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HER Number:MDV34043
Name:Bearslake Inn (formerly listed as Lake Farmhouse), Sourton


Bearslake Inn, originally Lake farmhouse. Circa early C16, considerably altered in C17, C19 and C20. Granite and local stone rubble walls. Thatched roof hipped to main block and rear wing, gabled to front wing. 2 stone rubble stacks, one at gable end of front wing and one axial to main block; to its right is axial granite ashlar stack with tapering moulded cap.


Grid Reference:SX 528 888
Map Sheet:SX58NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSourton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSOURTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX58NW/119
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LONGHOUSE (XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1599 AD (Between))
  • INN (Altered, XX - 1980 AD to 1989 AD (Between))

Full description

Quick, T., 1992, Dartmoor Inns, 6-7 (Monograph). SDV359976.

Buildings are thought to date to the 13th century but the inn has only been going for the past ten years. The buildings were part of a working farm up until the early 1960s. It feel into decay after this time but was bought in 1970 and used as a restaurant until a licence was granted to sell alcohol and it opened as an inn. Upper room said to be haunted by a young girl who died after a riding accident.

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

Depicted on the modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2014, National Heritage List for England, 1165701 (National Heritage List for England). SDV355683.

12/111 Bearslake Inn (formerly - listed as Lake farmhouse) 22.2.67, GV II
Inn, originally farmhouse. Circa early C16, considerably altered in C17, C19 and C20. Granite and local stone rubble walls. Thatched roof hipped to main block and rear wing, gabled to front wing. 2 stone rubble stacks, one at gable end of front wing and one axial to main block; to its right is axial granite ashlar stack with tapering moulded cap. Plan: Original extent of plan not entirely clear due to later alterations and additions, it appears, however, to have been a longhouse. Shippon at right-hand end with passage, hall and inner room to its left. Solid wall between shippon and passage which is probably full height. The hall and inner room are virtually the same size -both quite small - but are likely to have originally been open to the roof without chimney stacks with a central hearth in the hall, although there is no direct evidence for this. The hall stack was inserted in circa late C16 or early C17 backing onto the passage, its ceiling may however have been inserted later judging from the later appearance of its beams. The inner room axial fireplace and ceiling are both likely to have been inserted in the early C17; the axial position of its stack is more unusual particularly as it reduces the size of the room. From the circa mid to late C17 substantial additions were made at the higher end of the house with a 2-room extension with axial fireplace and a rear and front wing, of which the latter was heated by a gable end stack. The order in which these additions were made is not clear, nor are their exact purposes but kitchen and service uses are the most likely although it is possible that the front wing served as a parlour. Probably in the C19 the need for extra domestic accommodation was reduced with the result that the rear wing and left-hand extension were converted to use as outbuildings. When the building was converted to an inn in the later C20 the shippon was turned into a bar and subsequently the parts of the house which had been downgraded to outbuildings were reinstated as part of the house forming a certain amount of self-contained accommodation. 2 storeys. Asymmetrical long 9-window front with wing projecting to left of centre and 1 storey former shippon at right-hand end where the roof-line drops considerably. 1, 2 and 3-light C19 and C20 small-paned casements. C20 plank door to left of centre in angle between wing and main range. To its right the wall of the main range projects slightly with a further projection adjoining the former shippon which may originally have been a porch now blocked. To the right of that projection is a wide opening behind which is a C20 part-glazed door to either side. 2 doorways lead into the part of the house to the left of the wing both with C20 plank doors of which the left-hand one is in a pointed chamfered granite arched doorway. Irregular rear elevation with C19 and C20 small-pane casements, wing projects from right-hand end which has a 2-light chamfered granite mullion window on the ground floor. C20 conservatory at rear of shippon and passage. C20 glazed door at centre. The house is built into the ground at the right-hand end where external steps lead to a first floor doorway. The wing also has external steps to the first floor. Interior. The feet of insubstantial straight principal rafters are visible in some first floor rooms suggesting an C18/C19 date for the roof timbers. The hall- fireplace has had a later one inserted into it but a high chamfered wooden lintel is visible with apparently straight-cut stops. The hall has insubstantial closely- spaced longitudinal beams which have narrow chamfered and straight-cut stops. Leading from the hall to inner room is an original wooden shouldered-head doorframe which is chamfered. The inner room fireplace has rough monolithic granite jambs with a chamfered wooden lintel which has been cut off at the right end. There is a cloam oven in the left side of the fireplace. There is a heavy chamfered longitudinal beam which has hollow step stops. The room in the front wing has closely-spaced wany insubstantial cross beams with narrow unstopped chamfers. The gable end fireplace has roughly chamfered granite jambs with a chamfered wooden lintel which is obscured by a later mantelpiece. The left-hand extension, now the kitchen, has a fireplace with rough granite jambs and a cambered wooden lintel which is chamfered with hollow step stops. There is an oven in the left side of the fireplace. Despite considerable internal alterations this house retains an unspoilt and very picturesque exterior and occupies a prominent roadside position.
Listing NGR: SX5283288882

Cross, S. + Cross, C., 2015, Bearslake Inn (Website). SDV357755.

Longhouse thought to date back to the 13th Century. The original building was extended in the 16th and 17th centuries. At which time the chimneys, the parlour wing and first floor accommodation were added. The Stable Restaurant is the newest part of the building having been added in the 1980s. For most of its life Bearslake has been a working farm or small holding. By the 1930s it had been divided into three cottages. It was not until 1959 that Bearslake was converted from cottages to firstly a tea room and then a public house.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #88179 ]
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website. 1165701.
SDV357755Website: Cross, S. + Cross, C.. 2015. Bearslake Inn. http://www.bearslakeinn.com/history.asp. Website.
SDV359976Monograph: Quick, T.. 1992. Dartmoor Inns. Dartmoor Inns. Paperback Volume. 6-7.

Associated Monuments

MDV109031Part of: Bearslake farmstead, Sourton (Monument)
MDV33838Related to: Bearslake Cottage, Sourton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jan 13 2017 1:57PM