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HER Number:MDV8722
Name:Sanders Farmhouse, Lettaford


Sanders farmhouse at Lettaford built in the early 16th century with later modifications and additions and remnovated by The Landmark Trust in 1977


Grid Reference:SX 701 840
Map Sheet:SX78SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishNorth Bovey
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH BOVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX78SW61
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 445701
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78SW/6
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 85153
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX78SW61
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX78SW62

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CROSS PASSAGE HOUSE (XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1532 AD (Between))
  • JETTIED HOUSE (XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1532 AD (Between))
  • LONGHOUSE (XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1566 AD (Between))
  • FARMHOUSE (XVI to XVII - 1600 AD to 1699 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, CPE/UK/1995, 2355 (Aerial Photograph). SDV217286.

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

Building shown at 'Liddaford' on 19th century map.

Department of Environment, 1972, Newton Abbot RD (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV338425.

LETTAFORD II "Sanders', including - II Barn immediately to north of "Sanders" Late medieval origin. A good example of a Dartmoor long house.
Comprising house and byre with cross passage between. Rubble and massive finely-dressed granite blocks. Slate roofs with gable ends. The house is probably mostly C17. Rubble with asbestos slate roof. 2s. Two C19/C20 casements with glazing bars, with outbuilt staircase bay on right. At the right of this is the entrance to the cross-passage with heavy wooden door frame with shouldered jambs and round arch, enclosed by porch, built of massive blocks, with shouldered flat arch. On right of porch is the entrance to the byre with chamfered granite lintel. Narrow wall openings in wall of byre. Granite chimney stack with capstones and projecting drip-course just above roof level. Said to contain a cruck blade in one roof truss, and a massive open fireplace.
Barn probably C17. Rubble and large finely-dressed granite blocks. Corrugated iron roof with gabled ends. Wide entrance on South side. Forms a group with "Sanders"

Alcock, N. W. + Child, P. + Laithwaite, M., 1972, Sanders, Lettaford: A Devon Longhouse, 227-33 (Article in Serial). SDV348839.

(SX 70198406) "Sanders" is a two-storeyed, arranged on the long-house plan of inner room, hall cross-passage and shippon, with three corresponding rooms and a hay-loft on the upper floor; behind the hall is an added lean-to. Now a two storied house on the longhouse plan of inner room, hall, cross-passage and shippon. Three corresponding rooms and a hay loft on the upper floor. Originally the house was single-storied, apart from the first floor room at the upper end. The hall and shippon were separated only by a low partition. If the shippon is original, Sanders could be a transitional house between Medieval and Post-Medieval periods. An early side fireplace and the jettied room over the cross-passage show that Sanders was a house of high quality before its decline to a present day labourer's cottage. A unique feature of the second stage is the existence of two jettied rooms. Original features suggest the first half of the 16th century; the side fireplace and second jettied room later 16th century, and the final flooring of the hall in the 17th century. Other details: Figure and Plate.

Laithwaite, M., 1977, Sanders, Lettaford, 84 (Article in Serial). SDV348961.

Restored by The Landmark Trust in 1977. Stripping revealed that the whole upper chamber is almost certainly a later insertion. The stone wall between the hall and the inner room is also unlikely to be original.

Laithwaite, M., 1977, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV348963.

Unknown, 1977, Untitled Source, 18 (Article in Serial). SDV348964.

Other details: Photograph.

1978, Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV348967.

Child, P., 1978, Untitled Source, 10-13 (Article in Monograph). SDV348966.

Other details: Figure IV, Plates 9-10.

Richardson, D., 1982, Untitled Source, 54-55 (Monograph). SDV337867.

Other details: Photographs.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, SX78SW (Cartographic). SDV346261.

Longhouse visible and recorded.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GW, 5-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV253850.

Department of Environment, 1987, North Bovey, 157 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV348844.

Sanders longhouse. Early 16th century with mid 17th century modifications and addition. Walls partly granite ashlar, partly granite rubble. The ashlar work is mainly to the shippon extending across its gable end and a considerable part of its front wall; at the rear the lower courses of ashlar continue from the gable end up to the passage. Longhouse plan of shippon, through passage, hall and inner room. Inner room had original chamber above it which was jettied into the open hall which had a central hearth. Two storeys. Good interior with a number of original and early features and the shippon particularly well preserved virtually in its original state.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 560 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Sanders, Lettaford. Grade I.

