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HER Number:MDV4359
Name:Hawns Medieval Farmstead, Dendles Wood, Cornwood


Hawns Medieval farmstead in Dendles Wood shown as two rectangular buildings with associated crofts, or enclosures. This site is included in the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites. Hawns was mentioned in the 14th century.


Grid Reference:SX 612 625
Map Sheet:SX66SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishCornwood
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishCORNWOOD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains of Hawns medieval farmstead in Dendles Wood, comprising two rectangular buildings with associated crofts, or enclosures

Other References/Statuses

  • Dartmoor Non-designated Heritage Asset (Historical): NI Site
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SW/97

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMSTEAD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M., 1931, The Place-Names of Devon: Part One, 271 (Monograph). SDV1312.

Hawns was the home of 'Richard atte Haghene' (1330 Subsidy Roll). This is the weak plural of Old English ‘haga’, meaning ‘hedge’, ‘enclosure’.

Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2494, 5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV147533.

Royal Air Force, 1953, 58/1110, 0040 (Aerial Photograph). SDV157241.

Linehan, C. D., 1965, Deserted Sites on Dartmoor, Devon, 172 (Article in Serial). SDV217992.

Hawns; two buildings with crofts and enclosures in recently felled wood.

Linehan, C. D., 1966, Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon, 135 (Article in Serial). SDV307246.

A number of enclosures, also pits and mounds from later mining operations. Other details: Table 2, Figure 57.

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

A primitive longhouse built across the east slope of the valley of Broadall Lake, formerly in an oak wood, recently felled and replanted with fir, some within the buildings. There is one irregularly shaped outhouse, with crofts, all contained within a considerable field system. The house, which has no internal divisions, is notable for the enormous rocks which have been built into its walls. Two such great unworked rocks form the doorposts. A few yards south of the outhouse, the ground crops into a large and deep depression, which evidently contained some sort of building, of which two stones remain. There is no water nearer than Broadall Lake, below the site. Other details: 44, Plan.

National Monuments Record, 1977, NMR SX6162, 1, 3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV154453.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX66SW66 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV154448.

A deserted medieval farmstead consisting of two rectangular buildings and an enclosure terraced into the slope. Internal dimensions of buildings 10.6 meters by 4.0 meters and 11.5 meters by 4.8 meters. The walling on average, 1.2 meters wide, is in poor condition built of massive boulders. The yard measures 21.0 meters by 15.0 meters.

Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology, 1979, Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Vol 5, 51 (Monograph). SDV340435.

Greeves, T. + Robinson, R., 1983, Hawns deserted medieval settlement, Cornwood (Worksheet). SDV154450.

(Site visited 22/3/1983 by T. Greeves and R. Robinson). Two medieval buildings with associated enclosure and other walls within dense conifer plantation on left bank of Broadall Lake. A wall extends eastwards from the Broadall Lake, and the site lies approximately 30 meters east of the junction of the wall and a fence close to the stream, and a short distance south of the wall. Other details: Sketch on worksheet..

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Remains of farmyard and field system visible and recorded.

Griffiths, D. M., 1986, Hawns deserted medieval settlement, Cornwood (Site Visit). SDV154454.

(Site visited 23/01/1986 by Griffiths, D. and Robinson, R.) The site is located on the eastern valley side of Broadall Lake and is covered with conifer. The remains of two buildings were recorded, both with upstanding stone walls which incorporate huge granite boulders. Neither building has an obviously classic longhouse form although the vegetation cover makes inspection difficult. There is an enclosed croft between the two structures (as Linehan has recorded, 1966). The more southerly of the two structures has a curious addition to its northern end, which may be related to the croft rather than the building.

Fletcher, M. + Newman, P. + Probert, S., 1998, Hawns and Dendles: An Archaeological Survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 10-18, Figure 9 (Report - Survey). SDV346246.

