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HER Number:MDV108505
Name:Dartmouth

Summary

Dartmouth was created as a planned town in the late 12th, early 13th century. The medieval manor was on the hill above, at Townstal and a monastery is also documented at the church of St. Petrox by the castle in 1192. The town continued to develop until the 17th century when its growth was somewhat slowed by the growth of Plymouth. Improvements began again in the 19th century with the reclamation of the mouth of the river enabling longer quays set further out into the river which could be reached at lower tidal levels to be built. Modern development increased from the later 19th century due first to the establishment of the Royal Naval College in 1863 and the arrival of the railway, albeit at Kingswear on the other side of the river, in 1864.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 877 513
Map Sheet:SX85SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth
DistrictSouth Hams

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • SETTLEMENT (First mentioned, XII - 1192 AD to 1192 AD)

Full description

Devon County Council, 1975, Dartmouth - Walk about in the Conservation Area & Exploring Dartmouth and Kingswear, 36 (Article in Monograph). SDV352452.

The original settlement was on the hill above, at Townstal.


Pink, F., 2014, Devon Extensive Urban Survey Project. Rapid Assessment of Archaeological Interventions, 9 (Report - non-specific). SDV357343.

The town is first recorded in 1049 as Daerentamuoan and developed from two small settlements; Hardness to the north and Clifton to the south. A borough was created here by 1200. There are three churches within the town; the Church of St. Petroc within the castle precinct dates to 1641-2, St. Saviour's dates to 1372 and St. Clement's to 1318. The principle monuments comprise the castle, coastal battery and civil war defences.
There has been limited archaeological work largely due to the dense occupation of the hillslope on which the town is located and which offers only limited scope for redevelopment and hence archaeological investigations.


Waterhouse, R., Unknown, Dartmouth Conservation Area: Archaeology (Un-published). SDV355585.

Although there have been occasional finds of Roman material in Dartmouth, the earliest definitive evidence for settlement comes from the church of St. Petrox located beside Dartmouth Castle, which is first mentioned in a document of 1192. At this time it was dedicated to St. Peter and described as a monastery. No further evidence is available for settlement until the creation of a planned town on the western shore of the estuary in the late 12th or early 13th century and it suggested that Dartmouth was probably Devon's most important seaport in the medieval period. The Shipman in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is thought to be based on John Hauley, a merchant and mayor of Dartmouth in the late 14th century. The port is recorded as providing ships for military expeditions, privateering and world exploration from the 15th to 17th centuries. During this time the town spread out from the the centre, along the roads leading out of the town and along the river frontage where several extensive merchant's houses with quays fronting the water were built. After the 17th century the town's growth became somewhat stagnated largely due to the growth of Plymouth. In the 19th century, improvements began again with the reclamation of the mouth of the Dart provided longer quays, set further out into the river, which could be reached at lower tidal levels. Modern development increased from the later 19th century due first to the establishment of the Royal Naval College in 1863 and the arrival of the railway, albeit at Kingswear on the other side of the river, in 1864. See report for further information.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV352452Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Dartmouth - Walk about in the Conservation Area & Exploring Dartmouth and Kingswear. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 36.
SDV355585Un-published: Waterhouse, R.. Unknown. Dartmouth Conservation Area: Archaeology. Digital. [Mapped feature: #2328 ]
SDV357343Report - non-specific: Pink, F.. 2014. Devon Extensive Urban Survey Project. Rapid Assessment of Archaeological Interventions. AC Archaeology Report. ACD473/1/1. Digital. 9.

Associated Monuments

MDV21812Parent of: Medieval Borough of Dartmouth (Monument)
MDV56930Parent of: Medieval Settlement at Dartmouth (Monument)
MDV8525Related to: Bayard's Cove Castle (Building)
MDV19561Related to: Dartmouth Castle or Hawley's Fortalice (Building)
MDV15638Related to: St Clement's Church, Townstal, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV8531Related to: St Petrox Parish Church, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV8551Related to: St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV15811Related to: Townstal Manor, Dartmouth (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Nov 26 2014 11:04AM