Medieval farmstead and field system at Warren Barn, 500m south and 400m south west of West Soar
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Sep-2019 at 11:41:28.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- South Hams (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SX 70107 37279, SX 70174 37011
Reasons for Designation
Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity
in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains
needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been
divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive
mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided
into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have
gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the extensive south-west Peninsula sub-Province of the
Northern and Western Province, an area climatically, culturally and physically
distinct from the rest of England. It includes varying terrains, from the
granite uplands, through rolling dissected plateaux to fertile clay lowlands
in the east. Nucleated settlements are present, notably in the Devon
Lowlands and throughout the South Hams. Many of these originated as small
towns, whilst a high proportion may be late foundations. Excluding only the
moorland masses, the sub-Province is characterised by medium and high
densities of dispersed settlements; indeed, some of the former industrial
areas had densities as high as any in the country.
Despite slight stock erosion, the medieval farmstead and its associated field system at Warren Barn survive well, representing the dispersed settlements that characterise this sub-province. Their earthworks and walls will contain stratified and environmental deposits relating to their construction and use in the local landscape. The ruined walls of a 19th century shippon are important to the understanding of later use of the site, while the hut circle and pound provide a time depth extending back into the Bronze Age.
This monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, is located
on the north and south sides of a shallow combe, on coastal heathland. It
includes a medieval farmstead and parts of its surrounding field system, a
medieval pillow mound, and a 19th century shippon. An earlier hut circle and
associated pound lie on the south side of the scheduling, from where there are
dramatic views along the coast.
The southern part of the monument, in the first area of protection, contains
earthwork remains of a farmstead, located around a spring, with a stream
running out to the south west. A rectangular enclosure measuring 35m from
north west to south east and 40m from north east to south west, is partly
enclosed by low earth and stone banks, but is open on its north east side. Two
small rectangular outbuildings lie on the south east side, while a longhouse
with opposed entrances and a separate upper room forms the north west side,
its interior sloping down to the west. A narrow paddock with tapering ends
lies alongside the south east side of the enclosure, while terraces of an
associated field system lead away to the south. A large rectangular pillow
mound immediately north east of the farmstead on the same alignment, measures
20m long, 10m wide and 2m high with a flattened top. A low bank follows its
south east side. Immediately to its south east is Warren Barn, an early 19th
century single storey shippon of mortared stone rubble, aligned north to south
on a terrace cut into the hillside, and abutting a large rock outcrop at its
The associated field system includes an irregular enclosure surrounding the
farmstead, with a partly terraced bank of earth and stones 3m wide and up to
1.8m high. Long straight banks abutting this enclosure are slighter in
construction and run down the coastal slope to the west and cross the level
pasture to the north. Large stones, some set upright edge to edge, are visible
in parts of these banks. Some 100m south of the farmstead is a small hut
circle measuring 12m diameter with walls 2m wide and 1m high. An ovoid pound
20m long and 12m wide abuts its east side. Constructed of earth and laid
stones, these structures are terraced into the hillside at the top of the
The northern part of the monument, lying in the second area of protection,
contains an area of well-preserved medieval fields of irregular shape, whose
banks survive as well-defined earthworks, partly terraced into the sloping
ground at the top of the coastal slope. The banks vary from 1.5m to 3m wide
and are from 1m to 1.5m high, with occasional evidence for stone construction.
All fence posts are 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. 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:
- Legacy System:
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
NT fieldwork by C Thackeray, Thackeray, C, (1986)
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing