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Deserted medieval settlement at Challacombe

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Deserted medieval settlement at Challacombe

List entry Number: 1021395

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Manaton

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 13-May-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Sep-2010

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 36024

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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. Over 130 deserted settlements retaining visible remains of medieval character are recorded on Dartmoor. Many of these are single abandoned farmsteads but the majority are small hamlets containing between two and six farmhouses. Documentary evidence indicates that most such settlements on the Moor were established between the 11th and mid-14th centuries AD. Although many of these settlements were deserted by the close of the medieval period, some where abandoned at a later period. 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. These components are arranged within the settlement around internal yards and trackways which led from the settlement to its associated fields, pasture and water supply. Occasionally such trackways show evidence for cobbling or paving. Long houses were the dominant type of farmhouse in upland settlements of south-west England between the 10th and 16th centuries. Rectangular in plan, usually with rubble or boulder outer walls and their long axis orientated downslope, the interiors of long houses were divided into two separate functional areas, an upslope domestic room and a downslope stock byre, known in south-west England as a shippon. The proportions of the plan occupied by the domestic room and the shippon vary considerably but the division between the two was usually provided by a cross passage of timber screens or rubble walling running transversely through the long house, linking opposed openings in the long side walls. Ancillary buildings were generally separated from the farmhouse itself, or else constructed as outshuts attached to the long house and often extending one end. These additional structures served as barns, fuel or equipment stores and occasionally contained ovens and corn-drying kilns. While many settlements in Devon are known from documentary sources to be of medieval origin, well- preserved deserted sites are rare. Consequently, those on Dartmoor provide the main surviving source of evidence for the distinctive form and layout of medieval settlements in Devon.

The deserted medieval settlement at Challacombe forms the focus for the best preserved strip field system in Devon and Cornwall. The settlement itself has been altered during the post-medieval period, but considerable quantities of medieval archaeology will survive. The settlement will contain information relating to both medieval and post-medieval farming and tinworking in an upland landscape. A comprehensive range of contemporary documentation exists to complement the archaeological and environmental information.

History

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

Details

The monument, which falls into two areas, includes a deserted medieval settlement situated immediately north of the present day farmhouse at Challacombe. The settlement includes at least seven separate buildings set alongside a north-south aligned track. All of the buildings survive at least in part, as standing granite walling, although many are also composed of earthworks where the walling has collapsed. The settlement continued in use into the post-medieval period and some of the earlier longhouses were altered during this time. The best preserved building stands within the southern part of the settlement and its walls remain largely intact. There are windows in the northern and eastern walls, it is divided into three rooms and has corners built of large granite blocks. The earliest documentary reference to this site is in 1481 when it is referred to as Chalvecombe and by 1613 there were five separate tenements which continued in use until at least 1880. Immediately surrounding the medieval settlement at Challacombe lie a series of further nationally important archaeological remains. These include some of the best preserved medieval strip fields in Devon, earlier prehistoric settlement and later tinworking activity. These remains form the subject of two separate schedulings (SM36022 and SM36023). All modern fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Other
Unpublished Plan, Griffiths, D, Challacombe, Manaton - Deserted medieval buildings,

National Grid Reference: SX 69336 79553, SX 69404 79597

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1021395 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2017 at 08:12:22.

End of official listing