Post-medieval building at Crazy Well Farm, 300m south of Crazy Well Pool


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019585

Date first listed: 19-Feb-2001


Ordnance survey map of Post-medieval building at Crazy Well Farm, 300m south of Crazy Well Pool
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Walkhampton

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 58256 70161


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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. Of more than 600 post-medieval farmsteads recorded on Dartmoor, around 100 are now deserted. Although some of these were established as late as the 18th and 19th centuries, many have their origin as medieval settlements, some perhaps dating back to as early as the 11th century. Those founded in the post- medieval period represent a time in which arable farming increased in popularity on the Moor, resulting in a large number of new farms being built on previously unenclosed moorland. Many of these farms were abandoned after a relatively short time and provide rare examples of planned single period farmsteads. Most deserted post-medieval farmsteads survive as single farmhouses associated with a variety of outbuildings, including: ash houses, barns, cow houses, dairies, hulls, stables, linhays, shippons, cartsheds, dog kennels and lavatories. Other features commonly found with farmsteads include gardens and a farmyard which acted as a focal point for many farming activities. In most cases, deserted post-medieval farmsteads are associated with contemporary field systems, many of which still remain in use for grazing or cultivation. Deserted post-medieval farmsteads will provide information about the developing character of agricultural exploitation within an upland landscape during the historic period, and reflect a response to changing environmental and economic conditions. Surviving examples are relatively rare away from the moorland areas in south west England, and consequently those on Dartmoor provide a major source of evidence for this type of site.

The post-medieval building at Crazy Well Farm, 300m south of Crazy Well Pool survives well and will contain information concerning the relationship between this dwelling and the nearby Crazy Well Farmstead as well as land use in this area during the post-medieval period. Settlements of this type are common in Cornwall, but are much rarer on Dartmoor, although examples do exist in the vicinity of some tinworks. As a group of monuments they represent one of the few sources of archaeological information concerning the relationship between tinworking and agriculture.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a single roomed dwelling cut into the foot of a steep south facing slope overlooking Newleycombe Lake. The dwelling includes a rectangular room measuring 7.2m long by 3.6m wide defined by a 0.7m wide drystone wall standing up to 1.4m high. The interior is filled with loose rubble and the entrance is in the western part of the southern wall. An open ended outshut is attached to the western side of the dwelling. This measures 4m long by 2.6m wide and is denoted by a 1.4m high drystone revetment around its northern and western edges. A narrow revetted passage leading through the nearby corn ditch boundary to this building represents access to the moor and road network. The corn ditch denotes the outer edge of Crazy Well Farm and includes an inner bank measuring 2.5m wide by 1.4m high, which is revetted by drystone walling on its outer face. The ditch from which material was quarried to build the bank lies adjacent to the wall and measures 2m wide by 0.8m deep. This corn ditch would have prevented livestock from the open moor straying onto the enclosed farmland. The building is certainly of historic date and was undoubtedly occupied in the 19th century. It may have medieval origins, but most likely represents an 18th century small scale colonization of the Moor by a part time tinner.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 24069

Legacy System: RSM


Haynes, R.G., Ruined Sites on Dartmoor - Middleworth, 1966, Unpublished Manuscript

End of official listing