Longtimber Woods

and the adjoining Pithill Woods lie in the Erme Valley to the north of Ivybridge. It is a working woodland, nature reserve and recreational area of 53 acres (21.7 hectares) consisting mainly of broadleaf trees and a variety of shrubs and other moorland plants.

Longtimber Woods

and the adjoining Pithill Woods lie in the Erme Valley to the north of Ivybridge. It is a working woodland, nature reserve and recreational area of 53 acres (21.7 hectares) consisting mainly of broadleaf trees and a variety of shrubs and other moorland plants.

 

This woodland area starts from the bridge at the entrance of the former Stowford Paper Mill. The bridge was built by the mill owner John Allen in 1859, to facilitate the receipt of raw materials and the dispatching of finished paper to the railway sidings, which at the time, was located just a short distance away along Station Road. Importantly, the new bridge meant that the paper mill’s horse drawn carts now avoided the narrow Ivy Bridge located further downstream. Walking through Longtimber woods ramblers are greeted by the imposing stone and brick built railway viaduct which was completed in 1894 in conjunction with the double tracking of the line, replacing the original viaduct built by Brunel. Piers from the old structure remain in situ. The woodland continues to Pithill Farm and Dartmoor beyond.

 

In 1980, Longtimber Woods was owned by a family trust which specialised in the conservation of trees and wildlife. However, given the concerns of the local community regarding the excessive felling of native hardwoods, Ivybridge Town Council with assistance from Dartmoor National Park and the Countryside Commission, purchased the woodland area to be held in perpetuity for the inhabitants of Ivybridge. Over the years this recreational area, offering leisurely walks for both locals and visitors has been improved through the addition of signage and seating.

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This woodland area starts from the bridge at the entrance of the former Stowford Paper Mill. The bridge was built by the mill owner John Allen in 1859, to facilitate the receipt of raw materials and the dispatching of finished paper to the railway sidings, which at the time, was located just a short distance away along Station Road. Importantly, the new bridge meant that the paper mill’s horse drawn carts now avoided the narrow Ivy Bridge located further downstream. Walking through Longtimber woods ramblers are greeted by the imposing stone and brick built railway viaduct which was completed in 1894 in conjunction with the double tracking of the line, replacing the original viaduct built by Brunel. Piers from the old structure remain in situ. The woodland continues to Pithill Farm and Dartmoor beyond.

 

In 1980, Longtimber Woods was owned by a family trust which specialised in the conservation of trees and wildlife. However, given the concerns of the local community regarding the excessive felling of native hardwoods, Ivybridge Town Council with assistance from Dartmoor National Park and the Countryside Commission, purchased the woodland area to be held in perpetuity for the inhabitants of Ivybridge. Over the years this recreational area, offering leisurely walks for both locals and visitors has been improved through the addition of signage and seating.

The sylvan beauty of the Erme Valley … the extensive walks by the winding stream with its bracken-covered banks overhung with luxuriant foliage, the roar of its miniature falls and the repose of its sleepy hollows, makes a scene which is ever attractive to numerous visitors

Charles Smallridge – local shopkeeper and postcard provider – 1906

The Erme Valley from the mid nineteenth century was widely admired as a place of beauty, attracting large numbers of visitors. The sheer quantity of postcards depicting scenes of Ivybridge, many produced by local entrepreneurs, served to demonstrate its popularity.

learn more about postcards from Ivybridge >

Apart from recreation, the fast-flowing River Erme attracted significant industrial development along its banks. Historical records suggest that the first corn mill appeared as early as the thirteenth century. Much later, the river water was diverted into a specially constructed leat, via a sluice gate at the weir within Longtimber Woods. It was then channelled to turn the waterwheels of the corn mills, tucking mills and of course paper mills. Stowford Paper Mills was established in 1787 and over the next two centuries brought prosperity to Ivybridge, enabling further development. Additionally, bark from oak trees has historically been used for the production of tanning liquor in the preparation of leather. A tannery located in Ivybridge during the nineteenth century would have probably sourced bark from trees in this woodland area.

Weir Head is one of the many delightful shady pools in the woods at Ivybridge. At this point the greater portion of the Erme is diverted for use in the famous Paper Mills and other industries; also the resort for the lads of the town who gather here in the summer evenings for the purpose of bathing or diving from the huge rocks.

