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HER Number:MDV19152
Name:Lower Tor farmhouse, Widecombe in the Moor

Summary

House, formerly a longhouse. 16th century, or possibly earlier, with additions. The plan is the usual one of shippon (now the kitchen) below a through-passage with hall and inner room above, except that there is in addition a cross-passage adjoining the through-passage on the hall side. This cross-passage ought to be an early feature because the 16th century hall stack backs on to it in the traditional manner, yet there is no evidence at all of a doorway at the north end and at the south end there is an added porch of 1707. The through-passage, on the other hand, has an early 16th century doorway at the north end. Because of these features, writers on vernacular architecture have treated the house as representing an important stage in the evolution of the longhouse from its medieval form, although it is far from clear that the existing plan is entirely the result of early 18th century alterations.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 697 725
Map Sheet:SX67SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWidecombe in the Moor
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishWIDECOMBE IN THE MOOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SE/188
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LONGHOUSE (Built, XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1599 AD (Between))

Full description

South West Heritage Trust, 1838-1848, Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments (Cartographic). SDV359954.

Farm is shown on the Widecombe Tithe Map; 'Lower Tarr'. Listed on the apportionment as field no 2128-30; 'Houses and gardens', owned by Lord Cranston, occupied by Samuel Mann.
The map is quite damaged for this farm, but three main buildings can be seen (two of them dwellings), all roughly rectangular, aligned north-west by south-east, arranged in a parallel row, with at least two associated, smaller structures to the south-east of the farm.


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

Shown on the late 19th century historic map.


Worth, R. H., 1934 - 1938, The Dartmoor House, 28 (Article in Serial). SDV162908.

Dual water supply from well and pot water leat. Description given.


Department of Environment, 1952, Newton Abbot Rural District (Provisional List), 115 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV280219.

Lower Tor farmhouse. Formerly a longhouse. It is 16th century or possibly earlier, with additions. Upgraded on new list. Many other features noted, see Department of Environment list for full details.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1963, Monuments Threatened or Destroyed, 1956-62, 32 (Un-published). SDV83845.

Farmhouse of granite, one and two storeys. Built in late 16th century on longhouse plan; two living rooms, each with chimney in end wall and with room above; separated from byre by cross passage. Later alterations and additions include porch with semi-circular-headed doorway dated 1707.


Worth, R. H., 1967, Worth's Dartmoor, 414, plate 84b (Monograph). SDV337618.

(Estimated 1952) Lower Tor latest of round-arched type of house dated 1707. Porch with room over characteristic. Dressed granite doorway. House part wholly to left of porch, to the right are farm buildings. Outshot built onto farm buildings.


Mercer, E., 1975, English Vernacular Houses, 151 (Monograph). SDV336308.


Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H., 1979, An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish, Vol IV, 802 (Report - Survey). SDV337078.

(25/5/1979) Thatched longhouse, faces south, shippen must have been to the right now a kitchen central passage (porch) hearth to the left, large lintel over fireplace, oven flagstones. Spiral staircase still in use just to left of central passage the base wall of the parlour, with light. Porch beams dated 1707 later addition? cider press/pig trough in the yard. According to the owner the records go back to the 17th century. The most southerly of the outbuildings marked on the 1843 tithe map has been demolished. The foundations have been turned into a swimming pool. Two lines of flagstones across the yard mark underground leats or springs. Most of the land now farmed.
The second passage next to the kitchen was created by the present owner's son who built an interior wall at the end of the present kitchen (local information cited by Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology).


Department of Environment, 1986, Widecombe in the Moor, 114 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV289221.

Lower Tor farmhouse. Granite with thatch. 17th/18th century. Central wing with date over door 1707. Granite stairs lead up from kitchen. Left of porch is thatched well house. Barn on right with pointed stone doorway.


Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

Shown on the modern mapping.


