Two overlapping enclosures on the western edge of the River Walkham

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007545

Date first listed: 09-Feb-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Two overlapping enclosures on the western edge of the River Walkham
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Peter Tavy

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 55903 77730

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Within the landscape of Dartmoor there are many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC), though earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerably depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The two enclosures on the western edge of the River Walkham survive comparatively well and are a rare example of overlapping enclosures. They may be contemporary with the nearby large stone hut circle settlement on Langstone Moor, while their proximity to the edge of a tin streamworks may make them a source of information relating to Prehistoric tinworking.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

This monument includes two overlapping enclosures situated in the valley bottom immediately adjacent to the river Walkham. The northern enclosure measures 12m by 14m, and is defined by a wall of orthostatic construction 1.1m wide and 0.7m high. A short length of the southern wall overlaps the adjacent enclosure. The southern enclosure measures 14m by 8m and the wall is also of the orthostatic type. A later tinwork has removed the south-east section of walling from each of the enclosures. No hut circles or platforms are visible within the interiors, though it is possible that evidence for timber structures survives. The overlap between the two enclosures suggests that one of them is earlier than the other, but it is not possible to establish their relative dates from field observation alone.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 20369

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987), 119
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57NE17,

End of official listing