Conserving a Dartmoor Longhouse

Conserving a Dartmoor Longhouse

Higher Uppacott, is a Dartmoor longhouse owned by Dartmoor National Park Authority and has undergone substantial conservation works to improve access, understanding and condition of the grade I listed building and its former historic farmstead site.

The work carried out has revealed some fascinating information about the development of this building from its original two rooms to the building we see today. Alongside this we have also been considering the importance and location of historic farmsteads such as Higher Uppacott and their distribution across the Dartmoor area.

The work was funded from the Heritage Lottery Fund via our Moor than meets the eye Landscape Partnership scheme. Improvements included new combed wheat thatch, slate roof coverings and other external works to provide an authentic historic farmstead setting for the medieval longhouse. We have also carried out works to restore the internal historic fabric and features including the shippon (cattle shelter).

We worked closely with Historic England to ensure the proposed works will conserve and enhance the special interest of the longhouse and its setting. Traditional building methods such as hot lime mortars for internal walls and pointing of the barn walls have been used. We also worked with Historic England specialists to analyse rare smoked blackened thatch above the hall chamber, and carried out advanced timber dating (dendrochronology) to roof and floor timbers.

Dartmoor’s longhouses are internationally important and comprise the highest survival of longhouses (along with Brittany) in northern Europe.

To discover more about this project and its progress see Moor than meets the eye