Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Warren in Whiddon Park

A Scheduled Monument in Chagford, Devon

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6891 / 50°41'20"N

Longitude: -3.804 / 3°48'14"W

OS Eastings: 272664.250723

OS Northings: 89270.232106

OS Grid: SX726892

Mapcode National: GBR QF.9SM1

Mapcode Global: FRA 27X8.3TS

Entry Name: Warren in Whiddon Park

Scheduled Date: 8 October 2007

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021398

English Heritage Legacy ID: 36027

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Chagford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Moretonhampstead St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument, which falls into four areas, includes at least eight pillow
mounds together forming a warren in Whiddon Park. The pillow mounds survive
as rectangular or circular mounds together with ditches from which material
was quarried during their construction. The rectangular mounds vary between
6.7m and 14m long, with the average being 10.3m and they stand between 0.7m
and 0.9m high. The circular pillow mound stands at NGR SX 72678922 and
measures 6.38m in diameter and stands 0.6m high. The warren is situated
within a deer park known as Whiddon Park which was established in the
mid-16th century and continued in use until the end of the 19th century.

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 warren in Whiddon Park survives well and unusually for Dartmoor is
associated with a deer park. Archaeological and environmental information
relating to the farming of rabbits will survive within the pillow mounds.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
National Trust, National Trust SMR - Castle Drogo, (1985)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.