Historic England, 2018, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

WIDECOMBE-IN- SX 67 SE THE-MOOR 5/271 Lower Tor Farmhouse 23.8.55 GV II*
House, formerly a longhouse. C16, or possibly earlier, with additions. Granite rubble with patches of ashlar, especially at the upper (west) end of the south front. Thatched roof, half-hipped at lower end; added lean-to on north side is covered with corrugated asbestos. Granite chimneystack with tapered top on centre of ridge. Larger projecting granite stack with offsets and plain top in upper gable-wall. Rubble stack, probably a much later addition (it is not shown on C20 published plans of the house), against north wall of former shippon.
The plan is the usual one of shippon (now the kitchen) below a through-passage with hall and inner room above, except that there is in addition a cross-passage adjoining the through-passage on the hall side. This cross-passage ought to be an early feature because the C16 hall stack backs on to it in the traditional manner, yet there is no evidence at all of a doorway at the north end and at the south end there is an added porch of 1707. The through-passage, on the other hand, has an early C16 doorway at the north end. Because of these features, writers on vernacular architecture have treated the house as representing an important stage in the evolution of the longhouse from its medieval form, although it is far from clear (as the published work seems to suggest) that the existing plan is entirely the result of early C18 alterations.
Two storeys with single-storey additions. South front is 5 windows wide. All windows are C20, except in the porch. The latter is 2-storeyed, having in the ground storey a round-arched, moulded granite doorway with IT 1707 carved in the spandrels. In the upper storey is a 2-light granite-mullioned window, probably of the same date. Attached to the south-west corner of the porch is an open-fronted stone well house with a thatched roof. On the north front most of the house part is concealed by the lean-to, but the edge of a stair turret with a slit window is just visible at the left-hand end. Rear doorway of through-passage has a chamfered, round-headed granite arch with one worn stop, probably a pyramid. Former shippon has a single ventilation slit in ground storey; loft door to left of upper storey.
Interior: Former shippon has very heavy, unchamfered upper-floor beams; the beam next to the through-passage has been underbuilt with a stone wall (the wall is not shown at all on the published plans). On the other side another stone wall divides the through-passage from the cross-passage. On the upper side of the latter is the back of the hall stack, this being of granite ashlar with a cornice at the top. In the hall the fireplace is large with chamfered granite jambs and lintel; a relieving arch is visible in the bedroom above, but the space below it contains only stone rubble, rather than a specially cut piece of granite. Upper-floor beams are chamfered. Staircase in north wall, level with the stack, has winding stone steps. Inner room and bedroom above it both have fireplaces with plain granite lintels.
Roof timbers replaced in C18-C20. There are several published references to the house (with plan) : 1) M W Barley, The English Farmhouse and Cottage 1961, p.110 (fig.17D). 2) E Mercer, English Vernacular Houses, 1975, pp.39, 151, plate 35. 3) J Thirsk, ed., The Agrarian History of England and Wales, Vol.IV 1500-1640, 1967, p.730 (wrongly described as Higher Tor).
Listing NGR: SX6978972586

Sources / Further Reading

SDV162908Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1934 - 1938. The Dartmoor House. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 7. Unknown. 28.
SDV280219List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1952. Newton Abbot Rural District (Provisional List). Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 115.
SDV289221List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1986. Widecombe in the Moor. Historic Houses Register. A4 Single Sheet. 114.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336308Monograph: Mercer, E.. 1975. English Vernacular Houses. English Vernacular Houses. Unknown. 151.
SDV337078Report - Survey: Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H.. 1979. An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. Vols I - V. A4 Comb Bound. Vol IV, 802.
SDV337618Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1967. Worth's Dartmoor. Worth's Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 414, plate 84b.
SDV359954Cartographic: South West Heritage Trust. 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Digital.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #82419 ]
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV83845Un-published: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1963. Monuments Threatened or Destroyed, 1956-62. Photocopy. 32.

Associated Monuments

MDV30016Part of: Lower Tor Farm, Widecombe in the Moor (Monument)
MDV21513Related to: Barn at Lower Tor Farm, Widecombe (Building)
MDV21515Related to: Higher Tor Farmhouse, Widecombe in the Moor (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Nov 9 2018 2:55PM