Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Crazy Well Farmstead, 420m south of Crazy Well Pool

A Scheduled Monument in Walkhampton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.513 / 50°30'46"N

Longitude: -4.0029 / 4°0'10"W

OS Eastings: 258086.852756

OS Northings: 70049.300588

OS Grid: SX580700

Mapcode National: GBR Q2.Y3L4

Mapcode Global: FRA 27HP.Y22

Entry Name: Crazy Well Farmstead, 420m south of Crazy Well Pool

Scheduled Date: 19 February 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020225

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24068

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Walkhampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument includes an historic farmstead situated on a moderately steep
south facing slope overlooking Newleycombe Lake. The largest and earliest
component of the site is a longhouse structure built along the prevailing
slope. The longhouse measures 8.7m long by 3.8m wide and is denoted by low
rubble walling and earthworks. A small outshut built against the western wall
of the longhouse measures 1.8m long by 1.6m wide and is denoted by drystone
walling. Attached to the eastern side of the longhouse is another room and
this measures 3.8m long by 2.2m wide. East of this room is a substantial
rectangular room which is entered through a doorway whose lintel remains 1.6m
high above the ground surface. The walls of this room stand up to 1.7m high
and this structure probably represents the site of the final farmhouse. The
farmstead is associated with two small enclosures. The northern one is
triangular in shape whilst the southern one, representing the farmyard, is
irregular in shape. A small open ended building at the southern end of the
farmyard measures 3.4m long by 2.2m wide and may represent the site of a shed.
Crazy Well Farm is first documented in 1585, but probably existed for some
time before this date. The farmstead was probably abandoned in the later part
of the 19th century when its lands were absorbed into neighbouring Kingsett
Built into the northern side of the gateway leading into the farmyard from
the west is a dressed granite pillar with a small hole in its top. This
pillar is almost certainly the shaft of a displaced wayside cross. The pillar
tapers slightly upward and measures 1.03m high by up to 0.33m wide by 0.25m
thick. The hole in the top may have been used to attach the cross head to the

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 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
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
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.

Crazy Well Farmstead, 420m south of Crazy Well Pool survives well and contains
archaeological, architectural and environmental information relating to early
post-medieval upland farming practices.

Source: Historic England


Haynes, R.G., Ruined Sites on Dartmoor - Middleworth, 1966, Unpublished Manuscript
Haynes, R.G., Ruined Sites on Dartmoor - Middleworth, 1966, Unpublished Manuscript

Source: Historic England

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