HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV29577
Name:Poflett Deseted Medieval Settlement, Milton Abbot

Summary

Area of earthworks marking site of possible deserted medieval settlement. Local names suggest that this was Poflett which documentary sources indicate was held of Tavistock Abbey in 1135.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 429 793
Map Sheet:SX47NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishMilton Abbot
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMILTON ABBOT

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Poflett. Medieval deserted settlement south east of Poflet Pastures

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47NW/33
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX47NW8

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

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

The earthworks do not correspond with any depicted features.

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

The earthworks do not correspond with any depicted features.

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Some of the earthworks are visible on aerial photographs.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1984 - 1986, SX47NW8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV341352.

Site visit 01/12/1983. Possible deserted medieval settlement. Partly under permanent pasture it comprises about 1 hectare of earthworks indicative of desertion, and occupies moderately steep northwest and southeast facing slopes separated by a modern field bank which traverses an area of marsh and follows the alignment of a streamlet. At the base of the northwwest facing slope there is a dog-leg scarp, 50 metres long and 0.5 metres high. Two platforms are recessed into the hillslope to a depth of 0.6 metres. One measures 30 metres by 26 metres internally; the other 25 metres by 20 metres, 35 metres above the platforms there is a circular mound at SX43007927. It has a diameter of 15 metres with a flattish top 7 metres across, and a maximum height of 0.6 metres. The southeast slope has a complex of earthworks extending for 50 metres up the hillside from marsh at the base, fed by a spring. Six platforms are of rectilinear and curvilinear plan. They range in size from 10 mtres by 5 metres to 18 metres by 8 metres some separated by a track about 5 metres wide. The platforms could have contained buildings. There is a straight holloway bounding the northwest side. It is 8 metres wide overall, up to 1.3 m etres deep and 75 metres long. An abrupt southern turn at the northeast end suggests that it was independent of the Lamerton road; 50 metres to the northwest of the earthworks at SX42837940 there is another circular mound similar though opposing position to that on the southeast side of the valley, and of almost identical size. It seems probable that the area of apparent desertion once extended further to the southwest and northwest. The holloway can be seen in the adjoining field as a faint single scarp, denoting its upper edge, continuing the straight alignment for 30 metres. Some distinct breaks in the northern side of the holloway. Purpose of the two mounds obscure.
The name 'Poflett Pond' is applied to a pond immediately to the northeast on the 1809 1 inch Ordnance Survey map. The local fields are grouped under 'Poflett Parks' in the Tithe Apportionment. In 1135, Brian de Liddintone held Foghangar and Poflet as a quarter fee from Tavistock Abbey. Other details: Copy of plan in Parish File.

Griffith, F. M., 1987, DAP/HK, 11-12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV341355.

Miller, A., 1996, Untitled Source (Interpretation). SDV341353.

No clear indication that the site continued any further to the northwest or southeast than described by the Ordnance Survey Archaeological Division. The breaks on the north side are not as evenly spaced as described.

Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 2001-2002, Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records, DAP13298/11-12, SX4379/1-2 (Interpretation). SDV346287.

Field boundaries of unknown, but potential medieval, date are visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthwork banks.

Houghton, P., 2011, The Deserted and Shrunken Settlements of Milton Abbot Parish in West Devon, 3, 42 (Undergraduate Dissertation). SDV352225.

Source refers to a holloway, observed during fieldwalking, which extended 'across the field and through the deserted hamlet … continued through the next field to the west, across a road, through another field and onto Foghanger.' However, no plan of the route is given. Similarly un-located reference to earthworks observed in 'a field next to the modern property of Poflet Pastures'.

NERC, 2013, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) Tellus: Tamar Aerial Survey project area, LIDAR Tellus LAST RETURN 01-JUL-2013 to 31-AUG-2013 (Cartographic). SDV363955.

A series of curvilinear banks and platforms are visible as earthworks.

