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Enclosure on Cator Common, 400m ESE of Riddon Brake

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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Enclosure on Cator Common, 400m ESE of Riddon Brake

List entry Number: 1021427


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

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Widecombe in the Moor

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 11-Jul-2007

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 36053

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. Within the landscape of Dartmoor there are many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC), though earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerably depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite some historic robbing, the enclosure on Cator Common, 400m ESE of Riddon Brake survives comparatively well and the use of particularly substantial orthostats in its construction reflects its importance within a special and particularly well preserved archaeological landscape. The substantial nature of the enclosure suggests that it may have played an important role in ritual practises on prehistoric Dartmoor, but if built for domestic purposes only, its unusual construction reflects its special position in the prehistoric society of this area.


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


The monument includes an oval enclosure situated on a small hill overlooking the Walla Brook. The enclosure survives as a 65m long by 52m wide shaped area denoted by a rubble bank measuring up to 3m wide from which at least 21 large edge set orthostats protrude. The substantial size of these orthostats may indicate that the enclosure served a function beyond the usual domestic one. The monument may therefore represent the site of a ritual enclosure, examples of which have been identified elsewhere on Dartmoor. A circular arrangement of stones within the southern part of the enclosure may be the site of a ring cairn or hut circle. This enclosure was first recognised as early as 1750 by the antiquarian Dean Milles who described it in some detail.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 137-8

National Grid Reference: SX 67292 77644


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1021427 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 26-Sep-2018 at 06:14:29.

End of official listing