Excavated sites referable to the earlier first millennium B.C. are rare in the south-west peninsula. Although Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor exhibit well preserved Bronze Age landscapes, most of the upland settlements are attributed to the second millennium and there are few which on present evidence fall within the succeeding centuries (Silvester 1979). Beyond the granite moors, pottery from Kent's Cavern, Torquay and the Mount Batten peninsula, near Plymouth, suggest sporadic occupation, while radiocarbon dates from Killibury in Cornwall imply activity prior to the construction of the hillfort (Miles 1977, 111). Yet such is the imbalance of archaeological activity in the region that even in well worked areas such as west Cornwall, few sites of relevant date can be readily identified. In Devon, other than on Dartmoor and Exmoor, the limestone plateaux around Torbay provide the only surface evidence of open settlements. A small proportion of the modern fields and woods on the limestone preserve groups of clearance cairns and rubble banks of varying complexity; many of these are undoubtedly medieval in date, but in two locations at Dainton, also known as Miltor Mator Common (SX 859668), and Walls Hill, Torquay (SX 935651), there are the unobtrusive remains of rectangular field systems. The former consisted of a minimum of perhaps ten fields, averaging just over 0·4 ha. in area, and randomly spaced cairns, most of which are presumably contemporary (fig. 1). Part of Walls Hill is covered by dense ashwood scrub, a recurring feature of the limestone plateaux, but on the cliff top are the vestiges of nine fields which are generally of smaller size than those at Dainton. That these sites survive is fortuitous but perhaps not surprising; the soil on the plateau is well-drained but normally less than 0·3 m in depth (Clayden, 1971, 122). Loose rock occurs frequently and occasional outcrops add to the problems of agricultural use. Consequently the limestone hills tend to be given over to permanent pasture and are ploughed only rarely.