Charles Smallridge – 1906

Flora & Fauna

Longtimber Woods is a naturalist’s paradise, hosting an abundance of plants, insects, birds and mammals. A range of ferns, including hart’s tongue fern, mosses, lichens and ivy can all be found whilst at the water’s edge, you might find marsh marigolds and water dropwort. In spring, primroses appear, a common sight in the Devon hedgerows, along with bluebells providing a carpet of purple and blue, golden yellow buttercups and in places, the woods can take on the distinctive smell of wild garlic! Amongst other plants, you might spot violets, wood sorrel with its white flowers and in the moister areas, golden saxifrage and liverwort. Tree species include alder, ash, beech, hazel, oak, sycamore and willow, whilst laurel and holly have been planted alongside the perimeter. Some of the more exotic shrubs such as pheasant berry and rhododendron can also be found in places.

 

Atlantic salmon and brown trout can be found in the River Erme. Each summer and autumn they travel up the river to reach their spawning grounds. In 1995, when Stowford Paper Mill was operational, it funded a fish pass (weir) along this stretch of the river to assist the fish in their journey upstream to their favoured gravel beds.

 

Walking alongside the riverbank you might be lucky enough to see a bobbing dipper with its distinct white breast, a flitting grey or pied wagtail or the flash of a vivid blue kingfisher as it darts along the river. Other common species include robins, blue, great and long tailed tits, chaffinches and wrens. You might also catch glimpse of a gold crest, nuthatch, treecreeper or the odd woodpecker. The conifer trees which have been introduced over the years might also attract greenfinches and siskin in search of a tasty treat from a fir cone, whilst above the trees the occasional buzzard.

 

In summer, with flowers in bloom, a variety of butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies can be seen. The woods are also home to a number of bats including the smallest and most common, the pipistrelle. Amongst other mammals there are badgers, foxes, mink and smaller rodents such as grey squirrels, mice and voles.

Flora & Fauna

Longtimber Woods is a naturalist’s paradise, hosting an abundance of plants, insects, birds and mammals. A range of ferns, including hart’s tongue fern, mosses, lichens and ivy can all be found whilst at the water’s edge, you might find marsh marigolds and water dropwort. In spring, primroses appear, a common sight in the Devon hedgerows, along with bluebells providing a carpet of purple and blue, golden yellow buttercups and in places, the woods takes on the distinctive smell of wild garlic! Amongst other plants, you might spot violets, wood sorrel with its white flowers and in the moister areas, golden saxifrage and liverwort. Tree species include alder, ash, beech, hazel, oak, sycamore and willow, whilst laurel and holly have been planted alongside the perimeter. Some of the more exotic shrubs such as pheasant berry and rhododendron can also be found in places.

 

Atlantic salmon and brown trout can be found in the River Erme. Each summer and autumn they travel up the river to reach their spawning grounds. In 1995, when Stowford Paper Mill was operational, it funded a fish pass (weir) along this stretch of the river to assist the fish in their journey upstream to their favoured gravel beds.

 

Walking alongside the riverbank you might be lucky enough to see a bobbing dipper with its distinct white breast, a flitting grey or pied wagtail or the flash of a vivid blue kingfisher as it darts along the river. Other common species include robins, blue, great and long tailed tits, chaffinches and wrens. You might also catch glimpse of a gold crest, nuthatch, treecreeper or the odd woodpecker. The conifer trees which have been introduced over the years might also attract greenfinches and siskin in search of a tasty treat from a fir cone, whilst above the trees the occasional buzzard.

 

In summer, with flowers in bloom, a variety of butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies can be seen. The woods are also home to a number of bats including the smallest and most common, the pipistrelle. Amongst other mammals there are badgers, foxes, mink and smaller rodents such as grey squirrels, mice and voles.

The Swimming Pool and Former Reservoir

What locals know as the ‘Swimming Pool’ in Longtimber Woods, was originally a reservoir supplying clean water to the residents of the village. It was constructed during 1873-74 at the request of the Ivybridge Local Board of Health, taking water from the River Erme. The Local Board included many local businessmen such as John Allen and his sons Edward and John, the owners of Stowford Paper Mill, Francis Holman, owner of Ivybridge Paper Mills, Samuel Head, proprietor of the local tannery and William Mallet, the proprietor of the London Hotel. The responsibilities of the board included the supply of safe drinking water, drainage and sewerage and other matters relating to the sanitary condition of the village. Additionally, it was responsible for the cleaning of the streets, its paving and lighting, maintaining the cemetery and ensuring only safe food was sold by regulating the slaughterhouses. Where necessary, these local boards were required to define the boundaries of their jurisdiction. In Ivybridge, very little time was wasted in positioning carved stones, inscribed with the large letters ‘ILB’, denoting Ivybridge Local Board, around the boundary. One of these stones can be found close to the footpath in Longtimber Woods near the notice board and where Hunter’s path meets the main track.

