Medieval farmstead, boundary work and earthwork enclosures 350m south east of Middle Soar


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020575

Date first listed: 16-Oct-2002


Ordnance survey map of Medieval farmstead, boundary work and earthwork enclosures 350m south east of Middle Soar
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 01:55:35.


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

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Malborough

National Grid Reference: SX 71424 36855


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the extensive south-west Peninsula sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, an area climatically, culturally and physically distinct from the rest of England. It includes varying terrains, from the granite uplands, through rolling dissected plateaux to fertile clay lowlands in the east. Nucleated settlements are present, notably in the Devon Lowlands and throughout the South Hams. Many of these originated as small towns, whilst a high proportion may be late foundations. Excluding only the moorland masses, the sub-Province is characterised by medium and high densities of dispersed settlements; indeed, some of the former industrial areas had densities as high as any in the country.

Despite slight stock erosion, the medieval farmstead, boundary work and earthwork enclosures 350m south east of Middle Soar survive well, the farmstead representing a good example of the dispersed settlement characteristic of this sub-province. The earthworks will contain stratified and environmental deposits relating to their construction and use. The ruined walls of a post-medieval pound are important to the understanding of later use of the site.


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


This monument includes earthwork remains of a medieval farmstead with an adjoining animal pound, a boundary work and parts of three adjoining earthwork enclosures on coastal heathland overlooking a shallow valley. Views down the valley to the east include spectacular coastal scenery. At the west end of the monument is the medieval farmstead, comprising earthworks of a longhouse aligned north to south and measuring 18m long and 5m wide with walls 2m wide and up to 1m high. A doorway is located in the east side, where there is an annexe running parallel to the longhouse. This measures 2m wide internally and is enclosed by a wall which is 2m wide and up to 0.8m high. To the north of the longhouse there is an animal pound 6m wide and 9.5m long, trapezoidal in plan with a stone faced bank 2m wide and 1m high on its west side. A stone pier 1.2m wide and 1.5m high abuts the inner face of the bank. A post-medieval stone wall overlies the lower north and east side banks of the pound. Demolition rubble of a World War II brick building and barbed wire entanglement posts lies across the site. A substantial earthen boundary work lies to the south east of the farmstead and measures 12m wide and 2.5m high at its west end, tapering to 6.5m wide and 0.8m high at its east end, where it is cut by a later track. The bank continues as a low earthwork and scarp in the hillside for 210m to the east, where it abuts two contiguous ovoid earthwork enclosures. These are enclosed by low earth banks from 2m to 3m wide and up to 1m high, with gently sloping interiors. A third separate enclosure lies 30m further east and is connected to the others by a continuation of the boundary bank. Several low banks sub-dividing medieval cultivation strips from 23m to 35m wide run up to the enclosures on their south side, their terminal ends being contained within the scheduling. Earthwork banks flanking a lane between these strips abut and pass through the boundary bank towards its west end. All fence posts, the stone boundary wall along the north side of the scheduling, and the World War II debris on the site are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

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: 34885

Legacy System: RSM


MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)

End of official listing