HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV93493
Name:Powdermills Farmhouse and attached former Cooperage and rear Farm Building


Powdermills farmhouse and attached former cooperage and rear farm building built in the 19th century


Grid Reference:SX 628 769
Map Sheet:SX67NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
Civil ParishLydford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XVIII to XXI - 1800 AD to 2014 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Buildings shown on 19th century map at the east end of 'Powdermill Cottages'.

Pye, A. R. + Robinson, R., 1990, An Archaeological Survey of the Gunpowder Factory at Powdermills Farm, Postbridge, Devon, 1, Plates 31-32 (Report - Survey). SDV254157.

Powdermills farm originally contained cottages, a manager's house, school, chapel and cooperage. The front garden walls had been removed by 1989.

Dawson, T. + Hambley, J., 1995, A Survey of the Service and Accommodation Buildings belonging to the Powdermills Gunpowder Factory, Postbridge, 1,10-12, Figures 2,7-9, Plates 8-14 (Report - Survey). SDV351071.

Powder Mills Farm includes the manager's house, the cooperage, a small domestic dwelling and a small building which was later used as a garage.
Building 508: Rectangular two storey domestic building orientated north to south to the rear of the Manager's House. Constructed of coursed granite rubble under a hipped slate roof. The original splayed windows have slate sills and large granite lintels. Original access to the ground floor was through two doorways in the east and west walls with separate access to the first floor, Subsequently all three were blocked with later acces via a door in the south wall with an internal stair to the first floor. The building is characteristic of a small domestic dwelling or an office with store above. At the time of the survey it was unoccupied.
Building 509: Rectangular single storey building orientated east to west abutting Building 508 to the east. It is of breeze block construction with a slate roof. The south wall contains double wooden doors and a single window. The northern part of the west wall incorporates a rough granite block wall belonging to a previous outbuilding on the site. At the time of the survey it was used as a garage.
Building 510: The Manager's House is a detached two storey building under a slate roof. The northern wall comprises coursed granite rubble while the other walls are rendered. Quoins and opening surrounds are of dressed granite blocks and there are modern chimneys at each gable end. There is a single front entrance but the provision of two separate rear entrances, both now blocked, indicate it was originally symmetrical and intended to house two households. The house was known as 'Powder Mills House' in the 19th century and represents a relatively high status building which was probably occupied by managers of the gunpowder works.
Building 511: Single storey one roomed structure located and abutting the cooperage to the east of the manager's house. It is constructed of coursed granite rubble with dressed quoins. A double door has been inserted in the south-west corner with another in the centre of the south wall. An original window is present to the east of the central door. The lack of fireplaces and its location suggest it was a secondary development as an ancillary building for storage.
Building 512: The Cooperage is a two storeyed rectangular building of roughly coursed granite rubble with dressed quoins and lintels. It has a pitched slated roof with a brick chimney at the east end and originally had another at the west end. The east wall has an original doorway in the north corner and a double entrance slightly off centre in the north wall. This is flanked by seven windows of which four have been blocked. The south wall contains a row of ten rectanglar windows which have recently been shortened. Two larger central windows in the upper storey have also been shortened and two former loading doors have been converted into windows. Originally the ground floor was an undivided space with two substantial fireplaces and storage space on the first floor. In 1995 the ground floor was used for storage and the upper floor as an office.

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

'Powder Mills Farm' shown on modern mapping.

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

Powdermills farmhouse and attached former cooperage, rear farm building, and front garden walls.
Manager's house and cooperage, now offices built circa 1844 and restored circa 1990. Granite rubble with dressed granite jambs and lintels over openings, house rendered early 20th century to front and sides, gabled slate roof with rendered brick and stacks.
Plan: Double-depth plan house, with rectangular single-room cooperage to right, connected by short link. Former farm building to rear of house.
Exterior: Two storey; three window range house. South elevation has central mid-20th century porch with half-glazed door, and 6/6-pane hornless sashes, with central first-floor 3/6-pane sash. Rear has off-centre blocked doorway, in front of six-panelled door with overlight. Tall 6/6-pane sash to the stair, with small lights each side, and outer 6/6-pane sashes (late 20th century window to right). Two storey farm building has a hipped roof to front; gabled to rear with lateral stone stack, a stone flag bridge to a rear first floor doorway, now a window and late 20th century replacement windows. Late 20th century rendered extension to left (west) with slate roof.
A single storey range with inserted openings connects the house to a two storey; ten window cooperage, with almost-square ground-floor windows, and four first-floor windows, the outer ones larger. East gable has right-hand doorway. Rear altered, with remains of similar ground-floor fenestration, and inserted garage doors.
Interior: House has a central dogleg stair and original joinery with moulded architraves and panelled doors. Cooperage has large fireplace at each end; floor and roof renewed circa 1990.
Attached rubble wall to house encloses front garden.
History: The gunpowder works was operating by 1846, supplying mining and quarrying interests, and closed in 1897. The gunpowder factory and its associated grouping of housing and workshops is a prominent feature of the moorland landscape east of Lydford. It is also one of the best-preserved water-driven powder works of the period, the remains of the works to the north being a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Although the workers' housing has been too altered to merit listing, the manager's house is the best surviving example associated with this industry after Ponsanooth in Cornwall: the attached cooperage, distinguished by its fenestration and one of the key functional buildings of a powder works where powder barrels were stored and manufactured, is the best surviving example associated with this industry in England.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV254157Report - Survey: Pye, A. R. + Robinson, R.. 1990. An Archaeological Survey of the Gunpowder Factory at Powdermills Farm, Postbridge, Devon. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 90.07. A4 Grip Bound. 1, Plates 31-32.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
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: #109677 ]
SDV351071Report - Survey: Dawson, T. + Hambley, J.. 1995. A Survey of the Service and Accommodation Buildings belonging to the Powdermills Gunpowder Factory, Postbridge. Exeter Archaeology. 95.63. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1,10-12, Figures 2,7-9, Plates 8-14.

Associated Monuments

MDV59864Part of: Powdermills Farmstead, Powder Mills, Lydford (Monument)
MDV103782Related to: Building adjoining the west end of Powder Mill Cottages (Building)
MDV103781Related to: Building to west of Powder Mills Cottages (Building)
MDV103780Related to: Building west of Powder Mills Cottages (Building)
MDV103784Related to: Buildings at the eastern end of Powder Mills Cottages (Building)
MDV5913Related to: Powder Mills Gunpowder Factory, Cherry Brook (Monument)
MDV103783Related to: Western two Cottages at Powder Mills Cottages (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6029 - An Archaeological Survey of the Gunpowder Factory at Powdermills Farm
  • EDV6128 - Survey of the Service and Accommodation Buildings associated with Powdermills Gunpowder Factory (Ref: 95.63)

Date Last Edited:Mar 11 2016 12:31PM