Devon's countryside is characterised by isolated farmhouses surrounded by their own buildings and land. This is a medieval pattern and it is reflected in the antiquity of many of the farmhouses. These are built in characteristic vernacular styles using locally distinctive materials such as cob and wheat reed thatch. The traditional farmstead buildings reflect the mixed nature of Devon's farming in the past, and some types are special to the County, in particular the "linhay".
Devon's villages, hamlets and farmsteads also represent a resource of significant archaeological potential.