Two rectilinear buildings, aligned with the contours of the slope with an associated system of contemporary enclosures. The late medieval field boundaries survive here as substantial cornditches and revetments. The farmstead is located on an artificial shelf and comprises two ruined buildings connected by and built into a small courtyard enclosure which is roughly trapezoidal in shape. The northern building is the most substantial and is orientated north-north-west to south-south-east, with an entrance midway along the western wall, opening into the courtyard. The building measures 10.6 by 3.8 meters and the walls are 1.2 meters thick on average, surviving to a maximum height of 1.15 meters. Some unusually large granite boulders are included in the walls.
The second building is located 8.0 meters south-west of the first and is connected by a short section of enclosure wall. It is orientated north to south and is more irregular in form, being wider at the southern end. No north-eastern corner of the structure exists, rather the eastern wall curves gently into the western side, forming a semi-circular section of wall. The structure measures 11.4 meters internally, by up to 4.6 meters, the walls are 1.0 meter thick, standing to a height of 1.4 meters.
Both buildings have been disturbed by conifer planting in the late 1950s and have tree stumps recently sawn off at ground level. The enclosure incorporates both buildings and additional sections of walling. There is a possible entrance into the enclosure in the short section of wall which connects the two buildings to the south.

Gerrard, S., 2006, Dartmoor Nationally Important Sites (Cartographic). SDV345607.

One of a group of sites included on a list to be scheduled by English Heritage in the early 2000s. The programme on Dartmoor was ended prematurely and therefore official Scheduled status was never assigned. For the purposes of planning and management these sites are considered to be of equal status to Scheduled sites.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

'Farmstead' shown on modern mapping as three adjoining rectangles.

Richards, A. F., 2011, Hawns deserted medieval settlement, Cornwood (Personal Comment). SDV346245.

This site appears to have been confused in the past with the Scheduled site 442 nearby, which covers the hut circles. As the scheduled area does not cover Hawns medieval site, I have deleted the Scheduled Monument status for this record.

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

Hawns a Medieval farmstead site.

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. 271.
SDV147533Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2494. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5.
SDV150434Un-published: Haynes, R. G.. 1966-1969. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Manuscript + Digital.
SDV154448Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SX66SW66. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV154450Worksheet: Greeves, T. + Robinson, R.. 1983. Hawns deserted medieval settlement, Cornwood. Worksheet. Worksheet.
SDV154453Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. NMR SX6162. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1, 3.
SDV154454Site Visit: Griffiths, D. M.. 1986. Hawns deserted medieval settlement, Cornwood. Worksheet. Digital.
SDV157241Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1953. 58/1110. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 0040.
SDV217992Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1965. Deserted Sites on Dartmoor, Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 97. A5 Hardback. 172.
SDV307246Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1966. Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon. Medieval Archaeology. 10. Digital. 135.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV340435Monograph: Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology. 1979. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Vol 5. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. 5. Unknown. 51.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #91770 ]
SDV345607Cartographic: Gerrard, S.. 2006. Dartmoor Nationally Important Sites. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV346245Personal Comment: Richards, A. F.. 2011. Hawns deserted medieval settlement, Cornwood. Digital.
SDV346246Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. + Newman, P. + Probert, S.. 1998. Hawns and Dendles: An Archaeological Survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A4 Spiral Bound + Digital. 10-18, Figure 9.
SDV352501Un-published: White, P.. 2013. Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads. Excel Spreadsheet. Hawns.

Associated Monuments

MDV120032Related to: Cider Mill Stone north of Hawns Farmstead, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV4357Related to: Deserted farmstead on High-House Waste, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV27806Related to: Medieval Farmstead in Dendles Wood, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV27923Related to: Medieval Field system at Hawns, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV27805Related to: Medieval Field system in Dendles Waste, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV120028Related to: Pillow Mound south of Hawns Farmstead, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV120030Related to: Three Tin Prospecting Pits south of Hawns Farmstead, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV120037Related to: Tin Streamworks east of Broadall Lake, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV120036Related to: WWII Aircraft Crash Site in Dendles Wood, Cornwood (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4965 - Hawns and Dendles, Cornwood: An Archaeological survey by the Royal Commission

Date Last Edited:Apr 6 2020 10:32AM