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Prehistoric and medieval linear boundary 1.34km south of Eastmoorgate

A Scheduled Monument in Altarnun, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5713 / 50°34'16"N

Longitude: -4.5132 / 4°30'47"W

OS Eastings: 222132.8595

OS Northings: 77637.8091

OS Grid: SX221776

Mapcode National: GBR NC.FBKC

Mapcode Global: FRA 17FK.9K8

Entry Name: Prehistoric and medieval linear boundary 1.34km south of Eastmoorgate

Scheduled Date: 13 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011386

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15207

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Altarnun

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Altarnon with Bolventor

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a prehistoric linear boundary, reused as a medieval
boundary, crossing a low spur on north western East Moor, close to other
contemporary linear boundaries and to prehistoric funerary and ceremonial
monuments on eastern Bodmin Moor.
The linear boundary survives as a largely peat and turf-covered bank of heaped
rubble, up to 1.75m wide and 0.3m high, with a slight ditch, up to 0.75m wide
and 0.2m deep, alongside the bank's eastern and southern edge. The ditch
faces towards the centre of the moor and its presence is indicative of the
boundary's medieval reuse. The boundary is visible for 445m, crossing the
upper, southern, end of the broad spur from near the upper end of a shallow
valley bounding the spur's eastern side to a marsh at the head of the spur's
western valley. The boundary's course extends on a slightly wavering course
for 180m south from the emergence of its northern end as a visible feature
above the peat to the crest of the spur, then bends sharply to the south west,
following a similarly wavering course for a further 265m to the point where
its south western end becomes submerged beneath the peat of the marsh.
The boundary included in this monument is one of at least five similar
prehistoric boundaries along the north west and south east edges of East Moor,
each crossing the upper ends of spurs and terminating in marshes or streambeds
at each end. Beyond this monument, one of those other linear boundaries
continues the same prehistoric land use division 500m north, running
north across the upper end of the next spur to the north east. Nearby
prehistoric monuments include a ritual enclosure situated 12m east of the
boundary near its northern end, a stone alignment extending NNE 145m east of
the boundary and two large funerary cairns situated 185m east and 240m SSE of
the boundary.

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 linear boundaries on Bodmin Moor consist of stone
banks, sometimes incorporating facing slabs or projecting end-set slabs called
orthostats. They may be massively constructed, up to 8m wide and 1m high,
although the majority are much slighter. Built during the Bronze Age (c.2000-
700 BC), they fulfilled a variety of functions. Some run at high altitudes
along a contour and appear to separate lower land used for cultivation from
that less intensively used. Some may be territorial, marking the boundaries of
land held by particular social groups. Others may serve to delineate land set
aside for ceremonial and religious activities such as burial. Frequently
linear boundaries are associated with other forms of contemporary field
system. They provide important information on the farming practices and social
organisation of Bronze Age communities and form an important element of the
existing landscape. A substantial proportion of examples which have survived
are considered worthy of preservation.

This linear boundary near the north west edge of East Moor has survived well,
being supplemented rather than damaged by its medieval reuse. The boundary's
general thick peat cover, and especially the deep peat marsh deposits about
its south western end, will preserve adjacent environmental evidence
contemporary with the boundary's construction and periods of use. The
boundary's relationship to the local topography, continued by other linear
boundaries nearby, and its proximity to funerary and ceremonial monuments
broadly contemporary with its prehistoric construction, demonstrates well the
organisation of land use and the roles of linear boundaries during the Bronze
Age. The medieval reuse of the boundary shows the development of land use in
this moorland edge terrain since the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


consulted 1992, Carter, A/RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2277 & SX 2278,
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 1098.2; 1098.3; 1093,
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1098.2 (western sector only),
consulted 4/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1098.3,

Source: Historic England

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