Three Headland Warren boundary stones, 350m, 330m and 400m south east of Headland Warren Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021345

Date first listed: 22-Jun-2004


Ordnance survey map of Three Headland Warren boundary stones, 350m, 330m and 400m south east of Headland Warren Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge (District Authority)

Parish: North Bovey

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 69635 80938, SX 69662 80841, SX 69671 80972


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 three Headland Warren boundary stones, 350m, 330m and 400m south east of Headland Warren Farm, together with at least a further 13, form part of the best preserved group of warren boundary stones on Dartmoor.


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


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes three warren boundary stones situated on a south west-facing slope of Hookney Tor overlooking the valley of the West Webburn River. The northern boundary stone survives as a 1.12m high granite pillar with two inscriptions on its eastern face. The upper one reads`B', referring to North Bovey parish, and the lower one `WB' relating to the warren bounds. The middle boundary stone is 0.88m high and is inscribed on its north eastern face with three separate groups of letters. At the top are the letters `AP', whilst below these are `WB' and below them `WN'. The top and bottom inscriptions may refer to an individual warrener, whilst the central `WB' inscription refers to the warren bounds. The southern boundary stone is 0.9m high and is inscribed with the letters `WB' on its eastern face.

These stones form part of a group of at least 16 stones which denote the edges of Headland Warren. Headland Warren covers about 246ha and includes at least 37 pillow mounds, five vermin traps, six rectilinear enclosures and the warren house itself. The warren was certainly in existence by 1754 and continued in use until around 1920.

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: 34504

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Brewer, D, A field guide to the boundary markers on and around Dartmoor, (1986), 55-56

End of official listing