Prehistoric linear boundary and adjacent subsidiary boundary 1km west of Tresellern Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011874

Date first listed: 17-Feb-1993


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric linear boundary and adjacent subsidiary boundary 1km west of Tresellern Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 17:51:30.


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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Altarnun

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: North Hill

National Grid Reference: SX 22645 76808


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.

These linear boundaries on the south-east edge of East Moor have survived well with only limited and minor disturbance from later cultivation ridging. The descent of the major boundary into deep peat deposits at each end will result in the preservation of adjacent environmental evidence contemporary with the boundary's construction and use. Their relationship to the local topography and to broadly contemporary field systems, funerary and ceremonial monuments nearby demonstrates well the organisation of land use and the roles of linear boundaries during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a Prehistoric linear boundary crossing the end of a small spur on the south-east edge of East Moor. The boundary marks the limit to which the traces of broadly contemporary field systems on the tip of the spur extend north-westwards onto the moor. A subsidiary Prehistoric boundary branches off the linear boundary towards its south-west end, forming the upper limit for part of those field systems. The linear boundary survives as a largely turf-covered bank of heaped rubble, up to 2m wide and 0.5m high. The bank incorporates occasional edge and end-set slabs up to 0.5m high projecting through the turf. The bank is visible for 330m north-east to south-west, crossing the spur at right angles to its long axis and terminating at each end near the stream beds occupying the peaty floors of the small valleys bounding each side of the spur. An original break, 5m wide, is present at the midpoint of the boundary on the crest of the spur. At a point 38m before the boundary's south-west end, a secondary boundary branches off to the south-east, curving slightly to an easterly direction as it follows the contour around the tip of the spur. This secondary boundary is visible for 158m as a slight scarp, 1.5m wide and 0.3m high, and incorporates several large ground-fast boulders, up to 4m long, in its course. Beyond this monument, extensive traces of Prehistoric field systems survive to the south-east of the linear boundary, on the tip of the spur, approaching to 5m from the boundary near its midpoint break. Aerial photographs have also indicated field boundaries, visible as vegetation marks, radially subdividing the lower slope of the spur, with the secondary boundary as their uphill limit. By contrast, the area north-west of the linear boundary lacks the field system traces but contains a range of broadly contemporary funerary and ceremonial monuments. Over the 60m at the north-east end of the monument, the northern sector of an area of medieval cultivation ridges occupying the tip of the spur extends north, beyond the Prehistoric linear boundary, producing minor spreading of the boundary's rubble in the intervening furrows.

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: 15187

Legacy System: RSM


Consulted 3/1992, Carter, A/RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2677,
Consulted 3/1992, Carter, A/RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2276 & SX 2277,
Consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1082,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1093,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1094,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1139,

End of official listing