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HER Number:MDV20653
Name:Combshead Farmstead, Walkhampton

Summary

Post-medieval Combshead farmhouse and a hull situated on a south-facing slope overlooking the Narrator Brook. A group of at least six rectangular buildings stand within an irregular shaped farmyard. The farmhouse on the northern edge of the yard is a single roomed mortared stone building now filled with loose rubble which obscures internal detail. There is a garden plot on the south-west side. The hull or potato cave, 90 metres east of the farmstead, is a tunnel cut into the face of a field boundary and access is via a drystone revetted passage. The earliest known reference to Combshead was in 1281 and it was finally abandoned in 1931. It represents the last farm desertion attributable to the building of the Burrator Reservoir.
The roofless ruins survive as a very fine example of a deserted farmstead. A small roofless privy stands adjacent to two pigsties or dog kennels in the farmyard. This settlement lies close to the extensive tin streaming n the deep valley to the east. Surveyed in 2008.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 585 685
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWalkhampton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork remains of extensive medieval or later streamworks on Narrator Brook, as well as structural remains of Combshead deserted medieval farmstead

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 56 NE 381
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/342
  • Pastscape: 1463371
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMSTEAD (First mentioned, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

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

'Coombeshead' shown on 19th century Tithe Map as three buildings in an irregular shaped yard. The Field Number is 1165.


Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'Combshead' shown on 19th century map as a group of three or four buildings around an irregular shaped yard and surrounded by several small enclosures. A small rectangular building is shown in the field to the south.


Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

'Combshead' shown on early 20th century map.


Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M., 1931, The Place-Names of Devon: Part One, 245 (Monograph). SDV1312.

Combshead Tor was probably the home of Warin de Cumbesheved mentioned in 1281.


Haynes, R. G., 1966-1969, Ruined Sites on Dartmoor, 21 PlanSite visited on (Un-published). SDV150434.

Site visited on 17th November 1966. A small farmhouse among clitter on the southern slope of Combeshead Tor. House with porch, mortared, with fireplace at the west end. Very ruined, with no sign of room divisions. Mortared shippen and lavatory and other dry-stone buildings. Occupied until 1928.


Newman, P., 1994, Tinners and Tenants on South-West Dartmoor: a case study in landscape history, 221-231 (Article in Serial). SDV340414.

A survey of 1584 stated the 'Dombshead' was occupied by Hugh Littletor.


Townsend, M., 1998, Tin mining in the valley of the Narrator Brook, 9 (Article in Serial). SDV232444.


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

Combeshead deserted farmstead.


Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Several buildings shown on modern mapping.


Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording forms, WLK-DT27 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

Visited 07/2019. The farmstead is generally covered with grass and bracken. Main buildings are overgrown with grass and bracken with occasional small trees. A large tree is growing out of the farmstead’s west wall immediately south east of a small outbuilding (privy?). Photos X 3 taken


Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording photographs, WLK-DT27 (Photograph). SDV363073.

Visited 07/2019. Photos X 3 taken
1) Farmhouse with a garden plot in the foreground Looking north east. Shows bracken cover
2) Interior of the farmhouse showing bushes/trees growing against the north west wall Looking south east
3) View of large outbuilding showing general vegetation cover and small tree on its east wall. Large tree growing out of farmstead wall next to privy on left. Farmhouse in background. Looking north


National Monuments Record, 2019, Pastscape (Website). SDV362732.

Post-medieval Combshead farmhouse and a hull situated on a south-facing slope overlooking the Narrator Brook. A group of at least six rectangular buildings stand within an irregular shaped farmyard. The farmhouse on the northern edge of the yard is a single roomed mortared stone building now filled with loose rubble which obscures internal detail. There is a garden plot on the south-west side. The hull or potato cave, 90 metres east of the farmstead, is a tunnel cut into the face of a field boundary and access is via a drystone revetted passage. The earliest known reference to Combshead was in 1281 and it was finally abandoned in 1931. It represents the last farm desertion attributable to the building of the Burrator Reservoir.
The roofless ruins survive as a very fine example of a deserted farmstead. A small roofless privy stands adjacent to two pigsties or dog kennels in the farmyard. This settlement lies close to the extensive tin streaming n the deep valley to the east. Surveyed at 1:2500 scale (citing Fletcher, M., 11/01/2008, English Heritage Field Investigation).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV1312Monograph: Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M.. 1931. The Place-Names of Devon: Part One. The Place-Names of Devon: Part One. VIII. A5 Hardback. 245.
SDV150434Un-published: Haynes, R. G.. 1966-1969. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Manuscript + Digital. 21 PlanSite visited on.
SDV232444Article in Serial: Townsend, M.. 1998. Tin mining in the valley of the Narrator Brook. Dartmoor Tin Working Research Group Newsletter. 14. Unknown. 9.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82845 ]
SDV340414Article in Serial: Newman, P.. 1994. Tinners and Tenants on South-West Dartmoor: a case study in landscape history. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 126. A5 Paperback. 221-231.
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. Combeshead.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV362732Website: National Monuments Record. 2019. Pastscape. https://www.pastscape.org.uk/. Website.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-DT27.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-DT27.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7382 - Condition Survey of the Cramber Tor Training Area

Date Last Edited:Aug 6 2019 5:05PM