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HER Number:MDV4381
Name:Cranmere Pool, West Okement Head


Recorded in the early 20th century as a possible holy well, it is one of the examples suggested by Greeves (2019) to potentially have Prehistoric origins.


Grid Reference:SX 603 858
Map Sheet:SX68NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX68NW105
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 967719
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NW/14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOLLOW (Unknown date)
  • POND (Early Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? (Between) to 42 AD (Between))
  • HOLY WELL (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD? (Between) to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Brown, T., 1963, Holy and Notable Wells, Part V, 133 (Article in Serial). SDV16026.

Cranmere Pool. Included in R. C. Hope's list in the "Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England" (1926). See author's note 'The Dartmoor Entrance to the Underworld', Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries, XXIX. I. (1962) 6-9.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1993-1998, Dartmoor Royal Forest Project, S. Probert (Report - Survey). SDV346608.

(02/09/1993) SX 60328583. Cranmere Pool, a large irregular hollow located above the head of the West Okement River, measures roughly 45m in diameter and a maximum 2.5m deep. A stone-built Dartmoor letter box stands near the southern edge.
This now dry hollow, with a minor stream running across it, may once have been regarded as a holy well but there is no ground evidence to support the presence of an entrance to the underworld as suggested by Brown (1963).

Probert, S. A. J. + Newman, P., 2003-2004, Measured survey North Dartmoor Military Range Okehampton Range: Monument Baseline Condition Survey, S. Probert (Report - Survey). SDV350801.

(21/08/2004) No change to the above and no trace of cloven hoofprints.

Greeves, T. A. P., 2019, Dartmoor's Sacred Pools. Design in the Prehistoric Landscape, 16, Cranmere Pool (Article in Serial). SDV363426.

SX 60330 85830 The Cranmere Pool measures around 1 acre (0.4 hectares). One of over 40 such 'sacred' pools identified on Dartmoor that are thought to have potentially been designed during the prehistoric period, and may have been used to deposit votive items, although these Dartmoor examples may have alternative significance as designed prehistoric elements in the landscape. Many are located on ridge tops and in conjunction with cairns, stone rows and other prehistoric features. Further research may well reveal more about these interesting features.

Ordnance Survey, 2020, MasterMap 2020 (Cartographic). SDV363413.

Depicted on the modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV16026Article in Serial: Brown, T.. 1963. Holy and Notable Wells, Part V. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 95. A5 Paperback. 133.
SDV346608Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1993-1998. Dartmoor Royal Forest Project. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown. S. Probert.
SDV350801Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J. + Newman, P.. 2003-2004. Measured survey North Dartmoor Military Range Okehampton Range: Monument Baseline Condition Survey. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. 28-2004. Unknown. S. Probert.
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #91931 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV133369Related to: Dartmoor National Park sign near Cranmere Pool at West Okement Head, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8679 - Okehampton Range: Management Survey
  • EDV8291 - Okehampton Range: Monument Baseline Condition Survey
  • EDV8695 - Survey of Okehampton North Dartmoor Military Range

Date Last Edited:Sep 12 2023 9:31AM