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HER Number:MDV114641
Name:Town Head Cottages, Mary Tavy


Possible medieval longhouse; it may have served as the original farmhouse for Dowerland Farm, replaced in the early 19th century by the farmhouse constructed near the road. Split into three dwellings, possibly from the mid-late 19th century.


Grid Reference:SX 506 791
Map Sheet:SX57NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMary Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMARY TAVY

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LONGHOUSE? (XV to Post Medieval - 1500 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Depicted on the Tithe Map; 565 on the apportionment. 'House, yard and Garden'. The house is shown split into two sections, with the north-eastern end coloured red to indicate a dwelling, while the south-western end is coloured grey.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

House may have been split into separate dwellings by this time; map seems to indicate division.

Dartmoor National Park Authority, 2011, Mary Tavy Conservation Area Character Appraisal, 10 (Report - Assessment). SDV359468.

The northern settlement centre has the school as its focal point and most of the houses are likely to have been related to the mine workings. One apparent exception is Town Head Cottages which has the appearance of an earlier farmhouse, possibly of the 16th or 17th century.
The Tithe Map indicates that the western end was a dwelling (coloured red) and the eastern end was presumably agricultural, suggesting that this may have been a longhouse. If that is the case it is a pre-mine era survival and of interest for that reason, although it is now much altered. The agricultural end has become residential and poorly designed dormers have been added. The ridge of the roof has been raised and the rear slope incorporated into a larger parallel extension that has been added, more than doubling the depth of the building.
Dowerland Farm is a significant focal building that appears to date from the early 19th century and possibly replaced the earlier farmhouse which was subdivided into Town Head Cottages. It seems likely, therefore, that this is a single farmstead of considerable antiquity.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Town Head Cottages (1-3) are depicted on the modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #73970 ]
SDV359468Report - Assessment: Dartmoor National Park Authority. 2011. Mary Tavy Conservation Area Character Appraisal. Dartmoor National Park Authority. Digital. 10.

Associated Monuments

MDV78085Related to: Dowerland Farm, Mary Tavy (Monument)
MDV56145Related to: Inclined tramway, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 11 2016 3:56PM