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HER Number:MDV14143
Name:Ringmoor Down Medieval Settlement, Sheepstor


Ringmoor Down deserted Medieval farmstead consisting of several longhouses and associated enclosures. This site is included in the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites


Grid Reference:SX 569 664
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Deserted medieval farmstead consisting of several longhouses and associated enclosures on Ringmoor Down

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX56NE121
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 438843
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/238

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

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Not present on mid 19th century Tithe Map.

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

Linehan, C. D., 1966, Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon, 119-120 (Article in Serial). SDV307246.

Deserted farm site on Ringmoor Down, consisting of four buildings with enclosures. The remains are possibly connected with combination of farmsteads and tinner's bounds. A gully running through the site may be associated with nearby mining activities. Other details: Table 2.

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

Settlement consists of two cross passage longhouses, the larger having a small room at the north end. Both are connected to corrals and a field system of four rectangular enclosures to the west. Approximately 50.0 meters to the southwest is another building, much smaller than the others, standing on the verge of a tinner's gurt (or channel). This has a large mass of fallen stone at the western end which may be from a collapsed chimney. This building is probably more likely to be related to the tin working remains than the medieval farmstead. Other details: 120.

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

SX 57006642 One building and several plots visible. Also, fields visible to west and east of site.

National Monuments Record, 1978, NMR SX5666, 4/254/5/260 (Aerial Photograph). SDV254609.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979, SX56NE121 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV254606.

(02/02/1979) On the southern slope of Ringmoor Down at 300m OD is a deserted Medieval farmstead. The main building is of longhouse type, 14.0m by 3.3m internally, with a subdivision. Its drystone walling is 1.2m thick and up to 1.1m high. Two other buildings are of similar construction but 3.8m wide and 7.2m and 8.2m long respectively. The fourth building mentioned in 1. is only 1.3m by 2.0m internally. A number of plots with 1.8m thick 0.6m high stony banks link the buildings. Fields adjoin the settlement and the earthen field banks and ditches are of similar dimensions to the plots. The quadrilateral shaped fields extend over 12.0 hectares and are linked to the Gutter Tor fields (SX 56 NE 119).
Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD.

Price, D. G., 1980, The Moorland Plym, 86-88 (Article in Serial). SDV254604.

Main dwelling with outbuildings and associated field system. Possibly farming combined with periodic tinning. Signs of tin-working adjacent to deserted fields and buildings. At 37 meters south-west of here is a small cross-passage longhouse on the edge of a tinner's gurt. 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 north of Legis Lake is one of three to the 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 57006642. The earthwork remains of a former farmstead at the head of Legis Lake on Ringmoor Down. The site consists of a longhouse-type building and two, possibly three, ancillary structures, several yards and small closes.
SX 57016643. The longhouse measures 10.0m N to S by 3.5m internally with a small annex 2.3m long attached to the higher, N end. A single entrance lies centrally in the W wall indicating that shippon and dwelling were of roughly equal size. The turf-covered walls of this building are around 1.7m wide and stand 0.8m high. The annex was apparently accessed from the main structure.
SX 57006642. Immediately SW of the entrance to the longhouse are the remains of a small building measuring 1.4m N to S by 2.0m internally with turf-covered walls 1.2m wide and 0.6m high. A single entrance lies in the N wall near the NE corner.
SX 56996641. A single-roomed rectangular structure measuring 8.1m N to S by 3.0m internally with walls 1.7m wide and 0.8m high. A single entrance lies centrally in the W side.
SX 56976638. A single-roomed building lies some 50m SW of the main settlement. The interior is partly obscured by collapse of the NW gable and measures in the region of 6.5m SE to NW by 3.8m wide. A single entrance is positioned in the middle of the NE side. The walls are 1.7m wide and stand a maximum of 1.6m high.
The longhouse fronts onto a small yard whose other sides are formed by small enclosures attached to the farm buildings.
This settlement is one of three (see 438831, 438834) that lie on Ringmoor Down and which i.e. within a regular, seemingly contemporary field system. It is not possible to determine the exact extents of each settlement's holding.

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

'Farmstead' shown on modern mapping as several adjoining buildings in an irregular enclosure with a small rectangular building to the south.

White, P., 2013, Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads, Ringmoor Down 2 (Un-published). SDV352501.

Ringmoor Down 2 a deserted Medieval farmstead.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, UPRM-8 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

(26/06/2019) Condition assessed as ?very good by volunteer recorders, although vegetation and burrowing animal damage noted; dislodging stones from the site.

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

Features photographed in June 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.
SDV157241Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1953. 58/1110. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 0038.
SDV254604Article in Serial: Price, D. G.. 1980. The Moorland Plym. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 112. 86-88.
SDV254606Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979. SX56NE121. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
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). 4/254/5/260.
SDV307246Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1966. Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon. Medieval Archaeology. 10. Digital. 119-120.
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: #81142 ]
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV352501Un-published: White, P.. 2013. Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads. Excel Spreadsheet. Ringmoor Down 2.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. UPRM-8.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV13243Related to: Legis Lake Medieval Settlement, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV13244Related to: Legis Tor 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 9:54AM