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HER Number:MDV33344
Name:The Stable, Yeo Farm, Chagford


Late 15th, early 16th century first floor hall house converted to a threshing barn, probably in the 17th century and subsequently to stables in the 19th century.


Grid Reference:SX 678 865
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/34/3
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 94625

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Built, XVI - 1501 AD to 1600 AD (Between))
  • THRESHING BARN (Built, XVII - 1601 AD to 1700 AD (Between))
  • STABLE (Built, XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Griffiths, D., 10/01/1989, Yeo Farm, Chagford, 11 (Report - Interim). SDV351692.

Laithwaite, J. M. W., 1988, Yeo Farm, Chagford, 11-13 (Un-published). SDV226613.

The stable at Yeo is the most important building and was originally thought to have been a late medieval house with living accommodation on the upper floor and a shippon below; as it is described in the 1987 List description. Interpretation of this building is not straightforward however. It clearly began as a dwelling or part dwelling but reconstruction of the original form of the building is difficult. One original door remains at the right hand end of the ground storey frontage and appears to be very low, although the ground surface may have been built up over time.
Internally the building is divided into two compartments; a large stable to the left and a smaller room (used for housing calves in the 1960s) and there is a hayloft on the upper floor. The wall dividing the ground floor level appears to be original. The smaller room shows no evidence of a fireplace and it appears to have been a poorly-lit room with a low ceiling when the upper floor was in place. The room above does have evidence of a fireplace in the gable wall and to the left a narrow blocked doorway which is barely visible externally. Two projecting stones below it in the wall however may have supported a timber framed projection, such as a latrine. No evidence of the dried up water channel mentioned by the List description (1987).
No indications that the main ground floor room (now a stable) ever had an upper floor. An obvious interpretation of the building would suggest that it began as a typical medieval three-roomed plan with the hall and service room (presently the stable) being single storied, while the upper end had a storage room with solar above. The documentary evidence indicates that Yeo was a two house settlement by the end of the mid-16th century so it seems possible that this was the other farmhouse, although another possibility is that the building started as a barn with a high-class one up, one down dwelling at the northern end.

Thorp, J. R. L., 2002, The old stable at Yeo Farm, Chagford (Report - Assessment). SDV347630.

The old stable block barn is located at the centre of the site facing east onto the granite flagged farmyard and dates to around 1450-1550. The roof is corrugated iron but was previously slated and originally would have been thatched. The east front wall was originally constructed from massive coursed granite ashlar blocks on enormous foundation boulders and was obviously the show front of the building. Much of the upper section of the wall has been rebuilt in granite rubble in at least two different phases. The doorway at the north is the only original feature in the east wall. Adjacent to this is a hayloft loading hatch which is a later insertion associated with a large barn doorway further to the south, which is now partly blocked up. The stable doorway is built into the full height barn entrance, with a loft-loading hatch above. The full width of the original doorway has been partly blocked up.
The southern gable wall is blind but there is a blocked doorway in the western (rear) wall and what appears to be two blocked windows, one either side of the doorway. The north gable wall has been largely rebuilt in the upper sections and includes a narrow blocked doorway to the garderobe which has two granite corbels projecting below it to either side which may have supported a timber construction.
Internally the building is subdivided by a masonry wall. The southern compartment appears to have originally been open to the roof and was apparently lofted in the 20th century when it was converted to a stable. The northern compartment is now open to the roof but was originally two storeys high with a low storage room on the ground floor and an upper room heated by a hooded fireplace in the gable wall above with a probable garderobe entrance to the left of the fireplace. Presumably the original window to this room was replaced by the insertion of the existing hayloft loading hatch. The ground floor does not appear to have had any windows.
There is no real evidence that the stable area was ever in domestic use and Thorp agrees with Laithwaite’s interpretation (1988) that the building originated uniquely as a barn with a domestic chamber and cellar at one end. The chamber is well furbished and may have served as a detached solar associated with the main farmhouse. If so, this is the first known in Devon. Considering that the steading was shared by two farms from at least the mid-16th century, it may be at this time that the accommodation was split up. It may be significant that the nearby cottage/bakehouse is on the same side of the drive to the barn/dwelling and these may have been used in conjunction with one another.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

