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Dartmoor's Cultural Heritage
photo of Higher Uppacott

Dartmoor has a rich and varied cultural heritage, ranging from the remains of prehistoric chambered tombs, about four and a half thousand years old, through buildings and settlements of medieval and later origin, to its customs and traditions, some, such as the famous Widecombe Fair, still thriving. All combine to give Dartmoor a distinctive character, showing how people and landscape have influenced each other over thousands of years and rendering it a fascinating place both to visit and to live in.

  • 17,500 entries recorded on the Historic Environment Record
  • 1,208 Scheduled Monuments
  • 2,561 Listed Buildings
  • 23 Conservation Areas
  • Archive of 160 oral history recordings

The Dartmoor National Park Authority contributes towards the conservation and enhancement of Dartmoor's cultural heritage in a variety of ways, through practical works on the ground, the giving of advice and grant-aid and the undertaking of research.

Promotion of the understanding and enjoyment of Dartmoor's special qualities is undertaken through the production of interpretive literature and audio material and through guided walks and talks.

This Cultural Heritage content is divided into the following topics:

Promoting the understanding and enjoyment of the special quality of Dartmoor’s cultural heritage is an important aspect of the Authority’s work. This is approached in a number of ways, but helping owners understand what it is they own and its part in the wider cultural heritage of Dartmoor is, of course, a major way.

Others include participating in the annual event of Heritage Open Days (external link, opens new window) or hosting National Park Authority events specifically focused on the cultural heritage, such as ‘Hands on Heritage’ held in Princetown in 2005 and 2010.

Specialist officers lead guided walks and give talks to local communities. Provision of a range of interpretive and advice literature and the "Moor Memories" oral history project is providing an insight into Dartmoor life in the last century. Developing from this is Virtually Dartmoor, (external link, opens new window). which will provide on-line virtual tours to various Dartmoor locations in the company of people who know their subjects well.

Page last updated: 21 Jun 2005