Cholwich Town contour reave, cairn and two enclosures


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017399

Date first listed: 03-Dec-1992


Ordnance survey map of Cholwich Town contour reave, cairn and two enclosures
© 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 - 1017399 .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 18-Jan-2019 at 01:11:44.


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

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Cornwood

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Shaugh Prior

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 59202 63584


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.

Elaborate complexes of fields and field boundaries are some of the major features of the Dartmoor landscape. The reaves are part of an extensive system of Prehistoric land division introduced during the Bronze Age, around 1700 BC. They consist of simple linear stone banks used to mark out discrete territories, some of which are tens of kilometres in extent. The systems are defined by parallel, contour and watershed reaves, dividing the lower land from the grazing zones of the higher moor and defining the watersheds of adjacent river systems. Occupation sites and funerary or ceremonial monuments are often incorporated in, or associated with, reave complexes. Their longevity and their relationship with other monument types provide important information on the diversity of social organisation, land divisions and farming practices amongst Prehistoric communities. They show considerable longevity as a monument type, sometimes surviving as fossilised examples in medieval field plans. They are an important element in the existing landscape and, as such, a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Cholwich Town contour reave forms an important element in the reave system of south-west Dartmoor. With Willings Walls contour reave, it is considered to have linked the Yealm and Plym systems. The reave is closely associated with a cairn and two enclosures, one containing a stone hut circle settlement. Cairns represent the burial places of Bronze Age communities while the enclosures and hut circles provide an insight into the pattern and intensity of settlement as well as the nature of the econonmy. All these features are broadly contemporary and give an indication of the lives of Bronze Age communities on this part of the Moor.


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


Cholwich Town Reave runs broadly along the 370m contour from Rook Watershed Reave in the east to a point just beyond Cross Dyke in the west, a distance of 2.2km, marked at its mid-point by an enclosure with hut circles. The reave has formerly been known as Cholwich Town Reave North and Cholwich Town Reave South, but this scheduling treats it as one reave. The part known as Cholwich Town Reave North extends some 1.1km to the north-west of the mid-point enclosure, including the southern bank of that enclosure in its length, and runs around the south side of Lee Moor. It consists of a bank of earth and stone up to 1.75m in width and 0.6m in height, faced with orthostats at its wider eastern end. There is a gang-junction (where two stretches of the reave being built separately were mis-aligned and so do not meet perfectly) located between the cairn and enclosure situated towards the western end. There are two entrances through the reave, one near the middle and another just north- west of the enclosure at the eastern end. The cairn is considered to pre-date the reave which appears to have been aligned on it. The enclosure on the south side of the reave does not have any hut circles; the enclosure at the eastern end of this reave contains at least sixteen hut circles. The part known as Cholwich Town Reave South runs from the mid-point enclosure to Rook Watershed Reave, a distance of some 1.15km, in a south-easterly direction for the first kilometre and then turning east towards Rook Reave. It consists of a bank up to 3m in width and 0.7m in height and is thought to post-date Rook Reave. The southern end of Cholwich Town Reave abuts Rook Watershed Reave but for purposes of clarity and because they are different reave forms, these two reaves have been defined as separate schedulings.

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: 10754

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County SMR SX56SE-025, (1990)
Devon County SMR SX56SE-076, (1990)
Devon County SMR SX56SE-224 & 225, (1990)
Devon County SMR SX56SE-278, (1990)

End of official listing