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HER Number:MDV134563
Name:Opposing gateways along railway, Walkhampton


Remains of opposing gateways either side of the Princetown branch track bed, c.10.3m apart.


Grid Reference:SX 545 705
Map Sheet:SX57SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWalkhampton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GATE PIER (XVIII to XIX - 1800 AD (Between) to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015 onwards, 2015 onward Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV362959.

Some remains visible on the aerial photography.

Wakeham, C., 2016, Report on an Audit of Archaeological Features and Structures Relating to Railways and Tramways on Dartmoor Phase 1, DR+T_GWRP_088 (Report - Assessment). SDV360397.

Gateways (opposing) at SX 54573 70535. Remains of opposing gateways either side of the Princetown branch track bed, c.10.3m apart. The 3m wide northeast gateway is set back 2.5m from the track bed and consists of a pair of concrete gateposts and some associated metal straining posts fashioned out of bridge rail. The concrete gateposts are square in plan, being 0.19m wide, tapering up to 0.15m and finished with a pointed top. They were each finished with three holes to accommodate fixtures as necessary. The southeast post has a latch attached to its northwest face and a drop catch on its northeast face (fixed through one of the provided holes). The northwest post has two hinges, attached through the provided holes and mounted to accommodate a gate mounted on the northeast side. The lower hinge is intact and has a 12cm tall shaft of c.2.4cm diameter. It is capped with a 2.5cm wide square nut to prevent the gate being unhung (unsuccessfully, it would appear today, as there is no gate in site). Beside the northwest post stands a metal straining post consisting of an upright post, with five long bolts with eyelets, held in place by a diagonal post bolted to it. The whole takes up c.1.5m in length. The southeast gatepost has an adjacent metal post beside it, joined to another by a single wooden shiver of c.1m length. These two posts may represent a smaller pedestrian gateway beside the larger field gate. Immediately adjacent to the possible small gateway, to its southeast, is another straining post, fashioned in mirror image to its northwest counterpart. The gateway on the opposite side of the track is now represented solely by a southeast straining post. Presumably it was originally laid out as a mirror image to that described in detail. The second edition Ordnance Survey map depicts a footpath or track in this vicinity, running from Horseyeatt fields 986 to 987 (listed in the tithe apportionment as 679 Long Clover Field and 683 Houndhill Meadow), and it must surely have passed through these gateways. Curiously, the first edition Ordnance Survey map depicts the footpath taking a different route through the fields to the northwest, running through field 416, small enclosure 517 (created by the laying of the Great Western Railway line) and then fields 934 and 933 (the latter close to the old ruined homestead of Croftshead) before exiting onto the open moor. It stops either side of an abandoned section of the old Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway (DR+T_PDR_056) numbered 417 and 935 on the Ordnance Survey map. The three fields (excepting the later small enclosure 517) were listed in the tithe apportionment as 265 Cruff and 264 Higher Cruff (being part of Lower Dittisham) and 274 Fore Meadow (Croftshead), respectively. The 1910/13 Walkhampton land tax assessment book and relevant maps (PRO IR58/66527 and IR128/8/68-69) show Cruff to be part of Huckworthy Mills and Higher Cruff and Fore Meadow to be parts of Horseyeatt. Whether there is a connection between this reallocation of the fields between Sir Massey Lopes' tenants during the late 19th and early 20th centuries had any bearing on the footpath's change of course is currently unknown.
The gateways are in a poor condition overall. All of the metal work is rusty. The lower gateway is reduced to a single straining post. The higher gateway is bereft of its gate and its southwest straining post is badly corroded. The gateways no longer serve much purpose as the fencing along the railway track bed has largely been removed in this area. Any physical trace of the footpath has vanished (although it may have been quite ephemeral to begin with).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV360397Report - Assessment: Wakeham, C.. 2016. Report on an Audit of Archaeological Features and Structures Relating to Railways and Tramways on Dartmoor Phase 1. A4 Bound + Digital. DR+T_GWRP_088.
SDV362959Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015 onwards. 2015 onward Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #141699 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV19112Part of: Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway (Dartmoor section) (Monument)
MDV2353Related to: The Plymouth and Dartmoor Tramway (Dartmoor section) (Monument)
MDV134561Related to: Trackway on Walkhampton Common (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 21 2023 3:17PM