The Remains of Longstone Manor House, Wind Strew and associated features
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1415430
Date first listed: 16-Oct-2013
Location Description: The remains of Longstone manor house is centered on NGR SX5570168467
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Location Description: The remains of Longstone manor house is centered on NGR SX5570168467
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Devon (District Authority)
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX5568068464
The upstanding and buried remains of a post-medieval, C17 estate house, other associated structures and earthworks above and below the water line to the south, and a wind strew 70m to the north-west, all on a promontory at the Burrator Reservoir, Dartmoor.
Reasons for Designation
The remains of Longstone Manor house, wind strew, and associated features are scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: the ruinous remains represent the survival of a significant proportion of an early-C17 high status house;
* Historical documentation: the site is well documented both before and after the house was rebuilt in 1633;
* Diversity: the survival of the wind-strew and the remains of other ancillary structures add to our understanding of this wider setting of the main house and provide important information about the evolution of the estate;
* Potential: the buried and submerged remains of the main house, ancillary structures and surrounding earthworks, which have remained largely unexcavated, have the potential to provide further information about the construction and occupation of this site from its main post-medieval phase and onwards, as well as the earlier phases of use.
It has been suggested that the site of Longstone Manor house was owned from at least the C13 by Herbert de Cumba, Lord of the Manor of Sheepstor. By the C15 the Scudamore family owned the lands at Longstone, before they passed to the Elfords when John Alford married Johanna Scudmore. Much of the present building was re-built for Walter and Barbara Elford in 1633, according to a date stone removed from the ruins, possibly including in elements of the earlier house. Their son, John Elford, is understood to have built the wind strew (threshing platform), to the north-west of the family farm in 1637 (the windstrew was partially rebuilt circa. 1800), as well as a cider mill. A mid-C18 map shows the main house to the north, and outbuildings and a walled garden to the south (this area is now under the reservoir waterline). The farm was passed down through two subsequent generations before it was sold to Sir Massey Lopes in 1748 who removed an attached west wing and courtyard, blocked the windows and replaced them with sashes. It was later tenanted until 1897. In 1898 the valley adjacent to the site was flooded to create the Burrator Reservoir, during which part of the estate was also flooded and the main house abandoned. The house was noted as being in good repair at this time. However, after the site was abandoned the roof was removed. The reservoir was expanded between 1923 and 1928, at which time the remains of the outbuildings to the south of the main house were submerged. In the early C20 a number of date stones and decorative architectural fragments were removed from Longstone Manor and used to decorate two arches within a commemorative garden, created by and dedicated to the men who built the reservoir. It stands on the opposite side of the water from Longstone, to the south of Burrator Lodge, and is laid out along the route of a former track way to Sheepstor.
Since the building was abandoned most of the east end stone walls were robbed out and much of the ashlar facing was removed, with the exception of that on the south elevation. In 1999 an archaeological recording survey was carried out on both the remains of Longstone Manor house and the associated structures below the waterline, at which point the water line was low enough to survey and record the masonry walls. A midden to the west of the house has produced tiles and post-medieval pottery sherds, and the archaeological investigations of the submerged buildings have uncovered medieval as well as post medieval pottery. These finds, in conjunction with earlier reused masonry in the house and a fragment of medieval arch identified within the wall of the sunken pathway, support the likelihood that there has been an earlier occupation of this site. Work to consolidate the masonry remains of the main house were carried out in the late-C20, including supporting the window openings, gateway and the chimneypiece in the west wall.
PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: the monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of a post-medieval early-C17 main house, other associated structures and earthworks above and below the water line to the south, and a wind strew 70m to the north-west, all on a promontory at the Burrator Reservoir, Dartmoor.
