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Medieval tenement boundary between Louden Hill and King Arthur's Downs

A Scheduled Monument in St. Breward, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5789 / 50°34'43"N

Longitude: -4.639 / 4°38'20"W

OS Eastings: 213257.222116

OS Northings: 78784.451271

OS Grid: SX132787

Mapcode National: GBR N6.DVLP

Mapcode Global: FRA 175J.NKD

Entry Name: Medieval tenement boundary between Louden Hill and King Arthur's Downs

Scheduled Date: 9 May 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019887

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15552

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Breward

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breward

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The scheduling includes a medieval boundary along the eastern side of the low
ridge from Louden Hill to King Arthur's Downs on north western Bodmin Moor. In
the organisation of the medieval landscape, this boundary marked the divide
between common grazing and cross-moor access routes over the top of the ridge
from private grazing along the ridge's eastern margin.
The boundary survives over a total length of 895m NNE-SSW, running into marsh
at each end. It is visible over most of its length as an earthen bank,
generally 2.5m wide and up to 0.3m high, accompanied along its western side by
a ditch, now largely silted, averaging 1.75m wide and 0.15m deep. Its visible
profile reduces due to subsequent peat development as it approaches each end
and again as it passes across a broad trough centred 250m from its SSW end.
This boundary's course marks off the ridge's eastern lower slope, defined to
the east and across both ends by the boggy ground of Garrow Marsh, as a
detached area of private grazing pertaining to one of the medieval
landholdings or tenements at Casehill or Candra, beyond this scheduling to the
south west. In doing so, the boundary also defines the former limit of common
grazing and a cross-moor route for people, stock and goods on the higher
ground to its west.
In its wider context, this boundary forms part of an extensive pattern of
medieval tenement boundaries which survive, beyond this scheduling, across
much of north western Bodmin Moor.

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

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of
prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human
exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The
well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time.

Medieval tenement boundaries marked on the ground the legally defined limits
of a landholding pertaining to a settlement, demarcating it from the land of a
neighbouring settlement, common land or routeway. In some cases the artificial
boundary simply completed a legal boundary otherwise defined by a natural
feature, commonly a water-course or marsh. Some tenements held one or more
areas separate from their core area containing the settlement, these dispersed
areas also defined in part or whole by tenement boundaries. Major expansion of
settlement onto the higher ground on Bodmin Moor from the 11th to 14th
centuries AD led to extensive acquisition of former common grazing land by
these new settlements, partitioning large tracts by means of the tenement
boundaries but maintaining other areas as a common resource for grazing, peat-
cutting and moorstone working, and for cross-moor movement of stock and
people. Following a large scale retraction and redistribution of settlement
from the later 14th century, many tenements contracted or were abandoned
altogether, rendering their earlier boundaries obselete and crossing much
enlarged areas of common land. The form of such boundaries can vary
considerably. They commonly appear as an earthen bank with a ditch along its
outer side relative to the tenement's area, but on occasion they may be a much
slighter rubble line showing only the legal boundary of a settlement's rights
and management responsibilities rather than a physical stock-proof boundary.
By contrast, other tenement boundaries remained in use into the post-medieval
period, sometimes to the present day, with repeated refurbishment modifying
their form to substantial hedgebanks or occasionally drystone walling.
Medieval tenement boundaries provide valuable evidence for the organisation of
the medieval landscape on Bodmin Moor, especially where their original pattern
survives extensively. They reveal the nature of the tenements themselves,
their relationship with the common land, the provision of routeways, the
nature and sequence of colonisation of the higher ground and the influence of
the topography on medieval land use.
The medieval tenement boundary between Louden Hill and King Arthur's Downs
survives well and to its full length, showing clearly its close relationship
with the topography in enclosing an area of grazing otherwise defined by the
marsh. With the other tenement boundaries visible across a large tract of
north west Bodmin Moor, it forms an integral part of one of the most extensive
medieval landscape survivals nationally and whose interpretation formed the
subject of a specific case-study published as part of the Bodmin Moor
archaeological survey.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Johnson, N, Rose, P, 'The Human Landscape to c 1800' in Bodmin Moor An Archaeological Survey, (1994)
Johnson, N, Rose, P, 'The Human Landscape to c 1800' in Bodmin Moor An Archaeological Survey, (1994)
In Bodmin Moor Survey archive, Carter A/RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots for km squares SX 1378-9, (1980)
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map SX 17 NW
Source Date: 1983

Source: Historic England

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