Prehistoric and medieval linear boundary with associated peat stack platform 475m SSW of Eastmoorgate


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011509

Date first listed: 13-Jul-1994


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric and medieval linear boundary with associated peat stack platform 475m SSW of Eastmoorgate
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2018 at 02:33:33.


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 22059 78374


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 on the north west edge of East Moor has survived well, being supplemented rather than damaged by its medieval reuse and with only minor and very limited disturbance from the passage of the 19th century mine water course. The boundary's general thick peat cover, and especially the deep peat marsh deposits about its northern 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 to broadly contemporary field systems, funerary and ceremonial monuments, demonstrates well the organisation of land use and the roles of linear boundaries during the Bronze Age. The medieval reuse of the boundary, the medieval valley-mining truncating its SSW end, the adjacent peat stack platform and the transecting mine water course show well the developments 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 the western lower slope of Fox Tor, East Moor and an associated medieval or post-medieval peat stack platform. It is situated close to other broadly contemporary linear boundaries, prehistoric settlement sites and ceremonial monuments, and medieval cultivation ridges on eastern Bodmin Moor. The linear boundary survives as a largely peat and turf-covered bank of heaped rubble, up to 2m wide and 0.4m high, and is visible for 368m, wavering slightly about a general NNE-SSW alignment. The boundary crosses the upper end of the spur from an area of marsh at its NNE end to the edge of a small valley at its SSW end, terminating above the streambed where the valley side has been cut into by medieval mining activity. This 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. These boundaries separate a lower zone containing broadly contemporary settlement sites and field systems from the unenclosed higher moor containing dispersed funerary and ceremonial monuments. The northern third of the boundary forming this monument was reused during the medieval period as the western limit of an area of upland cultivation ridges. The gradual downslope movement of soil, caused largely through medieval cultivation by a process called lynchetting, has raised the ground level on the eastern side of the boundary up to 0.3m higher than the level against its western side over that sector of its course. Later medieval to post-medieval peat-cutting in the vicinity of the boundary has produced a peat stack platform, a drained site where cut-peat was stored, situated 1.5m west of the boundary and 100m south of its northern end. It survives as a sub- rectangular earthen platform measuring 3.25m NNE-SSW by 2m wide, surrounded by a ditch, 0.75m wide and 0.1m deep, and an earthen outer bank up to 1.05m wide and 0.1m high. A 19th century mine water-course, called a leat, fed from the nearby marsh, cuts ENE-WSW across the boundary, 65m south of its northern end. The leat is visible as a ditch, 2m wide and 0.6m deep, bounded by a bank of upcast, 1.75m wide and 0.75m high, along its north west edge. This leat served the Halvana tin and wolfram mine, operated between 1843 and the First World War. Beyond this monument, other linear boundaries continue the same prehistoric land use division from 110m ENE of its northern end, on the opposite edge of the marsh, and from 500m to the south, rising from the southern edge of the valley in which this monument's southern end terminates.

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: 15206

Legacy System: RSM


consulted 4/1992, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP trancriptions for SX 2178 & SX 2278,
consulted 4/1992, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2278,
consulted 4/1992, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2277; SX 2278; SX 2279; SX 2378,
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1098.1,
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1098.2,
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1098.2; 1098.3; 1093,
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1098.3,
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1136,
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 12074,
p. 392; PRN 12069, Halvana Mine, Cornwall Arch. Unit, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. An evaluation for the MPP, (1990)

End of official listing