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HER Number:MDV103100
Name:Lower Lowton Farmstead, Fernworthy


Lower Lowton is depicted on a map of 1798 but was described as in ruins in about 1825. The farmhouse is depicted as a ruin on the 1888 Ordnance Survey map. The reservoir perimeter road was built through the western end of the house in the 20th century. Remains of the eastern end of the house and part of the perimeter wall survive under vegetation.


Grid Reference:SX 662 835
Map Sheet:SX68SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMSTEAD (First mentioned, XVIII - 1701 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Farmstead or homestead marked as Lower Loughten comprising two buildings.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Buliding shown but site not named.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Lowton marked, adjacent to the Lowton Brook, comprising a rectangular building with an attached yard which possibly contains small adjoining buildings.

Newman , P., 2013, The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon, 38-41, Figs 32, 41 (Report - Survey). SDV351784.

Lowton is shown on a map of 1796. The colours used to delineate the fields suggest that the land belonging to the farm had been absorbed into Fernworthy Farm. A catalogue to a map dated about 1825 describes both Higher and Lower Lowton as in ruins. The site is outside of the boundary of the current survey area but it is understood that some remains survive under the dense vegetation.

Newman , P., 2013, The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon. Supplement. The Lakeside Area and Lowton Farmsteads, 21-24, 30, Figs. 23-25 (Report - Survey). SDV356884.

The earliest cartographic evidence for Lowton is on an estate map of 1798. At this time it comprised a rectangular house oriented west-south-west to east-north-east with an entrance on both long sides. A second smaller rectangular building is shown to the south and a third, squared structure to the north. The depictions on an 1825 map of Fernworthy and the 1839 Ordnance Survey map are similar to that of 1798, although it is marked as a ruin in 1825. Only the house is shown, as a ruin, on the 1888 first edition Ordnance Survey map. The course of the 20th century reservoir perimeter road was to overlay the western side of the house and it is no longer shown on modern mapping.
The farmstead is located on a broadly level terrace near the bottom of a slope. An upstanding granite drystone wall surviving for the most part to its original height of about 1.0 metre, defines the eastern and northern section of the yard and terrace. This conforms basically to the plan shown on the 1888 map and its style and condition reflects its post 1839 construction. Near the northern end of the yard are the remains of the farmhouse. It is likely that only about half the house is now visible, the western end now buried beneath a modern scarp resulting from creation of the modern road. Parts of the two long walls survive as low parallel linear banks about 5.0 metres apart and 0.3-0.4 metres high and a stony line joining the eastern ends is probably represent the remains of the end wall. A cluster of stones in an 'L' shape may represent the walls of an external structure, although it does not coincide with anything depicted on the early maps. There are also traces of a stone revetment extending south from the western end of the house but it is partially buried by the modern scarp and much disturbed by tree roots.
Although the farmstead has been partially destroyed and the remains are not very impressive it is suggested that vegetation levels be monitored nevertheless and the site included within future interpretation schemes.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV351784Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2013. The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon. Digital + A4. 38-41, Figs 32, 41.
SDV356884Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2013. The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon. Supplement. The Lakeside Area and Lowton Farmsteads. Newman, P.. A4 Comb Bound. 21-24, 30, Figs. 23-25.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6203 - Archaeological Survey of Fernworthy Forest
  • EDV6533 - Archaeological Survey of South-West Lakeside Trust Land around Fernworthy Reservoir
  • EDV7389 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1996
  • EDV7410 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1992

Date Last Edited:Sep 9 2014 3:23PM