Length of reave 290m north of Feather Tor, forming part of a coaxial field system on Whitchurch Common

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020000

Date first listed: 07-Mar-2002

Map

Ordnance survey map of Length of reave 290m north of Feather Tor, forming part of a coaxial field system on Whitchurch Common
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Whitchurch

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 53386 74417

Summary

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 (c.2000-700 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.

The length of reave 290m north of Feather Tor forming part of a coaxial field system on Whitchurch Common survives comparatively well and contains information relating to prehistoric land division within an area containing a rich variety of archaeological sites.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a length of reave and a short section of leat situated on a gentle south facing slope of Barn Hill overlooking the valley of the River Walkham. The reave forms part of a coaxial field system which extends over much of Whitchurch Common. The reave survives as a 1.8m wide and 0.4m high earthwork with occasional protruding orthostats. The main length of reave stretches 400m from east to west and approximately mid-way along a branch 90m long leads to the south. The reave is cut by a disused length of the Grimstone and Sortridge Leat at NGR SX53477442, which at this point measures 2.4m wide and 0.8m deep. The present Grimstone and Sortridge Leat cuts through the eastern part of the reave and is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath and around it is included

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 22262

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 34

End of official listing