Medieval Studies

Medieval Study Group looking at old mapThe regular Moor Medieval Study Group meeting took place last weekend at Parke despite the snow that fell higher up the moor. Given the interest in coming to the moor from across the region to see the snow, it was perhaps appropriate that the meeting focused on transhumance. In the medieval context this means the periodic movement of livestock up onto Dartmoor from the surrounding lowlands for summer grazing, rather than the influx of hundreds of people keen to play in the snow. Nevertheless, many people will probably have unknowingly followed old drove ways, familiar to our ancestors, to get, from where they live, up onto the moor. In medieval times thousands of cattle were driven up onto the moor, ensuring Dartmoor played a central role in the success of Devon's medieval economy.

Emma Thurlbeck, one of the members of the study group, has produced some impressive maps  which depict the Manor of Spitchwick  as well as droveways, used to drive the cattle.  She shared them with the study group and explained how she created the maps, and which medieval documents she sought inspiration from. Huge thanks to Emma for bringing the maps along to the meeting - they are pretty unwieldy!  Emma was commissioned to create the maps for the forthcoming film 'Living and Dying on Medieval Dartmoor'. Watch this space for news of the film's release.

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Study group visit Headland Warren

Fourteen members of the study group met at Headland Warren on a spectacularly clear and sunny day for a guided walk around Headland Warren and it’s surrounds. The group was led by Lee Bray, Archaeologist, Dartmoor National Park Authority and the although the main focus of the walk was to look for evidence of medieval tin mining, the group viewed a wide variety of archaeological features such as pillow mounds, ancient vermin traps, mining remains from across history and even a stone row! The Whortleberries were in full flavour and delayed progress slightly but a good walk and an interesting time was had by all. If you would like to find out about forthcoming fieldtrips as part of the Moor Medieval Study Group, please contact Community Heritage Officer, Emma Stockley and ask to be put on the mailing list. emma@moorthanmeetstheeye.org

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Moor Medieval Lending Library open for business!

Community Heritage Officer, Emma Stockley has set up a Moor Medieval Lending Library, largely due to generous donations of books from study group members. There are a number of books relating to all aspects of medieval Dartmoor as well as some general texts on archaeology, landscape and historic buildings. There is also a small reserve collection including;The Place Names of Devon, Vol VIII Part 1 – English Place Name Society, The Place Names of Devon, Part 2 – English Place Name Society, Domesday Book Devon Part One – General Editor: John Morris, Domesday Book Devon Part Two – General Editor: John Morris, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities Volume 1 – The East – Jeremy Butler , Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities Volume 2 – The North – Jeremy Butler, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities Volume 3 – The South West – Jeremy Butler, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities Volume 4 – The South East – Jeremy Butler, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities Volume 5 – The Second Millennium BC – Jeremy Butler. The books are housed at our Princetown office but arrangements can be made to deliver them to Parke. If anyone would like to borrow a book or make an enquiry, please contact Emma directly emma@moorthanmeetstheeye.org or call 01822 890 904.

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Moor Medieval

A parish based project to develop understanding about medieval life and to explore the effect that early farming had on the landscape of Dartmoor over more than a thousand years.

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Last update: 06 Feb 2019 4:45pm