Dartington Ringwork

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameDartington Ringwork
Alternative NamesStaverton Ford
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityDevon
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishDartington

A small oval ringwork, 44.0m NE/SW by 31.0m NW/SE has been located in Staverton Ford plantation, at SX795634. There are 3 internal hallows. It is suggested on morphological grounds that it is Medieval rather than Roman or prehistoric. (PastScape ref. Silvester)

Circular earthwork enclosure containing the remains of a rectangular stone building, believed to be a medieval hunting lodge. (Devon and Dartmoor HER)

In Staverton Ford Plantation, there is a circular earthwork enclosure containing a medieval hunting lodge which measures 73m across its visible earthworks. The enclosure rises 1.7m above the surrounding land and contains an earthwork of a rectangular stone building, aligned east to west and measuring 13m wide and 20m long. Its walls are from 1m to 3m wide and survive up to 0.7m high. Short lengths of wall on its south side create small additional rooms against earthworks of an ovoid stone curtain wall which measures 29m from east to west and 41m from north to south. The wall is from 2m to 3.5m thick and rises between 0.6m and 1m from the interior, falling up to 1.5m outside. An entrance 3m wide in the east side has inturns from the curtain wall 2m long, while on the north side, an entrance 2m wide has traces of a stone abutment for a timber bridge across the outer ditch. Outside the curtain wall, a sloping berm between 4m and 6m wide, falls 0.4m to the lip of an outer ditch 3m wide and 1m deep. An upcast bank is 6m wide and from 0.2m to 0.5m high. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Recorded in PastScape as a defensive monument but the identification as a hunting lodge seems more likely. Scheduled as part of the deer park of Dartington Hall, which is on the Heritage at Risk Register. Very close to Dartington Hall so probably a gamekeepers lodge rather than a high status dwelling.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSX795634
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Gray, A., 2009, 'Devon Rural Archive. A New Research Resource' The Devon Gardens Trust Journal Vol. 2 p. 33
  • Silvester, R., 1980, 'An enclosure in Staverton Ford Plantation' Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society Vol. 38 p. 119-21
  • Silvester, R. and Higham, R., 1980, 'Domestic Enclosures of Probable Medieval Date' Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society Vol. 38 p. 65


  • Historic England, 2016, Heritage at Risk South West Register 2016 (London: Historic England) p. 95 online copy
  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk South West Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 97 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 101 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 96 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 115 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 104 [online copy > https://content.historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/har-2011-registers/acc-sw-HAR-register-2011.pdf/
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 100 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 107 online copy
  • Silvester, R.J., 1978, An Enclosure in Staverton Ford Plantation (Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report)