A deserted medieval settlement and post medieval farmstead 510m north east of East Rook Gate


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
South Hams (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 60980 61829

Reasons for Designation

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provides direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Over 130 deserted medieval settlements are recorded on Dartmoor. Many are single abandoned farmsteads but the majority are small hamlets containing between two and six farmhouses. Documentary evidence indicates most were established between the 11th and mid-14th centuries. Many were deserted by the close of the medieval period possibly as a result of the Black Death or climatic changes. Deserted medieval settlements are often visible as close groupings of small buildings, each containing a long house, its ancillary buildings and one or more adjacent small plots which served as kitchen gardens or stock pens. Long houses were the dominant type of farmhouse in upland settlements of south-west England. Rectangular in plan, usually with rubble or boulder outer walls, their long axis orientated down slope, the interiors of long houses were divided into two separate functional areas, an upper domestic room and a lower stock byre. The division between the two was usually provided by a cross passage of timber screens or rubble walling running through the long house, linking opposed openings in the long side walls. Ancillary buildings were generally separated from the farmhouse and served as barns, fuel or equipment stores. Post medieval farmsteads by their nature contain a similar variety of buildings usually centred on a farmhouse and many re-use earlier structures. Despite a covering of trees the deserted medieval settlement and post medieval farmstead 510m north east of East Rook Gate survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, adaptive re-use, longevity and eventual abandonment as well as its climatic and landscape context as this changed through time.


The monument includes a deserted medieval settlement and post medieval farmstead situated on the lower south east slopes of Rook Tor to the west of Dendle Green. The medieval settlement survives as up to seven rectangular buildings, thought to be long houses and their ancillary structures, which were subsequently re-used during the post medieval period as a farmhouse with barns all within an almost rectangular enclosure. Most of the buildings are defined by low tumbled walls measuring approximately 2m wide and 0.3m high, although at least two are possibly mortared and one of these has faced stone-built walls with dressed quoins and standing up to 1m high. The buildings vary in size internally from 8m to 22m long, although all are approximately 4m wide. The settlement was occupied for a significant period and earlier long houses have undoubtedly been re-used and adapted as later dwellings and barns connected with this farmstead. There are traces of field banks and hollow ways between the buildings. 'Ford' is mentioned in the Lay Subsidy Roll of 1330 and may relate to this settlement. Buildings here were also mentioned in the Land Tax List of 1781. Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.

Sources: DNPA HER:-SX66SW80 NMR:-SX66SW64 PastScape Monument No:-442362


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
DV 899
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing