A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park
October 4, 2022
‘Castle’ and Castle Farm
On Tor Royal lane near Peat Cot is an forgotten farm and at the time of writing this post looks very much unloved. Having been empty for a few years, Castle Farm, seems to have been abandoned (albeit it is believed to be owned by the Duchy) and if left unchecked is likely to become ruinous very quickly, which given the history and location would, in the authors humble opinion, be very sad indeed.
The farm lies to the east of the road near to the Peat Cot lane turning and has been synonymous with the Worth family who lived in the area and who also had the Wesley Chapel built nearby. The story of the farm and immediate area, however, begins on the 19th century tithe map, where what looks like a marked property called ‘Castle’ appears to the west of Tor Royal Lane. The ‘Castle’ was in a different position to the later 19th century historic mapping of ‘Castle Farm’, where it is shown in its current position to the east of the lane. The original ‘Castle’ appears to have disappeared from OS maps by 1870’s and the new ‘Castle Farm’ appearing. Therefore, the disappearance of one (possible) building and the construction of another probably took place sometime between 1840 and 1870 (ish). To confuse matters there was a ‘Look-out Castle’ (tower) built in the area, which might be the ‘Castle’ as shown on the tithe map, but possibly could have been further west on the South Hessary Tor / Nun’s Cross ridge. This post uses information obtained from the Dartmoor HER (Chapman, S., 2020, Castle Farm, Princetown (Report – Assessment). SDV363572), Eric Hemery’s ‘High Dartmoor’ and from an article from Plymouth Herald, who interviewed local historian David German around May 2020.