Ancient Monuments

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Coaxial field system and prehistoric settlement 410m west of Cox Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.567 / 50°34'1"N

Longitude: -4.0833 / 4°4'59"W

OS Eastings: 252556.1777

OS Northings: 76213.9046

OS Grid: SX525762

Mapcode National: GBR NZ.FM08

Mapcode Global: FRA 27BK.P1N

Entry Name: Coaxial field system and prehistoric settlement 410m west of Cox Tor

Scheduled Date: 18 September 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020090

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22361

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument, which falls into four separate areas of protection, includes a
group of coaxial fields and an associated stone hut circle settlement situated
on a west facing slope of Cox Tor overlooking much of West Devon and East
Cornwall. The coaxial fields form part of the Whitchurch Common coaxial field
system and survive as rubble banks leading off at right angles from a terminal
reave. At least seven fields survive together with eight stone hut circles,
all of which lie in the southern part of the system. The stone hut circles
survive as rubble or orthostatic walls each surrounding a circular internal
area between 3.5m and 8m in diameter. The surrounding walls measure up to 0.7m
high and one hut has a visible doorway.

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.

The coaxial field system and prehistoric settlement 410m west of Cox Tor
survive well and form part of a particularly well-preserved palimpsest on the
lower slopes of Cox Tor. This coaxial field system is the westernmost on the
Moor and provides an important contrast to the more developed examples that
survive elsewhere.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2000)
Title: Cox Tor Survey
Source Date: 1991
1:2500 plan

Source: Historic England

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