Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Part of Penn Moor contour reave

A Scheduled Monument in Cornwood, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4486 / 50°26'54"N

Longitude: -3.9724 / 3°58'20"W

OS Eastings: 260060.481034

OS Northings: 62828.403488

OS Grid: SX600628

Mapcode National: GBR Q4.85F4

Mapcode Global: FRA 27KV.XYH

Entry Name: Part of Penn Moor contour reave

Scheduled Date: 22 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012807

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10783

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Cornwood

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This contour reave, which runs in an almost straight line across the slope of
Penn Moor, is some 500m in length and runs from a point east of Rook watershed
reave in the west to Ford Brook in the east. It is considered likely that it
continued eastwards for a further 1.3km to the River Yealm but its probable
course is overlain by a newtake wall, beneath which the remains of the reave
would lie. The reave is an important element of the south-west Dartmoor reave
system. This part of the reave runs from its western end, some 20m east of
Penn Beacon settlement on Rook Reave, for some 170m to a gap in which the
reave has been robbed over a distance of c.10m. The reave consists of a bank
of smallish boulders with occasional large natural boulders and is up to 3m in
width and 0.75m in height.

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. 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 (c.2000-700 BC). 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 provide 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.

This contour reave forms an important element of the south-west Dartmoor reave

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), Fig 5
SX66SW-141, 142, 229, 240, SX66SW-141, 142, 229, 240, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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