15-17 SEP 2017


The group last visited Devon in 2003 when farms of mid Devon and Dartmoor were contrasted. The aim of the 2017 weekend is to explore the farmsteads on the eastern side of Dartmoor National Park. In particular we will be comparing farmsteads in the Teign Valley with those of the higher Dartmoor fringe.

We will reference the recent work carried out by Dartmoor National Park Authority and Historic England, including the historic environment characterisation project, to help our understanding of the farmsteads we see today in the landscape. lying on the eastern edge of Dartmoor the Teign valley falls only partly within the National Park boundary. The complex of geology and soil types here are distinct from the granite batholith that typifies Dartmoor's identity and character. Its proximity to Exeter and East Devon have also influenced it's farming. 


Outline of Events

Friday 15th

Optional visit to Morris’s edge tool works, Dunsford, followed by registration and refreshments in the Teign Valley Community Hall (TVCH), Christow. Optional in-house evening meal and an evening presentation ‘Medieval agriculture on Eastern Dartmoor and beyond’ by David Stone.   

Saturday 16th

We will meet at Place Barton, Higher Ashton for a 09.30am visit before repairing to the Teign Valley Community Hall in Christow. After the introduction we will have presentations including: settlement and farming by  Richard Sandover, Dartmoor farm buildings, and the findings of the Dartmoor Farmsteads Characterisation Project funded by English Heritage and the Dartmoor National Park Authority’s own research and Historic Environment work. After lunch at the TVCH we will depart to visit a number of farms in the Teign Valley, returning for the AGM. There will be an optional evening meal at the Cridford Inn, Trusham.

 Sunday 17th

We will start from the main car park in Bovey Tracey, where there are public conveniences and shops. This day will be entirely devoted to farm visits on the eastern moorland fringe. We will return to Bovey Tracey where there are tea shops for those wishing for refreshment before their onward journey.


Optionable Extra Visits (details of days and timings TBC)

Monday 18th

 Optional morning visit to the roofing works at Castle Drogo (NT), led by the clerk of works. Afternoon - Finch Foundry forge, also NT.

 Tuesday 19th

Optional morning guided walk on Dartmoor to see the ruined medieval and later farmstead at Challacombe Farm and associated strip fields - medieval farmstead ruins in a landscape context. Also prehistoric and industrial archaeology.


 Delegates will need to make their own arrangements in respect of accommodation. A full range of accommodation can be found in the Teign valley, Bovey Tracey and Moretonhampstead area. Searching on the internet will produce options and links. AirBnB seem to have a wide range in the area. Also, at time of writing the Cridford Inn ( has two small self catering cottages available and Teign View, Ashton, a small bungalow is available from 16th for a minimum of three nights (01647 252805, or

For the proper adventurous there be an option of wild camping in a Romany caravan or a jolly shepherds hut in Christow. See airbnb or 'get out with the kids':

Also, for the railway enthusiasts:  toot toot

The Teign House pub on the valley road also has a riverside camping field, about one mile from Christow village.

 TVCH  Village Road, Christow EX6 7NA – directions

Take the exit from the A38 signposted Teign Valley. Turn north towards the Teign Valley and Chudleigh Knighton (NOT south towards Chudleigh). You will cross the river bridge and must then turn right on to the Teign Valley road B3193. Follow the river on your right hand side for five miles passing some quarries (notice old mining waste heaps still not vegetated over after many decades) and the Teign Valley golf course. You will come to a left turning signposted Christow – in particular the Artichoke Inn sign shows up well.  Turn up here -the road goes uphill past some industrial units on your right. Just after the road narrows you will see a car park and bus shelter on your left as the road bends right. You have arrived! Park here and the girt hall can be seen just downslope on the left. If you get to the church you'm 'ave gone too far and can turn y'ere and come back downhill agin.


We are hiring 2 minibuses for the farm visits as some farms are small and difficult to access. We can allow for a maximum of 2 cars carrying passengers at our disgression. We will have one car in case of emergency etc. Please note there may be some walking to a farm where the minibuses cannot reach the farmstead but this should be no longer than 100 metres or so, or you might slide down the field my dears!


No meals are included in the basic price to allow everyone flexibility. We will offer an evening meal at the TVCH on Friday evening and an optional evening meal at the Cridford Inn at Trusham on Saturday (payable at the pub) after the AGM. We will ask people to indicate whether they would be interested on the booking form. We will also offer lunch on both Saturday and Sunday.  All meals will cater for vegetarians. Please notify us of any dietary requirements.


