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HER Number:MDV4808
Name:Site of a Chapel in Okehampton Park, Okehampton Hamlets


Remains of a chapel (Linehan Site 52) in the south of two adjacent earthwork enclosures. Dressed stones from window or door lie inside. Tithe map marks main enclosure as 'Hospital'.


Grid Reference:SX 582 932
Map Sheet:SX59SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishOkehampton Hamlets
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOKEHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX59SE101
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1388145
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX59SE/5/1
  • Old SAM County Ref: 22
  • Pastscape: 440846

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHAPEL (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD)
  • HOSPITAL? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Full description

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

'Chapel (Remains of)' shown on 19th century map as a cross shaped feature with surrounding earthworks.

Unknown, 1954, Letter, 26/1/1954 (Correspondence). SDV264556.

Remains of chapel. Two curved stones which probably formed the archway to this chapel, and a few other featureless stones are all that remain. Two granite quadrants and the top of a window are all that remain.

Royal Air Force, 1961, RAF/58/4424, F44.33 (Aerial Photograph). SDV288116.

Linehan, C. D., 1966, Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon, 128-129, table 2 (Article in Serial). SDV307246.

West and south sides are the most upstanding, each 6.71 metres long, 5.79 metres wide. Several dressed stones lie within the ruins (site 52).

Ancient Monuments, 1971, Schedule details, 22/5/1971 (Schedule Document). SDV217920.

Remains of building in south of two adjacent earthwork enclosures. Dressed stones from window or door lie inside. Tithe map marks main enclosure as 'hospital'.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1974, SX59SE2 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV215263.

(30/10/1974, Ordnance Survey compiled data) Site 52. The chapel. The building was evidently constructed by cutting back into a sharp south slope and, robbed of stone, its site and plan are only determined by the scarping which remains. This implies an east-west building with a southern wing. An early English style doorhead and window head lie within the area.
An hospital for lepers founded in Okehampton before 1307. It is not known when it ceased to exist.
The connection is tenuous but it is recorded that the tithe map for Okehampton Hamlets assigns the name 'Hospital' to the chapel enclosure in Okehampton Park, SX582932 (citing Knowles, D. and Hadcock, R. N.,1971, Medieval Religious Houses, 329) and Linehan, C., Medieval Archaeology, 1966, 129).

Balkwill, C. J., 1976, Quarries, No. 6 (Report - Survey). SDV325006.

The enclosure lies across the main trackway, indicating a possible later origin, although plough-marks do respect it.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1978, Archaeological Sites within Okehampton Park and its Vicinity, No. A.2 (Un-published). SDV233126.

Austin, D. + Daggett, R. H. + Walker, M. J. C., 1980, Farms and fields in Okehampton Park, 44 (Article in Serial). SDV324998.

Linehan site 52 overlies ridge and furrow, and its more complex earthworks suggest it is morphologically and chronologically distinct from the other seven medieval farmsteads. Possibly (with SX59SE/5/2) a hunting lodge.

Weston, S., 1983, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1983 (Un-published). SDV343247.

Bridgwater, R., 1984, Letter, plan, (8/11/1984) (Correspondence). SDV217933.

'Chapel' interpreted by Daggett as a hunting lodge. Plan shows enclosure 40 metres by 20 metres east of and partly incorporating 'chapel' site.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EA, 4,5,6a (Aerial Photograph). SDV215278.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/ED, 2a (Aerial Photograph). SDV215279.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EK, 11 (Aerial Photograph). SDV215280.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EL, 2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV215281.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GK, 7a-11 (Aerial Photograph). SDV12893.

Pattison, P., 1992, Okehampton Deserted Medieval Settlements (Report - Survey). SDV217981.

The West Park area of the former deer park at Okehampton was surveyed by staff of the Royal Commission Exeter office in Jan-Feb 1992 at the request of Dartmoor National Park Authority. The area, centred at SX 57209220, was surveyed at 1/2500. The two deserted settlements known as sites 57 and 58 were subject to more detailed analysis at 1/1000 scale. The archive report contains full historical and archaeological analysis of the area.

Wessex Archaeology, 2001, Okehampton Camp Devon. Archaeological Desk Based Assessment and Earthwork Survey, 11, Appendix 1, WA 9 & 17 (Report - Survey). SDV360511.

Linehan Site 52 is a chapel and/or Deer Park hunting lodge. Both overlie and are therefore later than the surrounding 13th century field system. The fact that they lie at the head of a track leading directly to the castle to the north and appear to be contemporary with the park is suggestive of the hunting lodge theory.

Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

'Chapel (site of)' marked on the modern mapping.

