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HER Number:MDV20916
Name:Silk House, Fernworthy


Silk House was a small farmstead, probably of late medieval origin. It's fields had been absorbed into the Fernworthy estate by 1796 although the house continued to be occupied into the 19th century. It is shown as ruinous, however, on the first and second edition Ordnance Survey maps. The remains of the house were largely destroyed by the driving of a forestry track through it.


Grid Reference:SX 659 834
Map Sheet:SX68SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SE/193

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMSTEAD (Built, Late Medieval - 1401 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Greeves, T., 13/5/1983, Silk House (Worksheet). SDV265496.

Site visit 13th May 1983. Ruined building marked as Silk House on 1963 Ordnance Survey map. The building has been virtually destroyed by the making of a forest ride running north-south through it. The wall forming the east end of the building still survives on the east side of the ride. A square enclosure attached to the north side of an old field boundary lies to the west of the ride.

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

Silk House marked in red implying it was an occupied dwelling (plot 370).

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

Ruined farmstead shown.

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

Ruined building marked as Silk House.

Newman, P., 2013, Fernworthy Forest Sites Survey (Un-published). SDV351708.

Newman , P., 2013, The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon, 38-41, 51 Figs 32, 41-2 (Report - Survey). SDV351784.

Silk House is shown as an L-shaped building on a map of 1796 but the colours used to delineate the fields suggest that the land belonging to the farm had been absorbed into Fernworthy Farm by this time. Its depiction on a map of the Fernworthy estate of 1807 suggests that it was still occupied. A tracing of the earlier map with a catalogue dated about 1825 comfirms that its lands had been absorbed into Fernworthy. These had formed a compact unit bounded by the River Teign, Assacombe and Lowton Brooks. The house and farm courtyard were in the south-east corner of the holding. Unfortunately, the house was largely destroyed when a forestry track was driven through it.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV265496Worksheet: Greeves, T.. 13/5/1983. Silk House. Digital.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82948 ]
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV351708Un-published: Newman, P.. 2013. Fernworthy Forest Sites Survey. Digital.
SDV351784Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2013. The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon. Digital + A4. 38-41, 51 Figs 32, 41-2.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6203 - Archaeological Survey of Fernworthy Forest
  • EDV7389 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1996
  • EDV7410 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1992

Date Last Edited:Dec 14 2016 1:17PM