'V'-shaped gully 350m east of Trowlesworthy Warren House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014474

Date first listed: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of 'V'-shaped gully 350m east of Trowlesworthy Warren House
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014474 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 17:44:33.


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

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Shaugh Prior

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 57111 64858


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 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. Warrens are areas of land set aside for the breeding and management of rabbits or hares. They usually include a series of purpose-built breeding places, known as pillow mounds and buries, vermin traps and enclosures designed to contain and protect the animals, and living quarters for the warrener who kept charge of the warren. Pillow mounds are low oblong-shaped mounds of soil and/or stones in which the animals lived. They are usually between 15m and 40m long and between 5m and 10m wide. Most have a ditch around at least three sides to facilitate drainage. Inside are a series of narrow interconnecting trenches. These were excavated and covered with stone or turf before the mound was constructed. Vermin traps of various kinds are found within most warrens. These include a small stone-lined passage into which the predator was funnelled by a series of ditches or walls. Over 100 vermin traps have been recorded on the Moor, with the majority lying in the Plym Valley. Warren boundaries were often defined by a combination of natural features such as rivers. Within the warrens themselves smaller enclosed areas defined by a ditch and bank are sometimes found, and some of these may have been specialised breeding areas. Many of the warrens on the Moor contain a house in which the warrener lived. Most of the surviving warren earthworks probably date to between the 17th century and the later 19th century, with some continuing in use into the early 20th century. At least 22 warrens are known to exist on the Moor and together they contribute to our understanding of the medieval and post-medieval exploitation of the area. All well-preserved warrens are considered worthy of protection.

The `V'-shaped gully is a feature which has been identified only within the Upper Plym valley. They are always associated with warrens and therefore may be considered as a distinctive component of the warrens in this part of the Moor. They are generally accepted as being drains excavated to carry surface water around a small area which would therefore be drier and more suitable for habitation by rabbits. They may, however, also have been built as animal runs leading to vermin traps. Either way, these gullies will contain information relating to the exploitation and management of the warrens within the Upper Plym valley and as such are considered worthy of protection. The `V'-shaped gully 350m east of Trowlesworthy Warren House survives well and forms part of a group lying on the western slopes of the Trowlesworthy Tors.


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


This monument includes a `V'-shaped gully forming part of a complex multi- period archaeological landscape on the north western slope of the Trowlesworthy Tors overlooking the valley of the Blacka Brook. The northern arm of this `V'-shaped gully measures 12m long, 0.9m wide by 0.3m deep and the bank of material thrown up during its construction lies downslope and measures 1m wide and up to 0.15m high. The southern arm measures 17m long, 0.9m wide and 0.3m deep and the associated bank measures 1.3m wide and 0.15m high. Gullies such as this are generally considered to be drains, although their location on steep well drained slopes suggests that some at least may have served as animal runs leading to vermin traps or snares. Vermin approaching their quarry tend to seek a route that provides visual cover and gullies such as this could have been excavated to control their movement. Further archaeological features within the vicinity of this monument are the subjects of other schedulings. This monument is in the care of the Secretary of State.

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: 22360

Legacy System: RSM


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, (1995)

End of official listing