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Coaxial fields and prehistoric settlements 180m north and 350m north west of Hartland Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6052 / 50°36'18"N

Longitude: -3.92 / 3°55'11"W

OS Eastings: 264232.410257

OS Northings: 80148.182029

OS Grid: SX642801

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.J6TM

Mapcode Global: FRA 27PG.LN9

Entry Name: Coaxial fields and prehistoric settlements 180m north and 350m north west of Hartland Tor

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1977

Last Amended: 22 June 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021336

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34495

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Widecombe-in-the-Moor St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument includes a group of coaxial fields and associated prehistoric
settlements extending from the western side of the East Dart River over
the western and eastern slopes of Hartland Tor. The coaxial fields survive
as a group of fields arranged on a single east-west prevailing axis,
subdivided by transverse boundaries. The boundaries survive as stony banks
measuring up to 2m wide and 0.4m high. Within the area defined by the
fields there are two settlements. The western settlement straddles the
East Dart River and survives as a sub rectangular enclosure denoted by a
rubble bank measuring up to 3m wide and standing up to 0.5m high. The
interior of the enclosure measures 150m east-west by 120m north-south and
contains at least three stone hut circles. This enclosure forms the
western edge of the coaxial fields which contain the second settlement.
This settlement includes at least four stone hut circles and five small
enclosures.
Within the coaxial fields forming the eastern side of the monument are
traces of ridge and furrow which is aligned east-west on an east facing
slope.

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

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 fields and prehistoric settlements 180m north and 350m north
west of Hartland Tor survive well and will contain archaeological and
environmental information relating to the use of this area during the
prehistoric period. These fields form part of the Stannon block system
which is the most extensive and best preserved of the block systems on
Dartmoor.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 40
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 42
Other
SX 68 SW 66, NMR, English Heritage, NMR Monument Report, (2003)
SX 68 SW 81, NMR, English Heritage, NMR Monument Report, (2003)

Source: Historic England

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