In pursuance of the Local Government Act 1894, the Ivybridge Local Board was replaced at the beginning of 1895 by a new Urban District Council. This new council had directly elected officials, replacing the old voting system which saw members elected by ratepayers of property. This had seen influential businessmen from the paper manufactories, who often had conflicting interests, particularly regarding water availability, serving the community.

 

The reservoir in Longtimber Woods remained in use until 1914, when Butter Brook Reservoir was established to supply the growing population of Ivybridge with good quality water. The new impounding reservoir was created by forming a dam across Butter Brook on Harford Moor. Built at a cost of £17,000 it had a capacity of around 4 million gallons. The reservoir was officially opened on 31 May 1916 by Lord Mildmay of Flete and was known as Butter Brook Reservoir.

The old reservoir in Longtimber Woods then became a swimming pool with changing facilities and even a springboard.  The original wooden hut was later replaced by a brick version. During the 1930s Mr Luxton, the headmaster of the Board School located close by, taught many children to swim at this pool. It continued to be used by the people of Ivybridge until the 1960s, although some older members of the community are of the opinion it carried on beyond this.

I am an old girl of Ivybridge and I well remember the woods and swimming pool. There were two changing rooms, one for girls and one for boys. Each had a small window and hooks around the walls for hanging clothes on. No toilets or showers in those days!

We didn’t mind the dragonflies or horseflies. It was a long walk from the village, no cars to take us anywhere…

A genuine Ivybridger

During World War II, the American soldiers of the 116th Infantry Regiment, stationed at Uphill Camp on Exeter Road in Ivybridge, used the swimming pool for training prior to D-Day. Having upgraded the swimming pool area they erected camouflage netting which they had to climb and then, after wading through the water, continued their endurance training on Dartmoor.

learn more about the American troops in Ivybridge >

The legend of Treneman’s Pool

There is a location in Longtimber Woods which is rich in Devon folklore. Many stories are told of Tom Treneman or alternatively, John Trinnaman, an employee at Stowford House around the fifteenth century.

A long Victorian poem by an unknown author relates the story of how Tom died when he fell off his horse and after his funeral, reappeared in his kitchen frightening his servant boy to death. Twelve parsons were summoned, got a halter around the ghost’s neck, and led him to Black Anne Pool on the River Erme.  There Treneman was given an endless task.  When the river is in spate, the grinding of the boulders is said to be Tom roaring for more rope.

Treneman’s tree, a large oak, has now been cut down and only the base of the trunk remains. However, beside it is an unusual granite stone which has a small indentation called Treneman’s Basin. In reality it is a tinner’s mortarstone. It is documented that the River Erme was a site for tin streaming back in the 13th century. The men would use this type of mortarstone to crush the tin-bearing gravels.

The Legend of Treneman’s Pool

There is a location in Longtimber Woods which is rich in Devon folklore. Many stories are told of Tom Treneman or alternatively, John Trinnaman, an employee at Stowford House around the fifteenth century.

A long Victorian poem by an unknown author relates the story of how Tom died when he fell off his horse and after his funeral, reappeared in his kitchen frightening his servant boy to death. Twelve parsons were summoned, got a halter around the ghost’s neck, and led him to Black Anne Pool on the River Erme.  There Treneman was given an endless task.  When the river is in spate, the grinding of the boulders is said to be Tom roaring for more rope.

Treneman’s tree, a large oak, has now been cut down and only the base of the trunk remains. However, beside it is an unusual granite stone which has a small indentation called Treneman’s Basin. In reality it is a tinner’s mortarstone. It is documented that the River Erme was a site for tin streaming back in the 13th century. The men would use this type of mortarstone to crush the tin-bearing gravels.

Stowford House

is a former manor house dating back to the medieval period. The residence has an imposing position overlooking the semi-wooded Erme valley and the South Hams beyond. It was originally part of the very extensive Stowford and Lukesland Estate and the home of Mr and Mrs MacAndrew who purchased the estate in 1878. They were influential in the development of the village, constructing a large number of houses bordering the turnpike road, which is Exeter Road today. Mr MacAndrew died in 1915 but his widow remained at the house until her death in 1929. The estate was then divided up and sold. The Lukesland estate passed into the possession of the Howell family whilst Stowford was occupied by Rev. Patey and his wife. Both Mrs MacAndrew and Mrs Patey contributed greatly to community life in Ivybridge. Having no children of her own, Mrs Patey encouraged the Boy Scouts and other young people to use the gardens at Stowford. In 1938, the recreational field known as ‘MacAndrews Field’ on Exeter Road was given from the Lukesland Estate and a stone erected in memory of James MacAndrew.

