OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: July 29, 2018
Webpage updated: August 02, 2018

        

BURRATOR RESERVOIR

LONGSTONE MANOR HOUSE

When the valley of the river Meavy was flooded to create Burrator Reservoir one of the properties that managed to remain above the highest water level was Longstone Manor House.

It is thought to date from the 13th Century, when Herbert de Cumba was Lord of the Manor of Sheepstor, in which Ancient Parish it lies.  In the 15th Centuryy the land was owned by the Scudamore family.  When Miss Johanna Scudmore (sic) married Mr John Alford (sic) it passed to his family, the Elfords, who founded Elford Town, from which the name of Yelverton is derived.

According to a date stone that was removed from the ruined property, the House was rebuilt, and possibly enlarged, during the occupation or ownership of Walter and Barbara Elford in 1633.  It was their son, John Elford, who is understood to have constructed the threshing platform, known as a 'windstrew', some 70 metres to the north-west of the House, and also a cider mill.

After passing through the hands of two more generations, the land and Manor House were acquired by Sir Massey Lopes, of Maristow House, in 1748.  He removed the attached west winf and a courtyard, blocked the windows and replaced them with sahses before letting the House to tenants until 1897.  It was last lived in by Mrs George Creber, the tenant and farmer, his brother, James Creber, and their sister, Miss Mary Creber.  Their mother, Mrs Elizabeth Norrish Creber, had passed away in the 1892.  At the time they were forced to abandon the property the House was said to be in good repair.

The main house, which was two storeyed, was rectangular in shape and measured 14.5 metres in length by 6.5 metres width.  it was built  of granite rubble-stone walls with killas infill and granite ashlar on the south-facing wall.  The main entrance was on the south side, the porch having an arched entrance.  Several fireplaces survive.  On the eastern side of the House was a cobbled, sunken trackway that originally linked Longstone to Sheepstor village.  Some outbuildings also survive.

To the north-west of the House remains a granite windstrew, approached on the south-eastern side by three steps.  It measures 6 metres long by 5.5 metres wide  and stands some 1.3 metres high.  It was used for threshing and winnowing corn and it is the only surviving example of such in this country.  It formerly had a stone bearing the inscription IE AE 1637, which is thought to have referred to John and Anna Elford.  The windstrew was partially rebuilt circa 1800.  The granite troughs, apple crusher and cider press that now surround the House were all gathered from surrounding farms during the 1920s.

A number of date stones and architectural fragments from Longstone Manor House are preserved in the commemorative garden on the opposite side of Burrator \Reservoir, where the Visitor Centre is now located.