Ancient Monuments

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Deserted post-medieval farmstead and part of the surrounding field system at High House Waste

A Scheduled Monument in Cornwood, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4452 / 50°26'42"N

Longitude: -3.9578 / 3°57'27"W

OS Eastings: 261089.13129

OS Northings: 62425.478273

OS Grid: SX610624

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.GH4G

Mapcode Global: FRA 27LW.9XS

Entry Name: Deserted post-medieval farmstead and part of the surrounding field system at High House Waste

Scheduled Date: 23 March 1960

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003182

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 447

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Cornwood

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument includes a deserted post-medieval farmstead with part its surrounding field system situated on High House Waste in the valley of the Broadall Lake. The farmstead survives as four separate buildings, a yard, a length of hollow way and part of the field system which surrounds the farmstead. The cottage measures 14.8m long by 4.9m internally defined by coursed, small boulder mortared walls measuring up to 0.8m wide and 1.2m high, with well dressed quoins. It has three internal rooms, the central of which has the tumbled remains of a fireplace. On the southern face is a rectangular annexe, probably a porch, which leads onto the farmyard. To the west of the cottage is a second rectangular building measuring up to 4.5m long and 2.5m wide internally, it also leads onto the yard. To the south of the yard is the third building which survives as a rectangular building with two rounded corners, built of roughly coursed walls and measuring up to 5.5m long by 5.3m wide internally. Approximately 70m to the south east of the cottage on the east side of the hollow way, the fourth building survives as a rectangular low-walled structure measuring 15.2m long by 3.5m wide internally and is probably an earlier longhouse. Much of the original field system connected with the farmstead survives but this has not all been formally assessed so only that part adjacent to the farmstead is included in the scheduling.

Sources: DNPA HER:-SX66SW95
PastScape Monument No:-442371

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. Of more than 600 post-medieval farmsteads recorded on Dartmoor, around 100 are now deserted. Although some of these were established as late as the 18th and 19th centuries, many have their origin as medieval settlements, some perhaps dating back to as early as the 11th century. Those founded in the post- medieval period represent a time in which arable farming increased in popularity on the Moor, resulting in a large number of new farms being built on previously unenclosed moorland. Many of these farms were abandoned after a relatively short time and provide rare examples of planned single-period farmsteads. Most deserted post-medieval farmsteads survive as single farmhouses associated with a variety of outbuildings, including: ash houses, barns, cow houses, dairies, hulls, stables, linhays, shippons, cartsheds, dog kennels and lavatories. Other features commonly found with farmsteads include gardens and a farmyard which acted as a focal point for many farming activities. In most cases, deserted post-medieval farmsteads are associated with contemporary field systems, many of which still remain in use for grazing or cultivation. Deserted post-medieval farmsteads will provide information about the developing character of agricultural exploitation within an upland landscape during the historic period, and reflect a response to changing environmental and economic conditions. Surviving examples are relatively rare away from the moorland areas in south west England, and consequently those on Dartmoor provide a major source of evidence for this type of site. The deserted post-medieval farmstead at High House Waste survives comparatively well and will retain evidence for the lengthy use of this location for farming given that one of the buildings is probably of medieval origin. The presence of the cottage, outbuildings, yard and part of the field system will contain archaeological end environmental evidence relating to its development, use, abandonment and the agricultural practices which were employed.

Source: Historic England

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