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HER Number:MDV80039
Name:Elford Town Farmhouse


Farmhouse, originally a late medieval three-room and cross passage plan longhouse with shippon to the south and dividing passage between hall and inner room to the north. Substantial alterations in the 17th century added a parlour wing to the front and created a two-storey farmhouse, which later had other additions including a cart shed built onto the northern end.


Grid Reference:SX 521 669
Map Sheet:SX56NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBuckland Monachorum
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMEAVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 92621

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XV to XXI - 1401 AD to 2011 AD (Between))

Full description

1840, Tithe Map (Cartographic). SDV339770.

Farm depicted on the 1840 Tithe Map (then known as Lower Elford Farm) and worked around 40 acres. The farmhouse is shown with the southern shippon and barn as well as with two small buildings opposite, but without the cart shed at the northern end. The area behind the farmhouse is noted in the Apportionment as being an orchard.

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

Farmhouse depicted on the map with cart shed added to the northern end, three buildings opposite and another in the north of the orchard. The farm at this time is named 'Yelverton'.

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

Farmhouse depicted on map with only one building remaining opposite the house.

Thorp, J. + Horton, D., 2004, Elford Town Farm, Buckland Monachorum, 8-24 (Report - Assessment). SDV347262.

Although few datable remains can now be seen, the house originated as a three-room and cross passage longhouse with a shippon at the southern end, separated from the hall and inner room at the north by a passageway. The hall benefited from a large granite fireplace backing onto the passage and this is the oldest datable feature in the house (mid to late 16th century in date). Unusually there does not appear to have been a rear doorway to the passage, but this may have been due to the rising ground level on the eastern (rear) side of the house.
During the 17th century, the house was extensively remodelled, obscuring most of the original features. The house was redesigned with two-storeys throughout with a stair turret to the rear and a two-storey parlour block extending to the front of the hall with a gable-end chimney stack serving both floors. Due to the addition of the parlour wing, the main hall was put to use as a kitchen, with the inner room used as an unheated service room. One 17th century granite mullioned window survives on the western elevation of the hall, to the right of the later door.
In the early 19th century the house was re-roofed and a chimney stack was added at the northern end, heating the inner room, which was upgraded and provided with its own front door on the front (western) side of the house. The shippon was extensively rebuilt at this time with a threshing barn at the southern end. It was probably lofted at this time, although is now open to the roof. There is no evidence from the maps of a horse engine house associated with the threshing barn, but there may have been one at some point associated with a low wide opening in the front wall.
In the mid-19th century (between 1840-1885), a cart shed was added to the northern end of the house, which was originally open to the north. A doorway and additional window was added to the inner room at this time.
The northern side of the cart shed was blocked up in the 20th century and it was converted to domestic use with windows added to all three walls and a doorway provided through to the inner room of the house. Also in the 20th century, part of the shippon adjacent to the passage was converted for use as a dining room and other windows were added. Alterations were also made to the porch at the front of the house, which was originally open-fronted.

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

The modern mapping shows the added lean-to stable block at the rear and other small additions to the front of the property.

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

House originally a farmhouse dating to the 17th century probably with earlier origins, altered in the 20th century. Colour-washed stone rubble walls with gable ended tarred slate roof. Two stone rubble stacks, one axial and one at gable end of wing, projecting slightly. Brick gable end stack at left end of original house.
Longhouse or longhouse derivative plan with shippon to the right and passage dividing it from hall and inner room to the left. Hall stack backs onto passage, inner room likely originally to have been unheated. There is no obvious straight joint visible between the house and shippon but the shippon exhibits no early features and has probably been rebuilt as is also suggested by its great length. Later alterations make it impossible to say whether there was originally access to the shippon from the passage and whether this was for humans only or for animals too. The doorways to the staircase and on the first floor suggest a mid-17th century date but it is possible that these date from a remodelling of the house when the wing heated by a gable-end stack was added to the front of the hall and passage. The hall ceiling and fireplace may be earlier 17th century. The rebuilding of the shippon dates probably from the later 18th century, presumably its size corresponds to the lack of other farm buildings. The only other one was a cart shed which was added to the left-hand end of the house. This was converted in the 20th century into a further room. The inner room stack probably dates from the 19th century. In the late 20th century a room was created out of the shippon adjoining the passage.
Two storeys with asymmetrical 5-window front with long barn to right and projecting wing roughly at centre of house. On the left-hand side are two circa early 20th century casements with glazing bars on first floor and 20th century casement on ground floor to left with brick arch. To its right is 20th century stable type door under 20th century gable hood. Beyond it is original 2-light granite mullioned window with 20th century leaded glass. Attached at left- hand gable end is single storey former cart shed with 20th century 2-light casement on front wall. Wing at centre has 20th century 2-light casement on ground floor of left-hand face. At gable end to right of stack is C17 stone framed single light window on ground floor with iron stanchion bar. To right of wing built onto front of house is 20th century lean-to porch with stable type door. At this stage the roof-line of the building drops. To right of porch is long barn which has had late 20th century 2-light casement inserted at left-hand end on ground floor with single light 19th century casement above and similar window to right over wide doorway which has buttress to either side. Another wider doorway towards right hand end also has sloping buttress to its left and slit window to either side of it. Both doorways have wooden lintels. At rear to centre of house is large gabled stair projection with small probably 18th century light which has original leaded glass and iron stanchion bar.
Interior: Hall has granite-framed fireplace with jambs and lintel chamfered. There are two heavy cross beams, chamfered with hollow step stops, one supported on wooden corbel at rear possibly this was inserted due to wall disturbance when stair turret was added. Joists are contemporary to beams and similarly decorated. Doorway to newel stairs at rear of hall has ovolo-moulded wooden frame with high hollow step stops. Contemporary studded plank door with scratch moulding to planks and fleur- de-lys strap hinges. At the top of the stairs are two similar but worn doorframes, limited access to roof space but truss visible has substantial principal rafters with collar pegged onto their face: probably circa early 18th century. Despite its modest size this building contains a number of good quality interior features suggesting that longhouses (or longhouse derivative houses) were not necessarily lower status buildings. Other details: Listed Building number: 92621.

Sources / Further Reading

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).
SDV339770Cartographic: 1840. Tithe Map. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #106841 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347262Report - Assessment: Thorp, J. + Horton, D.. 2004. Elford Town Farm, Buckland Monachorum. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K690. A4 Comb Bound. 8-24.

Associated Monuments

MDV108153Part of: Elford Town Farm, Buckland Monachorum (Monument)
MDV108149Related to: Elfordtown Farmstead, Buckland Monachorum (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 10 2014 10:16AM