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HER Number:MDV55347
Name:The Garden Cottage, Tor Down House, Belstone


17th century farmhouse substantially rebuilt in the later 19th century. It was left in a ruinous state following a fire in the 1940s but was rebuilt again in 1995.


Grid Reference:SX 612 943
Map Sheet:SX69SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBelstone
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBELSTONE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX69SW/252/2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (XVII to XIX - 1601 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Building depicted on 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map.

Henderson, C. G + Sage, A. J. + Sage, S. A., 1996, Archaeological Survey of a Ruined House at Tor Down, Belstone, 1995 (Report - Survey). SDV350267.

As the preliminary report.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Exeter Archaeology, June 1995, Preliminary Report on Archaeological Survey of a Ruined House at Tor Down House, Belstone (Report - Survey). SDV351615.

Ruined house aligned north-south, located a few metres south-east of the main house. It was occupied until a fire in the 1940s which left only the main walls and the chimney stack still standing. The building occupies a terrace cut into the slope and comprises three rooms and a cross passage with the front door in the east wall. There is a gradual drop in floor level of about 0.7 metres between south and north. All the rooms have stone cobbled or slab floors. The fireplace in the main living room is considered to be a primary feature of the house. A fragment from a north Devon cloam oven was found in the stack foundation on the east side of the fireplace and it is likely that an oven was built or inserted into the stack between the hearth and the eastern side wall. The cobbles on the floor of the lower end room appear to overlie and make redundant an earlier underfloor drain.
It is suggested that both the ruined house and the main house were built in the later 17th century, by comparison with farmhouses recorded in the Roadford Reservoir area. The ruined house essentially preserves the primary layout of the 17th century house. It would seem that it fell into a ruinous state in the 18th or early 19th century before being substantially rebuilt. The evidence from the census suggests this rebuilding took place between 1861 and 1871, when there was an increase in the number of households. The lack of drain in the lower end room suggests that it was not intended for use by animals following the rebuilding.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped features: #95221 ; #95222 ]
SDV350267Report - Survey: Henderson, C. G + Sage, A. J. + Sage, S. A.. 1996. Archaeological Survey of a Ruined House at Tor Down, Belstone, 1995. Exeter Archaeology Report. 96.19. A4 Stapled.
SDV351615Report - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. June 1995. Preliminary Report on Archaeological Survey of a Ruined House at Tor Down House, Belstone. Exeter Archaeology Report. A4 Bound.

Associated Monuments

MDV55348Part of: Tordown hamlet, Belstone (Monument)
MDV33460Related to: Tordown House, Belstone (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6037 - Archaeological Survey of a Ruined House at Tor Down, Belstone (Ref: 96.19)

Date Last Edited:Nov 1 2019 3:27PM