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HER Number:MDV70963
Name:Building 5, Houndtor


This small structure near buildings 3 and 4 was originally used as a dwelling, with evidence of a hearth and opposing doorways in the style of the larger longhouses. There was no indication that it had ever housed animals however, and later appeared to be converted for use as a barn or shed.


Grid Reference:SX 746 787
Map Sheet:SX77NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishManaton
Ecclesiastical ParishMANATON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77NW/7/6
  • Old SAM County Ref: 601
  • Old SAM Ref Revised: 28786

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Minter, E. M., 1972 - 1973, Eleven Years of Archaeological Work on Dartmoor, 117 (Article in Serial). SDV307263.

This structure was apparently converted into an open-ended shed during the last period of occupation at the site.

Beresford, G., 1979, Three Deserted Medieval Settlements on Dartmoor: a Report on the Late E. Marie Minter's Excavations, 134 (Article in Serial). SDV307264.

Buildings 4 and 5 lay within the enclosure with building 3 and shared a common yard, but were considerably smaller possibly indicating a lesser status. Building 5, measuring 22 foot by 10 foot at the lower end and 8 foot at the upper end of the structure, had been altered considerably during its life and appeared to have three main phases of use. The evidence for hearth and opposing doorways (later blocked) indicate that it was originally constructed as a dwelling, although there is no evidence to suggest that the lower end was ever used as a byre. A pentice, or lean-to was added in the second phase to the north-east of the building and finally in the third phase when the building was converted into a barn, the lower end of the building was demolished and rebuilt, the doorways were blocked and a further door with a external step was built into the new end wall.

Newman, P. + Probert, S. + Riley, H., 1994, Houndtor Down, Manaton, Devon - A New Survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England., 4 (Report - Survey). SDV344628.

Building 5 is one of the smaller structures associated with longhouse 3 and is irregular in plan, measuring a maximum of 7 meters by 2.5 meters internally. It is levelled into the slope of the enclosed area on the south-eastern side, forming part of the boundary wall to the west. Part of the north wall has collapsed and the internal chamber mentioned by Beresford (1979, fig 17) was not visible, possibly due to the interior being used as a spoil heap during the excavations.

Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage, 2002, Houndtor: Deserted Medieval Settlement, 8-11 (Leaflet). SDV295904.

Building 5 is a small structure aligned south-west to north-east with an opening in the north wall. The small coursed stone rubble house measures approximately 8.5 meters by 5 meters and is built into an enclosure wall on the west side. The building contained a hearth but no evidence that the space had also been used to house animals. The building is likely to have been a single storey thatched structure.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Leaflet: Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage. 2002. Houndtor: Deserted Medieval Settlement. A5 Stapled. 8-11.
  • Article in Serial: Minter, E. M.. 1972 - 1973. Eleven Years of Archaeological Work on Dartmoor. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 16. Unknown. 117.
  • Article in Serial: Beresford, G.. 1979. Three Deserted Medieval Settlements on Dartmoor: a Report on the Late E. Marie Minter's Excavations. Medieval Archaeology. 23. Unknown. 134.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #99563 ]
  • Report - Survey: Newman, P. + Probert, S. + Riley, H.. 1994. Houndtor Down, Manaton, Devon - A New Survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A4 Spiral Bound. 4.

Associated Monuments

MDV7414Part of: Deserted Medieval Settlement at Hound Tor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 14 2010 3:48PM