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HER Number:MDV6281
Name:Former Brownberry Farmstead south-east of Dunnabridge Pound, Lydford


Ruins of the former Brownberry farmstead shown on 19th century maps which was still inhabited in 1893. Brownberry was mentioned in the 16th century. The 19th century Tithe Map Apportionment lists it as 'Ruins of old house'


Grid Reference:SX 646 744
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Brownberry medieval settlement, consisting of five ruined buildings and a sunken entrance lane

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 443431?
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/43
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SXX67SW64

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMSTEAD (XVIII to XIX - 1800 AD to 1900 AD)

Full description

Duchy of Cornwall, 1818, Map of Freehold and Early Enclosures of Dartmoor (Cartographic). SDV237263.

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

'Brown Berry' shown on 19th century Tithe Map as a long rectangular builing at the southern end of a track with a small square building to the west. The Apportionment for 'Brown Berry Estate' lists Field Number 965a as 'Ruins of old house and Road'.

Burnard, R., 1890, Dartmoor Pictorial Records (Article in Serial). SDV346960.

Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M., 1931, The Place-Names of Devon: Part One, 198 (Monograph). SDV1312.

Brownberry was first mentioned as 'Brembery' in 1563 and 'Bromebury' in 1586.

Royal Air Force, 1961, 58/4424, F43.179 (Aerial Photograph). SDV280247.

Photograph taken on 12th May 1961.

Linehan, C. D., 1965, Deserted Sites on Dartmoor, Devon, 173 (Article in Serial). SDV217992.

Brownberry deserted buildings. Five buildings with sunken entrance lane on the main road - one of the ancient tenements; a later Brownberry is also in ruins opposite Dunnabridge Pound.

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

Listed as a deserted site with enclosures.

Haynes, R. G., 1966-1969, Ruined Sites on Dartmoor, 9 (Un-published). SDV150434.

Site viited on 5th November 1966. Stone cross passage house still partly in use as a barn. Granite thresholds, posts and lintels still visible on both doors. Several outhouses and a large farmyard approached by a sunken lane from the Ashburton road. Other details: Plan.

Fox, A., 1969, Swincombe Survey, 21 (Report - Survey). SDV250998.

A ruined farm which was inhabited in 1893 - buildings grouped around a yard. There are four other buildings of more sophisticated construction than the house and these are probably 19th century.
Brembery is mentioned in 1563. It is an early type mortared stone cross passage house with granite thresholds, posts and lintels. No fireplace or windows are visible. The gable ends have been removed to take a corrugated iron roof in its later adaptation to a barn. There is a shippon at SX64857419.
The `ruins of old house' listed in the 1839 Tithe Map Apportionment as part of Brownberry is the original site of `Brown Berry'. The ruin with massive walls and two impressive, opposing doorways which once opened on the central passage of what was a longhouse. There is no sign of a fireplace and the addition of stones to the top of the walls to support a corrugated-iron roof also tends to disguise the buildings original dimensions. The west doorway has a keystone between two listed stones.

National Monuments Record, 1979, SF1509, 199 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346618.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980 - 1988, SX67SW64 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV346940.

