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HER Number:MDV70965
Name:Building 7, Houndtor


This is one of the most impressive large longhouses at Houndtor which, as well as the characteristic opposing doorways, lower byre or shippon with central drain for housing animals and upper living area with hearth, boasts a partitioned inner room in the upper end of the building, as well as a further annex building built at right angles to the original house. A lean-to was also added to the western wall.


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/7/8
  • Old SAM County Ref: 601
  • Old SAM Ref Revised: 28786

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Beresford, G., 1979, Three Deserted Medieval Settlements on Dartmoor: a Report on the Late E. Marie Minter's Excavations, 133 (Article in Serial). SDV307264.

Building 7, measuring 52 foot by 15 foot was the most complex of the settlement, comprising byre, living area, inner-room, second inner-room and a pentice, or lean-to. The remains of the building were well preserved, although the drain covers for the byre drain had been destroyed by a trench dug prior to the excavation, and the walls stood to a height of 4 foot. The remains of a wattle and daub chimney hood covering the hearth were discovered and a small cooking pit was found lying to one side of the granite hearth. No evidence was recovered to indicate the function of the first inner-room, although it may have been used as a storage or sleeping area. The position of the second, un-heated inner room may indicate its function was to accommodate a dependent relative.

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.

One of the more impressive longhouses in the settlement, measuring 15 meters by 4.3 meters internally. It has opposing entrances, centrally placed in the long walls, the south-eastern of which has the remains of a porch. The main chamber has an internal partition at the south-western end, creating an inner chamber, measuring 2.2 meters by 4.3 meters internally. This inner chamber is accessed by a central entrance in the partition wall and a narrow doorway from the inner room leads into an annex room extending from the south-eastern side of the longhouse. Additionally, a narrow pentice, or lean-to measuring 1.8 meters by 4.6 meters is constructed against the north-western section of the longhouse, and appears to have been added at the later date. The excavated byre drain channel is visible leading under the north-western wall and the house has a small irregular enclosure extending from its north-western side.

Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage, 2002, Houndtor: Deserted Medieval Settlement, 7-11 (Leaflet). SDV295904.

The largest longhouse in the settlement aligned south-west to north-east with opposing central entrances in the north and south walls. The coursed stone rubble longhouse measured approximately 14 meters by 5 meters and is located on the western side of the settlement with a large garden to the west. The building has a lean-to attached to the west wall possibly for storing straw and hay. The main chamber has a byre with central drain at the lower end for accommodating animals and a living area with hearth at the upper (south-western) end, which also has a partition wall, creating a small, inner-room. A further unheated room extends at right angles to the higher end of the longhouse and was accessed from the inner-room. 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. 7-11.
  • 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. 133.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #99565 ]
  • 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 3:49PM