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Deserted medieval site 1/2 mile (810m) west of Okehampton camp

A Scheduled Monument in Okehampton Hamlets, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7169 / 50°43'0"N

Longitude: -4.0172 / 4°1'1"W

OS Eastings: 257693.697257

OS Northings: 92751.294255

OS Grid: SX576927

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.B5YK

Mapcode Global: FRA 27G5.YLV

Entry Name: Deserted medieval site 1/2 mile (810m) W of Okehampton camp

Scheduled Date: 14 November 1977

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002655

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 991

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Okehampton Hamlets

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Okehampton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Summary

Deserted medieval settlement 900m south west of Moor Cottage.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a deserted medieval settlement situated on the lower north western slopes of Black Down. The settlement survives as up to three rectangular buildings, a pound and associated enclosures and hollow ways. Two of the buildings are parallel long houses measuring up to 18.3m long by 3.6m wide defined by rubble walls up to 0.5m high. The third building lies to the north east and is probably a barn with an associated enclosure. At the northern end of the eastern long house a small almost circular pound is attached. Hollow ways lead across the area to a nearby stream and out onto the open moor and there are traces of further enclosures.

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 provides direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, 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. Over 130 deserted medieval settlements are known on Dartmoor. Many of these are single abandoned farmsteads but the majority are small hamlets containing between two and six farmhouses. Documentary evidence indicates that most such settlements were established between the 11th and mid-14th centuries. Many of these were deserted by the close of the medieval period, possibly as a result of the Black Death or climatic changes, some where abandoned at a later period. Deserted medieval settlements are often visible as close groupings of small buildings, each containing a long house, its ancillary buildings and one or more adjacent small plots which served as kitchen gardens or stock pens. These components are arranged within the settlement around internal yards and trackways which led from the settlement to its associated fields, pasture and water supply. Long houses were the dominant type of farmhouse in upland settlements of south-west England. Rectangular in plan, usually with rubble or boulder outer walls and their long axis orientated down slope, the interiors of long houses were divided into two separate functional areas, an upslope domestic room and a downslope stock byre. The division between the two was usually provided by a cross passage of timber screens or rubble walling running transversely through the long house, linking opposed openings in the long side walls. Ancillary buildings were generally separated from the farmhouse itself. These additional structures served as barns, fuel or equipment stores and occasionally contained ovens and corn-drying kilns. While many settlements in Devon are known from documentary sources to be of medieval origin, well- preserved deserted sites are rare. Consequently, those on Dartmoor provide the main surviving source of evidence for the distinctive form and layout of medieval settlements in Devon. The deserted medieval settlement 900m south west of Moor Cottage survives well with boundary banks and rubble walls achieving a reasonable height. The buildings, banks, structures and enclosed areas will all contain significant archaeological and environmental information concerning the construction, use, occupation, development, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, abandonment and landscape context of the settlement.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:-1388152

Source: Historic England

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