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Latitude: 50.8808 / 50°52'50"N
Longitude: -3.2387 / 3°14'19"W
OS Eastings: 312954
OS Northings: 109766
OS Grid: ST129097
Mapcode National: GBR LV.SWWC
Mapcode Global: FRA 463S.22J
Entry Name: Old Sheldon Grange
Listing Date: 2 July 1987
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1098251
English Heritage Legacy ID: 86572
Location: Dunkeswell, East Devon, Devon, EX14
District: East Devon
Civil Parish: Dunkeswell
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Dunkeswell St Nicholas
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
ST 10 NW
5/17 Old Sheldon Grange
Farmhouse. Late C15 - early C16 with major later C16 and C17 modernisations and
only superficial modernisations since. Local stone rubble (most of it is plastered)
and with some cob on the wall tops; stone rubble stacks topped with C19 brick;
corrugated iron roof over the remains of the original thatch.
Plan and development: the main nouse is built down a gentle hillslope and it faces
south-south-west, say south. It has a 3-room-and-through-passage plan. There is a
parlour uphill at the right (east) end with a gable-end stack and winder stair
rising alongside. A narrow unheated room is partitioned off to rear of the parlour.
This parlour leads off the passage. The other side of the passage is a dining room
with an axial stack backing onto the passage. (It is smaller than the parlour). At
the left (west) end is a small unheated room, latterly used as an animal pen. A
kitchen block projects at right angles to rear of (and now partly intruding into)
tne dining room. It has a large gable-end stack with a curing chamber alongside.
This is a house with a long and complex structural history. The main block is the
historic core of the house but not all the evidence of the earliest phases is
exposed and also tne original house does not appear to conform to the conventioned
late medieval model. The original roof survives and it shows that the original
house once extended further eastwards (beyond the present parlour). Evidently the
house began as some form of open hall house. The roof is 4 bays; the western 2 bays
(over dining room and and room) are heavily smoke-blackened from the original open
hearth fire; the other 2 bays (over the passage and parlour) are clean although
there is no surviving evidence of an original chimneystack. Apart from a division
between the sooted and clean sections of the roof there is no apparent evidence of
the layout of the original house.
The layout of the main block appears to be basically the result of a major late C16
- early C17 refurbishment although some features may have been installed earlier.
The kitchen block was added at about the same time, or maybe a little later. The
resultant plan was a 3-room-and-through-passage plan in which the hall was
considerably smaller than the parlour. It seems that the palour was once full
widtn. The axial division here was probably inserted as part of a late C17 - early
C18 modernisation. The parlour stair was rebuilt in this phase. House is 2 storeys
Exterior: irregular 5-window front of C19 and C20 casements, the oldest one (first
floor right end) containing rectangular panes of leaded glass, the rest with glazing
bars. The passage front doorway is roughly central and its late C19 door is now off
its hinges. The roof is gable-ended. The windows at the back and in the kitchen
block are similar to those it the front. The passage rear doorway contains an old
(probably late Cl7 - early C18) plank door hung on strap hinges with fleur-de-lys
finials. The doorframe is contemporary and maybe boxing in an earlier oak
doorframe. At the back end of the kitchen block an oven housing projects and
alongside it is a C19 gabled lavatory (apparently this was built over a stream).
Interior: althougn much of the interior is clad with C19 plaster enough carpentry
is exposed to show that the C16 and C17 house is very well-preserved, if somewhat
dilapidated. Either side of the passage are stone rubble crosswalls. There is a
fielded 4-panel door on H-L hinges from the passage to the parlour. It is late C17
- early C18 and there are similar doors at the top and bottom of the parlour stair.
The axial partition is oak-studded , cob-hogged and was clad with lathe and plaster
from the beginning. The parlour crossbeam has plain chamfers . The fireplace here
is Beerstone with oak lintel, a low Tudor arch head and chamfered surround.
Alongside to right are late Cl7 - early C18 cupboards with fielded panel doors, the
top tier have nowy-headed panels. The winder stair is contemporary and includes a
short length of rail with turned balusters and newel post with finial at the stair
The other side of the passage a plain oak plank-and-muntin screen divides the 2
rooms. The hall/dining room has a large stone rubble fireplace with an oak-framed
front with chamfered surround (there is a smaller version to the chamber above).
Both the hall and small inner room have plain chamfered axial beams. On the first
floor of the main block there are 4 chambers of roughly equal size, 2 each side of
the hall/dining room stack. Each pair is divided by a late C16 - early C17 close-
studded oak-framed crosswall in which the lathes are slotted into individual drilled
holes and thus provide a ladder backing for the cob infill. The roof is late C15 -
early C16 and is carried on side-pegged jointed cruck trusses with small triangular
yokes at the apex and a diagonally set ridge (Alcock's type L1). The section over
the hall/dining room and end room is (including the surviving common rafters and the
underside of some original thatch) is smoke-blackened from the original open hearth
fire. At the west end the ridge stops short of the end wall and contains a mortise
for a missing hip cruck. This proves that this was the original end of the house.
The section of the roof over the passage and parlour is clean (or maybe very lightly
smoke-blackened). The ridge is cut off at the east end proving that the original
house extended further in that direction.
The kitchen has been enlarged at the expense of the hall/dining room but the line of
the stone wall between the two shows in the ceiling. The crossbeam in the kitchen
proper is boxed in. The large kitchen fireplace has a plain oak lintel and contains
a large C19 oven. The left side of the fireplace is supported by an oak post since
it seems that there was originally opening through the left cheek to the large
curing chamber on that side. The roof of this wing is carried on a side-pegged
jointed cruck truss.
Old Sheldon Grange is a most interesting multi-phase Devon farmhouse. The early
features are unusually well-preserved since the house has not been modernised in the
C20. It was built as a grange of Dunkeswell Abbey which might account for its
Source: Devon SMR.
Listing NGR: ST1295409766
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