Medieval tenement boundary between Louden Hill and King Arthur's Downs


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019887

Date first listed: 09-May-2001


Ordnance survey map of Medieval tenement boundary between Louden Hill and King Arthur's Downs
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This copy shows the entry on 09-Dec-2018 at 21:53:38.


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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Breward

National Grid Reference: SX 13247 78690


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.

Medieval tenement boundaries marked on the ground the legally defined limits of a landholding pertaining to a settlement, demarcating it from the land of a neighbouring settlement, common land or routeway. In some cases the artificial boundary simply completed a legal boundary otherwise defined by a natural feature, commonly a water-course or marsh. Some tenements held one or more areas separate from their core area containing the settlement, these dispersed areas also defined in part or whole by tenement boundaries. Major expansion of settlement onto the higher ground on Bodmin Moor from the 11th to 14th centuries AD led to extensive acquisition of former common grazing land by these new settlements, partitioning large tracts by means of the tenement boundaries but maintaining other areas as a common resource for grazing, peat- cutting and moorstone working, and for cross-moor movement of stock and people. Following a large scale retraction and redistribution of settlement from the later 14th century, many tenements contracted or were abandoned altogether, rendering their earlier boundaries obselete and crossing much enlarged areas of common land. The form of such boundaries can vary considerably. They commonly appear as an earthen bank with a ditch along its outer side relative to the tenement's area, but on occasion they may be a much slighter rubble line showing only the legal boundary of a settlement's rights and management responsibilities rather than a physical stock-proof boundary. By contrast, other tenement boundaries remained in use into the post-medieval period, sometimes to the present day, with repeated refurbishment modifying their form to substantial hedgebanks or occasionally drystone walling. Medieval tenement boundaries provide valuable evidence for the organisation of the medieval landscape on Bodmin Moor, especially where their original pattern survives extensively. They reveal the nature of the tenements themselves, their relationship with the common land, the provision of routeways, the nature and sequence of colonisation of the higher ground and the influence of the topography on medieval land use. The medieval tenement boundary between Louden Hill and King Arthur's Downs survives well and to its full length, showing clearly its close relationship with the topography in enclosing an area of grazing otherwise defined by the marsh. With the other tenement boundaries visible across a large tract of north west Bodmin Moor, it forms an integral part of one of the most extensive medieval landscape survivals nationally and whose interpretation formed the subject of a specific case-study published as part of the Bodmin Moor archaeological survey.


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


The scheduling includes a medieval boundary along the eastern side of the low ridge from Louden Hill to King Arthur's Downs on north western Bodmin Moor. In the organisation of the medieval landscape, this boundary marked the divide between common grazing and cross-moor access routes over the top of the ridge from private grazing along the ridge's eastern margin. The boundary survives over a total length of 895m NNE-SSW, running into marsh at each end. It is visible over most of its length as an earthen bank, generally 2.5m wide and up to 0.3m high, accompanied along its western side by a ditch, now largely silted, averaging 1.75m wide and 0.15m deep. Its visible profile reduces due to subsequent peat development as it approaches each end and again as it passes across a broad trough centred 250m from its SSW end. This boundary's course marks off the ridge's eastern lower slope, defined to the east and across both ends by the boggy ground of Garrow Marsh, as a detached area of private grazing pertaining to one of the medieval landholdings or tenements at Casehill or Candra, beyond this scheduling to the south west. In doing so, the boundary also defines the former limit of common grazing and a cross-moor route for people, stock and goods on the higher ground to its west. In its wider context, this boundary forms part of an extensive pattern of medieval tenement boundaries which survive, beyond this scheduling, across much of north western Bodmin Moor.

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: 15552

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Johnson, N, Rose, P, 'The Human Landscape to c 1800' in Bodmin Moor An Archaeological Survey, (1994)
Johnson, N, Rose, P, 'The Human Landscape to c 1800' in Bodmin Moor An Archaeological Survey, (1994)
In Bodmin Moor Survey archive, Carter A/RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots for km squares SX 1378-9, (1980)
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map SX 17 NW Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing