HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV122712
Name:Ancient trackway known as The Lichway


Also noted as the Lich Way and Lych Way, this route ran from the central moor north-westwards to Lydford and was used by tenants of the central moor area to transport their dead to Lydford church for burial. In 1260 a special dispensation was granted for them to use the parish church of Widecombe instead.


Grid Reference:SX 258 079
Map Sheet:SX20NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
Civil ParishLydford
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLAMERTON
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD
Ecclesiastical ParishPETER TAVY

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains of ditches, banks and stonework features in fields north-west of Brousentor Farm

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: LINEAR 119
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1043133

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TRACKWAY (VIII to Late Medieval - 701 AD? (Between) to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 52-3, 77, 119, 128, 135, 322, 469 (Monograph). SDV320981.

The Lich Path. An ancient track which led from the early farm settlements on the east side of the forest to the village of Lydford. Although portions of it are now obliterated, it can still be traced for a considerable distance. It functioned as a route for transporting the dead to be buried at Lydford.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 62, 393-4, 399, 401-2, 406-7, 437, 453, 485, 505, 519, 554, 924, 935, 943, 945, 947-8, 953, 986, 990 (Monograph). SDV249702.

Lych Way; The Medieval Way of the Dead, by which coffins were taken from the ancient tenements in the centre of Dartmoor to Lydford Church until 1260, when they were granted an episcopal dispensation to use the parish church of Widecombe in the Moor. A number of branches described by Hemery.

Ordnance Survey, 2015, Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Digital Colour Raster Map (Cartographic). SDV319717.

'Lich Way' is shown on the large scale mapping.

Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

Parts of the trackway are still in use today and are shown on the modern mapping.

Historic England, 2021-2022, NRHE to HER website (Website). SDV364039.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 62, 393-4, 399, 401-2, 406-7, 437, 453, 485, 505, 519, 554, 924, 935, 943, 945, 947-8, 953, 986, 990.
SDV319717Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Digital Colour Raster Map. 1:25,000. Digital.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 52-3, 77, 119, 128, 135, 322, 469.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV364039Website: Historic England. 2021-2022. NRHE to HER website. https://nrhe-to-her.esdm.co.uk/NRHE. Website. [Mapped feature: #132454 Accuracy of the routeway unknown, ]

Associated Monuments

MDV16520Related to: Bellever Farm, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV21510Related to: Cairn on Arch Tor, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV134782Related to: K6 telephone box near war memorial, (Building)
MDV26922Related to: Leat, Black Down (Monument)
MDV26906Related to: Leats onn hill south of Whitehill, Peter Tavy (Monument)
MDV133300Related to: Possible cairn at the north end of the stone row on Conies Down, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV27082Related to: Quarry south of road east of Merrivale Bridge, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV4592Related to: Stone row on Conies Down, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV4214Related to: White Barrow on Cocks Hill, Dartmoot Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8643 - Beardown Farm, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8644 - Cherrybrook and Longford Newtake, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8645 - Powder Mills and Gawler Newtake, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8713 - Merrivale Range: Monument Baseline Condition Survey
  • EDV7368 - Survey of the Willsworthy Training Area, Peter Tavy (1998)
  • EDV6663 - Survey of the Willsworthy Training Area
  • EDV6664 - Survey of the Willsworthy Training Area
  • EDV6665 - Survey of the Willsworthy Training Area
  • EDV8141 - Condition survey of the Willsworthy Training Area
  • EDV8813 - Archaeological and historical investigation of Peat Cutting on North-Western Dartmoor
  • EDV8865 - Watching brief on high voltage cable replacement, Mary Tavy
  • EDV8965 - Aerial survey of guardianship sites on Dartmoor

Date Last Edited:Mar 5 2024 3:42PM