Monday, December 28, 2015

Devonshire holiday time

Now that the boat is securely moored in Bruges and we have picked up our lease car we have decided to spend some time in the UK. We are staying in the Devon countryside on the edge of Dartmoor. The house we have rented is a very old Devon longhouse full of character and history. This thatched house dates back to the 1600s and was fairly typical of houses built in those days - living quarters at one end with a large open fire with smoke filtering through the thatch to the outside. The other end was a single storey dwelling used to house the animals. A thoroughfare divided the animal quarters from the household with the thoroughfare used to herd animals from the dairy to their shelter and then to the outside fields.
Needless to say it doesn't look much like that anymore. The animal quarters are now a very cosy lounge room complete with slow burning fire in an inglenook with a bread oven built into the wall
The main area where people congregate these days is the very homely country kitchen at the other end of the house 
The dining room was once the great hall with the large fireplace. Timbered walls are a feature of this room and one of the reasons this has has been listed with grade II* rating. There is also a bible cupboard built into the wall, complete with a very old bible. 
Sleeping quarters are also very comfortable with large bedrooms and adjoining bathrooms.

The entire house has been built of a product called cob - a mixture of straw and manure - with oak beams supporting the roof of thatch. Obviously many changes have been made over the centuries but these days, because of the historic house register, any renovations to the house and it's numerous outbuildings have to gain permission from English Heritage before they can proceed. To read more details about this building look at

The position on the edge of Dartmoor means we will be very central for exploring both north and south Devon and Cornwall. Look out for more tales about the quaint coastal villages and smugglers haunts.

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