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HER Number:MDV40399
Name:Great Howton farmshouse, Moretonhampstead


Farmhouse built in at least the 17th century, possibly earlier. Has been altered considerably in the 19th century. Detailed history of the past inhabitants available. Smoking chamber adjacent to fireplace noted by Waterhouse.


Grid Reference:SX 743 870
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMoretonhampstead
Ecclesiastical ParishMORETONHAMPSTEAD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NW/274
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 85021

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Built, XVII - 1601 AD? to 1699 AD (Between))

Full description

Waterhouse, R., 1998, Smoking Chambers in Devon, Part 2, 6 (Article in Serial). SDV348115.

This farmhouse has a smoking chamber; similar to his Type 3, except that both the stoke hole and the access door face the fireplace and the smoke did not exit via a flue, but over the top of the door in the same way as Type 1. Provisionally classified by Waterhouse as a sub-type of type 3.

Sharpe, J., 2005, Assessment of ornamental plaster at Great Howton, 1-3 (Report - Assessment). SDV347177.

Section of ornamental plasterwork located in the first floor bedroom at Great Howton, above a Victorian iron fireplace, was cleaned and restored. This plasterwork consists of a square central panel with flower designs and initials around it. The square contains a winged cherub’s face with the letters I T above and M T below it. The date 1634 is included outside the square and the royal crown and C R symbolising Charles Rex. Other initials outside the square are: R T and B T and below the square is IOSPEH T.
Research has revealed that the Tozer family owned Great Howton from 1297-1891 and in the 17th century John Tozer and his wife Phillipa had eight children, including two daughters called Mary, one of whom (their first child) was a still birth; the subsequent Mary (third child; born in 1922) died at 2 ½ years old. A second child (John; born in 1619), lived for 23 years and at least three more sons; Robert, Joseph and Benjamin (and two further children) were born after 1625. It is likely that this plasterwork refers to the marriage two Tozers; I T (John Tozer) and M T (perhaps Phillipa was known by another name). The decoration includes a grape vine, symbolising eternal love. The other initials may refer to the children and the cherub (who has a sombre face and closed eyes) may refer to the death of one of the children.
King Charles’ emblem signifies support for the Royalists, despite Great Howton’s proximity to Moretonhampstead, which was mainly Puritan. The style of the plasterwork is typical of the period 1600-1650 and bears similarities to that at Waye Barton, Chagford (1636 date). Although this section is quite modest in scale, its possible that the original plasterwork extended over a wider area.

Thorp, J. R. L., 2005, The south wall of Great Howton, Moretonhampstead, 2-5 (Report - Survey). SDV347176.

Recording during re-pointing works at the southern end of the house noted the roofline has been raised at some point and there were originally two entrances at this end; one ground floor and the other at first floor level.

Thorp, J. R. L., 2007, The Shippon at Great Howton, Moretonhampstead, 3 (Report - Survey). SDV347178.

The shippon represents the best-perserved section of the earliest phase of the historic house at Great Howton. It measures 9.3 by 5.15 meters internally. The front (west side) of the shippon faces the former farmyard and it is separated from the cross passage and the main house by a full height stone crosswall. The form of the roof suggests a 16th or 17th century date.

Thorp, J. + Horton, D., 2008, Great Howton, Moretonhampstead, 5 (Report - Assessment). SDV347180.

Extensive detailed description of the history of the inhabitants / owners of the house and the structure of the house itself. The plasterwork is thought to refer to a marriage between John Tozer and Mary (not Phillipa - error in earlier report?) and some of their children.

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

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

Great Howton farmhouse including outbuilding adjoining.
Farmhouse. 17th century or earlier, much altered in the 19th century. Granite rubble walls, rendered at front and most of wing. Slate roof with gable ends, attached barn has corrugated iron roof. Axial stack is rendered, probably stone. Granite block gable end stack both to main range and wing, with granite capping; oven projection beside wing stack. 3-room-and-through-passage plan, the lower end to left, below the passage, rebuilt as barn. Axial hall stack backing onto passage and heated inner room with gable end stack. In circa late 17th century a kitchen wing was built at the rear of the higher end with a gable end stack and adjoining oven; a 2-storey porch was built at the front of the passage. Possibly at this time the lower end was replaced by the barn although there might be some earlier fabric possibly of a shippon. In mid to late 19th century the house was modernised, heightened and refenestrated. 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 3-window front to house with storeyed porch to left. 2- light circa late 19th century casements with glazing bars. Porch has shallow 4-centred late 17th century granite arched doorway with hoodmould and chamfered on inside and out. Mock 19th century hoodmould in plaster above porch window. Stone mounting block to left of doorway. Early 20th century plank and glazed door to passage inside porch. Barn has much lower roof line with doors to right and left and 1st floor loading door to right.
Interior inaccessible at time of survey but passage seen to have dressed granite fireplace back with chamfered plinth and cornice. There is also known to be a 17th century date carved in plaster in a first floor room. Other details: 85021.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #90773 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347176Report - Survey: Thorp, J. R. L.. 2005. The south wall of Great Howton, Moretonhampstead. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K710. A4 Comb Bound. 2-5.
SDV347177Report - Assessment: Sharpe, J.. 2005. Assessment of ornamental plaster at Great Howton. A4 Comb Bound. 1-3.
SDV347178Report - Survey: Thorp, J. R. L.. 2007. The Shippon at Great Howton, Moretonhampstead. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K710/2. A4 Comb Bound. 3.
SDV347180Report - Assessment: Thorp, J. + Horton, D.. 2008. Great Howton, Moretonhampstead. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K710/3. A4 Comb Bound. 5.
SDV348115Article in Serial: Waterhouse, R.. 1998. Smoking Chambers in Devon, Part 2. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 16. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6.

Associated Monuments

MDV111271Part of: Great Howton Farmstead, Moretonhampstead (Monument)
MDV42271Related to: Little Howton cottages, Moretonhampstead (Building)
MDV77069Related to: Little Howton farmstead, Moretonhampstead (Monument)
MDV40398Related to: Middle Howton, Moretonhampstead (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5022 - Recording at Great Howton, Moretonhampstead
  • EDV5023 - Conservation of plasterwork at Great Howton, Moretonhampstead
  • EDV5024 - Recording of shippon at Great Howton, Moretonhampstead
  • EDV5025 - Building recording at Great Howton, Moretonhampstead

Date Last Edited:Aug 2 2019 2:28PM