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HER Number:MDV37294
Name:Bullaton farmhouse, Bovey Tracey


Late medieval 3-room and cross passage open hall house, altered to the present farmhouse layout in the early 19th century. Evidence from the foundations may prove this building actually originated as a longhouse. Parts of this building were thatched as late as 1919, although it is now partly slated and partly roofed with corrugated iron.


Grid Reference:SX 801 820
Map Sheet:SX88SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBovey Tracey
Ecclesiastical ParishBOVEY TRACEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1321513
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX88SW/40/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 84445

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CROSS PASSAGE HOUSE (Late Medieval - 1401 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

1840, Tithe Map (Cartographic). SDV339770.

The farmhouse is depicted on the 1840 Tithe Map of Bullaton farm.

Griffiths, D. M., 1991, Annotated 1880s map of Bullaton Farm (Cartographic). SDV299702.

Shown on map of 1889. (Annotated as ‘farmhouse’). Other details: In parish file - annotations thought to be by DMG.

Thorp, J. + Cox, J., 1994, Bullaton Farm, Bovey Tracey, 17-18 (Report - Assessment). SDV347253.

This farmhouse was originally constructed as a late medieval 3-room and cross passage plan open hall house, with its hall likely to be the only heated room at that stage. This form of heating was with an open hearth fire; typical soot-blackened roof timbers have been recorded. It is possible that the house originated as a Dartmoor longhouse with a large shippon at the lower end of the passage but evidence to prove this was not obtained due to later alterations. The western, or south-western end of the house is terraced into the hillslope.
In the early 19th century the building was altered to a farmhouse which now appears at first glance to date to this period, obscuring its earlier origins. The farmhouse has plastered walls and gable-ended slate roofs. The main block has a 4-room plan with front doorway and main stair between the east parlour and the dining room. These rooms (and chambers above) were the best rooms of the house with 12-pane sash windows (not locally traditional) and a round-headed window to the rear of the stair. The western end of the farmhouse is plainer and contains the kitchen and services rooms. The present kitchen overlies the late medieval hall, while the dining room and parlour section have been built on the site of the passage and service-end of the original house.
In the late 16th century, a vast granite fireplace and stack was added at the lower-status end of the hall. There is also an oak plank-and-muntin screen at the western (upper status) end dividing part of the hall, which is thought to date to the same period. This screen features some interesting graffiti, including a couple of mid-18th century sailing ships. The cross-wing was probably added in the early or midd-17th century, at the same time the hall was floored. According to the 1919 sale particulars the older section of the house was still thatched at that time, although in the 1926 sale details this ‘backpart’ was subsequently roofed in galvanised iron.

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

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

Derelict farmhouse. Late medieval with late 16th or 17th century wing; lower end rebuilt in late 19th century. Stone rubble construction with some brick in the 19th century part; rendered in patches. Roof is partly slated, partly covered with corrugated iron. Red brick chimneystack in left- hand gable, just behind the ridge. Pair of stacks in centre; left-hand stack, on ridge, of late 19th century red and yellow brick, right-hand stack; just behind ridge, of granite ashlar with a brick top.
Probably a 3-room and cross-passage plan originally with kitchen wing added at right-angles to hall and inner room; hall stack backing on to passage, kitchen stack in gable of wing, its upper part now removed. The passage and lower room appear to have been replaced in 19th century by parlours and a staircase.
Two storeys, the front section of wing now reduced to a single- storey lean-to. The hall must originally have been single-storeyed. The 19th century lower end, to left, has a 3-window front. There is only 1 window in ground storey, at right-hand end, this having a 19th century wood casement of 2 lights, each light with 6 panes. Second storey has a 6-pane wood sash window at either end and a tall narrow staircase window in the centre, this having a 2-pane wood sash. To right, in the older part of the house, is a single staircase window, set between storeys; this contains a 2-light wood casement, each light with 8 leaded panes of old glass. The wing has in its inner face, to left, a door with 4 flush panels and a cast-iron knocker; 20th century hood above. To right is a plank door with a 12-pane wood casement above, re-used as a fanlight. At left-hand end of second storey is a 2-light wood casement window, each light with 12 leaded panes of old glass.
Interior: former hall has a granite fireplace with hollow moulding on lintel and left jamb, the right-hand side having been cut away. Chamfered upper floor-beams. Stud-and-panel screen at upper end, the studs chamfered with diagonal-cut stops on the hall side, plain towards the narrow and unheated inner room. One complete and one incomplete incised drawing of 18th century sailing ships on hall face; at the rear, south-east end, of the hall face, the stops are placed high up to allow for a heavy plank bench which, if not original, is certainly old. The roof retains a single side-pegged jointed-cruck truss with butt purlins and ridge; this lies above the common hall and is smoke-blackened, along with the adjacent common rafters. South- west of it is a closed truss, set almost midway over the hall, the upper part of which must have been part-floored from the first. At the south-west end is a hip cruck. The wing has chamfered upper-floor beams with original joists. The gable fireplace in the ground storey has a chamfered wood lintel with step-stops. Roof retains two similar, unblackened trusses with butt purlins and collars tenoned to the principal rafters. In one truss the principals are raised crucks; in the other their feet are not visible. The upper storeys of both wing and hall range are reached by a straight flight of stone steps at the front of the hall.
The farm buildings present a remarkably complete picture of a 19th century Dartmoor farm. All are included in the listing as part of the curtilage of the farmhouse, but the linhay and barn, ash house and rick-stands are separately listed as items of special interest. Other details: Listed Building number: 84445.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV299702Cartographic: Griffiths, D. M.. 1991. Annotated 1880s map of Bullaton Farm. Ordnance Survey Map. Digital.
SDV339770Cartographic: 1840. Tithe Map. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #89446 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347253Report - Assessment: Thorp, J. + Cox, J.. 1994. Bullaton Farm, Bovey Tracey. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K405. A4 Comb Bound. 17-18.

Associated Monuments

MDV22325Part of: Bullaton Farmstead, Bovey Tracey (Building)
MDV37291Related to: Ash house 40 meters north-east of Bullaton Farmhouse (Monument)
MDV42505Related to: Cart shed 70 meters north-west of Bullaton Farmhouse (Monument)
MDV42504Related to: Cattle shelter 40 meters north-east of Bullaton farmhouse (Monument)
MDV42502Related to: Farm building 50 meters south-east of Bullaton Farmhouse (Building)
MDV42506Related to: Linhay 60 meters north-west of Bullaton Farmhouse (Monument)
MDV37293Related to: Linhays and barn north-west of Bullaton farmhouse (Building)
MDV42503Related to: Mash house and root store 20 meters south-east of Bullaton Farmhouse (Building)
MDV42500Related to: Pigsties 20 meters south-east of Bullaton Farmhouse (Building)
MDV80035Related to: Poultry house 15 meters south-east of Bullaton farmhouse (Monument)
MDV37292Related to: Rickstands 30 meters west of Bullaton farmhouse (Monument)
MDV42501Related to: Shippon 40 meters south-east of Bullaton Farmhouse (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5065 - Assessment of buildings at Bullaton Farm, Bovey Tracey

Date Last Edited:Jun 9 2016 11:46AM