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A Grade II* Listed Building in Branscombe, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6936 / 50°41'36"N

Longitude: -3.1502 / 3°9'0"W

OS Eastings: 318852

OS Northings: 88845

OS Grid: SY188888

Mapcode National: GBR PC.6T3C

Mapcode Global: FRA 4797.LKD

Plus Code: 9C2RMRVX+CW

Entry Name: Margells

Listing Date: 22 February 1955

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1104149

English Heritage Legacy ID: 88727

Location: Branscombe, East Devon, Devon, EX12

County: Devon

District: East Devon

Civil Parish: Branscombe

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Branscombe St Winifred

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: House Thatched cottage

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7/55 Margells

House, once a parlour wing of a larger house. Late C16, carefully restored circa
1975 by the Landmark Trust. Exposed local stone rubble with Beerstone ashlar
dressings; Beerstone ashlar stack and chimneyshaft extended with C20 brick; thatch
Plan: 2-room plan house with central through passage. It is built on a south-west
north-east axis gable-end onto the lane. The former principal parlour at the front
has a projecting lateral stack with projecting stair turret alongside on the outer
(south-east) end. The rear room has a projecting gable-end stack. The quality of
the rooms here suggests that this is only the parlour wing of a larger house. The
rest of the house is thought to have been converted to Shute Cottage, Fern Cottage
and Wayside Cottage (q.v.) adjoining at right angles to north-west of the rear room.
There is in fact a small lobby belonging to Margells intruding into this cottage
block. 2 storeys.
Exterior: all the windows are C20 casements with glazing bars except for an
original window at first floor level to rear; it is a Beerstone 2-light window with
ovolo-moulded mullion and hoodmould. In the front end there is a single window each
floor. On the inner (north-west) side there is a-single window above the passage
doorway which contains a C19 plank door. To right of the window, under the eaves a
short cruck post is exposed standing on an oak plate. On the outer (south-east)
side the parlour stack has weathered offsets and the stair has a tiny window. To
right the passage doorway contains a C19 door and the window to right of it has an
original Beerstone hoodmould. The roof is gable-ended.
Good interior: all the carpentry detail is original and it has been expertly
restored. Each side of the passage is lined with oak plank-and-muntin screens, the
muntins chamfered with diagonal cut stops. Each one contains a Tudor arch doorway
although the head of the parlour doorway has been restored. The screen headbeams
are independent and do not align with the first floor partitions. The rear room has
a 4-panel ceiling of moulded intersecting beams. The front room has a higher
quality 16-panel intersecting beam ceiling also of moulded intersecting beams. Here
the panels are not plastered and the sets of 3 plain joists are set at right angles
to those in the adjoining panels. Both ground floor fireplaces are surprisingly
modest; stone rubble with plain chamfered oak lintels. The newel staircase has been
There are 3 unheated first floor bedchambers of approximately the same size. They
are divided by 2 closed trusses filled with small-panelled framing nogged with
plaster. The rear one contains a Tudor arch doorway and the front one contains a
round-headed doorway (maybe converted from a Tudor arch). A corridor between these
doorways from the head of the stairs is a low partition of similar small panel
framing and it contains another Tudor arch. All 3 rooms are open to the roof which
is carried on clean side-pegged jointed crucks. The front chamber contains a
fragment of a rich mural painting; it is probably original. The dominant colours
are red and black and it features foliage (although it does contain a human head)
and a frieze.
The standard of craftsmanship in the renovation of this house is exemplary and has
left one of the best late C16 interiors in Devon. The house also forms part of an
exceptionally good group of mostly thatched traditional buildings which make up the
attractive hamlet of Street.
Source: a measured ground plan with manuscript notes by N W Alcock in N M R. Alcock
thought the building earlier. Also there is a folder containing a collection of
reports on the building at Margells.

Listing NGR: SY1885288845

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