Beacham, P., 1990, The Longhouse, 47-60 (Article in Monograph). SDV348969.

Other details: Figures 3.1, 3.3, 3.10.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1997, SX78SW61 and SX78SW62 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV348960.

Sanders farmhouse at Lettaford. Medieval farmhouse of longhouse type together with its associated farm buildings. Empty and about to be adapted or restored for use as museum or information centre for Dartmoor. House and byre with cross passage between them, protected by porch with staircase bay to its left. Most of house and barn is 17th century, and they are entirely built of granite, rubble and massive finely dressed blocks. House now roofed with asbestos, and barn with corrugated iron.

Department of Environment, 1998, Sanders, Lettaford (Schedule Document). SDV348962.

Formerly Scheduled under DV 968. De-scheduled under 90332 in March 1998.

National Monuments Record, 2012, 445701 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV348970.

Late Medieval longhouse consisting of hall and byre with a cross passage between and two jettied rooms on the first floor. The listing ascribes the building to the early 16th century with mid 16th and 17th century modifications and additions. The present house is mostly 17th century. Adjoining the north west corner of the house is a late 18th early 19th century linhay. Immediatly to the north of the house is a 16th century barn rebuilt during the 18th century.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Building shown on modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

sanders longhouse was Listed on 6th November 1972. It was built in the early 16th century with mid 16th and 17th century modifications and addition. Walls partly granite ashlar, partly granite rubble. The ashlar work is mainly to the shippon, extending across its gable end and a considerable part of its front wall; at the rear the lower courses of ashlar continue from the gable end up to the passage. To the front of the house there is a small area of ashlar at the upper end. Central tall granite rubble axial stack with granite weathering, drip-course and capping. Left gable end stack is rendered, probably brick shaft but stone stack below projects slightly. Slate roof with gable ends, drops to lower level below hall stack over shippon. Longhouse plan of shippon, through passage, hall and inner room. Inner room had original chamber above it which was jettied into the open hall which had a central hearth. Between the hall and passage was originally a low partition whilst it seems likely that there was no partition initially between passage and shippon. In mid 16th century a further chamber was inserted over the passage with a partition separating it from the shippon loft space and an internal jetty carrying it partly into the hall. In the 17th century the hall was completely ceiled-in and the axial fireplace inserted backing onto the cross passage. It has been suggested that the projection at the front of the hall originally contained a lateral fireplace which preceded the axial one; while this is feasible conclusive evidence for it has disappeared and it seems equally possible that its purpose was always a stair projection for which it is in a fairly standard position. The outshut at rear of hall, possibly a dairy, was also a 17th century development from the evidence of its doorway. The inner room gable end stack could have been inserted in either the 17th or 18th century. From the construction of the partition the shippon could have been divided from the passage as late as the 19th century. Two storeys. The house is positioned down a slight slope with the shippon to the right lower end and the house part to the left, built slightly into the bank at its gable end. House has asymmetrical two-window front of 20th century two-light casements with small panes, to their right is a two storey rectangular projection with very small single light window. To its right is probably original lean-to porch to passage door with dressed granite shouldered-head doorway and stone seats inside. The front door to the passage is 19th century plank, set in original wooden doorframe with round-headed arch which has very worn chamfer. There is a doorway into the shippon immediately to the right of the porch which has a dressed granite block surround integral with the ashlar stonework, the lintel is chamfered. To the right of the doorway is a window opening with wooden stanchion bars and beyond it an original ventilation slit, framed by granite ashlar. Above it is a similar smaller opening. At the shippon gable end is one central slit on the ground floor and two in the gable on the first floor, all original. At the base of the wall is a square central drain opening. On the rear wall of the shippon is a further ventilation slit on the ground floor left of centre. The rear doorway to the passage has 17th/18th century plank door with old strap hinges. To the left of it on the first floor is a blocked loading doorway. To right of passage door on first floor is a small two-light 20th century casement window with small panes. Outshut projects from the rear wall of the hall. Good interior with a number of original and early features and the shippon particularly well preserved virtually in its original state. It has the original stone cobble flooring with central drain and parallel to it at the lower end on either side, is a line of stones set in from the wall, each with a hole at the top to take a tethering post. There are