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HER Number:MDV69862
Name:Longbrook Farmhouse, West Alvington


Farmhouse, probably some fabric dating from the 16th century but remodelled and extended in the 17th century and again in the early to mid 18th century. A very interesting and complex farmhouse which contains a wealth of good quality features, including a smoking chamber.


Grid Reference:SX 723 435
Map Sheet:SX74SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWest Alvington
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishWEST ALVINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX74SW/293
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 100885

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XVI to XVIII - 1501 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Waterhouse, R., 1998, Smoking Chambers in Devon, Part 2, 8 (Article in Serial). SDV348115.

Smoking chamber. Type 1. Located at the end of a long three storey wing on the rear of a medium sized mansion house of 16th to 18th century date. It opens off the rear of a small fireplace with a newel stair beside, climbing over the probable oven. It comprises a circular chamber and well with a slit window in the side; the corbelled roof has been demolished. Second floor level was at top of chamber corbelling. The newel stair and first floor may have been entered from the outside by a door on the gable end. Described as a rather unusual arrangement.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Farmhouse. Probably some fabric dating from the C16 but remodelled and extended in C17 and again in early to mid C18. Roughly coursed slatestone rubble walls. Gable ended slate roof with early crested ridge tiles to right-hand end. Rebuilt stone rubble stack at right gable end, 2 brick axial stacks, one offset from the ridge, and C17 stone rubble stack with dripcourses to cental rear wing. Plan: Complex structural history which makes the original form of the house difficult to identify. The long principal range has a large room at the right- hand end heated by an end stack, a small entrance hall to its left with separate stairhall beyond and next to that is a parlour: this room and the stairhall were evidently part of an early to mid C18 remodelling. At the far left-hand end is a room now self-contained with wing behind, which may originally have been non- domestic, both were probably added in the later C18 or early C19. There are two other rear wings, one behind the stairhall and one behind the right-hand room, both of which are heated and date from circa early C17, the right-hand one was probably a kitchen as it has a smoking chamber, with a service room beyond. Extending outwards at right angles from this wing is another small unheated wing, also presumably for service or non-domestic purposes. There is evidence of 2 blocked newel stairs, one at the right gable end of the house by the stack and one at the rear towards the centre of the house. Exterior: 2 storeys. Stone eaves cornice along front of house. Asymmetrical long 2:4 window front without a visible break in the stonework but the roof pitch considerably steeper to the left-hand part; and the level of the first floor windows to the two parts also differs: 4-pane later C19 or early C20 sashes. The ground floor windows mainly have flat stone voussoir arches above, Probably C18 heavy 6 panel door at centre of right-hand part with contemporary flat hood over which has a moulded cornice. The right gable end has a small stair projection behind the chimney. The rear elevation has a long wing projecting from the left end with the curve of a newel stair projection in the angle. Some windows of this wing have stone dripcourses above. A shorter wing projects at the centre with stone eaves cornice along one side. At the right-hand end a wide hipped roof wing projects. A small forecourt is formed at the right-hand end of the house by a slate-coped wall in front of the wing set-back from the front of the house. Interior: The large right-hand room has a massive fireplace with moulded wooden lintel, dressed stone jamb to right and two ovens, one stone, one brick. There are chamfered and stopped cross beams with a similar moulding on their surface and scratch-moulded joists. At the rear of this room is a curved recess with stone roof which formerly housed a newel stair. The stairhall has an C18 open well staircase with turned balusters and newel, ramped handrail, open string and carved tread ends. Leading from this hall to the parlour is a 6 panel door in doorcase with pulvinated frieze. The parlour has fielded panel shutters and an C18 chimneypiece with projecting pilasters. To either side is a cupboard with anarched head. There is a simple decorative plaster ceiling with delicate ribs forming a geometric design of interconnected rectangles and circles. In one of the first floor bedrooms is an C18 panelled windowseat. The roof timbers were probably also renewed in the C18 and do not protrude into the bedrooms. The right-hand rear wing has a smoking chamber on the ground floor beside the fireplace which has stone curved walls and shelf. This is a very interesting and complex farmhouse the plan of which cannot be easily interpreted and which contains a wealth of good quality features.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV348115Article in Serial: Waterhouse, R.. 1998. Smoking Chambers in Devon, Part 2. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 16. A4 Stapled + Digital. 8.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #99180 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV69865Related to: Barn at Longbrook (Building)
MDV69863Related to: Garden Wall with Gate Piers at Longbrook (Building)
MDV69864Related to: Granary at Longbrook (Building)
MDV69867Related to: Pound House at Longbrook (Building)
MDV69866Related to: Stable at Longbrook (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jul 25 2019 11:01AM