Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Part of Eylesbarrow watershed reave

A Scheduled Monument in Meavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4736 / 50°28'24"N

Longitude: -4.0352 / 4°2'6"W

OS Eastings: 255679.732232

OS Northings: 65726.986045

OS Grid: SX556657

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.TMB0

Mapcode Global: FRA 27FT.3S6

Entry Name: Part of Eylesbarrow watershed reave

Scheduled Date: 18 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011990

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10669

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Meavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The Dartmoor reaves are part of a highly elaborate and extensive system of
Prehistoric land division, introduced some time around 1700 BC. The reaves
consist of simple linear stone and earth banks used to mark out discrete
territories, some of which are tens of kilometres in area. The systems are
defined by parallel, contour and watershed reaves, dividing the lower land
from the grazing zones of the higher Moor.
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 of the reave runs for c.300m
through the enclosed Brisworthy Plantation and appears as a low grassy bank
up to 2.5m in width and 0.5m in height. The beeches of the plantation grow
on and beside the reave and there are short lengths where it is harder to
discern due to tree-damage. To the north-east the reave is cut by a hollow
way immediately outside the plantation enclosure, it then continues across
Ringmoor Down; to the south-west it emerges alongside a track proceeding
towards Wigford Down.

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. They have important implications for
studying Prehistoric land divisions and communal systems of land-holding not
just in this region but also nationally.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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