Please bring warm, waterproof clothing and stout boots/wellingtons. Farms can be wet, muddy and dangerous places at the best of times. A change of footwear for halls etc is ideal.

 Health and Safety

A full briefing will be given on Saturday. If anyone is a first aider would they please make this known then. Please note there is generally bad to non-existent mobile phone reception in the area.


Friday 15th September

2-4pm             Visit to Morris and Sons edge tool works in Dunsford (optional)

4pm                 HFBG Committee Meeting in TVCH or nearby

From 4.30pm   Refreshments and registration at TVCH. Delegates will be given the programme notes on the farmsteads to be visited.

6.00 – 7.00pm  Evening meal at TVCH (optional)

7.10 – 8.05pm  ‘Medieval agriculture on Eastern Dartmoor and beyond'. Talk by David Stone Author and former research fellow Oxford and Cambridge. 

Philip White will briefly introduce the theme of the conference.

Saturday 16th September

09.30 – 10.00  Visit to Place Barton, Higher Ashton  

10.00 – 10.20  Arrival at TVCH. Welcome and outline of the weekend

10.20 – 11.00  'settlement & farming in the Dartmoor landscape 1350BC to 1350AD. Talk by Richard Sandover, Honorary research fellow Exeter University.

11.00 – 11.25   Tea  and Coffee

11.25 – 12.10  DNPA research and the Historic Environment Character Assessment. Talk by Keith McKay former Historic Buildings officer for Dartmoor National Park Authority. 

12.10 – 12.35  Dartmoor farmsteads and their buildings. Talk by Philip White

12.35 - 12.45       Questions

12.45 - 13.30       Lunch

13.30 - 16.00       Field visits in the Teign Valley

16.30 – 17.00      Refreshments and HFBG AGM

19.00 for 19.30    Pub meal at the Cridford Inn Trusham (optional)


Sunday 17th September


09.45 – 16.00  Meet at Bovey Tracey for field visits to Moorland fringe farmsteads.


Please contact Philip White on 01647 252909 or email:


HFBG CONFERENCE 15thTO 17th September 2017.


Booking form


I/we wish to attend the HFBG Conference on 15th to 17th September 2017. We expect heavy demand for the limited places and will prioritise on a first come first served basis. We will keep a waiting list in case of any cancellations. Please note that in the case of your cancellation we will endeavour to fill your place and offer a refund but cannot guarantee to do so. If costs have been incurred we may not be able to offer a full refund.


Full name: ……………………………………………….

Full address: …………………………………………….




Post code…………………………………….





I/we wish to attend Saturday/Sunday/both days (please indicate required attendance)

The cost is:

 Members:                              £40 per day or £70 for the whole conference

 Non-members:          £50 per day or £85 for the whole conference

(to include HFBG membership for 2017)

  • Please see the optional catering below for completion of all costs.


Optional Catering

Please tick, or if more than one of you please indicate the number for each option in the box.

Friday Evening Meal


I wish to attend the meal on Friday. The cost is £15 per person

                             Vegetarian    O                          Meaty O

 2 course limited menu choices will be forwarded to attendees in due course. Meals will be prepared by local food suppliers.

 Saturday lunchat £7 per person:  O

 Saturday evening meal – At the Cridford Inn Trusham - to be paid individually  O

 A relevant menu will be forwarded nearer the conference date once the Inn confirms choices.

 Sunday lunch at £7 per person:  O

 Dietary requirements (please tell us below):



 Costs per person:

  • £40 or £50 NON MEMBER for Friday & Saturday conference
  • £40 or £50 NON MEMBER for Sunday conference
  • £70/£85 for the whole weekend
  • £15 for Friday evening meal
  • £7 for Saturday lunch
  • £7 for Sunday lunch

   Total £........  per person x   no. of people =..................


PLEASE MAKE CHEQUES PAYABLE TO:  ‘Historic Farm Buildings Group’

I enclose Payment TOTAL :  £.................................

