Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Devon (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:


SX 68 NE, 3/37

CHAGFORD, Hole Farmhouse, including garden walls and mounting block adjoining to north




Farmhouse, a Dartmoor longhouse. Early C16 with major late C16 and C17 improvements, one probably associated with inscribed date of 1668. Most is built of massive coursed blocks of granite ashlar although much of rear rebuilt with granite stone rubble; granite stacks one with granite ashlar chimney shaft; thatch roof to main house, corrugated-iron roof to shippon.

PLAN AND DEVELOPMENT: L-shaped building with the main block built down the hill slope and facing the farmyard to north. Main block has a 3-room-and-cross-passage plan. A small unheated inner room at the right (west) end is terraced into the slope. The hall has an axial stack backing onto the wide passage and with a stair rising alongside, its turret projecting a short distance to front. The passage was presumably a through passage although it is difficult to prove a blocking of the rear doorway in the masonry there. 2-storey porch in front of the passage. Large shippon with hayloft over on the left (eastern) end with its own cow door alongside the porch. Parlour wing with end stack projects at right angles to rear of the inner room end. In C20 this was divided into 2 rooms. It is not easy to work out the development of the house in detail although the main block originated as a late medieval hall house open to the roof and heated by an open hearth fire. Through the late C16 and C17 the house was progressively floored over and fireplaces were added. The house probably achieved its present form after the 1668 refurbishment. By this time the small inner room was probably a dairy and the hall was used as a kitchen. The parlour wing provided the principal room with its own staircase (since replaced by one in the inner room) to the principal bed chamber over. 2 storeys throughout.

EXTERIOR: irregular front fenestration. Hall and inner room and their chambers over have 1 window each, another small one to the stair turret and one more to the room over the porch. Only the inner room and the chamber over have original (that is to say C17) 4-light windows with chamfered granite mullions, the lower one with hoodmould. The rest are C19 and C20 timber casements with glazing bars. The porch is gabled and its outer arch is shoulder-headed and the date 1668 is inscribed to left of it. Wooden benches either side of the porch. The front passage doorway behind contains a probably contemporary oak door frame; a Tudor arch with bead moulded surround and carved foliage in the spandrels. It still holds the original studded oak plank door with oak lock housing. The cow door immediately left of the porch contains a C19 door of 2 flaps. 2 slit windows to left and another to the hayloft over the door. Central hayloft loading hatch. Roof is hipped to right and gable- ended to left. The impressive ashlar gable end of the shippon contains 2 slit windows to the hayloft, 3 to the shippon and the blocked central drain hole in the rubble footings. Rear of the main block has a fixed pane window containing rectangular panes of leaded glass awkwardly set between hall and passage with a relieving arch over. Slit window in the rubble pitching to rear of passage and irregular series of slit windows. C20 casement with glazing bars over rear of passage. Inner side of parlour wing has a curious projection (maybe a disused garderobe or stair turret) adjoining the main block. The rest contains one C17 4-light window with chamfered granite mullions, the others are C20 and timber. Roof is gable-ended and to rear the eaves are nearly at ground level.

INTERIOR is good and well-preserved. It shows a house with a long and complex structural history. The oldest feature is the 2-bay roof over the hall and inner room which is carried on a face-pegged jointed cruck. It is smoke-blackened on both sides suggesting an early C16 date and a house then open to the roof and heated by an open hearth fire. The features below are difficult to date. At the upper end of the hall there is an oak plank-and-muntin screen, its muntins chamfered with step stops. The original doorway now leads to C19 stair and a secondary doorway knocked through to the inner room/dairy. Probably in late C16 inner room floored over and jettied out to fill the original truss. Probably about the same hall fireplace inserted with its newel stair alongside (with crank-headed oak door frame). The large granite ashlar fireplace has a chamfered surround and a side oven (renewed in late C19) under the stairs. Contemporary passage chamber and full height stone rubble cross wall on lower side to shippon. Roof slung between this cross wall and the stack. In the passage the back of the fireplace is granite ashlar with chamfered plinth and cornice. Contemporary oak segmental-headed door frame from passage to hall and beyond this the cross wall is continued in same style as the back of the fireplace. The parlour was probably added as part of the 1668 scheme but could be earlier. Doorway from hall to parlour contains oak Tudor arch with chamfered surround. It contains a tall but relatively narrow granite ashlar fireplace and 3-bay ceiling carried on soffit-chamfered and step-stopped crossbeam. 2-bay roof with another face-pegged jointed cruck roof truss which is dark but not apparently smoke- blackened. Hall floored over at or about the same time with similarly finished crossbeams. The shippon has a 5-bay ceiling of roughly finished crossbeams of indeterminate date. The cow stalls are intact but are early C20 and the drain was rebuilt in concrete at the same time. The roof was also extensively repaired at the same time although much of the earlier roof survives. It is 4 bays and comprises pegged A-frame trusses; probably late C17 or C18. A small garden in front of the hall and inner room is enclosed by a low boundary wall of granite stone rubble and includes an external mounting block.

Hole Farmhouse is one of the best-preserved examples of the Dartmoor longhouse type which are of national importance. It is remarkably complete, at least from circa 1668 when the house completed its development from late medieval origins. Furthermore it is a particularly attractive Dartmoor building with its granite ashlar construction and also as part of a group with its associated farm buildings, the best of which are also listed.

Listing NGR: SX6852286103


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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

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