Ancient Monuments

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Two enclosures and a cairnfield 180m north east of Crazy Well Pool

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5176 / 50°31'3"N

Longitude: -3.9991 / 3°59'56"W

OS Eastings: 258372.326717

OS Northings: 70552.465181

OS Grid: SX583705

Mapcode National: GBR Q2.XYBK

Mapcode Global: FRA 27HP.KV5

Entry Name: Two enclosures and a cairnfield 180m north east of Crazy Well Pool

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008650

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22392

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument, which falls into two areas divided by a leat, includes two
irregular shaped enclosures and 22 clearance cairns lying on a gentle south-
facing slope overlooking the valley of Newleycombe Lake. The interior of the
eastern enclosure, most of which lies south of the leat, measures 114m north
west to south east by 54m north east to south west and is defined by a rubble
wall up to 1.5m wide and 0.4m high, except on the south where it survives as a
1.5m wide and 0.7m high lynchet. Seventeen cairns lie within this enclosure
and two are incorporated into the boundary wall. Fifteen of these cairns are
sub-circular in shape and measure between 2m and 4.3m in diameter and stand
between 0.2m and 0.7m high.
The remaining two cairns are oval in shape, one measures 5m long by 2.6m wide
and 0.5m high and the second is 6m long by 3.5m wide and 0.4m high.
Three cairns lie north of the enclosure, are all sub-circular in shape,
measure between 3m and 3.8m in diameter and stand between 0.4m and 0.5m high.
A small enclosed area lies in the south east corner of the large enclosure,
measures 16m north to south by 12m east to west and is defined by a 1m and
0.3m high rubble bank.
The second large enclosure lies on the northern side of the leat, measures 94m
east to west by at least 60m north to south and is defined by a 1m wide and
0.3m high rubble bank. The southern and part of the western lengths of
enclosure wall do not survive as earthworks but may survive as buried
The Devonport leat cuts through both enclosures and survives as a 2m wide and
1.2m deep channel defined on the downslope side by a 3m wide and 0.9m high
bank of material upcast during the cutting of the leat. A stone-faced overflow
channel measuring 2.5m long, 1.2m wide and 0.4m deep is cut into this bank,
but is now blocked by a stone wall. This leat was constructed in 1793 by the
Company of Properties of the Plymouth Dock Waterworks to carry over 2 million
gallons of Dartmoor water daily to Devonport. The upper length of the leat
still carries water to the Dousland treatment works.
The Devonport leat is excluded from the scheduling.

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.

In addition to the enclosures a cairnfield survives within this monument.
Cairnfields are concentrations of three or more cairns sited within close
proximity to one another; they may consist of burial cairns or, as in this
case, cairns built with stone cleared from the land surface (clearance
cairns). Round funerary cairns were constructed during the Bronze Age (c.
2000-7000 BC) and consisted of earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditches,
which covered single or multiple burials. Often occupying prominent locations,
they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. The considerable
variation in the size of cairnfields and their longevity as a monument type
provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social
organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly
representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving
examples are considered worthy of protection.
Despite limited damage caused by the cutting of the Devonport Leat, the two
enclosures and cairnfield 140m north east of Crazy Well Pool survive well and
contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which they were constructed. Cairnfields lying within clearly
defined enclosures are rare on the Moor and this example should provide a
valuable insight into this particular type of Bronze Age agricultural

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hemery, E, Walking the Dartmoor Waterways, (1991), 9-33
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE292,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, Various entries,
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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