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Two overlapping enclosures on the western edge of the River Walkham

A Scheduled Monument in Whitchurch, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5815 / 50°34'53"N

Longitude: -4.0367 / 4°2'12"W

OS Eastings: 255902.689349

OS Northings: 77730.831014

OS Grid: SX559777

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.LLYK

Mapcode Global: FRA 27FJ.H6C

Entry Name: Two overlapping enclosures on the western edge of the River Walkham

Scheduled Date: 9 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007545

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20369

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Whitchurch

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

This monument includes two overlapping enclosures situated in the valley
bottom immediately adjacent to the river Walkham. The northern enclosure
measures 12m by 14m, and is defined by a wall of orthostatic construction 1.1m
wide and 0.7m high. A short length of the southern wall overlaps the adjacent
enclosure. The southern enclosure measures 14m by 8m and the wall is also of
the orthostatic type. A later tinwork has removed the south-east section of
walling from each of the enclosures. No hut circles or platforms are visible
within the interiors, though it is possible that evidence for timber
structures survives. The overlap between the two enclosures suggests that one
of them is earlier than the other, but it is not possible to establish their
relative dates from field observation alone.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

The two enclosures on the western edge of the River Walkham survive
comparatively well and are a rare example of overlapping enclosures. They may
be contemporary with the nearby large stone hut circle settlement on
Langstone Moor, while their proximity to the edge of a tin streamworks may
make them a source of information relating to Prehistoric tinworking.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987), 119
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57NE17,

Source: Historic England

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