Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Part of Eylesbarrow watershed reave

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5002 / 50°30'0"N

Longitude: -3.9784 / 3°58'42"W

OS Eastings: 259787.096947

OS Northings: 68577.771863

OS Grid: SX597685

Mapcode National: GBR Q4.4XJ9

Mapcode Global: FRA 27KQ.V78

Entry Name: Part of Eylesbarrow watershed reave

Scheduled Date: 20 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010658

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10738

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


Eylesbarrow watershed reave can be traced from Cadworthy Wood to Eylesbarrow,
a distance of some 7.5km, separating the watershed of the River Plym from that
of the River Meavy. This part runs up the slope of Eylesbarrow for some 300m
from a gap in its course to the summit, where it terminates. The reave is a
bank of grass-covered stones from 3m to 5m in width and up to 0.75m in height,
with some large stones protruding.

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 provides 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.

Elaborate complexes of fields and field boundaries are some of the major
features of the Dartmoor landscape. The reaves are part of an extensive
system of prehistoric land division introduced during the Bronze Age, around
1700BC. They consist of simple linear stone banks used to mark out discrete
territories, some of which are tens of kilometres in extent. The systems are
defined by parallel, contour and watershed reaves, dividing the lower land
from the grazing zones of the higher moor and defining the watersheds of
adjacent river systems. Occupation sites and funerary or ceremonial
monuments are often incorporated in, or associated with, reave complexes.
Their longevity and their relationship with other monument types provides
important information on the diversity of social organisation, land divisions
and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They show considerable
longevity as a monument type, sometimes surviving as fossilised examples in
medieval field plans. They are an important element in the existing landscape
and, as such, a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.

Eylesbarrow watershed reave is a major reave within the complex of reaves on
south-western Dartmoor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988)
SX56NE-278, SX56NE-278, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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