Time travel to medieval Dartmoor during Heritage Open Days 2019. Photo: Dartmoor National Park authority

Time travel to medieval Dartmoor during Heritage Open Days 2019

Paula_D's picture
Authored by Paula_D
Posted Saturday, September 7, 2019 - 9:07am

Dartmoor National Park is pleased to once again take part in England’s largest festival of history and culture and will be shedding a light on how people lived in the 14th Century.

From 13-22 September 2019 the Heritage Open Days festival returns to Dartmoor with a packed programme of medieval-themed activities. Every September places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history.

This is your chance to try out new experiences - and they're free!

Get involved

Join Dartmoor National Park for a rare opportunity to learn about the development of Higher Uppacott a nationally important Grade 1 listed longhouse, from its medieval beginnings through to the present day.

In medieval times, people and cattle were accommodated under a single roof. Higher Uppaccott is one of the few remaining examples of this historic building type, having retained its lower or shippon end (cattle shelter) in its original state.

Heritage Open Days gives you the chance to see how this building was adapted and changed over the centuries to reflect changes in the way people lived and consider its setting within the wider historic landscape.

The building will benefit from newly installed lighting and set dressing which Dartmoor National Park hopes will give you one-off insight into this fascinating and special place.  

You can visit Higher Uppacott on:

● Saturday 14 September: 10.30am – noon or 1.15pm – 2.45pm.
● Sunday 15 September: 10.30am – noon or 1.15pm – 2.45pm.                         
● Saturday 21 September: 10.30am – noon or 1.15pm – 2.45pm.

Higher Uppacott will host a ‘medieval marvels’ event where families can try playing games of the time, writing with quill pens and be put through a test of medieval food knowledge.

Medieval Marvels:

Sunday 22 September: 10.30am – noon or 1.15pm – 2.45pm.

Please note road works are taking place in the area and it’s a good idea to check before you travel. You can do this online.

As well as complete longhouses such as Higher Uppacott, Dartmoor is home to a number of abandoned medieval settlements and longhouses. One of the most iconic is the atmospheric remains of the isolated village at Hound Tor near Widecombe-in-the-Moor.

The Hound Tor settlement consists of a cluster of 13th century stone longhouses and there’s evidence it was occupied during the Bronze Age or maybe even earlier.

Join Dartmoor National Park Archaeologist and Historic Environment Field Officer Andy Crabb for a fascinating guided walk exploring Hound Tor and its archaeology.

Hound Tor guided walk:

Saturday 21 September.
Start: Hound Tor car park (SX 739 792), 10.15am for a 10.30am start.
Duration: 3hrs (max).
The walk is over rough and steep moorland terrain - suitable clothing and footwear is required. Be prepared for all types of Dartmoor weather!

To enjoy the Heritage Open Days events, book a place in advance. Phone Princetown Visitor Centre on 01822 890414 or email visit@dartmoor.gov.uk. More information is on the website: https://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/enjoy-dartmoor/events.