21st Century Dartmoor

A look at Devon Property with Nigel Bishop

21st century Dartmoor


Dartmoor: 365 square miles of National Park. A square mile for each day of the year! A place of tranquillity, of dramatic scenery and changed little over the centuries since it was indeed a forest. Ancient farmsteads and villages are preserved thanks to strict planning guidelines but not at the exclusion of acceptance of 21st century living requirements. Merging in with traditional buildings modern architecture has its place and will in future be recorded as such. History in the making!

We are all conscious of the need to preserve our beautiful county for the enjoyment of future generations. Sustainable, eco -friendly solutions are essential to minimise the ongoing threat to the environment and this criteria sits comfortably with the planning requirements in the National Park. Traditional styles can still embrace modern technology -the book behind the cover is not always what it seems!

There are many places across the country where development has taken precedence over preservation. The past is part of our heritage and should be integrated into the present and the future and not just assigned to the history books.  Life evolves and every period is part of the perpetual development of our culture so should be embraced.  Architecture equally is ever evolving and as with all things there are good and bad periods, although personal preference and fashion will always dictate and create the wonderful tapestry of buildings the English countryside is known for. Georgian, Victorian merging into twentieth century Art Nouvea and Art Deco are easily recognisable periods that lead the way to post World War Two designs encompassing modern day living.

Recent planning legislation has embraced the conversion of redundant agricultural barns -steel and concrete framed buildings no longer in use. These are classified as Q class and ensure the continued use of buildings that would otherwise fall into disarray. It gives an opportunity for people to live in stunning rural locations where it would be impossible to gain planning for a new build or even more traditional buildings that planners hope to keep intact to retain the integrity of the local environment.

I talked before about how fashion changes and eras are defined by the architecture of the day. The early part of the 21st century will be defined by large open plan, glass and steel structures and yet the Dartmoor scene will still overshadow the changes with the natural geography unchanged for centuries always inspiring creative minds,

So, what to buy on Dartmoor. By definition there will never be a large choice but plenty of unique choices. Heather Cottage near Chagford, (Knight Frank 01392 423111) has a Scandinavian feel, sitting in 3.5 acres with lake and natural gardens. Complimented by secondary accommodation and extensive garaging in a magical setting this offers modern living in a secluded  environment.

Uphill, Lustleigh (Strutt and Parker 01392215631) is a Grade 1 listed building complete with tithe barn in the heart of the village with a converted coach house internally offering modern accommodation hiding behind old stone walls.

Escaping the hustle of The City is possible and yet home can embrace today’s comfort and technology expectations- “it’s all about coming home”.

James Nightingall