The 5 buildings noted by Linehan and planned by Haynes form a Post-Medieval complex grouped about a central yard which is entered from the north by way of a sunken road. The buildings are of rubble with earth mortar supplemented by packing pieces in the joints. All posts, lintels etc. , are wedge and not drill split suggesting a pre-19th century date. The house is of two storeys but completely gutted, and the cross passage is of only traditional significance. Byres and barns are roofless and between 1 metre and 2 metres high. At SX64867419 a ruined barn or shippen and a couple of stone walled pens are probably associated but of later date since the construction incorporates drill split stones.
It seems probable that the Medieval farmstead was centred at SX64697447, a little to the north of the later complex. It is represented by a line of four levelled platforms cut to a depth of 0.4 metres into a slight southern slope, and varying in area from 6 metres by 5 metres to 10 metres by 5 metres. Slight traces of walling exist along the west sides, the east ones being truncated or overlaid by a retaining wall for the sunken road which is 1.3 metres below the level of the platforms. It is not possible to identify a longhouse in the group but a slightly sunken track extends for a short distance to the west from what may have been a principal building.
Brownberry farmhouse at SX64697442 measures 10.1 metres by 5.5 metres internally and has 0.9 metres thick coursed stone walling with mortar and small stone infill. The corners of the walls which are from 2 metres to 2.5 metres in height are constructed of dressed granite slabs; a rather crude large buttress supports the east wall. There is no evidence of window lights or a fireplace and no trace in the form of joist holes of a second storey floor. The two opposing entrances are flanked by granite door posts with granite lintel tie entrances occur off-centre in the long walls. The west doorway has partially collapsed. Parts, if not most of the structure may have been rebuilt, especially the south wall which supported a lean-to building. It is not unreasonable to suggest that this rather enigmatic building is partial or complete rebuild perhaps on the site of a ?16th century longhouse.
The farmhouse is shown on an early 19th century Duchy map and is depicted as a ruin and described "Brownberry, ruins of old house" on the 1839 Tithe Map and Apportionment. The 1889 map shows a roofed building whilst the 1951 map depicts a roofless ruin.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor (Monograph). SDV249702.

A farm court and foundations of outbuildings lie on the west side of the ruin where two tracks meet and a leat channel leads in from Dunna Brook.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, SX67SW (Cartographic). SDV346928.

Several buildings and yards together with a field system are visible and have been recorded.

Fletcher, M. J., 1988, Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England (Report - Survey). SDV214888.

Site visited 12th June 1988. The farm outbuildings are in ruins and are covered with debris, the walls stand to an average height of 1 metres. The domestic leat is evident as a 2 metres wide 0.4 metres deep dry sinuous channel, visible from its origin at Dunna Brook at SX64477452 to the farm court at SX64677443.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 57 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Other details: Map 28, Site 9,10.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

Brownberry Medieval settlement was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 2004.

English Heritage, 2005-2008, Prehistoric Survey Information (Cartographic). SDV345521.

Southern part of settlement outlined.

National Monuments Record, 2011, 443431 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV346941.

Remains of Brownberry farmstead.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Elements of the settlement shown on modern mapping.

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

Brownberry deserted Medieval farmstead.

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. 198.
SDV150434Un-published: Haynes, R. G.. 1966-1969. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Manuscript + Digital. 9.
SDV214888Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. J.. 1988. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown.
SDV217992Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1965. Deserted Sites on Dartmoor, Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 97. A5 Hardback. 173.
SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 57.
SDV237263Cartographic: Duchy of Cornwall. 1818. Map of Freehold and Early Enclosures of Dartmoor. Unknown.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume.
SDV250998Report - Survey: Fox, A.. 1969. Swincombe Survey. Unknown. 21.
SDV280247Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1961. 58/4424. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). F43.179.
SDV307246Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1966. Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon. Medieval Archaeology. 10. Digital. Table 2.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV345521Cartographic: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #97100 ]
SDV346618Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1979. SF1509. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 199.
SDV346928Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. SX67SW. Air Photographs Unit. Map (Paper).
SDV346940Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980 - 1988. SX67SW64. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV346941National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2011. 443431. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV346960Article in Serial: Burnard, R.. 1890. Dartmoor Pictorial Records. Dartmoor Pictorial Records. 1. Unknown.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV352501Un-published: White, P.. 2013. Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads. Excel Spreadsheet. Brownberry.

Associated Monuments

MDV14226Related to: Barn and enclosures associated with Brownberry Farmstead, Lydford (Monument)
MDV64027Related to: Bee Shelter at Brownberry Farm, south of Dunnabridge Pound (Monument)
MDV25983Related to: FIELD SYSTEM in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV20672Related to: New Brownberry Farmstead, Lydford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8632 - Sherberton Farm, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Oct 11 2021 4:12PM