DETAILS: the main house is a rectangular building measuring 14.5m long by 6.5m wide. The main building material is granite rubble-stone walls with killas infill, and granite ashlar on the southern wall. Most of the walls on the south and west elevations survive to 3-4m high. The original entrance to the house on the south is a central two-storey, granite-ashlar porch with a four-centred arched entrance, one window opening above and two others in the bays on either side. The east elevation survives as rubble stones and low masonry walls. The north elevation survives to circa 1m high and includes a blocked mullioned window. The north–west corner of the main building has a square room that appears to be a later addition and contains a blocked window, an external entrance on the west elevation, an internal doorway with jambs constructed of reused material, and the remains of a ground splayed window with a reused lintel. The house was originally two storeys; however, little of the first floor survives, apart from joist sockets on either side of a fireplace and an attached flue in the western wall. Two further fireplaces survive on the north side, each with a large chamfered stone lintel. The buried foundations of the walls and the remains of the internal floor will survive below ground level.
Around the periphery of the main house are various troughs, a slot bar gate, a holed gate hanger, architectural fragments, platforms and other worked stones, as well as midden deposits on the west side of the building. Some of the granite troughs, an apple crusher and cider press located near the main house were removed from nearby farms in the 1920’s.
A 39m stretch of cobbled, sunken track way, originally running from Sheepstor to Longstone, is set at right angles to the main house, passing its east side. The northern part of the west wall is of the same construction as the main house and at one point had a fireplace built into in (later blocked with cement and bricks) and a possible window next to it. Attached at the north end is a right angle wall which would have originally run from the south-east corner of the main house. The walls are the remains of a heated ancillary building. The rest of the west trackway wall only survives to one or two stone courses and includes the remains of a blocked up archway with medieval stone fragments, which lies below the reservoir water line. The east side of the trackway is a revetment wall circa 2m high.
To the south of the house and west of the trackway are the remains of walls and cobbled surfaces. Two walls at the edge of the current shore line circa 5m south of the house, survive on the north and west elevation up to no more than 1m high. Circa 21m to the south of house, the remains of two further outbuildings survive below the line of the current reservoir. The two buildings measure 4.5 by 5.5m and 21.5 by 9.5 m and run parallel to the main house. The small building is adjacent to the Sheepstor to Longstone trackway, and only survives to a height of a single granite stone course. The large building to the east consists of four rooms (two large rooms to the north, and two smaller ones to the south). This building survives better, particularly the revetment wall to the north. On the south side of the building, and at right angles to the Sheepstor track way, is another cobbled path with at least two phases of construction. The remains of further masonry walls survive to the west. There are also masonry features, including the remains of a tramway, which date from the expansion of the reservoir in the early C20.
A granite wind strew (threshing floor) lies 70m to the north-west of the house and measures 6m long by 5.5m wide and stands up to 1.3m high with a set of three steps on the south-east side. It would have been used for threshing and winnowing corn and is one of the only known surviving example of its kind in England. The structure formerly included an inscription stone bearing 'IE AE 1637', thought to refer to John and Anna Elford.
EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: the scheduling includes two areas. The southern area includes the estate house, the remains of the outbuilding to the south (submerged) and the earthworks and masonry structures to the west. The northern boundary is defined by the edge of the footpath and to the east includes the eastern wall of the sunken cobbled lane. The northern area includes the wind strew. The boundary to the north, east and south is a 2m margin from the platform to the west extends up to the footpath.
EXCLUSIONS: the modern fencing, fence posts and gates are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.
Books and journals
Gray, T, The Garden History of Devon An Illustrated Guide to Sources, (1995), 22
Rendell, P, 'Dartmoor Newsletter' in One By One They Left The Valley...100 years of Burrator- Part 5 The Abandoned Farms, , Vol. 18, (1994), 15-17
Bedford P, Longstone Manor, Sheepstor- Stabilisation of the ruins fo Dartmoor National Park Authority, 1999,
MDV20822 Blowing Mill Dartmoor HER
MDV397 Threshing floor in Longstone Plantation, Burrator Dartmoor HER
MDV3970 Longstone Manor, Burrator Dartmoor HER
MDV3974 Cider Mill at Longstone Farm Dartmoor HER
Passmore, A, Longstone Manir Sheepstor Devon An Archaeological and Historical Survey, 1999,
Passmore, A, Longstone Manor, Sheepstor, Devon. Archaeolgical Recording of the Structures below the Water line , 1999,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing