Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Middleworth farmstead, 450m south east of Norsworthy Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5049 / 50°30'17"N

Longitude: -4.0155 / 4°0'55"W

OS Eastings: 257170.947705

OS Northings: 69172.132752

OS Grid: SX571691

Mapcode National: GBR Q2.YLC6

Mapcode Global: FRA 27GQ.KG3

Entry Name: Middleworth farmstead, 450m south east of Norsworthy Bridge

Scheduled Date: 11 February 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020236

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22394

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument includes a farmstead situated on a south facing terrace at
Middleworth overlooking the Narrator Brook. The farmstead survives as a
series of drystone walls denoting the position of the farmhouse and a range of
outbuildings and paddocks. At the eastern end of the complex a barn remains
standing to its original height, but all the other buildings have lost their
upper levels.
The farmhouse survives as a rectangular building with drystone walls standing
up to 1.7m high in which at least two window openings are visible. The
interior of this structure measures 8.6m long by 7.5m wide and a bank
protruding south from the building may represent the site of a porch. An
outshut attached to the eastern wall stands up to 1.5m high. East of the
farmhouse is the barn, which is subdivided into at least five separate rooms.
South of the farmhouse is a small structure subdivided into four rooms, one of
which represents a lavatory. In the south western part of the farmstead are
a further three barns and a paddock.
The settlement at Middleworth is first documented in 1281 and it would appear
to have remained in constant occupation until it was abandoned in the 1920s.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity
in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains
needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been
divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive
mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided
into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have
gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the extensive south-west Peninsula sub-Province of the
Northern and Western Province, an area climatically, culturally and physically
distinct from the rest of England. It includes varying terrains, from the
granite uplands, through rolling dissected plateaux to fertile clay lowlands
in the east. While nucleated settlements are present, notably in the Devon
Lowlands and throughout the South Hams, many originated as small towns, and a
high proportion may be of later date. Excluding only the moorland masses, the
sub-Province is characterised by medium and high densities of dispersed
settlements; indeed, some of the former industrial areas had densities as high
as any in the country.
The Dartmoor local region is a high, undulating moorland scenically and
climatically distinct. The inner core, now treeless, is the ancient `Forest of
Dartmoor', while an outer ring of commons provides grazing for a number of
communities outside the Forest. Almost devoid of nucleated settlement, the
region has extremely low densities of dispersed settlement. Scattered
farmsteads and hamlets with irregular enclosed fields appear in peripheral
valleys, while above the present head-dyke are numerous traces of abandoned
settlements and fields.

Middleworth farmstead, 450m south east of Norsworthy Bridge survives well
and will contain archaeological, architectural and environmental information
relating to the occupation of this settlement throughout much of the historic
period. This farmstead forms part of a discrete group of historic settlements
in this area which were all abandoned in the early part of the 20th century.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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