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HER Number:MDV29800
Name:Dunstone Manor, Widecombe in the Moor


Dunstone Manor dates to the late 15th/early 16th century and originated as a traditional Dartmoor longhouse comprising a three room and cross passage plan with a shippon on the west side and a parlour and inner room on the east side of the cross passage. A stone cross wall was inserted between the hall and cross passage in the mid-late 16th century and in the mid-late 17th century the domestic side of the house was considerably altered and enlarged. The shippon was extended in the late 18th-early 19th century. This was converted to domestic use in the 1970s.


Grid Reference:SX 716 757
Map Sheet:SX77NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWidecombe in the Moor
Ecclesiastical ParishWIDECOMBE IN THE MOOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77NW/302
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LONGHOUSE (XV to XVI - 1450 AD to 1550 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, 1843, Widecombe in the Moor (Cartographic). SDV290272.

Dunstone Court, Lower Dunstone, house, yard and garden is record as plot 733 on the Tithe Map and Apportionment.

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

Lower Dunstone marked on 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map comprising five main groups of buildings. Dunstone Manor comprises the southernmost group, depicted as a reversed 'L' shaped range of buildings around two sides of a yard with an additional building on the north side.

Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H., 1979, An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish, Vol 2 page 250 (Report - Survey). SDV337078.

Site visit 23rd August 1979. Dunstone Court is an old longhouse. The family have lived there since 1300. The old living quarters of the longhouse have been maintained and the shippen end has been converted and modernised. The central passage has the original cobblestone floor. Inside the kitchen there is the original hearth with the bread oven, which has a millstone floor. It has a beehive top. Also, another recess but it is not clear what it was used for. Beautiful oak screen divides kitchen from parlour. The old beams remain uncovered. From the kitchen a stone staircase leads upstairs. The dairy, just off the kitchen has a very low roof. The parlour is furnished with carved oak furniture. Fireplace has a wooden lintel. Old oak timbers support the ceiling. In the bedroom, the ceiling of which was heightened, there is a small hearth. The beams from the roof show through. Slates on the roof have been renewed. Original rafters for the thatched roof are still there with the new roof superimposed. The roof is of type e apex, with purlins. The old collars are lying about in the roof. At the entrance to Dunstone Court there is an arch that was made out of the stone from the old thatched barn that was pulled down in 1943. The foundations can still be seen. The arch bears the Hamlyn family motto 'Frangas Non Flectes' and the family crest. Hamlyns were once the leading landowners in Widecombe.

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

Dunstone Manor (formerly Dunstone Court), house, formerly a longhouse. Late medieval with minor alterations and additions, probably of 18th century and 19th century date. Granite rubble, covered with roughcast on south side. Asbestos-slated roof. Many other features. See listing for details.

Thorpe, J., 2012, Dunstone Manor, Widecombe in the Moor, Devon (Report - Survey). SDV350007.

