Six pillow mounds in Crockern Newtake forming an outlying part of a rabbit warren on the western slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020881

Date first listed: 12-Mar-2003


Ordnance survey map of Six pillow mounds in Crockern Newtake forming an outlying part of a rabbit warren on the western slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 61044 75764, SX 61082 75692, SX 61095 75738, SX 61107 75864


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 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. Warrens are areas of land set aside for the breeding and management of rabbits or hares. They usually include a series of purpose-built breeding places, known as pillow mounds and buries, vermin traps and enclosures designed to contain and protect the animals, and living quarters for the warrener who kept charge of the warren. Pillow mounds are low oblong-shaped mounds of soil and/or stones in which the animals lived. They are usually between 15m and 40m long and between 5m and 10m wide. Most have a ditch around at least three sides to facilitate drainage. Inside are a series of narrow interconnecting trenches. These were excavated and covered with stone or turf before the mound was constructed. Vermin traps of various kinds are found within most warrens. These include a small stone-lined passage into which the predator was funnelled by a series of ditches or walls. Over 100 vermin traps have been recorded on the Moor, with the majority lying in the Plym Valley. Warren boundaries were often defined by a combination of natural features such as rivers. Within the warrens themselves smaller enclosed areas defined by a ditch and bank are sometimes found, and some of these may have been specialised breeding areas. Many of the warrens on the Moor contain a house in which the warrener lived. Most of the surviving warren earthworks probably date to between the 17th century and the later 19th century, with some continuing in use into the early 20th century. At least 22 warrens are known to exist on the Moor and together they contribute to our understanding of the medieval and post-medieval exploitation of the area. All well-preserved warrens are considered worthy of protection.

The six pillow mounds in Crockern Newtake survive well and form an outlying part of a substantial and well-preserved warren on the western slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors. These pillow mounds will contain information relating to their individual construction and use as well as contributing to the importance of the warren as a whole.


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


The monument, which falls into four separate areas of protection, includes six pillow mounds situated near Crockern overlooking the West Dart River within Crockern Newtake.

The northernmost pillow mound stands alone and survives as a 11.6m long, 4.9m wide and 1.6m high, round-topped, rectangular-shaped mound of soil and stone, surrounded on three sides by the 2.8m wide and 0.6m deep ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. The edges of the mound are formed by drystone coursed walling and edge set orthostats. The two central mounds lie end to end and are the largest within the monument. The eastern mound is 31.5m long by 4.5m wide and up to 1.7m high and its revetment is visible in places. The western mound is 55.5m long, 3.8m wide and 1.3m high and survives largely as a steep sided earthwork. Both mounds are flanked by ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. The remaining three mounds survive in a tight cluster, with the two southernmost ones sharing a ditch. These three mounds vary in length between 8m and 12.3m and stand between 1.3m and 1.6m high. The edges of each mound are formed by roughly placed granite rocks between which is drystone walling.

These pillow mounds form an outlying part of a substantial warren which survives on the western slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors and includes at least 32 pillow mounds and a warreners' house. A warren is known to have been established in this area in 1895 by James Saltroun of Powder Mills and was abandoned sometime before 1914. Some of the pillow mounds may however belong to an earlier undocumented warren.

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: 34456

Legacy System: RSM


Title: Crockern Survey Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1:10000 plan

End of official listing