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HER Number:MDV6908
Name:Irishman's Wall on Belstone Tor


Impressive coursed dry stone wall running east-west across the Belstone/Higher Tor ridge, thought to date to before 1811. Name indicates it may have been constructed by Irish labourers, possibly as a job-creation scheme.


Grid Reference:SX 613 919
Map Sheet:SX69SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBelstone
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBELSTONE

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork remains of an extensive area of medieval or later tin working on both sides of the River Taw at Taw Marsh as well as Taw Marsh Bronze Age reave on South Tawton Common

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 444165
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX69SW/34

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WALL (XIX to Unknown - 1811 AD (Pre))

Full description

Prowse, A. B., 1892, The Bounds of the Forest of Dartmoor, 430 (Article in Serial). SDV273464.

Irishman's wall on Belstone Tor. Common belief that it is the remains of a Newtake boundary put up by encroaching Irishmen, whose wishes were frustrated by the aggrieved inhabitants of Belstone. May be the remains of a stone fence marking the forest boundary.19th century.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 205-6 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Crossing deduces that, since the wall is documented in Risdon's Survey of 1811, it therefore predates the 1811 publication date of Risdon.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/138, 5438 (Aerial Photograph). SDV238391.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX69SW14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV271180.

Early 19th century Newtake wall. This feature is comparatively modern.

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

Visible and recorded.

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

Irishman's Wall. An impressive coursed drystone wall which extends for 1.25 kilometres in an almost straight line from the West Okement River to the Taw River. It crosses the steep Belstone/Higher Tor ridge which rises 123 metres above the level of the two rivers. Constructed of moorland boulders and stone it now stands to a maximum 1.8 metres high - although it has collapsed in many places and the western end has been destroyed. It may, as it name suggests, have been built by Irish labourers perhaps as a job creation scheme.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Depicted on the modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV238391Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/138. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5438.
SDV271180Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX69SW14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV273464Article in Serial: Prowse, A. B.. 1892. The Bounds of the Forest of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 24. Unknown. 430.
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.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 205-6.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #98993 ]
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. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV105280Related to: Firing platform on Belstone Common, Belstone (Monument)
MDV106730Related to: Granite window sill used as a military boundary stone south of Cullever Steps, Belstone Common (Monument)
MDV106724Related to: Millstone on Belstone Common, south of the Tor (Monument)
MDV128664Related to: Pillow mounds on eastern slope of Belstone Tor (Monument)
MDV105278Related to: Possible pig trough south of Belstone Tor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8291 - Okehampton Range: Monument Baseline Condition Survey

Date Last Edited:Jun 29 2020 4:50PM