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HER Number:MDV7845
Name:Furzeleigh Farmhouse, Ashburton


A farm has existed at Furzeleigh since at least 1304 but the current farm buildings date to the early 17th century. Also known as Furzeley and Furzley. An assessment of the standing remains was undertaken in 2005 and a programme of repairs to the farmhouse building took place in 2008/9.


Grid Reference:SX 745 677
Map Sheet:SX76NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishAshburton
Ecclesiastical ParishASHBURTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76NW/46
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 375996

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XIV to XXI - 1400 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

1840, Tithe Map (Cartographic). SDV339770.

Farm buildings at 'Furzeley' marked on the 1840 Tithe Map, much the same as they remain today, although there is no extension to the cartshed at the south and no covered gateway at this time. Farm may have also been known as 'Furzley'.

Bellville, G., 1947, Untitled Source, 175 (Article in Serial). SDV294264.

Furzeleigh was originally one of the farms belonging to the Abbey of Buckfast; the present house dates from the early 16th century. Other details: Part 4. Field meetings 1947.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1951, SX76NW15 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV294265.

The farmhouse is cement-faced so that the materials used in building it are not evident. The walls are very thick and the roof has a very steep pitch. The general appearance is ancient. The adjacent block of farm buildings centred at SX74566774 also with steeply pitched roofs, have ragstone walls and appear to be at least contemporary with the house if not earlier.

Brown, S., 2005, Furzeleigh Farm, Ashburton. Archaeological assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV347228.

Phased floor plans and elevation drawings of the standing structures.

Brown, S., 2009, The Farmhouse at Furzeleigh Farm, Ashburton, 2-8 (Report - Watching Brief). SDV347213.

Four main archaeological phases of development were discovered in the farmhouse, each characterised by distinct building materials. Phase 1 (early 17th century) remains include the northern end of the structure, including the porch, stair and fireplace on the eastern side, constructed of local red sandstone, limestone and slate rubble, with some reused dressed stones from elsewhere. Phase 2 (later 17th century) can be seen at the southern end of the rear (west) wall and the south-west corner stair, constructed partially of earth-bonded rubble and partly of cob. The southern remainder of the house is essentially Phase 3 (early 18th century) and consists of rubble bonded with off-white lime mortar. The majority of the roof structure and surviving internal timberwork also dates to this period. Phase 4 (19th and 20th centuries) comprises numerous minor alterations consisting of stone rubble with some brick inclusions, bonded with white lime mortar containing gravel aggregate.
Trial trenches revealed slate bedrock in some areas, a stone lined drain and a mortar floor and some minor finds.

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

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

Farmhouse, with adjoining stables and pigsty. House believed to be late medieval, remodelled in the 16th-17th century. Stables are probably 18th century; pigsty 19th century. The house is rendered; the stables stone rubble. House has slated roofs and two large rendered front chimneys with offsets; a third on rear wall. Stone rubble chimney on gable of low rear wing. Corrugated-iron roof covering to stables and pigsty. Probably originally a 2-room medieval plan with extended lower end to left; projecting entrance-porch off-centre to right. Rounded stair turret to right of porch. Lower end now contains two rooms and has one of the front chimneys at right-hand end, abutting the porch. At the rear of the lower end is a low heated wing, possibly a salting-house for pig meat. The stable abuts the left gable of the house with lean-to pigsty at far end. Two-storeyed house (except for single-storeyed rear wing), 5 windows wide with wood casements. Two-storeyed gabled porch. The section to the left has a much lower roofline. Stable lofted; 3 doorways and a window, all with segmental stone arches having tall voussoirs.
Interior: house not inspected, but 1973 list description mentions 'wide beams, plastered'. Steeply-pitched roof of right-hand section may well be medieval, but occupant says timbers all plastered in. Together with the bank barn, covered gateway and cartshed (qv) enclosing front courtyard this is an unusually well-preserved farmstead. On the east side of the road is a detached cattle yard (not listed) with buildings of approximately late 18th or early 19th century. Other details: Listed Building number: 375996.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV294264Article in Serial: Bellville, G.. 1947. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Exploration Society. 3. Unknown. 175.
SDV294265Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1951. SX76NW15. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV339770Cartographic: 1840. Tithe Map. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #105325 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347213Report - Watching Brief: Brown, S.. 2009. The Farmhouse at Furzeleigh Farm, Ashburton. Stewart Brown Associates Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 2-8.
SDV347228Report - Assessment: Brown, S.. 2005. Furzeleigh Farm, Ashburton. Archaeological assessment. Stewart Brown Associates Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV77079Part of: Furzeleigh, Ashburton (Monument)
MDV80006Related to: Agricultural buildings, Furzeleigh Farm, Ashburton (Building)
MDV7850Related to: Roman coin hoard found at Furzeleigh (Find Spot)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5041 - Watching brief at Furzeleigh Farmhouse, Ashburton
  • EDV5048 - Assessment of the buildings at Furzeleigh Farm, Ashburton
  • EDV7066 - Watching brief at Furzeleigh Farm, Ashburton

Date Last Edited:May 26 2011 10:05AM