HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV7523
Name:North Hall Manor House, Widecombe

Summary

Site of a Medieval manor house at North Hall to the north of Widecombe church. House recorded as standing in around 1900 when converted into a shippon but was completely cleared by the 1920s. Geophysical survey in 2011 recorded a number of anomalies representing possible building remains on the site. Excavation in 2012 and 2015 revealed remains of walls and an earthen bank behind the moat, as well as fragments of imported high-status, good-quality pottery from Europe, roof tiles, glass bottles and a copper-alloy jetton. Further excavation in 2016 helped confirmed this site as a multi-phase medieval moated manor house.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 718 769
Map Sheet:SX77NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWidecombe in the Moor
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishWIDECOMBE IN THE MOOR

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 445070
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77NW/84
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX77NW14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (Constructed, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))
  • MOAT (Constructed, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Prince, J., 1701, Worthies of Devon (Monograph). SDV24490.

North Hall recorded as having houses, courtlages, gardens, orchards and a stately grove of trees. Also a moat and drawbridge.


Unknown, 1843, Widecombe in the Moor (Cartographic). SDV290272.

Field Number 531 shown as orchard on the 19th century Tithe Map Apportionment.


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

'North Hall (site of)' shown on 19th century map.


Rowe, S., 1896, A Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor, 156 (Monograph). SDV249697.

Traces of manor house remain.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SX77NW14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV349197.

Site of a Medieval manor house, called North Hall. The house could be seen 50 years ago when converted into a shippon.30 years ago all completely cleared. Site is now an orchard but ground shows crop marks of former building.


Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H., 1979, An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish, 546 (Report - Survey). SDV337078.

Site visited on 28th September 1979. Grassy area. The site of the Nort Hall manor house according to the Ordnance Survey. This area includes a little mound surrounded by a ditch - possibly the moat. The orchard still remains in Field Number 529. Several stones are visible in the north-east corner probably representing a building which stood at the time of the Tithe Map. There are a group of barns and sheds in the south-east corner, just above the stream, one of these is probably the shippon which according to local information incorporates the last remains of the manor house. Other details: Volume III.


Dean, R., 2011, An archaeological earth resistance survey on land at Glebe Farm, Widecombe in the Moor, 3 (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV349720.

Contrast in earth resistance across the site was sufficient to define six anomaly groups that may possibly represent archaeological deposits or features. One of the aims of this survey was to comment on the likelihood of a former manor house on this survey site. The results strongly suggest that the robbed out footings of at least one building or enclosure is present on the site and that there may be dumps of rubble.
Conclusions
Two of the aims of this survey were to comment on the likelihood of a former manor house and on the likelihood of the presence of a large enclosure and internal sub-rectangular structures on North Hall Great Moor. No evidence was found of either a former manor house or subrectangular enclosures. There was no conclusive evidence for a large enclosure. Although anomaly groups 110, 111 and 112 do coincide with the southern part of a large oval cropmark noted in Devon County Council Historical Environment Record (MDV28890), no other evidence for the enclosure was found in the survey data. There is evidence, however for archaeological deposits as discussed above.


National Monuments Record, 2012, 445070 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV349199.

Other details: SX77NW14.


Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

'North Hall (site of)' shown on modern mapping.


Steinmetzer, M., 2013, Archaeological Evaluation of land at North Hall Manor, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon, 1 (Report - Evaluation). SDV359826.

Evaluation trenches exposed the heavily robbed out remains of a single north-south aligned wall, while large areas of the interior where covered in small, loose stone rubble. No evidence for internal floors or external surfaces was uncovered and it is thought that the site was comprehensively robbed from the mid-17th century onwards. A single large postpit was identified underneath the rubble spread, possibly suggesting an earlier building phase. Excavations at the northern end of the site uncovered the remains of the robbed-out revetment wall lining the inside edge of the moat.
Excavations at the western end of the site revealed at least two phases of earthen bank behind the moat. Evidence of a beamslot would suggest that the rear of the later bank would have had some kind of timber revetment. Five sherds from a possible ‘North French Barrel Costrel’, dating to the 13th-14th century, were recovered from the infilling of the beamslot behind the earthen bank.
The finds recovered from the site contained large quantities of late 18th-19th century blue-and-white transfer print, as well as tobacco pipe stems and a number of plain bowls. Sixty-two sherds of medieval coarsewares, dating to the 13th-15th century were recovered, as well as two sherds of ‘Valencian Lustre Ware’. This is a 15th century high status, good quality pottery from western Spain.
With a few exceptions the pottery assemblage is fairly typical for a rural settlement over this time period. The presence of a small number of more interesting imports – in particular the two very abraded Valencian Lustreware sherds – is suggestive of higher status in the 15th-16th century, assuming they have not been brought to the site from elsewhere in the settlement. The Costrel is of regional significance providing valuable evidence for possible cultural links between rural settlements on Dartmoor and their connection with the Continent in the 13th-14th centuries.


