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HER Number:MDV13243
Name:Legis Lake Medieval Settlement, Sheepstor


Deserted Medieval farmstead known as Legis Lake consisting of the fragmentary remains of three buildings to south of Legis Mire. This site is included in the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.


Grid Reference:SX 566 658
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Legis Lake deserted medieval settlement consisting of the fragmentary remains of three buildings to south of Legis Mire

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67NE118
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 438834
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/233

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Constructed, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))
  • LONGHOUSE (Constructed, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1953, 58/1110 (Aerial Photograph). SDV157241.

Other details: 10 April 1953.

Linehan, C. D., 1966, Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon, 124-5 (Article in Serial). SDV307246.

SX 567658 A deserted medieval site possibly known as Legis Lake, comprising one building and enclosures.

Haynes, R. G., 1966-1969, Ruined Sites on Dartmoor, 121 (Un-published). SDV150434.

Site visited on 19th June 1966. A longhouse, apparently without cross passage, with upper room added. The drain in the lower part of the house is unusually well defined. To the west are two outbuildings with attached enclosures. An attached reave runs down to Legis Lake ford, while another runs north-west through Ringmoor stone row, bends north and eventually east towards Legis Lake Head, enclosing a large area.

Ordnance Survey, 1975, OS/75/369, 219-20 (Aerial Photograph). SDV254607.

Two buildings and two plots visible SX 56666582.

National Monuments Record, 1978, NMR SX5666, 258-260 (Aerial Photograph). SDV254609.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979, SX56NE118 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV231646.

(13/02/1979) Above the west bank of Legis Lake on Ringmoor Down at 278m OD is a Medieval farmstead of three buildings (a) and one building platform.
One, a longhouse at SX 56666582, is 16.8m by 3.8m internally, with one subdivision; the drystone walling is 1.0m wide and up to 1.0m high. The other 2 buildings are smaller but of similar construction except the walls contain some boulder slabs used as facing.
These buildings measure internally 3.8m by 9.2m and 2.4m by 6.4m respectively. A levelled area between the two measuring some 3.3m by 8.2m probably represent a building platform.
The buildings sit in an area of irregular shaped small plots with rubble walls 1.0m thick and 0.5m high and the site lies on the boundary of a 22.5 hectare field.
Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD.

Price, D. G., 1980, The Moorland Plym, 86 (Article in Serial). SDV254604.

Dartmoor longhouse with enclosed yard containing outbuildings. No associated field system so it may be possible that pastoral farming was practiced here. Other details: Figure 2b.

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


Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, 144-5, Map 49, Figure 49.21 (Monograph). SDV137656.

The 'farmstead' shown to the west of Legis Lake is one of three to the south-east of Ringmoor Down with traces of ridge and furrow between the river and the reave.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

This site was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument during the Monument Protection Programme. The programme ended before the entire list of sites was successfully scheduled so this is included on a local list of Nationally Important Sites.

Newman, P. + Probert, S., 2005, Ringmoor Training Area: Monument Baseline Condition Survey (Report - Survey). SDV363484.

(17/03/2005) Centred SX 56666583. An abandoned farmstead consisting of a longhouse type structure, two ancillary buildings and a series of yards and closes.
The longhouse, centred SX 56676583, is a single-roomed structure with a small annex attached to its W end. Internally it measures 12.7m E to W by 2.8m with an entrance in the S side. The position of the entrance probably marks the location of an internal subdivision between shippon and dwelling. If so the shippon was formerly 7.0m long and the dwelling less than 6m. The turf-covered stony walls of the main structure measure 1.5m wide and stand a maximum of 1.2m high. The annex, apparently accessed from the outside via a small entrance in the NE corner measures 2.9m E to W by 2.8m. There are no identifiable features within either of these structures. A number of upright stones immediately to the S of the longhouse is suggestive of a linhay type feature attached to the front wall of this building.
Two ancillary structures lie at SX 56666582 and SX 56646584:
SX 56666582. A small rectangular structure measuring 5.9m E to W by 2.0m internally. An entrance gap lies in the N wall near the NE corner. The coursed boulder walls measure 1.1m wide and 1.m high. The interior appears to have been subdivided though this is the result of excavations in the lower, E, half, the spoil from which has been thrown up to the W.
SX 56646584. A single-roomed rectangular building measuring 9.2m SE to NW by 4m with a single entrance positioned centrally in the NE side. The turf-covered walls are 1.3m wide and 0.9m high. Partial collapse of the NW gable has obscured part of the interior. The lower, SE half of the building displays an old slit trench.
Between the buildings are several small, irregular yards and beyond, to the NE are three small enclosures.
This settlement is one of three (see 438831 and 438843) on Ringmoor down that sit within a system of interconnected fields. It is not possible to determine the exact extent of each settlement's enclosures.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

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

Legis Lake a deserted Medieval farmstead.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, UPRM-14 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

(20/05/2019) Condition assessed as good by volunteer recorders, although there is a considerable amount of bracken growth on the features; likely to cause future damage.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording photographs (Photograph). SDV363073.

Features photographed in May 2019.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV137656Monograph: Butler, J.. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Three. Paperback Volume. 144-5, Map 49, Figure 49.21.
SDV150434Un-published: Haynes, R. G.. 1966-1969. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Manuscript + Digital. 121.
SDV157241Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1953. 58/1110. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph.
SDV231646Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979. SX56NE118. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV254604Article in Serial: Price, D. G.. 1980. The Moorland Plym. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 112. 86.
SDV254607Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1975. OS/75/369. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. 219-20.
SDV254609Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1978. NMR SX5666. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 258-260.
SDV307246Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1966. Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon. Medieval Archaeology. 10. Digital. 124-5.
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.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #80824 ]
SDV352501Un-published: White, P.. 2013. Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads. Excel Spreadsheet. Legis Lake.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. UPRM-14.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV4030Related to: Cairn with cist west of Legis Lake, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV13244Related to: Legis Tor Medieval Settlement, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV14143Related to: Ringmoor Down Medieval Settlement, Sheepstor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7443 - Condition survey of archaeological sites in Ringmoor Training Area
  • EDV7569 - Condition survey of Ringmoor Down training area
  • EDV8227 - Ringmoor Training Area: Monument Baseline Condition Survey

Date Last Edited:Jul 5 2021 9:32AM