three heavy cross beams, un-chamfered with mortices for joists. Groove for former short hip truss is visible in gable end wall. One original roof truss survives in the shippon at its upper end almost level with the lower side of the cross passage. It is a smoke-blackened raised cruck with curved feet and had threaded purlins but not collar or tie-beam. Just beyond this truss is the first floor partition to the chamber above the passage. Two other original roof trusses survive in the house section. One is an open truss to the higher side of the inserted hall stack; it is a raised cruck truss with with curved feet, threaded purlin to the front, trenched to the rear and high collar with central strut to the apex. Threaded ridge, soffit chamfered. A more recent roof structure re-uses at the front an original purlin which is chamfered with run out stops. The third original truss is a closed one framing the partition of the inner room chamber. This has straight principals with a high collar and strut to the apex. It also had threaded purlins and has threaded ridge. These two trusses and the original timbers between them are smoke-blackened, the closed truss to the hall side only. The through-passage has chamfered joists which originally formed the jetty at the lower end of the hall now mainly cut off by the hall stack where they rest on a coved cornice. The back of the hall stack is of granite ashlar with a dressed plinth as well as cornice. The partition to the shippon is crudely constructed of studs and boards with a re-used 17th/18th century plank studded door. Above the partition is a chamfered head beam with hollow step stop but no mortices on its soffit for a partition. To the higher side of the passage adjoining the hall stack is a fragment of the earlier stud and panel partition with one post of a shouldered-head doorway and head-beam for screen above. The partition has now been reconstructed within the past ten years. Hall has very large granite framed fireplace with monolithic jambs and a roughly chamfered lintel, with a shallow shelf at the rear of the fireplace. In the right-hand side is an oven with stone framed opening. Central cross beam with deep chamfer and hollow step stops. Internal jetty at higher end consisting of joists which are chamfered with curved ends. They rest on a solid wall constructed of dressed granite blocks and incorporating a keeping hole. The wooden door frame to the inner room is chamfered with mason's mitres. At the rear of the hall is a 17th century wooden door-frame to the outshut chamfered with a shallow cranked head. The projection at the front of the hall now contains a recently re-built wooden newel staircase. The inner room has a slate slab floor. On its rear wall is a narrow window opening widely splayed new blocked by a slate. This house is a very important survival of the greatly diminished number of Dartmoor longhouses which survive with unaltered shippons. In addition to this a number of early and unusual features are preserved in the house part. Other details: LBS Number 85153.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV217286Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2355.
SDV253850Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GW. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5-8.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 560.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337867Monograph: Richardson, D.. 1982. Devon's Heritage: Buildings and Landscape. Paperback Volume. 54-55.
SDV338425List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1972. Newton Abbot RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown.
SDV346261Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. SX78SW. Air Photographs Unit. Map (Paper).
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #108800 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV348839Article in Serial: Alcock, N. W. + Child, P. + Laithwaite, M.. 1972. Sanders, Lettaford: A Devon Longhouse. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 30. Paperback Volume. 227-33.
SDV348844List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. North Bovey. Historic Houses Register. A4 Single Sheet. 157.
SDV348960Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1997. SX78SW61 and SX78SW62. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV348961Article in Serial: Laithwaite, M.. 1977. Sanders, Lettaford. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 35. Paperback Volume. 84.
SDV348962Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1998. Sanders, Lettaford. The Schedule of Monuments. Letter.
SDV348963Worksheet: Laithwaite, M.. 1977. Worksheet.
SDV348964Article in Serial: Unknown. 1977. Western Morning News. Newspaper/Magazine Cuttin. 18.
SDV348966Article in Monograph: Child, P.. 1978. Devon's Traditional Buildings. Hardback Volume. 10-13.
SDV348967Photograph: 1978. Slide.
SDV348969Article in Monograph: Beacham, P.. 1990. The Longhouse. Devon Building: An Introduction to Local Traditions. Hardback Volume. 47-60.
SDV348970National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2012. 445701. National Monuments Record Database. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV77044Part of: Sanders Farmstead, Lettaford (Monument)
MDV35476Related to: Barn north of Sanders in Lettaford (Building)
MDV14698Related to: Farm Buildings north of Sanders Farmhouse at Lettaford (Building)
MDV35475Related to: Linhay north-west of Sanders in Lettaford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 22 2021 9:25AM