Prehistoric and medieval linear boundary 1.34km south of Eastmoorgate


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011386

Date first listed: 13-Jul-1994


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric and medieval linear boundary 1.34km south of Eastmoorgate
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Altarnun

National Grid Reference: SX 22081 77603


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

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. The linear boundaries on Bodmin Moor consist of stone banks, sometimes incorporating facing slabs or projecting end-set slabs called orthostats. They may be massively constructed, up to 8m wide and 1m high, although the majority are much slighter. Built during the Bronze Age (c.2000- 700 BC), they fulfilled a variety of functions. Some run at high altitudes along a contour and appear to separate lower land used for cultivation from that less intensively used. Some may be territorial, marking the boundaries of land held by particular social groups. Others may serve to delineate land set aside for ceremonial and religious activities such as burial. Frequently linear boundaries are associated with other forms of contemporary field system. They provide important information on the farming practices and social organisation of Bronze Age communities and form an important element of the existing landscape. A substantial proportion of examples which have survived are considered worthy of preservation.

This linear boundary near the north west edge of East Moor has survived well, being supplemented rather than damaged by its medieval reuse. The boundary's general thick peat cover, and especially the deep peat marsh deposits about its south western end, will preserve adjacent environmental evidence contemporary with the boundary's construction and periods of use. The boundary's relationship to the local topography, continued by other linear boundaries nearby, and its proximity to funerary and ceremonial monuments broadly contemporary with its prehistoric construction, demonstrates well the organisation of land use and the roles of linear boundaries during the Bronze Age. The medieval reuse of the boundary shows the development of land use in this moorland edge terrain since the prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes a prehistoric linear boundary, reused as a medieval boundary, crossing a low spur on north western East Moor, close to other contemporary linear boundaries and to prehistoric funerary and ceremonial monuments on eastern Bodmin Moor. The linear boundary survives as a largely peat and turf-covered bank of heaped rubble, up to 1.75m wide and 0.3m high, with a slight ditch, up to 0.75m wide and 0.2m deep, alongside the bank's eastern and southern edge. The ditch faces towards the centre of the moor and its presence is indicative of the boundary's medieval reuse. The boundary is visible for 445m, crossing the upper, southern, end of the broad spur from near the upper end of a shallow valley bounding the spur's eastern side to a marsh at the head of the spur's western valley. The boundary's course extends on a slightly wavering course for 180m south from the emergence of its northern end as a visible feature above the peat to the crest of the spur, then bends sharply to the south west, following a similarly wavering course for a further 265m to the point where its south western end becomes submerged beneath the peat of the marsh. The boundary included in this monument is one of at least five similar prehistoric boundaries along the north west and south east edges of East Moor, each crossing the upper ends of spurs and terminating in marshes or streambeds at each end. Beyond this monument, one of those other linear boundaries continues the same prehistoric land use division 500m north, running north across the upper end of the next spur to the north east. Nearby prehistoric monuments include a ritual enclosure situated 12m east of the boundary near its northern end, a stone alignment extending NNE 145m east of the boundary and two large funerary cairns situated 185m east and 240m SSE of the boundary.

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.


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

Legacy System number: 15207

Legacy System: RSM


consulted 1992, Carter, A/RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2277 & SX 2278,
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 1098.2; 1098.3; 1093,
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1098.2 (western sector only),
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1098.3,

End of official listing