Houghton, P., 2015, An Archaeological and Historical Report on The Upper Tamar Valley including Excavations at Lamerhooe Volume One, 34-, fig 7, 4.2.a (Report - Assessment). SDV363240.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2016, Backlog Recording of the Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Survey (Personal Comment). SDV359374.

The earthwork banks transcribed as part of this survey clearly form part of the larger group of earthworks recorded here and which form part the deserted medieval village of Poflet.

Google, 2019, Google Earth Pro, EARTH.GOOGLE.COM 01-JAN-2001 ACCESSED 26-MAR-2021 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363088.

Some of the earthworks are visible on aerial photographs.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2020-2021, Tamar/Lidar; A Single Source Approach to Landscape Survey and Socially Distanced Community Archaeology Area 1 (AI&M project) (Interpretation). SDV363945.

A series of curvilinear banks and platforms are visible as both subtle and prominent earthworks on visualisations derived from lidar data captured in 2013. The earthworks are situated either side of a stream and spring in south-east and north-west facing fields south-west of Poflet Pastures.
The south-east facing field contains a circular platform to the north-west circa 17 metres by 19 metres. 45 metres to the south-east of this platform there are two parallel curvilinear banks circa 70 metres in length and orientated north-east to south-west. A series of fragmented curvilinear banks also orientated north-east to south-west are situated in the south-east part of the field along with some platform-like features.
The north-west facing field contains further north-east to south-west orientated curvilinear banks nearest the stream, forming a square shaped enclosure circa 10 metres across. To the south-east of these is a short north-west to south-east orientated bank and three platforms, two rectilinear platforms both circa 11 metres by 12 metres and an oval shaped platform circa 18 metre by 11 metres.
More subtle earthworks are visible in the vicinity of the stream and spring that cannot be accurately transcribed. Some of these earthworks may relate to natural features associated with the watercourse.
Two curvilinear banks extend across an adjacent field to the west, one circa 265 metres in length and one circa 275 metres. One of the banks is on the same orientation and in alignment with a bank visible in the south-east facing field, and may be its continuation.
The earthworks do not correspond with any features depicted on the available historic maps. They are interpreted as a medieval settlement, deserted by the mid-19th century.
The earthworks had previously been transcribed as part of the Tamar Valley NMP project and are depicted on the OS mastermap. They have been re-transcribed based on 2013 lidar data.

Ordnance Survey, 2021, MasterMap 2021 (Cartographic). SDV364015.

The earthworks are depicted on the OS mastermap.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV341352Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1984 - 1986. SX47NW8. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV341353Interpretation: Miller, A.. 1996. RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project. Digital.
SDV341355Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1987. DAP/HK. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 11-12.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
SDV346287Interpretation: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2001-2002. Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records. National Mapping Programme. Map (Digital). DAP13298/11-12, SX4379/1-2.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV352225Undergraduate Dissertation: Houghton, P.. 2011. The Deserted and Shrunken Settlements of Milton Abbot Parish in West Devon. University of Bristol. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 3, 42.
SDV359374Personal Comment: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2016. Backlog Recording of the Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Survey. Not Applicable.
SDV363088Aerial Photograph: Google. 2019. Google Earth Pro. Various. Digital. EARTH.GOOGLE.COM 01-JAN-2001 ACCESSED 26-MAR-2021.
SDV363945Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2020-2021. Tamar/Lidar; A Single Source Approach to Landscape Survey and Socially Distanced Community Archaeology Area 1 (AI&M project). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363955Cartographic: NERC. 2013. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) Tellus: Tamar Aerial Survey project area. Digital. LIDAR Tellus LAST RETURN 01-JUL-2013 to 31-AUG-2013. [Mapped feature: #129409 ]
SDV364015Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap 2021. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV16418Related to: FARMSTEAD in the Parish of Milton Abbot (Monument)
MDV114209Related to: Ridge and Furrow at Poflet Pastures (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6911 - Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme
  • EDV8345 - Tamar/Lidar; A Single Source Approach to Landscape Survey and Socially Distanced Community Archaeology Area 1 (AI&M) (Ref: ACD2380)

Date Last Edited:Mar 26 2021 5:53PM