Crazy Well Farmstead, 420m south of Crazy Well Pool


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020225

Date first listed: 19-Feb-2001


Ordnance survey map of Crazy Well Farmstead, 420m south of Crazy Well Pool
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 02:16:31.


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 58088 70048


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.

Crazy Well Farmstead, 420m south of Crazy Well Pool survives well and contains archaeological, architectural and environmental information relating to early post-medieval upland farming practices.


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


The monument includes an historic farmstead situated on a moderately steep south facing slope overlooking Newleycombe Lake. The largest and earliest component of the site is a longhouse structure built along the prevailing slope. The longhouse measures 8.7m long by 3.8m wide and is denoted by low rubble walling and earthworks. A small outshut built against the western wall of the longhouse measures 1.8m long by 1.6m wide and is denoted by drystone walling. Attached to the eastern side of the longhouse is another room and this measures 3.8m long by 2.2m wide. East of this room is a substantial rectangular room which is entered through a doorway whose lintel remains 1.6m high above the ground surface. The walls of this room stand up to 1.7m high and this structure probably represents the site of the final farmhouse. The farmstead is associated with two small enclosures. The northern one is triangular in shape whilst the southern one, representing the farmyard, is irregular in shape. A small open ended building at the southern end of the farmyard measures 3.4m long by 2.2m wide and may represent the site of a shed. Crazy Well Farm is first documented in 1585, but probably existed for some time before this date. The farmstead was probably abandoned in the later part of the 19th century when its lands were absorbed into neighbouring Kingsett Farm. Built into the northern side of the gateway leading into the farmyard from the west is a dressed granite pillar with a small hole in its top. This pillar is almost certainly the shaft of a displaced wayside cross. The pillar tapers slightly upward and measures 1.03m high by up to 0.33m wide by 0.25m thick. The hole in the top may have been used to attach the cross head to the shaft.

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: 24068

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing