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Medieval tenement boundary with adjacent medieval field north of Dinnever Hill

A Scheduled Monument in St. Breward, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5884 / 50°35'18"N

Longitude: -4.6522 / 4°39'7"W

OS Eastings: 212358.98316

OS Northings: 79878.210096

OS Grid: SX123798

Mapcode National: GBR N5.DBTQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 174H.WZY

Entry Name: Medieval tenement boundary with adjacent medieval field north of Dinnever Hill

Scheduled Date: 21 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007769

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15284

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Breward

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breward

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a medieval ditched boundary bank which extends along the
south-west edge of a broad spur between Dinnever and Louden Hills on
north-west Bodmin Moor. A small, broadly contemporary, field plot containing
cultivation ridges abuts part of the south-west side of the boundary. This
boundary forms the northern sector of a more extensive medieval boundary
system which, beyond this monument, also encompasses most of the north-western
slopes of Dinnever Hill. These boundaries are considered to define a major
portion of the outer boundary of the medieval tenement of East Rowden, whose
deserted settlement survives on the lower western slope of Dinnever Hill. The
ditch beside the north-western end of this boundary was re-used as a hollowed
routeway, called a hollow way, during the later medieval or post-medieval
periods.
The medieval boundary survives as a turf-covered bank of earth and rubble, up
to 2.5m wide and 0.3m high, accompanied along its north-east side by a ditch,
generally 1.5m wide and 0.5m deep, but rising to 2.5m wide and 0.7m deep where
it was re-used for the hollow way at its north-west end. The boundary survives
over 270m following a NW-SE course in a shallow `S'-shaped curve along the
south-east margin of the spur. At its south-east end, the boundary terminates
at the northern edge of a broad marshy area bordering a stream; at its
north-west end the boundary fades as a visible feature at the lower edge of
the spur's slope, on the edge of a low-lying marsh adjoining another
stream-course. Where the boundary descends the spur's north-west slope, its
ditch has been enlarged to the dimensions given above to form the western of a
series of parallel linear hollow ways which cross the slope, marking rutted
tracks used in the later medieval and post-medieval periods to link the
moorland tenements and pasture with the lower coastal belt of north-west
Cornwall.
The medieval field plot adjoins the south-western side of the boundary near
its south-east end, occupying a favourable SSW aspect of the spur's slope. The
plot extends south-west from the boundary almost to the marsh-edge,
encompassing a sub-rectangular area of 0.38ha and measuring a maximum 85m WNW-
ESE by 50m NNE-SSW. It is defined by a slight earthen bank, up to 1.2m wide
and 0.15m high, running north-south along its western side, but its remaining
sides lack any boundary features, defined only by the ends and sides of its
contained cultivation ridges. The surface of the plot is marked by traces of
the cultivation ridges, visible as a contiguous area of low, parallel earthen
ridges, up to 2m wide, 0.1m high and 45m long, running on a NNE-SSW axis.
Beyond the monument, the tenement boundary reappears 120m SSE of the
south-east end of this monument, on the opposite side of the marsh and
stream-bed, then continues for a further 1.18km along the northern and western
slopes of Dinnever Hill, returning at its south-west end to the edge of the
inner field block of the deserted East Rowden settlement 1.25km to the
south-west.

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

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.

The relatively unintensive post-medieval land use of upland areas has allowed
the preservation of a diverse range of settlement, field system and boundary
types dating to the medieval period and mostly from the post-Conquest period
(AD 1066-1540). Such remains include medieval tenement boundaries, commonly
formed as embanked ditches which served both to define the edges of the
private arable and pasture land pertaining to the parent settlement and to
deter stock from neighbouring tenements or common pasture from wandering onto
that private land. Beyond the blocks of arable fields and stock yards situated
close to the settlement site, the higher moorland enclosed by such boundaries
was often devoted largely to grazing, though sometimes traces of cultivation
ridges are visible, especially on slopes with favourable southern aspects,
often reflecting short-term or intermittent episodes of cultivation. Such
areas of cultivation ridges may be unenclosed or enclosed by earthen banks and
ditches. These medieval remains also form an important element of the existing
landscape, providing information on the organisation of medieval farming and
settlement, its expansion onto the uplands, and forming evidence for the
successive changes in land use that have affected the Moor.
This medieval boundary on the spur between Dinnever and Louden Hills has
survived well, the presence of its adjacent field plot showing well the
care given by the medieval farmers on the moorland edge to the aspect and
slope of their land. Together with the southern sector on Dinnever Hill, which
is not included in this scheduling, this boundary provides an unusually
complete example of a medieval moorland-edge tenement block whose deserted
settlement and inner field block also survive intact beyond the monument to
the south-west.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
consulted 1993, Carter, A./CAU/RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots and field traces for SX 1179; SX 1279-80,
consulted 1993, Carter, A./CAU/RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots and field traces for SX 1179; SX 1279-80,
consulted 1993, Carter, A./CAU/RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots for SX 1179; SX 1279-80,
consulted 1993, CAU, 1:1000 Bodmin Moor Survey plans for SX 1279 NW; SX 1280 SW, (1984)
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1990,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1990.1,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3350,

Source: Historic England

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