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Latitude: 50.5385 / 50°32'18"N
Longitude: -3.8388 / 3°50'19"W
OS Eastings: 269789
OS Northings: 72586
OS Grid: SX697725
Mapcode National: GBR QC.7HL4
Mapcode Global: FRA 27VM.VN4
Entry Name: Lower Tor Farmhouse
Listing Date: 23 August 1955
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1241903
English Heritage Legacy ID: 441162
Location: Widecombe in the Moor, Teignbridge, Devon, TQ13
Civil Parish: Widecombe in the Moor
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Leusdon St John the Baptist
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SX 67 SE THE-MOOR
5/271 Lower Tor Farmhouse
House, formerly a longhouse. C16, or possibly earlier, with additions. Granite
rubble with patches of ashlar, especially at the upper (west) end of the south
front. Thatched roof, half-hipped at lower end; added lean-to on north side is
covered with corrugated asbestos. Granite chimneystack with tapered top on centre
of ridge. Larger projecting granite stack with offsets and plain top in upper
gable-wall. Rubble stack, probably a much later addition (it is not shown on C20
published plans of the house), against north wall of former shippon. The plan is
the usual one of shippon (now the kitchen) below a through-passage with hall and
inner room above, except that there is in addition a cross-passage adjoining the
through-passage on the hall side. This cross-passage ought to be an early feature
because the C16 hall stack backs on to it in the traditional manner, yet there is no
evidence at all of a doorway at the north end and at the south end there is an added
porch of 1707. The through-passage, on the other hand, has an early C16 doorway at
the north end. Because of these features, writers on vernacular architecture have
treated the house as representing an important stage in the evolution of the
longhouse from its medieval form, although it is far from clear (as the published
work seems to suggest) that the existing plan is entirely the result of early C18
alterations. 2 storeys with single-storey additions. South front is 5 windows
wide. All windows are C20, except in the porch. The latter is 2-storeyed, having
in the ground storey a round-arched, moulded granite doorway with IT 1707 carved in
the spandrels. In the upper storey is a 2-light granite-mullioned window, probably
of the same date. Attached to the south-west corner of the porch is an open-fronted
stone well house with a thatched roof. On the north front most of the house part is
concealed by the lean-to, but the edge of a stair turret with a slit window is just
visible at the left-hand end. Rear doorway of through-passage has a chamfered,
round-headed granite arch with one worn stop, probably a pyramid. Former shippon
has a single ventilation slit in ground storey; loft door to left of upper storey.
Interior: Former shippon has very heavy, unchamfered upper-floor beams; the beam
next to the through-passage has been underbuilt with a stone wall (the wall is not
shown at all on the published plans). On the other side another stone wall divides
the through-passage from the cross-passage. On the upper side of the latter is the
back of the hall stack, this being of granite ashlar with a cornice at the top. In
the hall the fireplace is large with chamfered granite jambs and lintel; a
relieving arch is visible in the bedroom above, but the space below it contains only
stone rubble, rather than a specially cut piece of granite. Upper-floor beams are
chamfered. Staircase in north wall, level with the stack, has winding stone steps.
Inner room and bedroom above it both have fireplaces with plain granite lintels.
Roof timbers replaced in C18-C20.
There are several published references to the house (with plan) : 1) M W Barley, The
English Farmhouse and Cottage 1961, p.110 (fig.17D). 2) E Mercer, English Vernacular
Houses, 1975, pp.39, 151, plate 35. 3) J Thirsk, ed., The Agrarian History of
England and Wales, Vol.IV 1500-1640, 1967, p.730 (wrongly described as Higher Tor).
Listing NGR: SX6978972586
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