Dartmoor history

Dartmoor is full of incredible history and heritage from the myths and legends you'll hear in the local pubs to the remains of the past that you can find littered across the National Park, it is a true haven for history lovers. 

Dartmoor through the ages

Did you know Dartmoor has the largest number of archaeological remains in Europe? 
From stone circles to hill forts, there are a host of fascinating reminders of history all over Dartmoor - despite this, you wouldn't think that it has been managed for over 6000 years! In fact, historians can trace human activity on Dartmoor all the way back to the Mesolithic period! A number of flint tools from this time are occasionally still found by archaeologists studying Dartmoor's earliest residents. 

Many of the standing stones, stone rows and stone circles that you can still see date back to the Neolithic period, during this time many of the burial mounds were also constructed and can be explored on foot or horseback. Several artefacts as well as the remains of stone tombs, round houses and menhirs have been found that are consistent with Bronze Age settlements and the hill forts date back to the Iron Age. 

The majority of the towns and villages across Dartmoor were established during the Saxon era, with much of the industry that exists today beginning in the Middle Ages and running through the Industrial Revolution. During this time, Dartmoor was used for mining and the remains of mines and quarries can still be seen at certain points around the moor - granite from the National Park was so illustrious it was used to make many of Britain's best loved landmarks, including Nelson's Column! 

Learn more about Dartmoor's history by exploring on your own, joining a guided walk or visiting one of the many museums that can be found here. 

Join in Dartmoor's historic hobby