Ancient Monuments

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Pillow mound on Langstone Moor, 870m south east of White Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5858 / 50°35'8"N

Longitude: -4.0482 / 4°2'53"W

OS Eastings: 255099.093763

OS Northings: 78228.377662

OS Grid: SX550782

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.DHZ7

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DJ.BNX

Entry Name: Pillow mound on Langstone Moor, 870m south east of White Tor

Scheduled Date: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021053

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34465

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

The monument includes a pillow mound situated on a gentle west facing slope on
Langstone Moor overlooking the valley of the River Tavy. The pillow mound
stands on a natural island surrounded by wet peat deposits and is orientated
north to south. The mound is 7m long by 3m wide and stands up to 0.6m high.
The ditch from which material was quarried during its construction surrounds
the mound and measures 0.9m wide by 0.3m deep. Surrounding the outer edge of
the ditch is a 1.5m wide bank standing up to 0.3m high.


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 pillow mound on Langstone Moor, 870m south east of White Tor survives
very well and will contain archaeological and environmental information
concerning this very unusual pillow mound. The presence of a bank
surrounding the pillow mound's ditch makes this site notable and
especially worth protecting. No other pillow mounds are known to survive
in the area and this together with no known context for it enhances its
importance.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)

Source: Historic England

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