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HER Number:MDV9489
Name:Lewishill Farmhouse, Dunsford


Lewishill Hall with late 15th century origins, late 16th century remodelling and substantial 20th century renovations. Whitewashed rendered cob; thatched roof hipped at left end, hipped at end of wing; axial stack with granite ashlar shaft projecting front lateral stack with similar shaft.

Summary from record MDV13802:
house. Circa late c15 origins, circa late c16 remodelling, substantial c20 renovations. Whitewashed rendered cob; thatched roof hipped at left end, hipped at end of wing; axial stack with granite ashlar shaft projecting front lateral stack with similar shaft. T


Grid Reference:SX 813 892
Map Sheet:SX88NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDunsford
Ecclesiastical ParishDUNSFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Buildings Record: 88545
  • National Monuments Record: SX88NW24
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 447194
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX88NW/17
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX88NW/47
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 400727

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • OPEN HALL HOUSE (Built, XV - 1450 AD (Between) to 1499 AD (Between))
  • FARMHOUSE (Altered, XVI - 1566 AD (Between) to 1599 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Building at Lewishill shown on 19th century map.

Department of Environment, 1949, St Thomas, 42 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV23741.

Lewis Hill Hall. 16th century or earlier. Two storeys. Fine long thatched building of cob with irregular roof-line and eaves line. Assorted casements, some leaded. Projecting two storeyed porch with gabled room above, has one original moulded frame to outer opening sides cased in. The house is built in three blocks on left hand, porch, dormer and stone chimney in centre: semi-dormer and large external chimney of granite ashlar. Wing at right angles with three rectangular niches in wall. In centre of house is a room partly in roof with plaster centre piece to ceiling surrounded by moulded cornice. Lower parts of trusses are visible.

French, K. + French, C., 1957, Devonshire Plasterwork, 126 (Article in Serial). SDV4676.

Lewis Hill Hall. Plasterwork of period one (1550-1600). Simple geometric patterns. Hand-run single ribs.

Ordnance Survey, 1963-1996, 1963-1996 National Grid OS Metric (Cartographic). SDV350058.

Lewishill shown on OS 6" 1963 map.

Alcock, N. W., 1981, Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue, 110 (Report - non-specific). SDV342504.

Jointed cruck recorded.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1981, SX88NW24, plate. (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV305859.

(05/10/1981) SX 81438925. Lewishill (name confirmed (nameplate)) is in fair condition. See ground photograph.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Building at Lewishill shown on modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2014, National Heritage List for England, 1215492 (National Heritage List for England). SDV355683.

Lewishill Hall with late 15th century origins, late 16th century remodelling and substantial 20th century renovations. Whitewashed rendered cob; thatched roof hipped at left end, hipped at end of wing; axial stack with granite ashlar shaft projecting front lateral stack with similar shaft. The present plan is a main range, 3-rooms wide, formerly with through passage, the hall stack backing on to the passage and a front lateral stack heating the inner room to the right; rear kitchen wing; right-hand cross wing formerly partly in use as hay barn. The early core is a high status Medieval open hallhouse, probably divided by low screens. The house was floored over in several phases, probably beginning with the inner room which was provided with a fine first floor chamber with an ornamental plaster ceiling and a co-eval fireplace served by the front lateral stack. The two storey porch may also date from this phase;finally the hall with a stack inserted backing on to the through passage and a granite newel stair adjacent to the stack. The function of the cross wing is puzzling. The remains of a cobbled floor indicate an internal open drainage system and there is a truncated cob stack on the right-hand wall. The rear kitchen wing may be an 18th century addition. Substantial restoration work carried out in the 20th century includes refenestration. Two storeys. Irregular 4-window front to the main range, the right-hand end with a slightly higher roofline and a 2-storey gabled porch to the former passage left of centre. Fenestration of 20th century artificial stone mullioned windows of 1, 2, 3 and 4 lights; 2 first-floor gabled dormers, a transomed stair window to left of porch.
Interior A number of individually outstanding features survive. Of the Medieval house two arched brace jointed cruck trusses (1 brace missing) with some wind braces are visible on the first floor. The jointed crucks are neatly pegged with 5-face pegs. No access to apex at time of survey (1985) but smoke-blackening is said to extend the full length of the hall and inner room ie: on either side of the ornamental plaster ceiling over the inner room. The cambered lintel of the inner doorway of the porch may also be medieval. The 16th century decorated plaster ceiling to first floor room right is notable. A moulded cornice is carried out round the principals and in the centre rustic animal motifs are divided by foliage stem ribs (Period One, French). A former fireplace had a stylistically similar overmantel, fragments of which have been reused as the overmantel of the room below, which has a fireplace with a replaced lintel but some rare surviving chequered plasterwork on the internal walls of the hearth. The cross beam and two half beams in this room are particularly fine, ovolo-moulded with moulded bar step stops. The open hall fireplace has 1 granite monolith and one stone rubble jamb; chamfered stopped lintel. The adjacent newel stair has granite steps. An oak plank and muntin screen on the other side of the stack partitions the hall from the former passage. The outer doorway of the porch has an ovolo-moulded lintel. The fireplace in the cross wing has a chamfered timber lintel carried down on to the stone rubble jambs. A section of cobbles in front of this fireplace includes the evidence of an open stone drain which formerly ran diagonally across the floor of the wing. Other features of interest survive, not necessarily in situ. The quality of the 20th century joinery is high. An important Medieval house with some notable later features.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV23741List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1949. St Thomas. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 42.
SDV305859Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1981. SX88NW24. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. plate..
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV342504Report - non-specific: Alcock, N. W.. 1981. Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. 42. Photocopy. 110.
SDV350058Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1963-1996. 1963-1996 National Grid OS Metric. Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #109783 ]
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website. 1215492.
SDV4676Article in Serial: French, K. + French, C.. 1957. Devonshire Plasterwork. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 126.

Associated Monuments

MDV77071Part of: Lewishill Farmstead, Dunsford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 29 2022 12:24PM