Steinmetzer, M., 2016, Archaeological Evaluation of land at North Hall Manor, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon, 1-11 (Report - Evaluation). SDV359827.

The excavation trenches exposed the remains of a substantial, though heavily robbed, stone building and were designed to provide further insight into the distribution and layout of the building or buildings and their relationship with the moat and defences. Trenches 3 and 5 provided complete cross-section across the earthen defences along the inner edge of the moat where they were best preserved, while Trench 7 targeted anomalies identified in the field to the north of the site.
The works exposed the heavily robbed out remains of three walls, while large areas at the centre of the site were covered in small, loose stone rubble. Apart from a single granite floor slab no evidence for internal floors or external surfaces was uncovered and it is probable that the site was comprehensively robbed from the mid-17th century onwards. The remains of three beam slots and six postholes were identified below the rubble spread, suggesting an earlier building phase. Evidence from trenches 3, 4 and 5 suggests that the rear of the buildings defined by the beam slots also revetted the rear of the earth bank. Excavations at the western end of the site revealed at least two phases of earthen bank, with a small ditch and earth bank being superseded by the substantial moat visible today and a larger bank. No finds have been recovered from these.
The finds recovered from the site contained a small quantity of mid-10th to early 13th century pottery, while large quantities of medieval coarsewares, dating to the 13th-15th century were recovered, including two sherds of Valencian lustreware, a 15th century high status import from western Spain. By the early post-medieval period the assemblage is dominated by local coarsewares from North Devon, while Low Country stonewares and tin-glazed pottery has also been recovered. By the mid-17th century these are replaced by English wares.
Other finds included an incomplete medieval copper alloy Jetton, probably of Charles VI of France (AD 1380-1422), as well as sherds of bottle and window glass dating to the 16th-18th centuries.
Detailed history of the site also included in report.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV24490Monograph: Prince, J.. 1701. Worthies of Devon. Worthies of Devon. Unknown.
SDV249697Monograph: Rowe, S.. 1896. A Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor. Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor. Unknown. 156.
SDV290272Cartographic: Unknown. 1843. Widecombe in the Moor. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337078Report - Survey: Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H.. 1979. An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. Vols I - V. A4 Comb Bound. 546.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #102374 ]
SDV349197Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SX77NW14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV349199National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2012. 445070. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV349720Report - Geophysical Survey: Dean, R.. 2011. An archaeological earth resistance survey on land at Glebe Farm, Widecombe in the Moor. Substrata Report. 110713. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 3.
SDV359826Report - Evaluation: Steinmetzer, M.. 2013. Archaeological Evaluation of land at North Hall Manor, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon. Oakford Archaeology. 12-04. Digital. 1.
SDV359827Report - Evaluation: Steinmetzer, M.. 2016. Archaeological Evaluation of land at North Hall Manor, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon. Oakford Archaeology. 16-06. Digital. 1-11.

Associated Monuments

MDV28890Related to: Cropmark north of North Hall, Widecombe (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV6348 - SHERD (X to XIII - 950 AD to 1250 AD)
  • FDV6345 - SHERD (XII to XIV - 1200 AD to 1399 AD)
  • FDV6344 - SHERD (XII to XV - 1200 AD to 1499 AD)
  • FDV6349 - VESSEL (XIII to XV - 1250 AD to 1450 AD)
  • FDV6350 - TILE (XIII to XVI - 1300 AD to 1599 AD)
  • FDV6351 - JETTON (XIV to XV - 1380 AD to 1422 AD)
  • FDV6347 - VESSEL (XIV to XV - 1400 AD to 1499 AD)
  • FDV6354 - BOTTLE (XV to XIX - 1500 AD to 1899 AD)
  • FDV6352 - SHERD (XV to XVII - 1500 AD to 1699 AD)
  • FDV6353 - SHERD (XVII to XVIII - 1670 AD to 1760 AD)
  • FDV6346 - SHERD (XVIII to XIX - 1750 AD to 1899 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV5888 - Earth resistance survey at Glebe Farm, Widecombe in the Moor (Ref: 110713)
  • EDV7108 - Evaluation at North Hall Manor, Widecombe-in-the-Moor (Ref: 16-06)
  • EDV7107 - Evaluation of land at North Hall Manor, Widecombe-in-the-Moor (Ref: 1017)
  • EDV8066 - Evaluation at North Hall Manor, Widecombe-in-the-Moor

Date Last Edited:Mar 1 2019 3:33PM