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HER Number:MDV12756
Name:Deserted Farmstead on Longford Tor


Site of a deserted Post-medieval farmstead or a 19th century warrener's house. The site consists of two buildings in a sub-rectangular enclosure and a walled yard forming the W side of the enclosure. Aerial photographs and ground inspection show that it lies within a cleared area connected with prehistoric settlement: there are hut circles to NW and NE (see SX 67 NW 115).


Grid Reference:SX 611 777
Map Sheet:SX67NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67NW96
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 442777
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67NW/113
  • Old SAM Ref: 34451

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMSTEAD (Constructed, XVIII to XIX - 1800 AD (Between) to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs, 2469-2479 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Photograph taken on 10th February 1946.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978, SX67NW96 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV231093.

(04/10/1978) On the lower slopes of Longford Tor are two or three building platforms.
The south-west platform measures about 9.0 metres by 7.0 metres and is enclosed by a tumbled wall.
The north-west platform is enclosed by a bank on the north and south sides, a wall 0.8 metres high on the west and a steep slope 1.4 metres high on the east.
The third platform, to the south-east, is bounded by a slope 0.7 metres high on the east and a fragmentary wall on the west side.
This particular platform, by its size and shape (rectangular 15.0 metres by 4.0 metres) could well be the site of a Medieval longhouse. The site, with the exception of the south-west enclosure wall, is probably the remains of a post-Medieval farmstead, or perhaps a Warrener's house. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD and at 1:500 for AO Records.

National Monuments Record, 1979, SF1509, 293-307 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346618.

Photograph taken on 26th April 1979.

Cambridge University, 1982, RC8-EQ, 152-4 (Aerial Photograph). SDV231094.

Photograph taken on 27th july 1982. Substantial rectangular stone structure with a length of walling running north, and other structures clearly visible on ial photograph.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 455-6 (Monograph). SDV249702.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Two buildings abutting each other with a bank extending from. There is also a small length of north-south bank which may be associated.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit, P. Pattison (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

(28/06/1989) A 19th century warreners house and enclosure situated on a moderate west slope at the north end of Wistman's Wood in the West Dart Valley. The site consists of two buildings in a sub-rectangular enclosure and a walled yard forming the W side of the enclosure. It lies within a cleared area connected with a Prehistoric settlement.
Building A: A rectangular turf-covered platform measuring 12.6 metres by 3.7 metres internally, standing 0.4 metres high and levelled into the slope. Its long axis runs along the contours, close to the enclosure east wall and parallel to it.
Building B: A faint, stoney line breaking turf defines a small rectangular structure 6 metres by 3 metres overall. It is set within a larger, terraced platform which is cut steeply into the slope on the east, leaving a scarp 1.6 metres long and 1.3 metres high onto which several, large boulders are cleared. The larger area is 12metres by 8 metres.
Walled Yard C: This feature occupies the south-west part of the site and has a northward extension wall forming the west side of the enclosure. It is of drystone construction with selected, medium-size stones randomly coursed into walls 1.2 metres wide at base, but immediately stepped above to 0.6 metres width and up to 0.4 metres high. The yard is rectangular, measuring 7.6 metres by 5.4 metres internally, with an opening into the main enclosure. The interior is rough, undulating and still contains uncleared slabs. It is possibly an area where rabbits were prepared prior to market and sale.
Pillow Mound D: A flat-topped linear mound 7 metres long, 2.5 metres wide and 0.5 metres high with a slight ditch around the east end. traces of a small central channel run along the flat top. This seems a most unusual place to keep rabbits, unless it is chronologically earlier than the Warren house. It abuts the east wall of the Yard C.
The enclosure which contains the structures measures circa 30 metres by 22 metres at maximum. its north side is a prominent earth and stone bank, with traces of internal slab revetting, up to 2 metres wide and 0.7 metres high and broken in two places (possibly original entrances). The east side is a scarp cutting into the hillside, up to 1 metre high and 1.5 metres long, while the south side is only an intermittent stoney line.
According to Hemery 'Wistman's Warren' i.e. the pillar mounds were built in 1895 as part of a sporting enterprise for James Saltroun of Powder Mills, in common with other mounds close to Crockern. He employed a warrener, James Rooke, who lived in a wood and tin shack at Wistman's Wood; presumably the present site. It had been abandoned prior to World War I . The extant remains suggest something more substantial than a shack (building B?) and possibly a little earlier. It is possibly a farmstead later adapted when the warren was established, though a context for one is unknown. A deserted Medieval settlement as indicated by source is unlikely and Building A does not seem to be a longhouse as tentatively suggested.

White, P., 2013, Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads, Wistmans North (Un-published). SDV352501.

Wistmans North Tithe Map deserted settlement.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Two buildings shown on modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV231093Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978. SX67NW96. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV231094Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1982. RC8-EQ. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. 152-4.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 455-6.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital). 2469-2479.
SDV346618Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1979. SF1509. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 293-307.
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown. P. Pattison.
SDV352501Un-published: White, P.. 2013. Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads. Excel Spreadsheet. Wistmans North.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #80630 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV66025Parent of: Warreners' house 430 metres west-south-west of Longaford Tor (Building)
MDV5964Related to: Huts and enclosure (Monument)
MDV66019Related to: RABBIT WARREN in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8644 - Cherrybrook and Longford Newtake, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Mar 7 2022 2:48PM