Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Part of Eylesbarrow Reave

A Scheduled Monument in Meavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4757 / 50°28'32"N

Longitude: -4.0319 / 4°1'54"W

OS Eastings: 255918.930248

OS Northings: 65959.267487

OS Grid: SX559659

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.TG5Y

Mapcode Global: FRA 27FS.YWG

Entry Name: Part of Eylesbarrow Reave

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017396

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10629

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 Reave is a watershed reave which separates the watershed of the
Plym from that of the Meavy. It extends from the Plym at Cadworthy Wood to
the summit of Eylesbarrow, a distance of approximately 6km. Though the reave
can be traced from end to end, there are now gaps along its length which
result in its preservation in separate sections of unequal length. This part
emerges a few metres from the enclosure of Brisworthy Plantation, the
building of which probably incorporates stone from the reave, and it runs
north-east up the western slope of Ringmoor Down for a distance of c.300m.
It is truncated at a gap which co-incides with the position of a cairn on
the south-east side of the reave. The reave is composed of small stones and
earth and is up to 2m in width and 0.4m in height. It is wider and higher at
the south-western end, though this, and ditching along the south-east side
and end is probably the product of later modification and work on the
plantation intake. A recent track also crosses the south-western end. A
stone alignment and cairn lie c.500m to the south-east of the reave.

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. Eylesbarrow Reave is a major
watershed reave in the South Dartmoor system. This part is immediately
associated with a cairn and is within a few hundred metres of several
ceremonial and funerary monuments.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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