Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Tramp's Shelter, Chudleigh Rocks

A Scheduled Monument in Chudleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5962 / 50°35'46"N

Longitude: -3.6025 / 3°36'8"W

OS Eastings: 286675.197965

OS Northings: 78607.668678

OS Grid: SX866786

Mapcode National: GBR QR.1XSV

Mapcode Global: FRA 37BH.J9X

Entry Name: Tramp's Shelter, Chudleigh Rocks

Scheduled Date: 6 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017681

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10721

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Chudleigh

Built-Up Area: Chudleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Chudleigh St Martin and St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Tramp's Shelter or Tramps's Hole is located on the south side of the Kate
Brook Valley, 21m above the valley floor. The cave is situated halfway up the
steep limestone bluff and has a south-west facing entrance. The mouth of the
cave is about 6m wide and 2-3m high, forming a cavity approximately 10m deep.
The back of the shelter is choked with large limestone blocks and stalagmitic
deposits. There are considerable remaining deposits on either side of the cave
which appear to be overlain by stalagmites. Small-scale excavations in the
1960s revealed small quantities of Upper Palaeolithic artefacts and fauna.
Subsequent investigations confirmed the presence of further undisturbed
material of this age and charcoal remains. The monument includes the whole of
the cave and its contained deposits as far as the drip line at the entrance.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Palaeolithic caves and rock shelters provide some of the earliest evidence of
human activity in the period from about 400,000 to 10,000 years ago. The
sites, all natural topographic features, occur mainly in hard limestone in the
north and west of the country, although examples also exist in the softer
rocks of south-east England. Evidence for human occupation is often located
near the cave entrances, close to the rock walls or on the exterior platforms.
The interiors sometimes served as special areas for disposal and storage or
were places where material naturally accumulated from the outside. Because of
the special conditions of deposition and preservation, organic and other
fragile materials often survive well and in stratigraphic association. Caves
and rock shelters are therefore of major importance for understanding this
period. Due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their
longevity as a monument type, all examples with good survival of deposits are
considered to be nationally important.

Tramp's Shelter is one of three caves in the valley known to contain
significant Palaeolithic deposits. Although partly excavated the cave retains
considerable potential for the preservation of archaeological and
environmental evidence.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Campbell, J B, The Upper Palaeolithic of Britain, (1977)
Rosenfeld, A, 'Exeter and its Region' in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, (1969), 129-136
Collcutt, S N, The Analysis of Quaternary Cave Sediments, 1984, D Phil thesis
SX87NE-064, REF SX87NE-064, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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