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HER Number:MDV6374
Name:Bishop's House Farmstead, Hexworthy


Bishop's House shown on 19th century maps belonged to a John Bishop. It is listed on the Tithe Map Apportionment as 'Tenement near Swincombe'


Grid Reference:SX 641 725
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains of the 18th / 19th century deserted farmsteads of Swincombe and Bishop's House, with associated field system and trackway

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67SW62
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 443425
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/85

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COW HOUSE (Constructed, Post Medieval to XIX - 1540 AD (Between) to 1801 AD (Between))
  • FARMHOUSE (Constructed, Post Medieval to XIX - 1540 AD (Between) to 1801 AD (Between))
  • FARMSTEAD (Constructed, Post Medieval to XIX - 1540 AD (Between) to 1801 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Two small buildings shown on 19th century Tithe Map surrounded by four small fields. The Apportionemt for 'Tenement near Swincombe' lists Field Number 1222 as 'Cot House and Garden. Field Numbers 1220,1221 and 1224 are listed as 'Plot' and Field Number 1223 as 'Arable Piece'.

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

Small farmstead shown on 19th century map as a T-shaped building with small enclosures to the north and south.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Shown on early 20th century map as an L-shaped building with a rectangular building to the north

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs, f61 58 raf 6399 032-33 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Photograph taken on 2nd July 1964. Also RAF/CPE/UK/2149 3427 taken on 11th June 1947.

Worth, R. H., 1953, Dartmoor, 407 Plate 2 (Monograph). SDV231148.

House built by John Bishop. Probably 19th century.

Linehan, C. D., 1965, Deserted Sites on Dartmoor, Devon, 173 (Article in Serial). SDV217992.

Built by John Bishop, enclosures abandoned.

Linehan, C. D., 1966, Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon, 124-5 table 2 (Article in Serial). SDV307246.

John Bishop's house 'Bishop's House', Swincombe is listed as a deserted site of one building and associated enclosures.

Haynes, R. G., 1966-1969, Ruined Sites on Dartmoor, 57 Plan (Un-published). SDV150434.

Site visited on 26th April 1967. Strongly built four room cottage with porch and outbuildings, said to have been built by John Bishop in the 19th century. No sign of stairs. There is a 1.2 metre projecting fireplace downstairs and a small bedroom fireplace, using the same stone stack. Large yard and good rectangular fields.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX67SW62 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV218660.

A strongly built four-room cottage and outbuildings, said to have been built by John Bishop in the 19th century, contains one window per room, a lower and upper fireplace and a strong porch. Although part of the north wall has collapsed it is in reasonable repair (citing Haynes, typescript notes and plans).
(02/02/1980) John Bishop's house is as described above with mortared and dressed stone walling in part up to the roof level but generally it is in a state of dilapidation. (see ground photograph). It exhibits no evidence of a Medieval origin and the surrounding fields are typical late enclosures.
Revised at 1:10 000 on MSD.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 364-6 (Monograph). SDV249702.

Remains of a homestead built by John Bishop with a granite-roofed porch. Possibly built upon earlier longhouse foundations. John Bishop was an expert dry stone wall builde and was the first newtake wall builder to square and roughly dress granite blocks in his work. Some time after John's death the thatched roof was destroyed by fire and a new slate roof was added.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

A group of deserted buildings visible and recorded within a small field system.

Griffiths, D., 1986, Bishop's House, Plan 1:100 (Worksheet). SDV359194.

Site visited on 14th April 1986. Granite built house originally two storeys now in ruins (front and back walls standing up to 1st floor level, side walls almost to ridge height). Door in centre of front(s) side, with porch roofed with granite posts/orthostats. Stack at west end, with fireplaces at both. Additional lean-to at west end, later extended to north. Long narrow outbuilding to north. Porch repaired by Dartmoor National Park 1986.

Snell, R., 1986, Green Lanes in Devon Project (Un-published). SDV8442.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit, S. Probert (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

(05/04/1988) The remains of the lower house represents the homestead, built possibly upon earlier longhouse foundations, which owes its present form to the 19th century moorman, John Bishop. The shippon and linhay only remain as shells (It seems unlikely that this structure is built on the site of an earlier longhouse as claimed by Hemery).

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset. (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Considered under the Protection Programme but not recommended for scheduling.

White, P., 2013, Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads, Bishop's House (Un-published). SDV352501.

Bishop's House a ruined farmstead near Swincombe.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV150434Un-published: Haynes, R. G.. 1966-1969. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Manuscript + Digital. 57 Plan.
SDV217992Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1965. Deserted Sites on Dartmoor, Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 97. A5 Hardback. 173.
SDV218660Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX67SW62. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV231148Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1953. Dartmoor. Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 407 Plate 2.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 364-6.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital.
SDV307246Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1966. Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon. Medieval Archaeology. 10. Digital. 124-5 table 2.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital). f61 58 raf 6399 032-33.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown. S. Probert.
SDV352501Un-published: White, P.. 2013. Previously Unsurveyed Dartmoor Historic Farmsteads. Excel Spreadsheet. Bishop's House.
SDV359194Worksheet: Griffiths, D.. 1986. Bishop's House. Plan 1:100.
SDV8442Un-published: Snell, R.. 1986. Green Lanes in Devon Project. Green Lanes in Devon Project. Not applicable. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV6259Related to: Swincombe Cottage, Hexworthy (Building)
MDV26082Related to: Swincombe Farm (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8632 - Sherberton Farm, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Jun 15 2022 2:10PM