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Latitude: 50.773 / 50°46'22"N
Longitude: -3.3111 / 3°18'39"W
OS Eastings: 307646
OS Northings: 97864
OS Grid: SY076978
Mapcode National: GBR P6.DRDH
Mapcode Global: FRA 37Y1.HW2
Entry Name: Talaton Farm Cottage talaton Farmhouse
Listing Date: 24 October 1988
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1098105
English Heritage Legacy ID: 86931
Location: Talaton, East Devon, Devon, EX5
District: East Devon
Civil Parish: Talaton
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Talaton St James the Apostle
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SY 09 NE
6/175 Talaton Farmhouse and Talaton Farm
Farmhouse and cottage. Late C15 - early C16 with major later C16 and C17
improvements, one of them dated 1623, thoroughly refurbished in the early C19. The
older parts are plastered cob on stone rubble footings but much has been rebuilt in
brick, some of it very early; brick and stone rubble stacks with brick
chimneyshafts; slate roof, formerly thatch.
Plan and development: H-plan house facing south-west. The main block has a 4-room-
and-through-passage plan. The passage is roughly central and contains the main
stair. The rear doorway is now blocked. The large room to right is the lower end
and has an axial stack backing onto a small unheated lobby room which is now divided
off to the Farm Cottage. The rest of the cottage occupies a former service wing
which includes the kitchen towards the rear with a large inner side lateral stack.
To left of the passage is the former hall; it has a front lateral stack. The former
inner room is unheated and is now used as a kitchen. It was probably a buttery
before. The left end crosswing has gone out of full domestic use but was built as a
2-room plan parlour crosswing, the front room with a front gable-end stack.
This is a house with a long and complex structural history. The original house
occupies the main 3-room-and-through-passage plan section of the main block. There
is an original full height crosswall between hall and inner room. The rest of the
house was probably divided by low partitions; the passage was then apparently a
little further towards the service end. Since the whole of the original roof is
smoke-blackened there must have been 2 open hearth fires, one each side of the
The subsequent evolution of the house is difficult to follow since much of the
evidence has been removed or is hidden. However a date plaque claims the house was
built in 1623. This was in fact a major refurbishment. If the early brick of the
parlour crosswing dates this early it is the earliest dated brick building known in
Devon. The wagon roof in the parlour also poses a problem of dating. It appears to
be built with the brick walls. Usually roofs of this construction are considered
C16 and usually early C16. Is the brick even earlier? or have cob walls been
replaced. The plaque is set in the rear wall of the main block. It seems the house
then faced north-eastwards. This rear wall was also rebuilt in brick in the late
C17. A lot of the interior was probably rebuilt at the same time. There was a
major modernisation in the early C19; the main stair dates from then. It was
probably at this time that the former parlour crosswing went out of domestic use.
At some time the floor was removed and the fenestration much altered. A now upper
floor has been since built over most of it.
House is 2 storeys.
Exterior: irregular 5-window front of C19 and C20 casements. The passage front
doorway is roughly-central and contains C19 double doors behind a C20 porch. The
former kitchen crosswing (now the Farm Cottage) contains C20 casements and a C20
door. The former parlour crosswing has a few C20 openings (some of them for
agricultural use); the original windows here are blocked. The rear of the main
block has a symmetrical 5-window front of late C17 brick with elliptical arches over
the windows. Most are C19 and C20 casements but some are late C17 flat-faced
mullion windows. The centre ground floor window is blocking the passage doorway.
Above the blocked doorway is a stone plaque carved with a coat of arms and
inscription: "Will St Pole Edificacit 1623". The roofs are gable-ended. The
kitchen stack has divided diagonal chimneyshafts, the lower courses built of the
Interior: of Talaton Farmhouse is largely the result of the C19 modernisation. All
the fireplaces are blocked by C19 and C20 grates. Most of the crossbeams are boxed
in, the only one exposed (in the service end room) is elm and unchamfered; surely
later than the C17. The service end chamber has fielded panel cupboard doors and
there are a couple of contemporary 2-panel doors on the first floor. The original
roof structure is of superior craftsmanship although somewhat mutilated; on most of
the trusses the lower parts have been cut-off. Originally all were side-pegged
jointed cruck trusses. The hall - inner room crosswall is an oak-framed closed
truss. The hall roof is 2 bays and the centre and the service end trusses have
chamfered arch braces and carved foliage bosses. These 2 bays include the remnants
of 2 sets of windbraces, the upper pair inverted. The service end truss is plain
and without arch braces. The inner room roof is essentially one long bay but there
is an intermediate truss of most unusual construction, probably unique in Devon. It
is an A-frame of common rafter scantling but has chamfered arch braces and also has
clasped purlins (on top of blocks set into the top of the collar. The whole
original structure is heavily sooted from the 2 open hearth fires.
The former parlour crosswing is a very interesting structure, if somewhat
dilapidated. The partitions and first floor structure are C20. There are however
cupboard alcoves and blocked window embrasures in the outer walls and at the front a
fireplace on each floor (both missing their lintels and partly collapsed. Whatever
its date the front section of the roof is very rare and interesting. It is an open
wagon roof of common rafter trusses with plain archbraces; it has never been ceiled
and is clean. A very similar roof not far away at Woodbeer Court, Plymtree (q.v) is
smoke-blackened and is considered late C15 - early C16 in date.
Talaton Farm Cottage was not available for inspection at the time of this survey.
It is said to be very much like the main farmhouse with most of its structural
detail hidden. The roof may be of interest.
Talaton Farmhouse is a very important building. It has a superior late medieval
roof including a most unusual intermediate truss. However it is the former parlour
crosswing which stands out. The handmade bricks here are of a distinctive shape,
longer, narrower and thinner than standard bricks. Even as late as 1623 this is the
oldest dated brick building in Devon by more than 50 years. Also can the wagon roof
be considered to date as late as 1623? In its heyday it was a high quality gentry
Listing NGR: SY0764697864
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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