Bookings to be received no later than the 1st August 2017


Please send the completed booking form and cheque to Pauline Wilkinson at:


Bolter End Lane

Bolter End

High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 3NB


 If you prefer to pay directly into the bank by BACS please tick here:

The treasurer will forward payment details following your application

Further Information

Please contact Philip White on 01647 252909 or email:

Additional Visits (do not include payment for these in your booking)


I/we would like to visit Morris’s edge tool works (Friday afternoon 14.00 – 16.00)

Cost c.£7  yes/no

I/we would like to visit Castle Drogo roof works (Monday 10.30 – 12.30) 

Cost £tbc non members or £5 NT members    yes/no

I/we would like to visit Finch Foundry (Monday afternoon 14.00 meet up)

£6.25 per person (free for NT members)         yes/no

I/we would like to visit Challacombe Farm Tuesday morning (10.30-12.30)

Donation.  yes/no

Likely timings are indicated but all details may be subject to minor change and will be confirmed at a later stage to all who have expressed interest.





the Abergavenny – Brecon area of South-East Wales



This Conference will be organised by the ‘Village Alive Trust’ in the Abergavenny area and by Jeremy Lake and Sam Hale in the Brecon area.


We have not visited South Wales as a group since 1987 and we are pleased to have the opportunity to visit this area within and around the edges of the Brecon Beacons National Park where there have been some exciting recent restorations of historic farm buildings, including for innovative new uses. 


The Friday evening registration and welcome for delegates will begin in ‘Village Alive country’, about 3 miles north-east of Abergavenny.  The Village Alive Trust (see was founded in Monmouthshire in 2002 to help private owners obtain grants and access best practice to conserve the fabric of their historic buildings, retaining each for its original purpose as far as possible. 


The Saturday programme will be based around Ty Mawr, near Llangorse Lake, about 6 miles south-east of Brecon and some 15 milies north-west of Abergavenny via the A40 and A479 along the Usk valley. The site retains the foundations of an impressilve manor, rebuilt in the 16th century and dramatically sited next to Langorse Lake. the manor hd been demolished by the late 19th century, but the Great Barn and other outbuildings remain. The current owners run a business producing traditional and historical building materials and courses on how to use them, including the use of lime for mortar and plaster. (see ). After lectures which include overviews of the heritage of farmsteads acoss Wales, longhouses and the issues for re-use, we shall look around the Ty Mawr farm buildings and manor. The afternoon visits will be to two contrasting farmsteads displaying a model courtyard layout, ranges of 17th century and earlier longhouse-type dwellings, together with a rare set of buildings erected by the then Minisitry of Agriculture when the farm was taken in hand by the government during the second world war. 


The Sunday of the Conference will start at their latest completed project, Grade II* listed Croft Farm Barn, which is noted for illustrating the introduction of framed principals in a cruck-trussed structure.  The barn was built in the early 1580s as confirmed by a dendrochronology survey carried out by RCAHMW and is mentioned in the classic: ‘Monmouthshire Houses’ by Fox & Raglan (1951-4) as “the Barn at Great Trerhiw, Llantilio Crossenny”.  It was nearly derelict before restoration and it is planned for community use and a learning space for heritage and viticulture (the owners of the barn run White Castle Vineyard). (see


Evening meals will be provided on both the Friday and Saturday evenings and lunches on the Saturday and Sunday, as well as other refreshments, all within the cost of the Conference, but overnight accommodation will be on a ‘DIY’ basis. Ty Mawr has a campsite at around £5 a night - mail to  .  The Programme and booking form are attached and you are advised to book as soon as possible. as accommodation close to the venues may be difficult to obtain due to the popularity of the area for walking.


The HISTORIC FARM BUILDINGS GROUP is organising its 30th Autumn Conference and Annual General Meeting in the CHILTERNS this year, on the usual third weekend in September between Friday 18th and Sunday 20th.  We will be staying at the Lane End Conference Centre so that most of us can be together for the weekend to more easily exchange views and experiences with others who share our interest in historic farm buildings.  The Conference Centre is located 5 miles south-west of High Wycombe Station, Buckinghamshire, and to the south of the M40, midway between Junctions 4 and 5.  It is set in attractive grounds with a newly opened private leisure facility and bar.  The accommodation is mainly in single, study-style bedrooms – all are en suite and lockable (
Medieval rural houses, farmsteads and their landscapes

Saturday 22nd March - Sunday 23rd March, 2014
The Hive, Worcester and south Worcestershire
This conference will examine the significant opportunities that now exist to deepen our understanding of medieval and post-medieval settlement through analysis of the survival and key characteristics of vernacular houses and agricultural buildings.

For more details and for contact details if you wish to attend see PDF form available by clicking here.