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HER Number:MDV70970
Name:Medieval field system associated with Houndtor settlement


Areas of medieval strip field cultivation are located to the west, south and east of the medieval hamlet at Houndtor.


Grid Reference:SX 746 787
Map Sheet:SX77NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishManaton
Ecclesiastical ParishMANATON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77NW/7/13
  • Old SAM County Ref: 601
  • Old SAM Ref Revised: 28786

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Newman, P. + Probert, S. + Riley, H., 1994, Houndtor Down, Manaton, Devon - A New Survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England., 9 (Report - Survey). SDV344628.

Extensive field system surrounds the settlement at Hound Tor, although the relationship is unclear due to later cultivation and the 1960s excavation obscuring the evidence. Most of the medieval boundaries are corn ditches (substantial earth and stone banks, with an outer ditch), with less substantial banks forming internal divisions. Evidence of cultivation consists of lynchets and terraces on the eastern slopes; there is no identifiable ridge and furrow.

Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage, 2002, Houndtor: Deserted Medieval Settlement, 12-13 (Leaflet). SDV295904.

Extensive field system surrounding the hamlet of Houndtor which was farmed collectively by the inhabitants. The smaller fields located nearest to the settlement are identified as the infields and were worked regularly, using the technique of strip farming, meaning each farmer worked a number of strips of land scattered throughout the fields, to ensure a reasonable division of the better or more productive areas of land. Beyond the infields were the outfields, used mainly as pasture land for grazing stock animals. If necessary, however, these areas could be brought into cultivation. Areas of ridge and furrow can be seen, running east-west which were designed to improve the depth of soil and drainage. Corn ditches were mainly used throughout this period to help enclose stock and define the various enclosed blocks of land.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Leaflet: Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage. 2002. Houndtor: Deserted Medieval Settlement. A5 Stapled. 12-13.
  • Report - Survey: Newman, P. + Probert, S. + Riley, H.. 1994. Houndtor Down, Manaton, Devon - A New Survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A4 Spiral Bound. 9.

Associated Monuments

MDV7414Part of: Deserted Medieval Settlement at Hound Tor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 14 2010 3:53PM