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HER Number:MDV115461
Name:Hamlet named West Park, Lifton


Former Hamlet named West Park, depicted on an 1807 estate map. Two years later it was renamed Park Town.


Grid Reference:SX 381 844
Map Sheet:SX38SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLifton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLIFTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (XIX - 1807 AD to 1840 AD (Pre))

Full description

Gent, T. + Manning, P., 2016, Lifton Wood and the Development of the Surrounding Area. (Report - Assessment). SDV359657.

This desk-based assessment was carried out between August 2015 and February 2016 to assist in the interpretation of a recently rediscovered hilltop enclosure and other features in Lifton Wood, Lifton, Devon.

Lifton Park has been associated with a property called Parke, documented in a deed of 1299, which includes 'Henry Mona…to Adam Mona his brother…Quit claim of all right in the land of Windersdone Lockeslonde and in Parke…Consideration 20 silver shillings. In a medieval context, the name would seem to suggest the existence of a deer park (see section 2.7). There are no properties or other features depicted in the vicinity on Donn's map of 1765, which may be expected to show any house of reasonable size and status.

There was, however, what appears to be a hamlet in this area, called West Park, or Park Town and it seems possible that this was the remnant of the medieval place called Parke. The hamlet is shown (as West Park) in detail on an 1807 estate map as comprising some nine structures, to either side of a lane, surrounded by fields and with Lifton Wood to the north-east (Fig. 4). A trackway (faint) also leads south-east to Brents, then north-east to Lifton Bridge and the road to the village.

The OS surveyors' drawing of 1806, which appears to depict a pair of red spots indicating two dwellings, and the subsequent one-inch map of 1809 (Fig. 5), name it rather as Park Town and depict the buildings in two distinct groups. The maps also show a road or lane running south-westward from the village to Lower Wooladon and beyond.

The earliest reference found for Park Town is the militia list for 1715, which includes 'Joseph Harris, gent. for two estates in Park town - £16' and 'George Holman for Park town - £8.00'.34 As 'Lifton Wood' appears as an estate name in two other cases, it is assumed that an estate does not necessarily include a dwelling, so we can infer nothing from the three Park Town estates.

The 'tenement of Park Town' formed part of a marriage settlement between William Arundel Harris and his future wife, Mary Webber, in September 1815. It is also referred to as 'the house, garden and (?)tenements with appurtenances called Parktown'. It was stated that, in the event of William's death and Mary's remarriage, 'her residence at Park Town shall cease'; it seems likely that this refers to the new house either being planned or under construction on the site, which became Lifton Park, rather than the existing house.

Park Town appears to have been removed when Lifton Park was built, sometime after September 1815, and many of the fields were lost to the creation of the grounds and planting of the much extended Lifton Wood. It is said that Lifton Park was built onto an existing old house (see below).

The present owner of Lifton Park has identified a line of low slate stonework in the woods to the west of the house that could be associated with a former structure, or perhaps a woodland path or other landscaping feature. There are several ancient yew trees in the immediate area.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV359657Report - Assessment: Gent, T. + Manning, P.. 2016. Lifton Wood and the Development of the Surrounding Area.. Archaedia. 1155. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6997 - Desk-Based Assessment of a Hilltop Enclosure in Lifton Wood and the Development of the Surrounding Area. (Ref: 1155)

Date Last Edited:Jun 28 2016 6:23PM