MSO7018 - Larkbarrow Farm, Larkbarrow (Monument)

Summary

Built as a model farm by the Knight family in the mid 19th Century, the farmhouse was used for target practice during World War Two. The remains are now evident as a few lengths of standing wall and the footings of former outbuildings.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Larkbarrow Farm is one of the Knight's farms. It is similar in style and design to Tom's Hill (MSO7042), with three ranges of buildings around a courtyard. [1] The buildings cost £267 and were built in the 1840s. In the 1940s they were requisitioned as an artillery range. [2] Attempts have been made to consolidate the ruins with capping and clearance. [3] Larkbarrow Farm was built by the Knight family in the mid 19th Century, and passed to the Fortescue Estates at the end of the 19th Century. The farmhouse was used for target practice by the military during World War Two and was later demolished. All that remains of Larkbarrow Farm are a few lengths of standing wall (at present being consolidated by the Exmoor National Park Authority), and the footings of former outbuildings. The farmhouse itself survives as spreads of stone rubble, with traces of wall faces, and in places concrete flooring. The farm was constructed as a model farm. The farmhouse formed one side of a square courtyard, with ranges of outbuildings defining the other two. The fourth side, apparently defined by a wall, gave access to the adjoining lane. The farm was sheltered by planting tree belts on three sides: these were defined by field banks which remain, and some trees still stand. The site is in stable condition. [7, 8] This farm was similar to Warren Farm (MSO6907), having a house and outbuildings located around a courtyard. It was 870 acres in size. James Meadows was the farmer, who originated from Leicestershire. The farm produced stilton cheese and wheat. In 1851 the farm employed 8 labourers, but by 1852 Meadows had to sell the farm. The farm later became a shooting lodge and then a firing range in the Second World War, during which the buildings became a ruin. [10] A tenant was not found for Larkbarrow until ten years after its construction. James Meadows was the first farmer at Larkbarrow, but left in 1852 when his dairy production failed. The farm was uninhabited until the 1860s, when shepherds brought from Scotland lived in the farm. It also functioned as a 'hunting and shotting box' which was used during wet weather. [11] A digital reconstruction drawing of the World War Two use of the building was created in 2013 by Peter Lorimer. [12] Field assessment and survey of agricultural reclamation at Larkbarrow Farm, together with rapid documentary research into the history of this holding has allowed the absolute dating of some features. Links to people give an insight into the social history of reclamation. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1904, Somerset 3SE.
  • <2> Monograph: Orwin, C.S. + Sellick, R.J.. 1970. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. David and Charles Limited. 2nd Edition. P.36, 79-80, 193.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Somerset County Council to Exmoor National Park Committee.
  • <4> Monograph: MacDermot, E.T.. 1911. The History of the Forest of Exmoor. Barnicott and Pearce, The Wessex Press. 309, 436.
  • <5> Photograph: Somerset County Council Planning Department. Slide. 3.014.0079 (March 1984).
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Griffith, F.. 1980s-1990s. Oblique aerial photographs of the Devon part of Exmoor National Park. DAP/LD22, 23, LF15, 16 (10 January 1989).
  • <7> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 12 July 1996.
  • <8> Report: Jamieson, E.. 2001. Larkbarrow Farm, Exmoor, Somerset.
  • <9> Article in serial: Wilson-North, R.. 2005/2006. Larkbarrow - Fact, Folly and Failure. Exmoor Visitor.
  • <10> Monograph: Siraut, M.. Royal Forest, Exmoor: A guide to the Royal Forest of Exmoor. Exmoor National Park Authority. 29-30.
  • <11> Leaflet: 2013. Larkbarrow, Exmoor: Exmoor moorland archaeology walks series. Exmoor National Park Authority.
  • <12> Artwork: Lorimer, P.. 2013. Larkbarrow, Exmoor: Digital reconstruction drawing. Digital.
  • <13> Report: Riley, H.. 2017. Agricultural Reclamation at Larkbarrow Farm, Exmoor. Exmoor Mires Partnership ELB17 Project Report.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8202 4290 (154m by 149m) (MasterMap)
Map sheet SS84SW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Related Articles (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11018
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW104
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 974784
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33157

Record last edited

May 22 2017 11:36AM

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