 

Stowford House is also the birthplace of Thomas Williams, Speaker of the House of Commons in 1563, and John Prideaux Rector of Exeter College, Oxford and Bishop of Worcester (1578-1650).

Footbridge location

Pedestrian Footbridge

A foot bridge crossing the River Erme in Longtimber Woods existed during the 19th-century and its location is recorded on maps from this period. The bridge was known to have been used by schoolchildren from Harford to get to school in Ivybridge and by the local residents from Stowford House on their way to work, as it provided a short cut to the railway station. The bridge however, fell into disrepair and was eventually removed but the abutments still remain, if one looks carefully enough!

Pedestrian Footbridge

Footbridge location

A foot bridge crossing the River Erme in Longtimber Woods existed during the 19th-century and its location is recorded on maps from this period. The bridge was known to have been used by schoolchildren from Harford to get to school in Ivybridge and by the local residents from Stowford House on their way to work, as it provided a short cut to the railway station, which was just a small distance away along Station Road. The bridge however, fell into disrepair and was eventually removed but the abutments still remain, if one looks carefully enough!

painting-of-footbridge-by-unknown-artist

A painting dated 1780 entitled View of the Glenn, by an unknown artist, in the British Library. This shows a bridge which it is believed was located in the woods towards Kings Gutter.

painting-of-footbridge-by-unknown-artist

A painting dated 1780 entitled View of the Glenn, by an unknown artist, in the British Library. This shows a bridge which it is believed was located in the woods towards Kings Gutter.

The leat or watercourse called ‘King’s Gutter’ was constructed in 1818. It was established to provide water to farmland at Langham and Dinnaton, on the south-west side of Henlake Down. The leat appears on a tithe map of Harford dated 1838 located at King’s Meadow, taking water from the slopes of Dartmoor and the surrounding area and passing through the ancient estate known as ‘Kings’ before joining the River Erme below Harford bridge.

 

King’s Gutter today survives as a dry ditch along the perimeter of Longtimber woods adjoining Henlake Down and offers an alternative trail for the more enthusiastic rambler!

Acknowledgement

Thank you to Maria Preston for the photograph of Longtimber Woods in autumn – a winner in The Watermark Amateur Photographic Competition 2017

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Longtimber Woods

Longtimber Woods and the adjoining Pithill Woods lie in the Erme Valley to the north of Ivybridge. It is a working woodland, nature reserve and recreational area of 53 acres (21.7 hectares) consisting mainly of broadleaf trees and a variety of shrubs and other moorland plants.
This woodland area starts from the bridge at the entrance of the former Stowford Paper Mill. The bridge was built by the mill owner John Allen in 1859, to facilitate the receipt of raw materials and the dispatching of finished paper to the railway sidings, which at the time, was located just a short distance away along Station Road. Importantly, the new bridge meant that the paper mill’s horse drawn carts now avoided the narrow Ivy Bridge located further downstream. Walking through Longtimber woods ramblers are greeted by the imposing stone and brick built railway viaduct which was completed in 1894 in conjunction with the double tracking of the line, replacing the original viaduct built by Brunel. Piers from the old structure remain in situ. The woodland continues to Pithill Farm and Dartmoor beyond.
In 1980, Longtimber Woods was owned by a family trust which specialised in the conservation of trees and wildlife. However, given the concerns of the local community regarding the excessive felling of native hardwoods, Ivybridge Town Council with assistance from Dartmoor National Park and the Countryside Commission, purchased the woodland area to be held in perpetuity for the inhabitants of Ivybridge. Over the years this recreational area, offering leisurely walks for both locals and visitors has been improved through the addition of signage and seating.
The sylvan beauty of the Erme Valley … the extensive walks by the winding stream with its bracken-covered banks overhung with luxuriant foliage, the roar of its miniature falls and the repose of its sleepy hollows, makes a scene which is ever attractive to numerous visitors
Charles Smallridge – local shopkeeper and postcard provider – 1906
The Erme Valley from the mid nineteenth century was widely admired as a place of beauty, attracting large numbers of visitors. The sheer quantity of postcards depicting scenes of Ivybridge, many produced by local entrepreneurs, served to demonstrate its popularity.
Apart from recreation, the fast-flowing River Erme attracted significant industrial development along its banks. Historical records suggest that the first corn mill appeared as early as the thirteenth century. Much later, the river water was diverted into a specially constructed leat, via a sluice gate at the weir within Longtimber Woods. It was then channelled to turn the waterwheels of the corn mills, tucking mills and of course paper mills. Stowford Paper Mills was established in 1787 and over the next two centuries brought prosperity to Ivybridge, enabling further development. Additionally, bark from oak trees has historically been used for the production of tanning liquor in the preparation of leather. A tannery located in Ivybridge during the nineteenth century would have probably sourced bark from trees in this woodland area.
Weir Head is one of the many delightful shady pools in the woods at Ivybridge. At this point the greater portion of the Erme is diverted for use in the famous Paper Mills and other industries; also the resort for the lads of the town who gather here in the summer evenings for the purpose of bathing or diving from the huge rocks.
Charles Smallridge 1906.

