History in Structure

Neadon Upper Hall

A Grade I Listed Building in Manaton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6282 / 50°37'41"N

Longitude: -3.768 / 3°46'4"W

OS Eastings: 275049

OS Northings: 82433

OS Grid: SX750824

Mapcode National: GBR QG.MXBH

Mapcode Global: FRA 27ZD.ZVD

Plus Code: 9C2RJ6HJ+7R

Entry Name: Neadon Upper Hall

Listing Date: 23 August 1955

Last Amended: 4 February 1987

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1097260

English Heritage Legacy ID: 84975

ID on this website: 101097260

Location: Teignbridge, Devon, TQ13

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge

Civil Parish: Manaton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Manaton St Winifred

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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SX 77 NE
- Neadon Upper Half [formerly
listed as stableat Neadon Farm
GV (formerly Chapel)]
First floor hall, later used as a barn, now a house again. Probably late C15,
likely to have been abandoned and used as a farm building in late C17, restored as
a house 1982-3. The walls are substantially faced in granite ashlar which survives
to full height at each gable end but with evidence of considerable rebuilding to
the front (north-west) face in granite rubble and to the rear wall with dressed
granite. It is therefore arguable whether the ashlar coursing from end to end is
continuous or not. The walls are lined internally with granite rubble. The
chimney stack to the south-west gable end is a late C20 rebuild in granite ashlar.
Delabole dry slate roof with gable ends.
The original plan in its basic form seems clear: the living accommodation was
always on the first floor judging from the high quality features such as fireplace,
garderobe, laver and decorated cusp-headed window. From its lack of domestic
features, small window openings and drain at 1 end, the ground floor always served
a subsidiary purpose, probably originally service, and was at some stage converted
to a shippon from the evidence of a central drain. There was a through-passage to
the south-west end of the ground floor. The original form of the first floor is
more problematic, mainly because of the roof construction. In their basic
construction the 3 trusses are almost identical, comprising upper crucks morticed
at the apex with a threaded ridge and triangular strengthening block beneath, with
threaded purlins and cranked collars morticed into the principals. The discrepancy
lies in the spacing of the bays : the 2 north-east bays being virtually twice the
length of the south-west ones; the fact that the middle truss does not have curved
feet but finishes higher up than the other 2 and has a hole in the soffit of its
strengthening block; also the decoration to the 2 north-east bays in the form of
chamfered timbers and wall-plates, which is absent in the other 2 bays. One
possible explanation for this discrepancy is that the 2 ends of the house were
built (or 1 end perhaps rebuilt) at slightly different stages and the central truss
was modified when the middle sections of the lateral walls were rebuilt. (P
Beacham). This is entirely feasible but an alternative explanation might be that
the difference between the 2 ends of the roof represents a difference in status and
possibly function of the space below. Thus the end with the fireplace, adjacent
garderobe and laver, and large original window opening would have the decorative
roof. If the 2-window openings occupying blocked doorways on the north-west face
were to be considered as original doorways from their chamfered lintels and
straight sides then the truss above would automatically have to be shorter than the
others. The only reason to have 2 adjacent external doorways would be if there was a
full height partition at this position inside for which the hole in the soffit of
the strengthening block might possibly suggest evidence of a stave for a wattle and
daub partition. The collar beneath also has similar holes but as this was moved
from the adjacent building it cannot be considered as further evidence. Firmer
evidence for a lower partition more towards the north-east end is provided by a
deep groove in the upper face of the cross beam and the stubs of a former cross
beam above which presumably acted as a head beam for a wooden screen. The
existence of an original small second floor window at the north-east gable end adds
to the evidence for a sleeping platform at this end. This screen and platform were
reconstructed in the restoration of 1982-3.
Facade: 2 storeys. On north-west front at ground floor to right is wide doorway
with heavy timber door frame chamfered with 3-centred arched head. At left end is
ventilation slit low down in the wall with adjacent very small square opening. At
far left is late C20 reconstructed wooden staircase. To the right and a little
below this is some evidence of pockets in the stonework which might have been to
carry some form of gallery possibly extending to the 2 former doorways on first
floor right of centre. On first floor to far left is small single light late C20
casement with leaded panes in original opening. To right of it is original doorway
with heavy timber frame, chamfered with 4-centred arched head.
Old timber lintel above. 2 blocked doorways to right of centre now occupied by
inserted late C20 casements with leaded panes. South-west (right) gable end has
small original window slit to right with arched head, below it is cantilevered
projecting moulded granite lip to laver. Rear (south-east) face has original small
window opening on ground floor right. At ground level to the right is original
semi-circular drain-hole carved out of single granite block. To centre and centre
left are 2 doorways with further to the left a later window inserted into the
blocked rear door to former passage. Rectangular garderobe projection to far left.
On first floor is small window to the right and larger original tall window opening
to centre left, both have late C20 wooden casements with leaded panes. On north-
east gable end first floor is late C15 window with 2-light wooden frame with
central mullion and transom forming smaller lights below. Each light has cusped
head although those to the lower lights have virtually worn away. The spandrels
have finely carved foliage and the whole is set within a chamfered wooden frame.
The stone surround to the opening is grooved to take the frame. Late C20 leaded
pane window set behind and also to smaller original window opening above. From the
north corner of this gable end the courtyard boundary wall extends approximately 15
metres north-west to the adjacent outbuilding. Part at least is contemporary with
the house as for a short distance the lower few courses are an extension in ashlar
of the stonework of the house. Otherwise the wall is of granite rubble with small
rubble capping. Gateway at north-west end with dressed granite piers and moulded
granite caps appearing to be re-used pier bases. Drainage outlet at lower left
hand end.
Very good interior with many original features surviving. On the ground floor is 1
original cross beam chamfered with hollow stops and with some chamfered and stopped
joists. There is also another later, rougher beam. On the first floor all the
openings have chamfered and stopped lintels. The gable end fireplace is granite
framed with a straight lintel, hollow chamfered; the jambs continue the chamfer
with ball stops. To left of the fireplace is laver with moulded edge and drainage
hole at the back to the outside. To the left and at right angles is the garderobe
with a round-headed timber doorframe, chamfered and original drainage hole.
Adjacent to the garderobe the window has dressed granite splayed sides.
There is a considerable amount of documentary material relating to the settlement
at Neadon the earliest known one being the The Devonshire Hay Subsidy of 1332 which
refers to "Peter Bynythedon" in Manaton parish. At various times the property
passed through the possession of the Foxford and Nosworthy families and a deed of
1666 mentions 3 tenements at Neadon.
This is a building of outstanding architectural interest both for its unusual plan
form the only known survival of such in Devon, and for the remarkable existence of
a great many original features. There are, however, several puzzling aspects of
the house and it is impossible to be entirely certain of what the original building
was like, quite possibly it is the most complete survival of a complex of medieval
buildings now disappeared or substantially altered as the courtyard wall and
adjacent building seem to suggest.
Sources: "Brief Historical and Architectural Notes on the Upper Hall, Neadon,
Manaton" - P Beacham.
Documentary Evidence relating to Neadon, Manaton - M Laithwaite.

Listing NGR: SX7504982433

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