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HER Number:MDV21006
Name:Milking parlour at Old Middlecott (former farmhouse), Chagford


Milking parlour, formerly the farmhouse here. Late 15th-early 16th century longhouse, thought to be converted to agricultural use and modernised in the mid-20th century. Proposal in 2014 to restore the building (which is almost ruinous) to domestic use.


Grid Reference:SX 715 861
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NW/71
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LONGHOUSE (Constructed, XV to XVI - 1475 AD to 1535 AD (Between))
  • MILKING PARLOUR (Altered, XX - 1950 AD to 1959 AD (Between))

Full description

Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M., 1932, The Place-Names of Devon: Part Two, 425 (Monograph). SDV337894.

Documented in 1086, 1238, 1446.

Alcock, N. W., 1981, Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue, 109 (Report - non-specific). SDV342504.

Jointed cruck recorded at Old Middlecott (Alcock, citing Miss E. Gawne).

Hulland, C., 1982, List of Historic Houses (Un-published). SDV75440.

Old Middlecott. Visited but not recorded. (Plan in Westcountry Studies Library).

Timms, S. C., 1983, List of Devon buildings in NMR Recorded Buildings Index, London (Un-published). SDV337271.

Record by E. H. D. Williams deposited in National Monuments Record in 1980. Index identifies house as ?a possibly 15th century longhouse.

Pigeon, J., 2013, The Milking Parlour (formerly the Farmhouse), Old Middlecott, Chagford (Report - Survey). SDV359370.

Farmhouse (later milking parlour) building is thought to potentially date to the 15th century and retains the original longhouse configuration of half-hipped solar over an upper end chamber, the former with its paired unglazed slit windows and garderobe shute opening, an unusually long open hall (never ceiled and possibly indicative of a court or sub-manorial status), cross-passage and shippon. Doesn’t appear to have been rebuilt in the late 16th - early 18th centuries when many others on the moor were; this farm may not have been viable economically at the time. An extended phase of rebuilding occurred around the turn of the 18th century with further alterations in the later 20th century converted it for use (though short-lived) as a milking parlour.
The whole building is in poor condition, the masonry is in need of repointing, the roof cladding is rusty and loose and the timber trusses are in need of repair. Smoke blackened faced and pegged cruck trusses indicate an early date.

Pigeon, J., 2014, Historical Analysis of the extant trusses of the Milking Parlour (longhouse) at Old Middlecott, Chagford, 1-3 (Report - Survey). SDV359372.

Trusses dated and proposed repairs / replacements indicated.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Depicted on the modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2014, National Heritage List for England, 1106184 (National Heritage List for England). SDV355683.

4/136 Milking parlour at Old - Middlecott Farmyard-GV II
Milking parlour, formerly the farmhouse here. Late C15-early C16, converted to agricultural use in the C19 (maybe earlier) and modernised in C20. Granite stone rubble laid to rough courses with dressed quoins and topped with cob; corrugated iron roof (formerly thatch). Plan: long block built down a slope and facing north-east onto the farmyard. Stable block (q.v.) is attached to left (north-western) end. The interior of the original house here has been completely gutted but it seems that it was a 3-room-and- through-passage plan and probably was a Dartmoor longhouse with the shippon at the lower (south-eastern) end. It was a hall house open to the roof. There is no sign of any fireplaces. Opposing doorways, though rebuilt, may represent the site of the through passage. The inner room end is partitioned off as a calf house. Exterior: the putative front passage doorway has a rubble-walled porch with monopitch roof. A shed covers the left end and there is a single window to right. It and windows to rear are C20. There is no obvious sign of original openings in the walls. Roof is gable-ended to left and half-hipped to right. Interior is that of a C20 milking parlour except for the remains of the original roof. Much of the roof has been replaced but of the 6 trusses only the upper end 1 appears to have been completely replaced. The rest remain to some extent varying from a single surviving cruck post over the hall to 1 virtually complete truss over the shippon. All are raised crucks. There is 1 true cruck blade. The rest are face-pegged jointed crucks and some have locking strips halved and pegged into their sides. At the apex is a yoke and setting for a square set ridge (Alcock's apex type H). There are no trenches or mortices for purlins. Presumably they were pegged onto the backs of the principals. The timbers are stained and only arguably smoke- blackened. This milking parlour has the shell and remains of the roof of a late medieval farmhouse, probably a Dartmoor longhouse. It forms part of an attractive group of traditional Dartmoor farm buildings with the stable (q.v.) and barn (q.v.). Middlecott is a Domesday settlement. Source: Manuscript notes and elevation of truss by Commander E H D Williams (July 1980) in NMR.
Listing NGR: SX7159386154

Pigeon, J., 2014, Old Middlecott, Chagford, The Milking Parlour (formerly the Farmhouse), 1-3 (Report - Assessment). SDV359371.

Proposal in 2014 to restore the building (which is almost ruinous) to domestic use. The proposal to change the building to domestic use may be desirable, as it was originally the farmhouse, before being converted into a milking parlour. Initially, it was thought that this conversion took place between the 1920s and 1950s, but an old photograph discovered of the farm dating to 1955 suggests the farmhouse was still in use at this time. This would suggest that the conversion to milking parlour probably took place in the 1950s and was in use for around 50 years (maybe considerably less).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV337271Un-published: Timms, S. C.. 1983. List of Devon buildings in NMR Recorded Buildings Index, London. Typescript.
SDV337894Monograph: Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M.. 1932. The Place-Names of Devon: Part Two. The Place-Names of Devon: Part Two. IX. A5 Hardback. 425.
SDV342504Report - non-specific: Alcock, N. W.. 1981. Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. 42. Photocopy. 109.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #82971 ]
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website. 1106184.
SDV359370Report - Survey: Pigeon, J.. 2013. The Milking Parlour (formerly the Farmhouse), Old Middlecott, Chagford. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV359371Report - Assessment: Pigeon, J.. 2014. Old Middlecott, Chagford, The Milking Parlour (formerly the Farmhouse). A4 Comb Bound. 1-3.
SDV359372Report - Survey: Pigeon, J.. 2014. Historical Analysis of the extant trusses of the Milking Parlour (longhouse) at Old Middlecott, Chagford. A4 Comb Bound. 1-3.
SDV75440Un-published: Hulland, C.. 1982. List of Historic Houses. List of Historic Houses. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV77209Part of: Old Middlecott, Chagford (Monument)
MDV33200Related to: Barn at Old Middlecott, Chagford (Building)
MDV33199Related to: Linhay at Old Middlecott Farm, Chagford (Building)
MDV33201Related to: Stables at Old Middlecott Farmyard, Chagford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6905 - Archaeological survey of the Milking Parlour (former farmhouse) at Old Middlecott, Chagford
  • EDV6906 - Archaeological assessment of the Milking Parlour (former farmhouse) at Old Middlecott, Chagford
  • EDV6907 - Historical analysis of the extant roof trusses in the Milking parlour at Old Middlecott, Chagford

Date Last Edited:Jan 19 2016 11:31AM