Coaxial field system and prehistoric settlement 410m west of Cox Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020090

Date first listed: 18-Sep-2001


Ordnance survey map of Coaxial field system and prehistoric settlement 410m west of Cox Tor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Peter Tavy

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 52265 76208, SX 52323 76185, SX 52456 76135, SX 52701 76182


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 coaxial field system and prehistoric settlement 410m west of Cox Tor survive well and form part of a particularly well-preserved palimpsest on the lower slopes of Cox Tor. This coaxial field system is the westernmost on the Moor and provides an important contrast to the more developed examples that survive elsewhere.


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


The monument, which falls into four separate areas of protection, includes a group of coaxial fields and an associated stone hut circle settlement situated on a west facing slope of Cox Tor overlooking much of West Devon and East Cornwall. The coaxial fields form part of the Whitchurch Common coaxial field system and survive as rubble banks leading off at right angles from a terminal reave. At least seven fields survive together with eight stone hut circles, all of which lie in the southern part of the system. The stone hut circles survive as rubble or orthostatic walls each surrounding a circular internal area between 3.5m and 8m in diameter. The surrounding walls measure up to 0.7m high and one hut has a visible doorway.

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: 22361

Legacy System: RSM


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2000)
Title: Cox Tor Survey Source Date: 1991 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1:2500 plan

End of official listing