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HER Number:MDV21796
Name:Medieval Borough of Lydford

Summary

Medieval borough of Lydford

Location

Grid Reference:SX 509 847
Map Sheet:SX58SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishLydford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishUNKNOWN

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Dartmoor Non-designated Heritage Asset (Evidential)
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX58SW/86/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BURGH (XI to Late Medieval - 1086 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Beresford, M. W. + Finberg, H. P. R., 1973, English Medieval Boroughs. A Handlist, 93 (Monograph). SDV6626.

Lydford. The Borough court of Lydford was mentioned in 1018. There were twenty-eight burgesses inside and forty-one outside the Borough in 1086.


Ancient Monuments, 1989, Lydford; Ringwork, Castle, Town Banks, Site of Saxon Town and Defences (Schedule Document). SDV351489.

This area is partly within the Scheduled Monument area in Lydford.


Newman , P., 2000, The Town and Castle Earthworks at Lydford, 2 (Report - Survey). SDV351534.

The Domesday Survey of 1086 recorded 28 burgesses within the borough and that 40 houses had been destroyed since William's arrival in England. This may have been caused by the building of the Norman castle. The town declined after the 14th century and by 1600 the number of houses had dwindled to 16-18.


Exeter Archaeology, 2008, Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Sewage Treatment Works at Lydford (Report - Assessment). SDV351460.

Lydford was a royal borough at the time of the Domesday survey. The borough court of Lydford was mentioned in 1018. In 1086 there were 28 burgesses inside the borough and 41 outside. This seems to imply an extensive Medieval settlement outside the walls of the town although at least some of the burgesses outside the borough were at Fernworthy some 8 miles to the east.


Steinmetzer, M., 2011, Archaeological evaluation on land adjacent to Lydford Castle, Lydford, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV359788.


Steinmetzer, M., 2014, The reinstatement of the site compound adjacent to Lydford Castle (Report - Watching Brief). SDV357113.


Bray, L., 2017, Lydford settlement (Un-published). SDV360605.

The settlement of Lydford was first recorded in AD 919 as one of 33 ‘burghs’ or fortified settlements established during the reign of Alfred the Great, the Anglo-Saxon king of Wessex, although it is likely it was in existence before this. The Norman Conquest saw the construction of a castle within the town, which was eventually superseded by another later in the medieval period, a building which later saw use as a prison. The decline in the importance of Lydford which has occurred since the medieval period has meant relatively little development has occurred which has preserved many of the settlement’s historic features, including the castles, the original Anglo-Saxon earthwork ramparts at the town’s eastern end and even elements of the grid-like street pattern dating to this time all of which contribute to its evidential and historic value. The occupation of the settlement over at least a millennium means there is a high potential for the presence of buried archaeological features and deposits associated with the towns history which may not have a surface expression which further enhances the site’s evidential value. The character of Lydford, deriving from the association of medieval and post-medieval features and buildings also grants it a degree of aesthetic value.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV351460Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2008. Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Sewage Treatment Works at Lydford. Exeter Archaeology. 08.31 (6475). A4 Grip Bound.
SDV351489Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1989. Lydford; Ringwork, Castle, Town Banks, Site of Saxon Town and Defences. The Schedule of Monuments.
SDV351534Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2000. The Town and Castle Earthworks at Lydford. English Heritage. A4 Spiral Bound. 2.
SDV357113Report - Watching Brief: Steinmetzer, M.. 2014. The reinstatement of the site compound adjacent to Lydford Castle. Oakford Archaeology. OA1009. Digital.
SDV359788Report - Watching Brief: Steinmetzer, M.. 2011. Archaeological evaluation on land adjacent to Lydford Castle, Lydford, Devon. Exeter Archaeology. 11.46. Digital.
SDV360605Un-published: Bray, L.. 2017. Lydford settlement. Non-Designated Heritage Assets. Digital.
SDV6626Monograph: Beresford, M. W. + Finberg, H. P. R.. 1973. English Medieval Boroughs. A Handlist. English Medieval Boroughs. A Handlist. A5 Hardback. 93.

Associated Monuments

MDV14320Parent of: Lydford Castle, Linear Earthwork (Monument)
MDV53821Related to: Burgage Plots in Lydford (Monument)
MDV28942Related to: Earthworks in field to east of Lydford (Monument)
MDV54075Related to: Hollow Way (Monument)
MDV14324Related to: Medieval Houses exposed opposite Lydford Parish Church (Monument)
MDV119762Related to: Medieval strip fields north-east of Lydford (Monument)
MDV5594Related to: Outer Defensive Bank to north and east of Lydford (Monument)
MDV14317Related to: Ringwork to west of Lydford (Monument)
MDV14152Related to: Road south-east of Lydford Village (Monument)
MDV14321Related to: Saxon Burh at Lydford (Monument)
MDV3256Related to: St Petrock's Church, Lydford (Building)
MDV3249Related to: The South Gate, Lydford (Monument)
MDV3242Related to: Town Defences to north and east of Lydford (Monument)
MDV14153Related to: Two Earthwork Banks on east side of Lydford Village (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6171 - Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Sewage Treatment Works at Lydford (Ref: 08.31)
  • EDV6180 - The Town and Castle Earthworks at Lydford
  • EDV6566 - Watching brief during reinstatement of the site compound adjacent to Lydford Castle (Ref: OA1009)
  • EDV7063 - Watching brief on replacement of electricity pole at South Gate, Lydford (Ref: ACD1416)
  • EDV7078 - Evaluation on land adjacent to Lydford Castle (Ref: 7486)
  • EDV7079 - Geophysical survey on land adjacent to Lydford Castle (Ref: 2011/07)
  • EDV6028 - Archaeological Recording at Nicholls Hall, Lydford (Ref: 01.32)

Date Last Edited:Dec 5 2017 4:35PM