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Part of the Dartmeet coaxial field system and other archaeological remains on Holne Moor west and north west of Venford Reservoir

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Part of the Dartmeet coaxial field system and other archaeological remains on Holne Moor west and north west of Venford Reservoir

List entry Number: 1020487

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Holne

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 22-Feb-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Sep-2001

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22368

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 part of the Dartmeet coaxial field system and other archaeological remains on Holne Moor, west and north west of Venford Reservoir survive extremely well and form the best preserved part of a coaxial field system on Dartmoor. The Dartmeet coaxial field system extends over 3000ha and enough of it survives to enable a full understanding of the widespread character and impact of Bronze Age farming techniques. The survival of a range of broadly contemporary funerary and ritual monuments provides further evidence for the use of this area as does the later historic field system which overlies many of the earlier coaxial fields. These fields provide additional contrasting information concerning the character of historic farming activity and this together with the considerable evidence for prospecting and mining represents an important source of archaeological data.

History

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

Details

The monument, which falls into four seperate areas of protection, includes a group of coaxial fields, associated stone hut circles and enclosures, a stone alignment, several cairns, areas of historic fields, a medieval farmstead with ancillary buildings, clearance cairns, tinwork earthworks, shelters, leats, clapper bridges, pillow mounds, hollow ways, military slit trenches and stone splitting pits, all situated on Holne Moor. The coaxial fields form part of the Dartmeet coaxial field system and survive as rubble banks which in places have been modified during the construction of later historic fields. There are at least 27 parallel reaves within the monument, from which large numbers of other boundaries lead creating a number of smaller fields and enclosures. The parallel reaves are aligned roughly north east to south west and many abut the terminal reave which denotes the southern edge of the field system. Within the field system there are at least 58 stone hut circles, many of which are clustered together to form settlements. The stone hut circles survive as rubble or orthostatic walls each surrounding a circular or oval internal area which varies in diameter from 2.2m to 9.7m. Archaeological excavation during the 1970s suggested a Bronze Age date for the stone hut circles and also revealed at least three timber houses of similar date. Six cairns situated within the monument are also likely to be of Bronze Age date and these survive as mounds measuring between 3.6m and 18m in diameter and standing between 0.2m and 0.9m high. One of the cairns contains a cist denoted by four edge set slabs. Beyond the southern edge of the coaxial field system is a stone alignment. This survives as three parallel rows of upright stones measuring 147.5m long. The western end is denoted by three edge set blocking stones and two large recumbent stones, which when standing would have been up to 3m tall. This alignment, which lies immediately outside the field system, would appear to have been deliberately excluded, suggesting that it was already present and perhaps being used when the fields were constructed. Archaeological remains of historic date are abundant within the coaxial field system. In particular, a medieval farmstead together with an extensive field system occupies much of the eastern part of the monument. The historic fields are mostly denoted by ditched boundary banks and in places have reused earlier prehistoric walls. In at least two separate locations the fields have been further subdivided into strips denoted by low rubble walls. Leading through the monument in several places are hollow ways which survive as sharp sided, flat bottomed gulleys. Evidence for rabbit farming takes the form of several rectangular mounds which have been identified as pillow mounds. A small number of shelters, many of them built into earlier stone hut circles, illustrate a pastoral interest in the area. Another activity of historic date for which abundant archaeological remains survive is mineral prospecting and extraction. In several places, clusters of small rectangular pits together with narrow trenches formed during the search for tin are visible. The deposits and lodes encountered were exploited using either streamworks, opencast quarries called openworks or by lode back pits. Several lengths of leat survive within the monument. The shorter examples generally lead to the various tinworks, but two long distance leats pass through the monument. The northern leat is known as the Holne Moor Leat or Hamlyn's Leat and was cut in the early part of the 19th century to supply water for textile mills in Buckfastleigh. Where it survives as an earthwork it forms part of this scheduling. The southern leat is known as the Wheal Emma Leat and was constructed in 1859 to carry water from the upper Swincombe River to supplement the River Mardle. The additional water was required by the Wheal Emma copper mine near Buckfastleigh. Within the monument the leat survives as a steep sided channel crossed at several points by clapper bridges. The Holne Moor Leat or Hamlyn's Leat, where it remains in use, leading through the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath the associated bank, where it survives, is included. The metal fence denoting the edge of the Venford Reservoir forestry plantation and a series of boundary stones are also excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 77
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 72
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 87
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 180
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 190
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 193
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 181
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 181
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 182
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 183
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 185
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 185
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 185
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 187
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 187
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 186
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 188
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 128
Fleming, A, Ralph, N, 'Medieval Archaeology' in Medieval Settlement And Land Use On Holne Moor, Dartmoor, , Vol. 26, (1982), 108
Fleming, A, Ralph, N, 'Medieval Archaeology' in Medieval Settlement And Land Use On Holne Moor, Dartmoor, , Vol. 26, (1982), 110
Fleming, A, Ralph, N, 'Medieval Archaeology' in Medieval Settlement And Land Use On Holne Moor, Dartmoor, , Vol. 26, (1982), 119
Fleming, A, Ralph, N, 'Medieval Archaeology' in Medieval Settlement And Land Use On Holne Moor, Dartmoor, , Vol. 26, (1982), 123
Other
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2000)

National Grid Reference: SX 66727 71924, SX 67559 71016, SX 67812 71646, SX 68694 71750

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2017 at 01:34:13.

End of official listing