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HER Number:MDV8722
Name:Sanders Farmhouse, Lettaford


Longhouse at Lettaford built in the early 16th century with later modifications and additions and renovated 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

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

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

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995, 2355 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224714.

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.

Unknown, 1975, Images of Sanders (pre-1975) (Photograph). SDV364447.

Two images of Sanders taken some time before 1975 (pre-restoration). Gable end of shippon shown as very overgrown, as is front of the house. Additonal post restoration images also stored (unknown photographer / date).

Pearn and Procter, 1976, Sanders (Plan - measured). SDV364448.

Plans for restoration including drawings elevation drawings, sections and floor plans.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1977, Images of Sanders taken during restoration works (Photograph). SDV364446.

Series of 16 black and white photographs taken during renovation, showing trenches dug, pipes installed, etc.

Unknown, 1977, Newspaper article/image, 18 (Article in Serial). SDV348964.

Other details: Photograph.

Laithwaite, M. + Greeves, T. A. P., 1977, Sanders, Lettaford (Worksheet). SDV348963.

Restoration of the Medieval longhouse (scheduled in 1975) involved a large amount of trenching within the scheduled area. Most were about 1.2m deep, but one was 3.35m.
However, no significant archaeological stratification was observed and no significant artefacts were recovered (only glazed 18th century sherd and 19th century stoneware sherd). One trench directly beside the north wall revealed the lowest course of granite masonry mostly resting directly on bedrock.
Restoration of the interior has revealed certain previously unknown structural features recorded by M. Laithwaite, Exeter (reference: F.S.O. Dev File - No. 37).

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

Restored by The Landmark Trust in 1977. Stripping revealed important new features and showed that the account published in 1972 Proceedings needed revision. It had been thought that the chamber over the inner room was an original feature, however the whole upper chamber is almost certainly a later insertion, probably coinciding with the building of the first chimney stack in the hall. Therefore, the stone wall between the hall and the inner room is also unlikely to be original. In the gable wall of the upper chamber the outline of a blocked fireplace (possibly 5 feet wide) was detected, suggesting the room was heated generously before the 19th century. Access to the upper chamber must have been directly from the hall; the joisting over the inner room made no allowance for a staircase.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX78SW61 and SX78SW62 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV348960.

(Visited 14/05/1977) 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.

Child, P., 1978, Devon's Traditional Buildings, 10-13 (Article in Monograph). SDV348966.

Other details: Figure IV, Plates 9-10.

Unknown, 1978, Slides of Sanders (Photograph). SDV348967.

Two slides (September 1978); after restoration. One is full front - but porch partly obscured by car. Other is oblique view from shippon end.

Richardson, D., 1982, Devon's Heritage: Buildings and Landscape, 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.

Spence, K., 1986, New life for Dartmoor's Longhouses, 1452-53 (Article in Serial). SDV364443.

Description of the restoration of Sanders by the Landmark Trust and black and white before and after photographs.

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.

The Landmark Trust, 1988, The Landmark Handbook, 100-102 (Monograph). SDV103.

Brief description of the longhouse and plans of the ground and upper floor included.

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.

Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants, 1994, Sources for Dartmoor Longhouses Volumes 1 and 2, 92 (Un-published). SDV364445.

List of sources given.

Nichols, G. A., 1995, The Dartmoor Longhouse, 57, Figs 24, 27 (Undergraduate Dissertation). SDV364444.

Mentioned. Non-analytical drawings of ground and first floor (2 A3 sheets for each) mentioned, no scale or annotation (current whereabouts unknown).

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. Immediately 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. Early 16th century with mid 16th and 17th century modifications and addition.
Plan of shippon, through passage, hall and inner room. Two storeys, positioned downslope with shippon to right and house to the left, built slightly into the bank. 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. See List description for full details.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV103Monograph: The Landmark Trust. 1988. The Landmark Handbook. The Landmark Handbook. Paperback. 100-102.
SDV224714Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/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. 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. 1977. 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. + Greeves, T. A. P.. 1977. Sanders, Lettaford. Worksheet. Digital.
SDV348964Article in Serial: Unknown. 1977. Newspaper article/image. Western Morning News. Newspaper/Magazine Cuttin. 18.
SDV348966Article in Monograph: Child, P.. 1978. Devon's Traditional Buildings. Devon's Traditional Buildings. Hardback Volume. 10-13.
SDV348967Photograph: Unknown. 1978. Slides of Sanders. 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:Aug 17 2021 2:06PM