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HER Number:MDV27700
Name:Will May's House, Gidleigh


Ruined foundations of a post-medieval structure known as Will May's House on Gidleigh Common. Thought to date to around 1800, when last recorded in 1999, the remains consisted of walls surviving up to 1.2 metres in height. Building measures 2.7 metres by 1.3 metres. Damage to east wall noted in February 2017.


Grid Reference:SX 639 868
Map Sheet:SX68NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishGidleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGIDLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NW/88
  • Old SAM Ref: 28762

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BUILDING (XVIII to XIX - 1800 AD to 1850 AD (Between))

Full description

National Monument Record, 1977, SX6487/2, 72-73 (Aerial Photograph). SDV249897.

Visible on aerial photograph.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Small rectangular building visible on 1977 National Monuments Record aerial photograph.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP/152217, 27/5/1999 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

A post medieval shelter known as Will May's House. Measures 2.7 metres by 1.3 metres. Drystone wall 0.6 metres wide, 1.2 metres high. Coursed drystone wall. Some stones have fallen off the wall into the interior. Fireplace in the west wall measures 0.5 metres wide, 0.75 metres deep and 0.67 metres high. Entrance faces north and is 0.45 metres wide. Wall on the western side is up to 1.15 metres thick.

Greeves, T. A. P., 2004, Will May's House (Worksheet). SDV237644.

'Will May's House' is a ruin of approximately 1800.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Ruined building is visible on the aerial photography.

Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

The monument includes an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement and post- medieval shelter known as Will May's House situated on a gentle east facing slope overlooking the valley of the North Teign River. The stone hut circle settlement includes seven stone hut circles which survive as circular walls each surrounding an internal area which varies from 12 sq m to 27 sq m. The heights of the surrounding walls vary between 0.25m and 0.7m. Four of the huts have visible doorways. The post-medieval shelter includes a coursed drystone wall standing between 0.6m and 1.15m wide and up to 1.2m high. The interior measures 2.7m long by 1.3m wide and is entered through a doorway in the northern wall which measures 0.45m wide. A fireplace built into the western wall measures 0.5m wide by 0.75m deep and 0.67m high.

Nicholls, G., 2017, Record of damage to Will May's House (Personal Comment). SDV360620.

Site visited 19/02/17 and damage noted; complete east wall has been taken down and stones used to form a wind break; a tent was also noted and possibly semi-permanent unauthorised wild camping. Damage to the site appears quite recent.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV237644Worksheet: Greeves, T. A. P.. 2004. Will May's House. Worksheet.
SDV249897Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 1977. SX6487/2. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 72-73.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP/152217, 27/5/1999.
SDV319854Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital. [Mapped feature: #85858 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV360620Personal Comment: Nicholls, G.. 2017. Record of damage to Will May's House. Not Applicable.

Associated Monuments

MDV61443Related to: HUT CIRCLE in the Parish of Gidleigh (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV37 - MPP Inspection

Date Last Edited:Dec 11 2017 4:16PM