Since 2006 the Devon Rural Archive's small team of Consultant Archaeologists have been recording the history, significance and development of manor houses and farmhouses in Devon from Domesday to the present day.
Using the 1765 map of Devon by Benjamin Donn as a starting point, nearly 1000 sites have been identified for further invesigation by our team; this includes both manor houses and farmhouses and their associated outbuildings as well as many parks and gardens. To date we have reported on approximately 130 of these sites through our archaeological surveys which are supplemented by map and document research in our own and other archives. Most of the reports are available to view in our library, for some a precis also appears on Sites Visited page of this website.
There are some pitfalls, and trying to find a house's exact location for example using only the eighteenth century map can be problematic. Significant redevelopment in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries may also mean there is little remaining from a property's past. Others have been lost to more recent development and occasionally there is no trace of the earlier property.
In the coming years the DRA will expand its research to incorporate other buildings and landscapes within Devon. If you have a property that you think we may be interested in, please contact us and we would be happy to consider a preliminary survey.
The DRA research project is entirely unique, never have archaeological surveys such as these been carried out in Devon. Our priority is to record information relating to the development of domestic architecture and landscapes in Devon before they vanish and make sure the evidence is not lost to future historians.