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HER Number:MDV62360
Name:Halshanger Farmstead, Ashburton


Well-preserved and significant mid to late 19th century farmstead, comprising a square complex of buildings surrounding a courtyard with central dung pit. The farm house is constructed in the south-east corner of the complex, but generally is indistinguishable from the adjoining buildings.


Grid Reference:SX 757 733
Map Sheet:SX77SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishAshburton
Ecclesiastical ParishASHBURTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77SE/37/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 375985

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMSTEAD (XIX - 1850 AD to 1899 AD (Between))

Full description

1840, Tithe Map (Cartographic). SDV339770.

The Tithe map shows a rather more modest collection of buildings constituting the farmstead. These were replaced before 1867, when the new arrangement was constructed.

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

Range of buildings shown on 19th century map around a square yard with a central circular feature.

Dartmoor National Park Authority, 2003 - 2005, Dartmoor National Park Authority Farmstead Survey 2003-2005 (Report - Survey). SDV344545.

Historic farmstead included in Dartmoor National Park Authority survey. Visited on 09/07/2004.

Thorp, J. R. L., 2004, Halshanger Farm, Ashburton, 1-21 (Report - Survey). SDV347203.

The current arrangement of farm buildings surrounding a courtyard with central dung pit was constructed sometime shortly before 1867 when the estate was advertised to be let and described as 'very extensive and newly erected farm buildings' in the Exeter Flying Post (24/07/1867). The construction was funded by James Woodley, a magistrate who owned and occupied Halshanger from at least 1851 when the census lists his details. This was an ambitious and lavish rebuilding of the house and farm buildings, which as the Tithe map shows, were much more limited before this construction. The documentary sources indicate that the south-eastern corner of the complex of buildings was converted to a farmer’s cottage before 1887.
Plans included in the report give detailed description of the layout of the complex of buildings and their function. The complex is two-storeys and is terraced into the ground on the west so that most of the upper floor is accessible from ground level. A detailed description of the structures is featured.
The remains constitute a well-preserved example from the Victorian period which due to its various components may be of regional historic interest. The dung pit may well be the largest of its type on the moor.

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

'Haleshanger Farm' shown on modern mapping

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

Farmhouse and attached buildings, formerly the home farmstead of Halshanger Manor (not listed), which lies 50.0 meters to the east. Built between 1840 and 1887 of stone rubble with detail in dressed granite with slated roofs and red-brick chimneys. The house and buildings enclose a square cobbled courtyard with access through a covered gateway on the north side.
The house is architecturally almost indistinguishable from the rest of the buildings and is located in the south-eastern corner. The attached buildings have shippons and stable in the ground storey and a cartshed in the north-eastern corner, entered from outside. The lofts above comprise; a bank barn with two threshing-floors on the western side. In the centre of the space is a very large round dungpit.
The buildings are two storeys high. The openings mostly have segmental arches with raised keystones. Some rusticated detail, including surrounds of archways to covered gateway and cartshed entrance. The dungpit is enclosed by a low stone-rubble wall with coping of roughly-squared granite blocks. There is an iron water-wheel at the south end of the barn. Adjoining the buildings on the west is the former mowhay or rickyard complete with granite staddle-stones (now minus their mushroom tops).
The interior of the house was not inspected. Some of shippons have cobbled floors and red-brick feeding troughs. Some machinery associated with water-wheel.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV339770Cartographic: 1840. Tithe Map. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV344545Report - Survey: Dartmoor National Park Authority. 2003 - 2005. Dartmoor National Park Authority Farmstead Survey 2003-2005. Dartmoor National Park Authority. Digital.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #96996 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347203Report - Survey: Thorp, J. R. L.. 2004. Halshanger Farm, Ashburton. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K687. A4 Comb Bound. 1-21.

Associated Monuments

MDV8216Related to: Halshanger Manor House, Ashburton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5035 - Recording at Halshanger Farmstead, Ashburton

Date Last Edited:Oct 21 2015 7:29PM