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HOUNDTOR

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  HOUNDTOR DESERTED MEDIEVAL VILLAGE, HUNDATORA
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Houndtor deserted medieval settlement lies on a southeast-facing slope between Hound Tor and Greator Rock, overlooking the valley of the Becka Brook. It is situated on land that was originally farmed during the Bronze Age. The settlement comprises eleven ruined buildings, all oriented southwest to northeast. It includes four longhouses, four other buildings, possibly lower status dwellings or outbuildings, and three barns with grain driers. Three of the longhouses have an adjacent croft consisting of a small plot enclosed by ruined boundary walls. The site is thought to have originated as a temporary settlement used for the summering of cattle on the tor before a permanent settlement was established. It was excavated during the 1960s and this work confirmed that the hamlet was abandoned in the mid 14th century. A medieval farmstead lies to the north west of the hamlet and survives as a single longhouse, together with a barn and corn drier. The walls of all the buildings are constructed from moorstone and stand to a maximum height of approximately 1.2m, though many are lower, with wall thickness varying between 0.4m and 0.7m. Excavation revealed several interior features. Pottery was found in quantity in three houses and dated to the 12th or 13th century. The site is thought to be the Domesday village of Hundatora, held by Tavistock Abbey. Many of the fields nearby contain lynchets and after the settlement was abandoned the fields may have continued in cultivation. Activity in the post-medieval period is evident from extensive areas of ridge and furrow. It is in the care of English Heritage.

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