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Three pillow mounds adjacent to Longaford Tor forming an outlying part of a rabbit warren on the western slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5845 / 50°35'4"N

Longitude: -3.9575 / 3°57'27"W

OS Eastings: 261515.135396

OS Northings: 77914.353176

OS Grid: SX615779

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.5H7N

Mapcode Global: FRA 27LJ.B1R

Entry Name: Three pillow mounds adjacent to Longaford Tor forming an outlying part of a rabbit warren on the western slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors

Scheduled Date: 12 March 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020879

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34454

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

The monument, which falls into three separate areas of protection,
includes three pillow mounds situated near the summit of Longaford Tor,
within Longaford Newtake. The northern pillow mound survives as a 12.2m
long, 4m wide and 0.9m high, flat-topped, oblong-shaped mound of soil and
stone surrounded on three sides by the 2m wide and 0.4m deep ditch from
which material was quarried during its construction. The sides of the
mound are mostly very steep with drystone revetment showing in places. The
middle mound which is also revetted measures 8.9m long, 4.5m wide, up to
0.8m high and its quarry ditch is 2m wide and up to 0.3m deep. The
southern pillow mound is 10.6m long, 4.6m wide and up to 0.7m high, with
steep sides suggesting the presence of a revetment which survives as a
buried feature. The quarry ditch measures 2.5m wide and up to 0.2m deep.
These pillow mounds form an outlying part of a substantial warren which
survives on the western slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors and
includes at least 32 pillow mounds and a warreners' house. A warren is
known to have been established in this area in 1895 by James Saltroun of
Powder Mills and was abandoned sometime before 1914. Some of the pillow
mounds may belong to an earlier undocumented warren however.

MAP EXTRACT
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 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
protection.

The three pillow mounds adjacent to Longaford Tor survive well and form an
outlying part of a substantial and well-preserved warren on the western
slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors. These pillow mounds will contain
information relating to their individual construction and use as well as
contributing to the importance of the warren as a whole.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Title: Cherrybrook and Longaford Survey
Source Date: 1989
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:
1:10000 plan

Source: Historic England

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