Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Two pillow mounds 415m and 430m north east of Trowlesworthy Warren House forming part of Trowlesworthy Warren

A Scheduled Monument in Shaugh Prior, Devon

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 50.4672 / 50°28'2"N

Longitude: -4.0142 / 4°0'51"W

OS Eastings: 257149.7359

OS Northings: 64982.4562

OS Grid: SX571649

Mapcode National: GBR Q3.10PZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27GT.KY6

Entry Name: Two pillow mounds 415m and 430m north east of Trowlesworthy Warren House forming part of Trowlesworthy Warren

Scheduled Date: 16 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015754

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28794

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Shaugh Prior

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument, which falls into two areas of protection, includes two pillow
mounds situated on a north west facing slope of Little Trowlesworthy Tor
overlooking the valley of the River Plym. These mounds form part of
Trowlesworthy Warren, which includes around 64 pillow mounds and 40 vermin
traps scattered along the slopes of Little and Great Trowlesworthy Tors. The
boundaries of the warren are denoted by the River Plym, Spanish Lake and
Blacka Brook. Trowlesworthy Warren is generally accepted as the oldest
surviving warren on Dartmoor, although recently doubt has been expressed
concerning its medieval origins. It is however known that the warren existed
by 1651 when it was occupied by John Hamblin, a skinner from Plymouth. The
warren appears to have remained in constant use from this time until the first
half of the 20th century.
The southern mound survives as an 11.5m long, 4.1m wide and 0.8m high, flat-
topped, rectangular shaped mound of soil and stone which is revetted in places
with large boulders. A 1.9m wide and 0.3m deep ditch from which material was
quarried during its construction, surrounds the mound. The northern mound is
also rectangular and is 5.5m long, 3.2m wide and 0.6m high. A 1.8m wide and
0.4m deep quarry ditch surrounds the mound. Other archaeological features
surviving within the vicinity of this monument are the subject of separate
This monument is in the care of the Secretary of State.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 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.
Warrens are areas of land set aside for the breeding and management of rabbits
or hares. They usually include a series of purpose-built breeding places,
known as pillow mounds and buries, vermin traps and enclosures designed to
contain and protect the animals, and living quarters for the warrener who kept
charge of the warren.
Pillow mounds are low oblong-shaped mounds of soil and/or stones in which the
animals lived. They are usually between 15m and 40m long and between 5m and
10m wide. Most have a ditch around at least three sides to facilitate
drainage. Inside are a series of narrow interconnecting trenches. These were
excavated and covered with stone or turf before the mound was constructed.
Vermin traps of various kinds are found within most warrens. These include a
small stone-lined passage into which the predator was funnelled by a series of
ditches or walls. Over 100 vermin traps have been recorded on the Moor, with
the majority lying in the Plym Valley.
Warren boundaries were often defined by a combination of natural features such
as rivers. Within the warrens themselves smaller enclosed areas defined by a
ditch and bank are sometimes found, and some of these may have been
specialised breeding areas. Many of the warrens on the Moor contain a house in
which the warrener lived.
Most of the surviving warren earthworks probably date to between the 17th
century and the later 19th century, with some continuing in use into the early
20th century. At least 22 warrens are known to exist on the Moor and together
they contribute to our understanding of the medieval and post-medieval
exploitation of the area. All well-preserved warrens are considered worthy of

The two pillow mounds 415m and 430m north east of Trowlesworthy Warren House
form part of the nationally important Trowlesworthy Warren and contain
information relating to the exploitation of rabbits in the Upper Plym valley.
This valley contains the densest concentration of pillow mounds and other
structures associated with rabbit farming on the Moor.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, (1996)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.