Dunstone Manor is the southernmost of the Lower Dunstone steadings. It originated as a traditional Dartmoor longhouse aligned east-west. Both the 1844 Tithe Map and the 1886 Ordnance Survey map show a long building range along the east side of the yard and a small building on the north side. The range adjoined the north side of the house and survived until the mid 20th century; old photos show that it had a thatched roof.
The main block comprises a long gable-ended building, now two storeys high which includes the remains of a late medieval three-room and cross passage plan longhouse. It is predominatly of local granite rubble with granite ashlar dressings. The rear of the house is rendered as are the three chimneyshafts. All the windows were replaced in the 1980s. The roof is of slate, replacing asbestos slate but was almost certainly originally thatch. The former shippon at the downhill end on the western side of the cross passage was converted to domestic use circa 1974. On the eastern side of the cross passage is the hall, separated from the cross passage by a full height stone crosswall that incorporates an axial chimneystack that serves the hall fireplace. Beyond the hall is parlour with a large fireplace in the east end wall. A short service wing projects off the north side of the parlour. The old main stair rises from the north-east corner of the hall between the parlour and the service wing. A second stair was inserted into the cross passage when the shippon was converted to domestic use.
The original four bay longhouse dates to the late 15th/early 16th century consisting of a cross passage with a shippon to the west and a hall and inner room to the east. The inner room may have had a a first floor chamber. The original medieval roof trusses survive and are heavily smoke-blackened indicating that the hall was originally open to the roof and heated by an open hearth. The stone cross wall between the cross passage and hall was inserted in the mid-late 16th century. It contains an impressive fireplace with a lintel made from a single slab of granite. There is an oven in the south side of the fireplace with a projecting granite shelf. The domestic side of the house was considerably altered in the mid-late 17th century when the hall was floored and a two storey bay added on the south side. The inner room was also extended eastwards and converted to a parlour with a large fireplace and chimney stack in the east end wall. The service block is also thought to have been added at this time and the main stairs inserted. The parlour fireplace also contains an oven. The hall is divided from the parlour by an oak stud and panel (plank-and-muntin) screen, the only one in the parish of Widecombe. In the late 18th-early 19th century the shippon was extended to the west, indicated by the different character of the masonry and the roof truss at its western end and in the mid-late 19th century the eaves level of the side walls were raised and the roof pitch slackened to take a slate covering. The conversion of the shippon in circa 1974 included extensive structural alterations.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Dunstone Manor. Formerly known as Dunstone Court. House, formerly a longhouse. Late medieval with minor additions, probably of 18th and 19th century date. Granite rubble, covered with roughcast on south side. Asbestos-slated roof. On ridge, off-centre to east, a large rendered chimneystack with thatch weatherings (heating former hall); shaft rebuilt 20th century. Another rendered stack, also old and with stone weatherings, on upper (east) gable. 20th century rendered stacks on west gable and in centre of south wall. 3-room and through-passage plan with hall stack backing on to passage; unusually large inner room with early fireplace. Former shippon, to west of passage, converted into 2 rooms; passage enlarged on this side to insert staircase. Added wing at right-angles to north side of inner room. 2 storeys, although the whole main range must have been single-storeyed originally. 5-window south front, facing garden; all windows 20th century. The front wall of hall and inner room breaks forward slightly and there is a further gabled projection (added perhaps in 18th century) in front of the hall. The ground-storey window of this projection has a chamfered granite dripstone above it. To right there is a similar dripstone over the inner-room window (possibly a former doorway) and, overlapping it to right, a further dripstone, probably relating to a blocked window. North front has a complete set of 20th century plastic windows. Door to through-passage has a lean-to stone porch. West gable (of former shippon) is known to have had a ventilation slit in upper storey, now replaced by a window. Interior: through-passage is cobbled. Rear of hall stack is of painted granite ashlar with a worn chamfered plinth. Old plank door into hall. Latter has large fireplace with chamfered granite lintel and monolithic right jamb, on top of which is a rounded granite corbel with a very slight projection. Left jamb rebuilt; in this side is an old bread oven with round-arched granite opening having a shallow granite shelf in front. At the back of the fireplace, on the right-hand side, is a smaller oven, known within living memory as the cake oven; it has a stone opening with slightly curved top. Upper floor beams are chamfered, one of them having an unusually deep and angled scroll-stop; chamfered joists, some with step-stops, some with straight-cut stops. At upper end is a stud-and-panel screen (the only one known in Widecombe Parish); the studs are very lightly chamfered, the chamfer fading away without a stop at the bottom. At the left-hand end, apparently of a different build, is a straight-headed, chamfered doorway, the left jamb with a diagonal-cut stop. At the right-hand end, where the wall has been cut away to insert the bay, is one end of an old wooden bench which may originally have extended in front of the screen. The inner room has no upper-floor beam, but simply plain joists running lengthways. Gable-fireplace (blocked) is large with a wood lintel and monolithic granite right jamb. The north wall adjacent to the wing has been removed and replaced with a straight flight of stairs, of which the 3 lowest steps are of granite; old plank doors top and bottom, with wrought-iron strap-hinges having spade-terminals. There is a similar door between the rooms over hall and inner room. The latter has a small gable-fireplace with rounded back and plain wood lintel. The roof has 3 smoke-blackened medieval trusses with through-purlins and ridge, and cambered collars; many of the common rafters survive. There is a tie- beam truss over the hall and 2 open trusses to the west, one built into the hall stack and the other over the former shippon; the feet of the last 2 are concealed. The tie-beam truss presents a problem of interpretation. It is infilled with cob and stone above the collar, and always appears to have been so; the underside is sooted at the apex, but this may be the result of the cob shrinking and letting in the smoke. The infill, however, appears to be blackened on the hall side only, although the truss itself and the timbers over the inner room are plainly sooted. The truss over the shippon was not inspected, but was examined in 1974. The old roof timbers are now protected by a secondary 20th century roof. The lower end of the house, which has no visible features, was in non-domestic use and known as the shippon within living memory. Date listed: 3rd november 1986.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV289221List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1986. Widecombe in the Moor. Historic Houses Register. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV290272Cartographic: Unknown. 1843. Widecombe in the Moor. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
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 2 page 250.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #86604 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV350007Report - Survey: Thorpe, J.. 2012. Dunstone Manor, Widecombe in the Moor, Devon. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. K811. A4 Bound.

Associated Monuments

MDV20776Related to: Lower Dunstone House / longhouse (Building)
MDV29798Related to: Lower Dunstone Longhouse (Building)
MDV29820Related to: STRIP FIELD in the Parish of Widecombe in the Moor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6009 - Survey of Dunstone Manor, Widecombe in the Moor (Ref: K811)

Date Last Edited:Jun 3 2016 11:27AM