Flora and fauna

 

Longtimber Woods is a naturalist’s paradise, hosting an abundance of plants, insects, birds and mammals. A range of ferns, including hart’s tongue fern, mosses, lichens and ivy can all be found whilst at the water’s edge, you might find marsh marigolds and water dropwort. In spring, primroses appear, a common sight in the Devon hedgerows, along with bluebells providing a carpet of purple and blue, golden yellow buttercups and in places, the woods take on the distinctive smell of wild garlic!  Amongst other plants you might spot violets, wood sorrel with its white flowers and in the moister areas, golden saxifrage and liverwort. Tree species include alder, ash, beech, hazel, oak, sycamore and willow, whilst laurel and holly have been planted alongside the perimeter. Some of the more exotic shrubs such as pheasant berry and rhododendron can also be found in places.
Atlantic salmon and brown trout can be found in the River Erme. Each summer and autumn they travel up the river to reach their spawning grounds. In 1995, when Stowford Paper Mill was operational, it funded a fish pass (weir) along this stretch of the river to assist the fish in their journey upstream to their favoured gravel beds.
Walking alongside the riverbank you might be lucky enough to see a bobbing dipper with its distinct white breast, a flitting grey or pied wagtail or the flash of a vivid blue kingfisher as it darts along the river. Other common species include robins, blue, great and long tailed tits, chaffinches and wrens. You might also catch glimpse of a gold crest, nuthatch, treecreeper or the odd woodpecker. The conifer trees which have been introduced over the years might also attract greenfinches and siskin in search of a tasty treat from a fir cone, whilst above the trees the occasional buzzard.
In summer, with flowers in bloom, a variety of butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies can be seen. The woods are also home to a number of bats including the smallest and most common, the pipistrelle. Amongst other mammals there are badgers, foxes, mink and smaller rodents such as grey squirrels, mice and voles.

The Swimming Pool and Former Reservoir

 

What locals know as the ‘Swimming Pool’, located in Longtimber Woods, was originally a reservoir supplying clean water to the residents of the village. It was constructed during 1873-74 at the request of the Ivybridge Local Board of Health, taking water from the River Erme. The Local Board included many local businessmen such as John Allen and his sons Edward and John, the owners of Stowford Paper Mill, Francis Holman, owner of Ivybridge Paper Mills, Samuel Head, proprietor of the local tannery and William Mallet, the proprietor of the London Hotel. The responsibilities of the board included the supply of safe drinking water, drainage and sewerage and other matters relating to the sanitary condition of the village. Additionally, it was responsible for the cleaning of the streets, its paving and lighting, maintaining the cemetery and ensuring only safe food was sold by regulating the slaughterhouses. Where necessary, these local boards were required to define the boundaries of their jurisdiction. In Ivybridge, very little time was wasted in positioning carved stones, inscribed with the large letters ‘ILB’, denoting Ivybridge Local Board, around the boundary. One of these stones can be found close to the footpath in Longtimber Woods near the notice board and where Hunter’s path meets the main track.
In pursuance of the Local Government Act 1894, the Ivybridge Local Board was replaced at the beginning of 1895 by a new Urban District Council. This new council had directly elected officials, replacing the old voting system which saw members elected by ratepayers of property. This had seen influential businessmen from the paper manufactories, who often had conflicting interests, particularly regarding water availability, serving the community.
The reservoir in Longtimber Woods remained in use until 1914, when Butter Brook Reservoir was established to supply the growing population of Ivybridge with good quality water. The new impounding reservoir was created by forming a dam across Butter Brook on Harford Moor. Built at a cost of £17,000 it had a capacity of around 4 million gallons. The reservoir was officially opened on 31 May 1916 by Lord Mildmay of Flete and was known as Butter Brook Reservoir.
The old reservoir in Longtimber Woods then became a swimming pool with changing facilities and even a springboard.  The original wooden hut was later replaced by a brick version. During the 1930s Mr Luxton, the headmaster of the Board School located close by, taught many children to swim at this pool. It continued to be used by the people of Ivybridge until the 1960s, although some older members of the community are of the opinion it carried on beyond this.
I am an old girl of Ivybridge and I well remember the woods and swimming pool. There were two changing rooms, one for girls and one for boys. Each had a small window and hooks around the walls for hanging clothes on. No toilets or showers in those days!
We didn’t mind the dragonflies or horseflies. It was a long walk from the village, no cars to take us anywhere…
A genuine Ivybridger
During World War II, the American soldiers of the 116th Infantry Regiment, stationed at Uphill Camp on Exeter Road in Ivybridge, used the swimming pool for training prior to D-Day. Having upgraded the swimming pool area they erected camouflage netting which they had to climb and then, after wading through the water, continued their endurance training on Dartmoor.
The Legend of Treneman’s Pool