Historic England, 2018, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

This monument includes two conjoined enclosures and the remains of a building, situated close to the summit of a north-facing ridge forming the southern valley side of the West Okement River.
The larger enclosure lies to the south and survives as an irregular shaped area measuring up to 102 metres long by 42 metres wide, defined by a substantial bank with construction ditch measuring up to 12 metres wide. This enclosure is subdivided by a low earthwork bank next to which are the remains of a building surviving as a series of rubble built banks up to 1.8 metres wide defining a structure measuring up to 21.6 metres long and 16.9 metres wide. Within the building, pieces of dressed stone are visible which may have originally formed part of a window or door. The smaller enclosure conjoins the larger to the north and east. Its northern boundary is defined by a sinuous bank, which widens at the eastern end. The overall length of this bank is up to 72 metres and it varies in width from 1.8 metres up to 4 metres.
This settlement forms part of a dispersed group of broadly contemporary settlements situated within an area known as Okehampton Park. At least eight settlements are known to have existed in the demesne land cleared to create Okehampton Park by Hugh de Courtenay in around 1300. Excavation during the 1970’s at one settlement suggests that they were established during the first half of the 12th century. The tithe map shows the larger enclosure and marks it as a ‘Hospital’, whilst the Ordnance Survey 6 inch map depicts this as the site of a 'Chapel'. Traditionally, it has also been described as an 'Hermitage'.

Ordnance Survey, 2019, MasterMap 2019 (Cartographic). SDV362729.

'Chapel (site of)' shown on modern mapping.

Historic England, 2019, National Heritage List for England, 1004602 (National Heritage List for England). SDV362730.

The deserted medieval settlement in Okehampton Park, 200 metres south-west of Moor Cottage forms part of a very well preserved, dispersed group of broadly contemporary settlements complete with their original field systems. The creation of the deep park has fossilised their development in the late 13th century and together they provide an invaluable insight into Medieval life. This settlement survives well, with boundary banks and rubble walls achieving a reasonable height. The presence of worked stone within the building is indicative of an important structure. The banks, buried ditches, structures and enclosed areas will all contain significant archaeological information concerning the construction, use, occupation and relationship to its surrounding environment. .

Sources / Further Reading

SDV12893Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GK. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 7a-11.
SDV215263Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1974. SX59SE2. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV215278Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EA. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4,5,6a.
SDV215279Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/ED. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2a.
SDV215280Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EK. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 11.
SDV215281Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EL. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2.
SDV217920Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1971. Schedule details. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown. 22/5/1971.
SDV217933Correspondence: Bridgwater, R.. 1984. Letter. Letter. Unknown. plan, (8/11/1984).
SDV217981Report - Survey: Pattison, P.. 1992. Okehampton Deserted Medieval Settlements. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey.
SDV233126Un-published: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1978. Archaeological Sites within Okehampton Park and its Vicinity. Archaeological Sites within Okehampton Park and its Vicinity. No. A.2.
SDV264556Correspondence: Unknown. 1954. Letter. letter. Unknown. 26/1/1954.
SDV288116Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1961. RAF/58/4424. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. F44.33.
SDV307246Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1966. Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon. Medieval Archaeology. 10. Digital. 128-129, table 2.
SDV324998Article in Serial: Austin, D. + Daggett, R. H. + Walker, M. J. C.. 1980. Farms and fields in Okehampton Park. Landscape History. 2. Unknown. 44.
SDV325006Report - Survey: Balkwill, C. J.. 1976. Quarries. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Rural Survey. No. 6.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV343247Un-published: Weston, S.. 1983. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1983. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Unknown.
SDV360511Report - Survey: Wessex Archaeology. 2001. Okehampton Camp Devon. Archaeological Desk Based Assessment and Earthwork Survey. Wessex Archaeology Report. 50171. A4 Comb Bound. 11, Appendix 1, WA 9 & 17.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #112617 ]
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV362729Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2019. MasterMap 2019. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV362730National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2019. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1004602.

Associated Monuments

MDV4806Part of: Deserted Medieval Settlements, Sites 52-59, at Okehampton (Monument)
MDV14212Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement (Linehan Site 53a & b), Okehampton Park (Monument)
MDV14218Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement (Linehan Site 54), Okehampton Park (Monument)
MDV30507Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement (Site 112), Okehampton Park (Monument)
MDV14211Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement (Site 52), Okehampton Park (Monument)
MDV21000Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement (Site 53c), Okehampton Park (Monument)
MDV14213Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement (Site 55), Okehampton Park (Monument)
MDV14214Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement (Site 56), Okehampton Park (Monument)
MDV14215Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement (Site 57), Okehampton Park (Monument)
MDV14216Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement (Site 58), Okehampton Park (Monument)
MDV14217Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlement (Site 59), Okehampton Park (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8007 - Okehampton Camp Devon: Archaeological Desk-based Assessment and Earthwork Survey (Ref: 50171.01)
  • EDV3474 - Earthwork survey of Okehampton Castle and Park

Date Last Edited:Dec 6 2021 10:35AM