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Ancient Fields in Manaton Parish, Dartmoor

  • Alfred H. Shorter

In the district around the valley of the West Webburn stream which cuts north-south through eastern Dartmoor, Grimspound seems to attract most attention. I have found no reference to the old field boundaries and terraces which lie in this district, mostly within the western part of the parish of Manaton. This article deals with fields within, or adjacent to, the Manaton parish boundary, but there are also sets of terraces which I have observed, but not yet explored, mainly to the east of the Widecombe-Grimspound road, opposite Blackaton Manor. These terraces appear to be very similar to those described here, and as they are outside Manaton parish the connexion between the terminations of some sets of terraces and the parish boundary which, from the plan, appears to be significant, must not be emphasized.

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2 Curwen, E.C., ‘Prehistoric Agriculture in Britain’, ANTIQUITY, 1927, 1, 283.

2 Hirst, F.C., ‘Notes upon three Excavation Sites in Zennor’, West Cornwall Field Club, p. 2.

3 O’Neill Hencken, H., ‘An Excavation by H.M. Office of Works at Chysauster, Cornwall, 1931’, Archaeologia 1933, 83, 238.

4 The capital letters refer to the sketch-plan.

5 In the offices of the Diocesan Registry, Cathedral Close, Exeter.

6 Ancient Cultivations at Housesteads, Northumberland’, ANTIQUITY, 1931, 5, 353. Hedley’s conclusions have been challenged, and different periods have been suggested by Eden, W.A., ‘The Housesteads Terraces’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology, Dec. 1937, 24, 156.

7 The Place-Names of Devon. English Place-Name Society, 1931, 8, introduction.

8 ibid. p. 529.

9 ibid. p. 481.

10 To the east of Hamel Down. On Dartmoor and its borders, and in other parts of Devon, there are examples of circular pounds and many fields, of various shapes and sizes, called ‘Bury’ or ‘Berry’.

11 e.g. The lynchets discussed by Curwen, E.C. in ‘Ancient Cultivations, ANTIQUITY, 1932, 6, 389.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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