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HER Number:MDV13244
Name:Legis Tor Medieval Settlement, Sheepstor


Deserted Medieval farmstead consisting of the fragmentary remains of several buildings to the south of Ringmoor Down. This site is included in the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.


Grid Reference:SX 570 658
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork and walling remains of Legis Tor deserted medieval settlement on Ringmoor Down, consisting of a number of grassed over buildings

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX56NE117
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 438831
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/232

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, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2494, 3131-2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV147533.

Royal Air Force, 1953, 58/1110, 0038 (Aerial Photograph). SDV157241.

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

SX 570658 A deserted Medieval site known as possibly Legis Tor comprised of three buildings and enclosures.

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

(11/02/1966) The fragmentary remains of farmstead. At least two rooms visible with walls and mounds, completely grassed over. The northern boundary wall of Legis Tor Warren is bent to avoid these mounds and has made use of much of the stone on the site. The buildings are oriented north-south. Other details: 119.

Ordnance Survey, 1975, OS/75/369, 219-20,28 (Aerial Photograph). SDV254607.

Not visible.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979, SX56NE117 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV231543.

(22/02/1979) SX 57016581. On the slight north-west slope of Legis Tor at 285.0m OD is the ravaged remains of a Medieval farmstead the majority of the stone having been removed, probably to build the adjacent warren wall (SX 56 NE 115). Five buildings can be identified as well as some plots. Two buildings are truncated by the wall, though from their internal lengths, 16.2m and 15.4m, and widths of 5.5m, they would appear to be of the longhouse type.
The walling of one is 2.5m thick and 0.8m high making a substantial building. Of the remaining buildings two are 9.0m and 10.0m long and 3.8m and 4.2m wide respectively, with little stone remaining. The last building is apparently a later addition, with drystone walling 0.9m thick, 0.6m high and modern appearance.
The earthen banks of the plots measure 0.7m high and 1.6m wide and square sub-rectangular in form (see plan) while to the east a number of rectangular fields cover an area of 6.0 hectares. The fields adjoin those of Gutter Tor (SX 56 NE 119). The field banks are lower and wider being 0.5m high, 2.0m wide, and measure some 120.0m by 60.0m
Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD.

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

Evidence of field boundaries is fragmentary. The destruction of the site is so far advanced it is difficult to reconstruct the layout of the yard around the dwelling, though it seems to have possessed a number of buildings. Other details: Figure 2b.

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

Not visible on 1946 Royal Air Force vertical aerial photographs.

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 east 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.

(01/04/2005) Centred SX 57016581. A deserted medieval farmstead consisting of a longhouse-type building, three ancillary structures and several yards and pounds. As stated by the Ordnance Survey (1979) the remains have been heavily robbed to furnish stone for the adjacent warren wall which forms the south side of the site. This later boundary occupies the site of the original southern edge of this farmstead as no additional earthworks lie on the Legis Tor side of the wall.
Centred SX 57006581. The longhouse-type structure measures 9.0m north-west to south-east by 2.6m internally with walls remaining as spread banks 1.8m wide and a maximum of 0.4m high. A possible entrance lies centrally in the south-west side and some external facing is visible in the same wall.
SX 57006579. The remains of a small structure built into the corner of a small yard. A level interior measuring 4.5m north-south by 3m is enclosed by walls 1.5m wide and 0.5m high that display evidence of internal facing. There is no obvious entrance.
SX 57026580. The remains of a long, very disturbed building measuring approximately 13.8m north-south by around 3.5m wide. The actual position of the east wall is in doubt and the width may vary. There is no obvious entrance.
SX 57036580. This feature, previously identified as a building appears to be a yard adjacent to the previous structure.
SX 57016583. The site of a possible building is marked by a rectangular hollow 4.6m north-west to south-east by 2.5m at the north end of the site.
The longhouse is flanked by a pair of small pounds and separated from the other structures by a large yard.

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

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

Legis Tor a deserted Medieval farmstead.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, UPRM-15 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

(08/11/2019) Condition assessed as ?very good by volunteer recorders, although there are dense patches of reeds noted as well as some bracken.

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

Features photographed in November 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.
SDV147533Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2494. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3131-2.
SDV150434Un-published: Haynes, R. G.. 1966-1969. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Manuscript + Digital.
SDV157241Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1953. 58/1110. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 0038.
SDV231543Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979. SX56NE117. 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. 219-20,28.
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: #80825 ]
SDV352501Un-published: White, P.. 2013. Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads. Excel Spreadsheet. Legis Tor.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. UPRM-15.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV13243Related to: Legis Lake 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 9:25AM