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HER Number:MDV14224
Name:Fox Tor deserted 19th century farmstead, Lydford


Fox Tor farmstead shown on 19th century maps which became ruined in the late 19th century. Hemery (1983) states the first lease of the farm was September 1809; Crossing (1965) believes the enclosure and house built around 1812. The farm was abandoned in late 1860s.


Grid Reference:SX 629 705
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Fox Tor Farm; deserted early 19th century farmstead north of Swincombe Head

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 911855
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/97
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMSTEAD (First mentioned, XVIII to XIX - 1800 AD to 1869 AD (Between))

Full description

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

The 19th century Tithe Map Apportionment for 'Foxtor' lists Field Number 1248 as 'House, Court and Garden'.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 93 (Monograph). SDV320981.

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

Fox Tor Farm. This farm was built and enclosed about 1812 by a Mr Windeatt (citing Crossing) but has been long abandoned and ruined. The structure is well built of mortared granite, originally possessed a second floor and was probably thatched. Most of the dressed stone has been removed now, although a stairway is still visible. Other details: Number 39 (includes plan).

National Monuments Record, 1969, NMR SX6272/1, 156 (Aerial Photograph). SDV214892.

Fox, A., 1969, Swincombe Survey, 14-15 (Report - Survey). SDV250998.

Fox Tor Farm and newtake was created about 1812 and by 1880 was a ruin (citing Crossing). A house, several outbuildings, stockpens, enclosures and three large fields are visible.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 355-360 (Monograph). SDV249702.

Mortar was used in the masonry work of both farm and outhouses but there are signs of a much earlier enclosure in an ancient wall running north from the river and terminating at one of the later farm walls. In 1702 Andrew Knight held a newtake at Swancombe (Swincombe) Head and this old wall may be part of his enclosure. Spading was carried out but not in the largest of the 10 enclosures called `coarse piece' which pre-dated the farm. A small inner enclosure at the end of the north-west close is marked as `potato plot'. The farmhouse, outbuildings and field patterns, including a plot now effaced by streamworkings are depicted on the 1839 tithe map.

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

Three buildings are visible, one subdivided, within a field system.

Devon County Council Photographic Unit, 1988, DAP/JW, 3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV214895.

Fletcher, M. J., 1988, Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England (Report - Survey). SDV214888.

The ruins of Fox Tor farmhouse (at SX62917055) remain to a maximum of 1.8 meters in height. The coursed walls, measuring up to 0.7 meters thick, are mortared and have a rubble infill with some dressed slabs on the corners. The interior and much of the surrounding area is covered by tumbled material and debris. The ruined outbuildings have walls of coursed drystone construction up to 1.2 meters in height. The surrounding 19th century field system is clearly visible. The field boundaries are either well-constructed coursed drystone walls on average 0.7 meters high and 0.7 meters thick or 0.6 meter high earthen banks, most of which have one revetted face and an associated, silted, ditch. The ancient wall noted by Hemery was not identified. Small plots of cultivation ridges, probably spadeworking, are visible centred at SX6287058 and SX62887063. These open ended plots have ridges each about 1.7 meters wide and 0.2 meters high.

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.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 911855 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345747.

The duchy land-lease for Fox Tor Farm is dated 25/9/1809 and specifies the bounds of the 582 acres on lease. Other details: SX 67 SW 119.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

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

Fox Tor a deserted farmstead.

Williams, C., 2021, Notes on some Dartmoor Farms (Personal Comment). SDV364196.

Noted by Hemery (1983, 355); first lease of the farm September 1809. Abandoned in late 1860s.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV150434Un-published: Haynes, R. G.. 1966-1969. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Manuscript + Digital.
SDV214888Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. J.. 1988. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown.
SDV214892Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1969. NMR SX6272/1. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 156.
SDV214895Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council Photographic Unit. 1988. DAP/JW. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 355-360.
SDV250998Report - Survey: Fox, A.. 1969. Swincombe Survey. Unknown. 14-15.
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.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 93.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #81180 ]
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV345747National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 911855. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
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.

Associated Monuments

MDV26068Related to: FIELD SYSTEM in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8630 - Fox Tor Newtake Duchy Farms Survey

Date Last Edited:Mar 5 2021 12:23PM