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HER Number:MDV35460
Name:Threshing Barn at Higher Lettaford, North Bovey


Threshing barn with large opposing doorways dating to the late 18th, early 19th century. Built of granite rubble with larger quoins under a gable-ended corrugated iron roof; the roof was formerly thatched. The barn is built into a slope which has enabled the construction of a cellar under the east end, an unusual feature for Devon. There are two small, narrow ventilators in the north and south walls and one high up in each gable end, the latter being owl holes. There is also a small window-sized hole, now blocked, which was a shouting hole. Part of the 19th century threshing mechism survives in the form of a drive shaft with pulleys.


Grid Reference:SX 701 840
Map Sheet:SX78SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishNorth Bovey
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH BOVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78SW/91/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • THRESHING BARN (Built, XVIII to XIX - 1701 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Building shown in this location.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/BW, 4-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV339907.

Department of Environment, 1987, North Bovey, 163 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV348844.

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

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

Barn directly north of Higher Lettaford. Barn with shippon underneath. Circa late C18/early C19. Granite rubble walls with larger quoins; gable ended corrugated iron roof. Barn with central threshing floor, aligned down a slope with shippon beneath lower end. Outshuts at front and lower gable end. Single storey at higher (left) end, 2 storeys at lower end. Asymmetrical front with central tall double doorway flanked by projecting side walls with lean-to roof. To left is outshut extending to the gable end. To right is doorway to shippon on lower level with granite lintel. Above it to the right is a ventilation slit with similar blocked slit to its left. Rear façade has central double doorway with 2 ventilation slits to its left. Slit opening at top of lower gable end. Forms part of an important group of farm buildings and early houses in a small moorland settlement on the fringe of Dartmoor.

Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants, July 2014, Higher Lettaford, North Bovey, Devon, 5-11 (Report - Survey). SDV356882.

Threshing barn built down the hillslope paralle with the house. Constructed of local moorstone rubble with larger dressed blocks for the quoins and lining the openings. The roof is of corrugated iron but formerly thatched. The slope of the hill has been used to crete a cellar under the east end, an unusual feature for a Devon barn. The lean-to stock shed on the south side at the west end is probably contemporary with the barn but the lean-to at the east end is a modern addition. The barn has full-height opposing doorways, the southern doorway is flanked by pilaster buttresses supporting a monopitch roof which is carried down from the main roof. The doors and door frames are modern but reuse old wrought iron strap hinges. On the west of the north doorway is a large buttress which was probably added in the second half of the 19th century when mechanised threshing was introduced as the driveshaft went through the wall just on the west side of the buttress. There were two smaller doors into the barn but both are now blocked. There are two small, narrow ventilators in the north and south walls and one high in each gable end; the later being owl holes. The roof structure is a replacement designed to carry the corrugated iron roof. The threshing floor between the two doors is made up of thick oak boards which appear to be 20th century replacements. Part of the 19th century threshing mechanism survives in the form a high level drive shaft with pulleys. Close by the drive shaft there is a small window-sized blocked opening, now blocked, which is presumed to have been a shouting hole to enable communication between those working the engine outside the barn and those working the threshing machinery within.
The barn is unlikely to date from before about 1700 although the masonry at the west end of the north wall, which is different from that of the rest of the barn, could survive from an earlier barn on the site.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV339907Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/BW. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4-8.
SDV348844List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. North Bovey. Historic Houses Register. A4 Single Sheet. 163.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV356882Report - Survey: Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. July 2014. Higher Lettaford, North Bovey, Devon. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. K858. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 5-11.

Associated Monuments

MDV77042Part of: Higher Lettaford, North Bovey (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6529 - Historic Building Survey at Higher Lettaford, North Bovey

Date Last Edited:Jul 23 2014 3:06PM