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Latitude: 50.8306 / 50°49'50"N
Longitude: -3.1251 / 3°7'30"W
OS Eastings: 320856
OS Northings: 104053
OS Grid: ST208040
Mapcode National: GBR M0.WVG4
Mapcode Global: FRA 46BW.Y17
Entry Name: South Wood Farmhouse
Listing Date: 22 February 1955
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1098289
English Heritage Legacy ID: 86558
Location: Cotleigh, East Devon, Devon, EX14
District: East Devon
Civil Parish: Cotleigh
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Cotleigh St Michael
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
ST 20 SW
11/3 South Wood Farmhouse
Farmhouse. Late C15 - early C16 with major later C16 and C17 improvements. Local
stone and flint rubble with Beerstone ashlar detail; stone rubble stacks and
chimneyshafts, some topped with C20 brick; thatch roof.
Plan and development: the main block faces east and it has a 3-room-and-through-
passage plan. At the left (south) end is the former kitchen with a large gable-end
stack. Behind this kitchen is a newel stair and a small unheated room (probably a
pantry) in a short rear projection. The passage between the former kitchen and hall
is now blocked to rear. The hall has an axial stack backing onto the passage and
includes a curing chamber alongside. At the right (north) end is an inner room
parlour with projecting gable-end stack. An unheated 1-room plan service wing
projects at right angles to rear of the inner room parlour and overlapping the upper
end of the hall. This includes a large newel stair from the upper end of the hall.
At the front of the passage there is a 2-storey porch. The remains of a rear porch
have been incorporated into C20 outshots across the back of the main block between
the 2 rear wings.
The main block is the historic core of the house. Most of the original roof
survives here and it indicates that the inner room end was originally 2 storeys and
the rest was open to the roof, divided by low partitions and heated by an open
hearth fire. Inner room and hall chimneystacks were probably added in the late C16.
The hall was floored over in the early C17. The service end was probably already
floored over but was rebuilt in its present form with the rear staircase and
unheated room in the mid C17. This was probably in 1655, the date on the front
porch. The rear service block was added at the same time. This 1655 refurbishment
appears to have turned the house round. Formerly, it seems, the house faced towards
the lane and there is the remains of an early C17 porch on that side. In 1655 a new
porch was built on the garden (east) side and since then this has been the main
front. House is 2 storeys.
Exterior: regular but not symmetrical 1:1:2 window front of mostly mid C17
Beerstone ashlar windows with ovolo-moulded mullions. The 2 C17 ground floor
windows have hoodmoulds. The first floor window at the right end is a C20 casement
containing rectangular panes of leaded glass and the ground floor window below has
been converted to a C20 French window behind a contemporary conservatory. The porch
is gabled with shaped kneelers, coping and apex finials. Its outer arch is a Tudor
arch with moulded surround and chamfer-scroll stops. There is a projecting
dripcourse directly above and above the first floor window is the 1655 date plaque.
The porch has benches each side and the passage front doorway contains a late C19
part-glazed 4-panel door apparently in a smaller opening than the original. The
main roof is gable-ended. The stair wing has a half-hipped roof and the service
block is gable-ended. The back of the main block and the rear wings include more
C17 windows, most of them Beerstone with ovolo-moulded mullions although there is an
oak 3-light window over the passage rear doorway and it has chamfered mullions and
contains rectangular panes of leaded glass. Behind the rear outshot is the roofless
remains of the early C17 porch to the passage rear doorway; its outer arch has an
oak frame with a cambered head and ovolo-moulded surround.
Good interior: the C17 kitchen (on the lower side of the passage) has chamfered and
step-stopped axial beams. Here there is a massive Beerstone ashlar fireplace with a
chamfered oak lintel, the oven is relined with C19 brick. The newel stair rises
round a post and includes, at first floor level, a grille of C17 oak balusters. The
hall/dining room the other side of the passage has a large Beerstone aslar fireplace
with a chamfered and slightly arched oak lintel. There is a seat on the left cheek
which includes a doorway through to a curing chamber. There is a blocked ash raking
hole below the seat. This is an unusal feature to be found in such a well-appointed
room. The ceiling here has a flat ground on which is an early C17 single rib
pattern of ornamental plasterwork enriched with a series of the same moulded motif;
a fleur-de-lys with rosettes. In the parlour no ceiling beam shows either. The
fireplace here is Beerstone ashlar with oak lintel and chamfered surround. The
service block has plain square-section crossbeams with upended plank joists,
originally providing a flat ceiling like those in the hall and parlour. Broad newel
stair from hall to the first floor. On the first floor there is a C17 doorframe
between kitchen and passage doorframes; it is chamfered with step stops and contains
an ancient plank door hung on strap hinges with fleur-de-lys finials. There are a
couple of other old plank doors on the first floor. A blocked Tudor arch doorway
shows between passage chamber and porch. The kitchen and parlour chambers have
small Beerstone ashlar fireplaces with oak lintels.
The original roof survives over the hall and parlour. It is 3 bays. The partition
between the hall and parlour chambers is a closed truss and there is an open truss
over the hall; it is a face-pegged jointed cruck with chamfered arch braces,
cambered collar and at the apex there is a small triangular yoke and diagonal ridge
(Alcock's apex type L1). The roof also contains single sets of curving windbraces.
The hall roof including the common rafters, the underside of the original thatch and
hall face of the closed truss is heavily smoke-blackened from the original open
hearth fire. The C17 truss over the main block kitchen is clean; the bases of the
principals are boxed into a partition. So too is the truss in the service wing.
South Wood Farmhouse is a particularly attractive and well-preserved farmhouse.
Jeffrey de Wrothiall owned the Wood estate in the time of Henry III. After 15
generations had lived there it was sold to a Mr. W. Fry whose great grand daughter
married a Mr. Andrews, who was the owner in 1773.
Source: Devon SMR.
Listing NGR: ST2085604053
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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