Hound Tor Abandoned Medieval Settlement (English Heritage), Manaton, Dartmoor National Park

Hound Tor Abandoned Medieval Settlement (English Heritage), Manaton, Dartmoor National Park

Explore Dartmoor and you'll encounter a high number of abandoned sites dating from the medieval period. The most famous is English Heritage's Hound Tor Abandoned Medieval Settlement.

A hamlet, Hound Tor Abandoned Medieval Settlement consists of eleven buildings including longhouses and barns in which corn was dried. The buildings were surrounded by gardens and fields for crops and livestock. Dating from the 13th century, the hamlet is roughly 800 years old.

The buildings were constructed on a slope. In winter, people slept with the livestock. People slept in the upper section of the longhouse. Livestock slept in the lower section of the longhouse and this is referred to as the shippon. The slope helped drain animal waste.

Along with nearby Hutholes Abandoned Medieval Settlement, the hamlet at Hound Tor dates to the 13th and 14th/early 15th centuries. According to an information board at Hutholes, 'one major reason' for its abandonment 'was the steadily worsening weather making it increasingly more difficult to grow, ripen and dry crops.'  As the Black Death devastated communities elsewhere in Devon, the suggestion is that people moved from the fringes of the moor like Hound Tor to lower, more productive ground.

We've positioned Hound Tor Abandoned Medieval Settlement (English Heritage) on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.

To visit for the first time, we'd recommend starting from the car parking area below Hound Tor at Swallerton Gate. Wander up to Hound Tor and you'll see Hound Tor Abandoned Medieval Settlement (English Heritage) below you to the south east. Good paths drop down to the hamlet. Refer to the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map for detail.