A MEDIEVAL longhouse on Dartmoor has been purchased by Dartmoor National Park Authority, which owns the adjoining building.

The purchase re-unites for the first time in over a hundred years, the medieval building of Higher Uppacott and its 17th-century wing, courtyard and outbuildings of Uppacott near Poundsgate.

The purchase of Uppacott was made with the aid of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The authority will now develop an interpretative plan, which will enhance access and promote understanding of the fascinating building for the public through the Authority's guided walks programme.

Deborah Griffiths, head of archaeology and historic buildings for the DNPA, said: 'Few longhouses can be found outside the Dartmoor area in southern England.'

She said Higher Uppacott was one of a handful of longhouses where the cattle accommodation had remained unaltered and the cobbled floor and hayloft beams could still be seen.

'The acquisition of the "other half" will improve the interpretative potential of Higher Uppacott and allow the story of the Dartmoor longhouse to be explored in a variety of ways,' said Mrs Griffiths.

Higher Uppacott is thought to have first been constructed in the 14th-century, the grade I listed longhouse was bought by the Authority in 1979.

The total Heritage Lottery Fund grant of up to £183,500 is towards both purchase and provision of interpretative facilities.

Once this work is finished, members of the public will be able to book a visit to Uppacott through the Authority's guided walks programme.