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HER Number:MDV54463
Name:Tavistock to Ashburton pack-horse track


The pack-horse track, originally marked by guide stones ran from the Tavistock-Chagford pack-horse track near Merrivale eastwards across the moor. Tracked by Hemery as far as New Bridge, much of the course has been replaced with the modern roads. Polygon is approximate in places.


Grid Reference:SX 628 731
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishAshburton
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
Civil ParishHolne
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
Civil ParishTavistock
Civil ParishWalkhampton
Civil ParishWhitchurch
Civil ParishWidecombe in the Moor
DistrictSouth Hams
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishHOLNE
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON
Ecclesiastical ParishWHITCHURCH
Ecclesiastical ParishWIDECOMBE IN THE MOOR
Ecclesiastical ParishASHBURTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Walling of Bronze Age hut circle and earthworks and open cut remains of 19th century Gobbett Tin Mine, including tunnel adjacent to the River Swincombe
  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains on Walkhampton Common including 19th century Swelltor and Foggintor Quarries, a section of the early 19th century Plymouth and Dartmoor Tramway, later converted to railway, also streamworks along the Yes Tor Brook
  • SHINE: Extensive earthwork and structural remains of the late 18th century Devonport Leat, Bronze Age features north-east of Nun’s Cross, Whiteworks Tin Mine and other tinning remains on Walkhampton Common as well as earthworks of Bachelors Hall Mine

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/436
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TRACKWAY (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

FLETCHER, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV10257.

Depicted on os 6" 1886 map as a sinuous footpath (os).
Vis=24/4/1989 (rchme) the pack-horse track from meavy head (sx58427335) may have followed more or less the course of the present tarmac road from princetown to tor royal and the concrete road from the farm to bull park (sx60017317 to sx60277330).
A partially metalled 20c banked track which crosses the tor royal newtake in a dead straight line, has probably effaced much of the evidence of the early route but mr p crozier has identified some short sections, mostly on the s side of the metalled track, during the dry summer season. A low, denuded earthen bank on the w flank of royal hill between sx6027327 and sx60737323 probably indicates its course down the steep slope.
Vis=the relatively sinuous course of a track crossing the newtake is depicted and annotated 'road to torroyal' on an early 19c duchy map.
Vis=a guide stone in the tor royal-sherberton boundary indicates its route and beyond to swincombe ford (sx64147249) it is visible as a crude track, delimited in part by drystone enclosure walls. Beyond the ford to the e edge of sherberton it probably followed the line of a slight embarked hollow-way which has an eroded natural boulder-stone surface (fletcher).

RCHME, CITING HEMERY, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV216950.

From above meavy head it ran into tor royal and across the n flank of royal hill to the river swincombe. Crossing here at swincombe ford it continued over the n foot of down ridge to hexworthy.(rchme, citing hemery).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218951.

Des=duchy of cornwall/map of freehold & early enclosures on dartmoor/(1805-18).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218952.

Des=crozier, p. /(nd)/pers comm to rchme.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218953.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218954.

Des=fletcher, m. J. /(24/4/1989)/rchme field investigation.

SIC, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV3038.

The tavistock-ashburton pack-horse track, originally marked by guide stones ran from the tavistock-chagford pack-horse track near merivale (sic) to the crossing point of the river dart at newbridge and beyond into border country. Guide stones were erected in 1699-1700 at a cost of 2 pounds.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 86-87 (Monograph). SDV249702.

Hemery records the route of the path, from Merrivale to New Bridge.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV10257Migrated Record: FLETCHER.
SDV216950Migrated Record: RCHME, CITING HEMERY.
SDV218951Migrated Record:
SDV218952Migrated Record:
SDV218953Migrated Record:
SDV218954Migrated Record:
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 86-87.
SDV3038Migrated Record: SIC.

Associated Monuments

MDV115716Related to: Ashburton 'parole' stone at Dart Vale (Monument)
MDV54471Related to: 'Conscies Road', Tor Royal (Monument)
MDV5005Related to: Foggintor Quarry, Princetown (Monument)
MDV123072Related to: Jolly Lane Cottage, Hexworthy (Building)
MDV51400Related to: Quarry north-east of the site of the Four Winds School, Merrivale (Monument)
MDV28204Related to: Quarry on Walkhampton Common (Monument)
MDV125413Related to: Ridge and furrow north-west of Sharp Tor (Monument)
MDV123021Related to: Ring O' Bells Farmhouse, Hexworthy (Building)
MDV77452Related to: Ring O' Bells, Hexworthy Farm (Monument)
MDV28222Related to: Streamworks along the Yes Tor Brook, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV26082Related to: Swincombe Farm (Monument)
MDV16974Related to: Tavistock to Moretonhampstead road (Monument)
MDV5076Related to: The Abbot's Way, Dartmoor (Monument)
MDV118360Related to: The Forest Inn, Hexworthy (Building)
MDV123022Related to: Western farmstead at Hexworthy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7375 - Archaeological recording during construction of the Dousland to Rundlestone water main (Ref: 94.40)
  • EDV8054 - Watching brief on land next to the Villa, Princetown (Ref: OA1532)

Date Last Edited:Mar 4 2019 2:30PM