Warren in Whiddon Park

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021398

Date first listed: 08-Oct-2007

Map

Ordnance survey map of Warren in Whiddon Park
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge (District Authority)

Parish: Moretonhampstead

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 72484 89521, SX 72576 89164, SX 72587 89590, SX 72704 89207

Summary

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 warren in Whiddon Park survives well and unusually for Dartmoor is associated with a deer park. Archaeological and environmental information relating to the farming of rabbits will survive within the pillow mounds.

History

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

Details

The monument, which falls into four areas, includes at least eight pillow mounds together forming a warren in Whiddon Park. The pillow mounds survive as rectangular or circular mounds together with ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. The rectangular mounds vary between 6.7m and 14m long, with the average being 10.3m and they stand between 0.7m and 0.9m high. The circular pillow mound stands at NGR SX 72678922 and measures 6.38m in diameter and stands 0.6m high. The warren is situated within a deer park known as Whiddon Park which was established in the mid-16th century and continued in use until the end of the 19th century.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 36027

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
National Trust, National Trust SMR - Castle Drogo, (1985)

End of official listing