Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

Teignbridge (District Authority)
North Bovey
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 70191 84058


NORTH BOVEY LETTAFORD SX 78 SW 4/210 Sanders - 6.11.72 GV I

Longhouse. Early C16 with mid C16 and C17 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 C16 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 C17 the hall was completely ceiled-in and the axial fireplace inserted backing onto the cross passage. It has been suggested (see sources) 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 C17 development from the evidence of its doorway. The inner room gable end stack could have been inserted in either the C17 or C18. From the construction of the partition the shippon could have been divided from the passage as late as the C19. 2 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 2-window front of C20 2-light casements with small panes, to their right is a 2 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 C19 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 2 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 C17/C18 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 2-light C20 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 3 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. 2 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 2 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 C17/C18 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 10 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 C17 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. Source: 'Sanders, Lettaford: A Devon Long-house' N.W. Alcock, P Child and M Laithwaite.

Listing NGR: SX7019184058


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Books and journals
Alcock, Child, Laithwaite, , Sanders Lettaford A Devon Long House


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

End of official listing

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Date: 02 Nov 2001
Reference: IOE01/03935/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Norman Wigg. Source Historic England Archive
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