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HER Number:MDV7423
Name:Deserted Medieval Settlement north-east of Hound Tor


Hound Tor II lies 350 metres north of the more famous site and remains consist of three rectangular Medieval buildings within a probable prehistoric enclosure. Excavation in the mid 20th century suggested that stone houses on the site dated to the 12th or 13th centuries and that these were preceded by turf-walled houses of perhaps the 11th century. The whole farmstead overlies what are probably Bronze Age hut circles.


Grid Reference:SX 745 790
Map Sheet:SX77NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishManaton
Ecclesiastical ParishMANATON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 445183
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77NW/10
  • Old SAM County Ref: 901
  • Old SAM Ref: 28786

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))
  • LONGHOUSE (XIII - 1201 AD to 1300 AD)

Full description

Cambridge University, 03/05/1971, CUC/BFF, BFF 51 (Aerial Photograph). SDV308638.

National Monuments Record, 14/04/1977, SX7479, SX7479/1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV308631.

Royal Air Force, 1961, 58/4424, 58/4424/F42.0108 (Aerial Photograph). SDV280247.

Minter, E. M., 1962-1963, Interim Reports and Plan, 339 (Article in Serial). SDV307242.

Minter, E. M., 1965, Interim Report, 211-212 (Article in Serial). SDV307266.

Linehan, C. D., 1966, Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon, 119, Table 2, Fig. 50 (Article in Serial). SDV307246.

Houndtor II. Six buildings with enclosures.

Minter, E. M., 1972 - 1973, 11 Years of Archaeological Work on Dartmoor, 117-118 (Article in Serial). SDV307263.

The second hut circle was made into a pen but the insertion of a stone partition. Turf-walled houses possibly date to the early 12th century.

National Monuments Record, 1977, SX7478, SX7478/5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV345710.

Beresford, G., 1979, Three Deserted Medieval Settlements on Dartmoor: a Report on the Late E. Marie Minter's Excavations, 98-158 (Article in Serial). SDV307264.

Excavated by E. M. Minter. House and two barns built within a subcircular late Bronze Age pound. The stone 13th century longhouse was divided into three rooms. A rectangular barn had been built parallel to the longhouse and was linked to it by an enclosed yard. The barn had been built into the remnants of one or two prehistoric hut circles. A corn-drying barn was located near the second hut circle. A sequence of superimposed turf-walled houses preceded the longhouse. Stake holes were associated with the 13th century byre.

Austin, D., 1985, Dartmoor and the Upland Village of the South West, 71-79 (Article in Monograph). SDV217979.

Austin casts doubt on the interpretation of turf buildings and stakeholes and discusses similar south-western sites.

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

Houndtor farmstead, centred SX 745 791, is located 350m north of Houndtor settlement (MDV7414). The site lies on a level shelf midway down the eastern slope of the Hound Tor massif, 250m from the tor itself. The farmstead consists of three rectangular buildings, with associated enclosures. This overlies a small prehistoric settlement containing two hut circles and some vestigial enclosure walls. Two of the rectangular buildings were excavated by Minter in the 1960s and spoil dumps from this activity have obscured parts of the enclosure walls. Beresford (1979, figs 3 and 4) was able to assign elements of the site to the prehistoric or medieval period. However, the disturbances caused by the excavations has left the current remains difficult to interpret.
The prehistoric enclosure depicted on Beresford's plan (1979, fig 4) is incomplete over much of its circuit and is, in places, obscured beneath excavation spoil. The small ovoid northeastern section of the enclosure on Beresford's plan is now marked by a crescentic earth bank and a short, curved length of wall, forming a circular level platform. The remaining sections of outer enclosure and interconnecting internal walls are built on a similar alignment to the longhouse (house 1) and are likely to be of the same constuctional phase or later. A linear bank which runs towards the site from the north has been truncated by the curved enclosure and terminates just beyond it, though a vestige is visible within the enclosed area. This undoubtedly predates all elements of the farmstead and is likely to have a prehistoric origin (see archive report for further details).

English Heritage, 2005, Medieval Survey Information (Report - Survey). SDV345602.

Houndtor Farmstead (Houndtor 2) Deserted Medieval Farmstead overlying Bronze Age Hut Circle.
Map object based on this source.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Two of the three rectangular buildings clearly visible on the aerial photography.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX77NW/63 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV308633.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Article in Monograph: Austin, D.. 1985. Dartmoor and the Upland Village of the South West. Medieval Villages. 5. Unknown. 71-79.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1961. 58/4424. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 58/4424/F42.0108.
  • Article in Serial: Minter, E. M.. 1972 - 1973. 11 Years of Archaeological Work on Dartmoor. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 16. Unknown. 117-118.
  • Article in Serial: Minter, E. M.. 1962-1963. Interim Reports and Plan. Medieval Archaeology. 6-7. 339.
  • Article in Serial: Beresford, G.. 1979. Three Deserted Medieval Settlements on Dartmoor: a Report on the Late E. Marie Minter's Excavations. Medieval Archaeology. 23. Unknown. 98-158.
  • Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1966. Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon. Medieval Archaeology. 10. Digital. 119, Table 2, Fig. 50.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX77NW/63. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 03/05/1971. CUC/BFF. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Unknown. BFF 51.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 14/04/1977. SX7479. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown. SX7479/1.
  • Article in Serial: Minter, E. M.. 1965. Interim Report. Medieval Archaeology. 9. Unknown. 211-212.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. SX7478. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). SX7478/5.
  • Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
  • Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Medieval Survey Information. English Heritage Report. Digital.
  • 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.

Associated Monuments

MDV7414Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement at Hound Tor (Monument)
MDV58421Related to: ENCLOSURE in the Parish of Manaton (Monument)
MDV58422Related to: HUT CIRCLE in the Parish of Manaton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 8 2014 2:37PM