Ancient Monuments

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Headland Warren boundary stone 570m NNE of Headland Warren Farm

A Scheduled Monument in North Bovey, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6198 / 50°37'11"N

Longitude: -3.8457 / 3°50'44"W

OS Eastings: 269530.210001

OS Northings: 81630.308001

OS Grid: SX695816

Mapcode National: GBR QC.27W5

Mapcode Global: FRA 27TF.KLF

Entry Name: Headland Warren boundary stone 570m NNE of Headland Warren Farm

Scheduled Date: 22 June 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021343

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34502

County: Devon

Civil Parish: North Bovey

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: North Bovey St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument includes a warren boundary stone set into a bank adjacent to
the public highway on a gentle south-facing slope overlooking the valley
of the West Webburn River. The boundary stone survives as a 0.37m high,
0.56m wide and 0.2m thick granite pillar with `Warren Bounds' inscribed on
the northern face.

The stone forms part of a group of at least 16 stones which denote the
edges of Headland Warren. Headland Warren covers about 246ha and includes
at least 37 pillow mounds, five vermin traps, six rectilinear enclosures
and the warren house itself. The warren was certainly in existence by 1754
and continued in use until around 1920.

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 Headland Warren boundary stone 570m NNE of Headland Warren Farm
together with at least a further 15 forms part of the best preserved group
of warren boundary stones on Dartmoor. This stone is notable for the full
inscription `Warren Bounds' which appears on its northern face.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Brewer, D, A field guide to the Boundary Makers on and around Dartmoor, (1986), 55-56

Source: Historic England

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