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HER Number:MDV6100
Name:Blackdown Piper deserted Medieval site north of Lower Blackaton Farm, Widecombe


Blackaton Tenements/ Blackdown Piper; part of a significant deserted Medieval settlement comprising remains of houses with crofts and gardens, with signs of rebuilding in the 16th or 17th century. May have been the site of a manor house and chapel. Still occupied in the 1840s, when three buildings are depicted on the Tithe map.


Grid Reference:SX 695 780
Map Sheet:SX67NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWidecombe in the Moor
Ecclesiastical ParishWIDECOMBE IN THE MOOR

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67NE37
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 442485
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67NE/87

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CROFT (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD (Between) to 1750 AD (Between))
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD (Between) to 1750 AD (Between))
  • MANOR HOUSE? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SCHOOLROOM (XVIII to Unknown - 1797 AD)

Full description

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

Depicted on the Tithe Map as 'Blackdown Piper'. 1207 in Apportionment; 'House and Yard'. Three buildings depicted, aligned roughly west-east, across the hill slope on the same alignment as the longhouses at Lower Blackaton farm to the south.

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

Only one building; the most southerly of the three depicted on the Tithe map, is depicted on the late 19th century map.

Royal Air Force, 1961, 58/4424 (Aerial Photograph). SDV280247.

Visible on aerial photographs.

French, H. + Linehan, C. D., 1963, Abandoned Medieval Sites in Widecombe in the Moor, 170, figure (Article in Serial). SDV345196.

Part of a medieval settlement comprising remains of houses with crofts and gardens. The foundations are not long houses, but suggest rebuilding in the 16th or 17th century. Still occupied in 1843.

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

Three buildings showing late development with associated enclosures.

Haynes, R. G., 1966-1969, Ruined Sites on Dartmoor, 2 (Un-published). SDV150434.

Visited 17/6/1967 Blackaton Tenements. Obscure building remains opposite Lower Blackaton Farm. Definite remains of one longhouse with a portion of the wall at the south end reasonably intact. In the line of the west wall are two stones with small rectangular recesses in each, possibly cavities for door bolts. This would seem to indicate its change of use to a barn or outbuilding in later years. Adjacent are slight grass banks, probably indicating the foundations of other buildings. The small building at the west end of the site, near the road, is probably modern. It has a gate post built into its wall.

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

Not recorded.

Stanbrook, M., 1991, Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered, 70 (Monograph). SDV359884.

A charity-supported school was set up at Blagdon-Piper (Blackaton) under Mary Leamon in 1797.

Jamieson, E., 2006, Blackaton Deserted Medieval Settlement, Dartmoor, Devon. Archaeological Survey Report, 4, 13, 18 (Report - Survey). SDV351119.

Documentary sources quoted for the tenements in 'Blakedown Piper' in 1532.
Blackdown Piper has been proposed as the site of a manor house, the 'Piper' element being derived from the Pipard family who held the manor during the 13th and 14th centuries. It is also suggested that the chapel referred to in an 18th century document, would likely have been located close to the manor house. No reference to the chapel by the time of the tithe award in 1841.
Blackdown Piper was liked to the main Blackaton settlement by a path or trackway.
Ridge and furrow indicates that the tenents of Blackdown Pipe utilised the Blackaton area in the early post-medieval period.

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

Blackaton tenements known as 'Blackdown Piper' a lost Medieval farmstead.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV150434Un-published: Haynes, R. G.. 1966-1969. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Manuscript + Digital. 2.
SDV280247Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1961. 58/4424. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV307246Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1966. Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon. Medieval Archaeology. 10. Digital. Table 2.
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.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV345196Article in Serial: French, H. + Linehan, C. D.. 1963. Abandoned Medieval Sites in Widecombe in the Moor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 95. A5 Hardback. 170, figure.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital. [Mapped feature: #96729 ]
SDV351119Report - Survey: Jamieson, E.. 2006. Blackaton Deserted Medieval Settlement, Dartmoor, Devon. Archaeological Survey Report. English Heritage Research Department Report. 24/2006. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4, 13, 18.
SDV352501Un-published: White, P.. 2013. Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads. Excel Spreadsheet. Blackaton tenements.
SDV359884Monograph: Stanbrook, M.. 1991. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Paperback Volume. 70.

Associated Monuments

MDV6028Related to: Blackaton Deserted Medieval Settlement, Widecombe in the Moor (Monument)
MDV15962Related to: Blackaton Manor, Widecombe in the Moor (Monument)
MDV29762Related to: Longhouse at Lower Blackaton (Building)
MDV29772Related to: Lower Blackaton Farmhouse, Widecombe (Building)
MDV77004Related to: Lower Blackaton farmstead, Widecombe in the Moor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 1 2022 4:52PM