Dissertation - The Dartmoor Longhouse

This page represents another of my architectural interests which is of a slight contrast to my other work. I have always been interested in the care of historic properties and whilst living and working in Devon I became particularly fascinated by a certain type of house-barn common to Dartmoor.

The Dartmoor longhouse is recognisable by its granite walls, thatched roof and narrow two-celled plan. The longhouse originally capitalised on the practicalities of housing both man and livestock together under the same roof. Longhouses are positioned on a sloping topography with the dwelling portion of the house at the higher end and the cattle at the lower end in an area called the shippon.

What is most interesting about these buildings is that they remain inhabited today despite their primitive origins. How these buildings have survived and the practicalities of dwelling within such a building which is in direct conflict with modern lifestyles became the focus of my masters dissertation.

The dissertation involved mapping of the present surviving state of longhouses across Britain and an examination of two case studies, considering their historical context and monitoring of their temperature and humidity to asses how comfortable they are to reside in today.

A copy of the dissertation may be downloaded here.