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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 582 810
Map Sheet:SX58SE
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: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TRACKWAY (VIII to XIII - 701 AD? to 1260 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.

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. [Mapped feature: #113027 Parts of this polygon were digitised against the mastermap, the remainder against the larger scale mapping., ]

Associated Monuments

MDV112076Related to: Bellever Farm, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV4592Related to: Stone row on Conies Down (Monument)
MDV4214Related to: White Barrow, Cocks Hill (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 24 2019 12:26PM