 1993, Unfinished Hillforts on the Devon Moors, 17-22 (Article in Serial). SDV62321.

A field system at least 12 hectares in extent covers the top and sides of the ridge end, between the 290 metre and 320 metre contours. Much of the north-east side has been cleared for modern cultivation, only faint changes of slope indicating former fields. Plots are visible on the unreclaimed scarp immediately north of the tor; their small size (circa 0.025 hectares) and irregular form imposed by steepness of slope and large number of boulders and outcrops. Three or 4 distinct platforms within the complex could signal hut sites.
Better preserved is a series of contour hugging fields on the south-west side of ridge, from 100 metres to 170 metres long and 16 metres to 24 metres wide, covering an average 0.25 hectares. The boundaries are demarcated by occasional orthostats supplemented by piled clearance stone; on the lower sides soil creep gives the appearance of lynchets. Field banks running up and down the contours are staggered, and the pattern does not conform to the well laid out parallel reave systems recorded elsewhere on Dartmoor. No distinctive huts can be identified. However, 2 slightly-scooped depressions, little more than 3 metres in diameter are situated at a wall junction some 30 metres south-west of Hunters Tor Camp. If these are representative, other free-standing examples may be concealed beneath undergrowth. Reasonable evidence of the superimposition of the hillfort on this earlier field system is afforded by the apparent incorporation of a lynchet on the west side of the fort, and the presence of at least 4 denuded banks within its interior.

Moore, B., 2005, Hunter's Tor Hillfort, Lustleigh, Devon: an Earthwork Survey, 3, 6-7, Figures 3-4 (Report - Survey). SDV359867.

Three early Prehistoric slightly curving field banks run from north-west to south-east through the hillfort. Two run under the inner ramparts on either side of the entrance with the southernmost reappearing between the inner and central ramparts alongside a similar bank further south. Two well preserved sections run parallel and 20 metres apart for circa 62 metres within the central rampart. The banks are up to 0.3 metres high by 4 metres wide. A later more extensive Prehistoric field system survives to the east and south of the hillfort with parallel banks running along the contours of the Cleave to the west. South of the fort the system consists of parallel banks running north-west to south-east and probably constitute a reave system. Further Prehistoic fields were identified to the south-east of the later Medieval strip field system. Part of this field system lies with the scheduled area of the hillfort.

Natural England Volunteers, 2009-2015, Natural England Volunteer Archaeological Survey, B1a and b (Worksheet). SDV350591.

Site visit 16th April 2010. Field bank clearly visible, although overgrown.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV224714Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3346-8.
SDV279663Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1980. SF1748. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 168, 180.
SDV280251Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SX78SE3. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV314869Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection. CUC/RC8-X. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 39-41.
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.
SDV350591Worksheet: Natural England Volunteers. 2009-2015. Natural England Volunteer Archaeological Survey. Natural England Archaeological Survey. Worksheet. B1a and b.
SDV359867Report - Survey: Moore, B.. 2005. Hunter's Tor Hillfort, Lustleigh, Devon: an Earthwork Survey. English Heritage. A1/09/2005. A4 Comb Bound. 3, 6-7, Figures 3-4.
SDV62321Article in Serial: Silvester, R. J. + Quinnell, N. V.. 1993. Unfinished Hillforts on the Devon Moors. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 51. Paperback Volume. 17-22.

Associated Monuments

MDV8824Related to: Hunter's Tor Camp, Lustleigh (Monument)
MDV117258Related to: Post Medieval Field System south-east of Hunter's Tor Hillfort, Lustleigh (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6071 - East Devon Natural Nature Reserve and surrounds Archaeological Survey
  • EDV7122 - Hunter's Tor Hillfort, Lustleigh, Devon: an Earthwork Survey (Ref: A1/09/2005)

Date Last Edited:Jun 25 2021 11:03AM