Prehistoric and medieval settlements with fields and enclosures together with Bronze Age cairns and medieval alluvial streamwork at Garrow Tor
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1021445
Date first listed: 27-Oct-1967
Date of most recent amendment: 01-Feb-2010
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
Parish: St. Breward
National Grid Reference: SX 14406 78145
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Reasons for Designation
Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of
prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human
exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The
well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time.
Despite scrub growth, the multi-period agricultural and industrial landscape at Garrow Tor survives very well and is recognised as one of the most important archaeological landscapes in Cornwall, which itself is seen as a county that has a particularly rich historic environment. The upstanding remains of dwellings and fields of prehistoric and historic date provide an important insight into the communities that lived and worked here for millennia. Significant and informative archaeological deposits and structures survive around Garrow and its remote location combined with the robust construction methods used means that the monument is still clearly understandable. Sources: Cole, R. Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An Archaeological Assessment Dudley, D. and Minter, E.M. The Medieval Village of Garrow Tor, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall Herring, P. (ed) Bodmin Moor and Archaeological Survey Volume 2
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument includes the extensive earthworks, standing remains and buried
deposits of both prehistoric and medieval archaeology situated on and around
the prominent hill known as Garrow Tor on Bodmin Moor. The prehistoric
archaeology includes at least one Mesolithic and Neolithic flint scatter,
several Bronze Age stone hut circle settlements with associated enclosures,
field systems and at least ten funerary cairns. Excavations have demonstrated
that occupation continued into the Iron Age and Romano-British periods and
these also form part of the monument. The medieval remains include a
settlement with six long houses and an associated extensive strip field
system containing hundreds of small clearance cairns. Additional
archaeological features and structures include medieval and later tin
streamworking remains and historic transhumance buildings or barns.
The evidence for Mesolithic and Neolithic activity survives as a flint
scatter at SX 14757799 and demonstrates early use of the area. The much more
tangible evidence of Bronze Age occupation includes at least 180 stone hut
circles clustered within seven groups. The north eastern group of at least 35
huts is situated within a double agglomerated enclosure on the east facing
slope immediately below Garrow Tor. The largest concentration of huts is on
the western slope and includes at least 72 huts situated within an irregular
aggregate field system defined by rubble walling extending over 12 hectares.
Excavation of one hut by Dudley recovered Romano-British pottery suggesting
continued interest in this area at this time. Another irregular aggregate
field system, including at least 12 fields on the southern slope of the hill
at NGR SX14427785, contains a further 25 huts, whilst a tight cluster of 27
stone hut circles at NGR SX14307804 is associated with a few lengths of
rubble walling and a round cairn. The nine stone hut circles adjacent to the
later medieval settlement and a further four at NGR SX14167775 have no
associated fields or enclosures. A short distance south of the latter group
is a small agglomerated enclosure with five stone hut circles, four of which
were excavated by Dudley in the 1950s. This work revealed that at least one
hut was re-occupied during the Iron Age. A total of ten funerary cairns have
been identified at Garrow. All are relatively small and below 0.5m in
height. Three have visible cists, three are kerbed and one is a small ring
cairn. The medieval impact on the landscape at Garrow is considerable. A
large scale strip field system extending over 40 hectares was established
over time around the lower eastern and southern slopes of the hill. The
interiors of the fields contain narrow ridge and furrow and a myriad of small
clearance cairns. Further fields survive west of the tor and these too are
associated with large numbers of clearance cairns. On the eastern side of the
hill at NGR SX14567799 is a medieval settlement including six long houses,
barns and a corn-drying kiln. Excavations have revealed that the settlement
evolved during the 13th - 15th centuries and later shrank to a single
farmhouse with barns and beehive hut before being abandoned in the early 19th
century. A number of small structures scattered around the slopes of Garrow
Tor represent the sites of field barns and some of the earlier hut circles
may have been adapted and re-used in the early 19th century.
In the valley bottom at the foot of the southern and western slopes are
alluvial streamwork earthworks evidencing tinworking, consisting mainly of
substantial banks and hollows running parallel with the river. This type of
earthwork is considered to be medieval in date, a detail confirmed by the
relationship between part of the medieval field system and streamwork which
suggests that elements of both are broadly contemporary.
Garrow Cottage, associated roofed barns and fencing are excluded from the
scheduling, but the ground below them is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 36059
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 109-110
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 98
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 102-106
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 105
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 103-104
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 104-105
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 101-102
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 106
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 99-101
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 113
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 95-99
Cole, R, Ivey and Hawkstor Farms - An archaeological assessment, (1997), 107-109
Dudley, D, Minter, E M, 'Medieval Archaeology' in The Medieval Village of Garrow Tor, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, , Vol. 6-7, (1963), 272-94
Figure 28, Herring, P (ed), Bodmin Moor An Archaeological Survey Volume 2, (2008)
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