(Listing description December 1986) Barn and stables, originally a first floor hall-house. Probably late 15th-early 16th century, converted to agricultural use probably in 17th century, refurbished in late 19th century. Walls built of massive blocks of granite ashlar on footings of massive boulders, patched and altered with granite stone rubble; disused granite stack; corrugated iron roof (formerly thatch).
Plan and development: the original plan is not easy to work out at present, mostly due to the alterations undertaken to convert the house to agricultural use. The building faces south-east. It seems likely that the very low ground floor had a 3-room plan possibly with a through passage but the main accommodation was on the first floor where there was probably a large hall and, at the right (north-eastern) end, a chamber with end stack and a garderobe alongside. Below the putative hall-chamber partition there is an original granite ashlar crosswall up to first floor level. The floor has been replaced and some is now unfloored. At some time (probably in the 17th century) it was converted to a threshing barn and a full height large doorway built onto the front directly opposite a now-blocked original rear doorway. This front door was reduced in size in the late 19th century, possibly when the barn was converted to its present use as stables.
Exterior: the south-east front is largely the result of its agricultural use. Some of the original ashlar work is there, but the only recognisable original feature is the low ground floor doorway at the right end. Surrounded by granite ashlar it has an external granite lintel and an internal oak lintel, both soffit-chamfered, and the sides have shallow rebates for a doorframe. The other features are agricultural and built of granite rubble along with most of the upper wall section. Left of centre is the 20th century stable door with hayloft loading hatch over filling in part of the probably 17th century barn door. There is another hayloft loading hatch to right. Also an irregular series of pigeon holes in the rubble-work under the eaves. Roof is gable-ended. The left (south-western) end is blind and the right end contains only a single small original window aperture high up and lighting the first floor chamber. The rear wall also contains much secondary patching and it is blind. It does however contain one original blocked doorway (directly opposite the front stable door).
The interior is largely the result of the 19th century refurbishment. All the carpentry detail, including the A-frame truss roof dates from then. However the granite crosswall towards the right end is original. It rises only to first floor level and is apparently blind. In the right end wall there is an alcove to the former low ground floor room. The chamber above has a large fireplace; it is hooded with granite corbels and lintel with a window high to right of the chimney and at the left end a garderobe alcove. This last feature is proved to be a garderobe since, outside this corner, there is a disused channel connecting to the nearby stream. It is interesting to note that in some places granite ashlar appears on the inside where secondary rubble patching shows outside and vice versa. Therefore careful recording of the fabric might show more original features. This barn is the oldest building in a good group of listed farm and mill buildings which make up Yeo Farm and include the farmhouse (q.v.)., the office and garden railings (q.v.), the mill (q.v.), the smithy and cartshed (q.v.) and the Old School House (q.v.). Presumably this was the original farmhouse which was converted to agricultural use when the present farmhouse, once a Dartmoor longhouse, was built. It is an important building in its own right, being a rare Devon example of a late medieval first floor hall-house, but also important in the development of the farm here at Yeo. According to the owners the farm has been in the continuous occupation of the Perryman family since circa 1450. Other details: LB UID: 94625.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV226613Un-published: Laithwaite, J. M. W.. 1988. Yeo Farm, Chagford. A4 Comb Bound. 11-13.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #87857 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347630Report - Assessment: Thorp, J. R. L.. 2002. The old stable at Yeo Farm, Chagford. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K658. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV351692Report - Interim: Griffiths, D.. 10/01/1989. Yeo Farm, Chagford. Dartmoor National Park Authority. A4 Stapled. 11.

Associated Monuments

MDV49493Part of: Yeo Farmstead, Chagford (Monument)
MDV33346Related to: Cart Shed at Yeo Farm, Chagford (Building)
MDV33343Related to: Office at Yeo Farm, Chagford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5198 - Assessment of the Old Stable at Yeo Farm, Chagford

Date Last Edited:Feb 16 2018 3:40PM