There is a location in Longtimber Woods which is rich in Devon folklore. Many stories are told of Tom Treneman or alternatively, John Trinnaman, an employee at Stowford House around the fifteenth century.
A long Victorian poem by an unknown author relates the story of how Tom died when he fell off his horse and after his funeral, reappeared in his kitchen frightening his servant boy to death. Twelve parsons were summoned, got a halter around the ghost’s neck, and led him to Black Anne Pool on the River Erme.  There Treneman was given an endless task.  When the river is in spate, the grinding of the boulders is said to be Tom roaring for more rope.
Treneman’s tree, a large oak, has now been cut down and only the base of the trunk remains. However, beside it is an unusual granite stone which has a small indentation called Treneman’s Basin. In reality it is a tinner’s mortarstone. It is documented that the River Erme was a site for tin streaming back in the 13th century. The men would use this type of mortarstone to crush the tin-bearing gravels.

Pedestrian Footbridge

 

A foot bridge crossing the River Erme in Longtimber Woods existed during the 19th-century and its location is recorded on maps from this period. The bridge was known to have been used by schoolchildren from Harford to get to school in Ivybridge and by the local residents from Stowford House on their way to work, as it provided a short cut to the railway station. The bridge however, fell into disrepair and was eventually removed but the abutments still remain, if one looks carefully enough!
Stowford House is a former manor house dating back to the medieval period. The residence has an imposing position overlooking the semi-wooded Erme valley and the South Hams beyond. It was originally part of the very extensive Stowford and Lukesland Estate and the home of Mr and Mrs MacAndrew who purchased the estate in 1878. They were influential in the development of the village, constructing a large number of houses bordering the turnpike road, which is Exeter Road today. Mr MacAndrew died in 1915 and his widow remained until 1929. The son was not interested in returning to Devon, so the estate was split up and sold. The Lukesland estate passed into the possession of the Howell family whilst Stowford was occupied by Rev. Patey and his wife. Both Mrs MacAndrew and Mrs Patey contributed greatly to community life in Ivybridge. The Boy Scouts and other young people were encouraged to use the gardens at Stowford. In 1938, the recreational field known as ‘MacAndrews Field’ on Exeter Road was given from the Lukesland Estate and a stone erected in memory of James MacAndrew.
Stowford House is also the birthplace of Thomas Williams, Speaker of the House of Commons in 1563, and John Prideaux Rector of Exeter College, Oxford and Bishop of Worcester (1578-1650).
A painting dated 1780 entitled View of the Glenn, by an unknown artist, in the British Library. This shows a bridge which it is believed was located in the woods towards Kings Gutter.
The leat or watercourse called ‘King’s Gutter’ was constructed in 1818. It was established to provide water to farmland at Langham and Dinnaton, on the south-west side of Henlake Down. The leat appears on a tithe map of Harford dated 1838 located at King’s Meadow, taking water from the slopes of Dartmoor and the surrounding area and passing through the ancient estate known as ‘Kings’ before joining the River Erme below Harford bridge.
King’s Gutter today survives as a dry ditch along the perimeter of Longtimber woods adjoining Henlake Down and offers an alternative trail for the more enthusiastic rambler!