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Coombe Barton and Adjoining Front Garden Walls

A Grade II* Listed Building in Roborough, Devon

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Latitude: 50.9434 / 50°56'36"N

Longitude: -4.0406 / 4°2'26"W

OS Eastings: 256734

OS Northings: 117983

OS Grid: SS567179

Mapcode National: GBR KR.NXWM

Mapcode Global: FRA 26FM.1NK

Plus Code: 9C2QWXV5+9Q

Entry Name: Coombe Barton and Adjoining Front Garden Walls

Listing Date: 16 January 1952

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1105040

English Heritage Legacy ID: 91779

Location: Roborough, Torridge, Devon, EX19

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Roborough

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Roborough St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Find accommodation in


SS 51 NE
8/163 Coombe Barton and adjoining
16.1.52 front garden walls


Barton, now house. Probably c.1500, altered in the late C16 or early C17. Restored
and partly rebuilt in the late C19. Further alterations probably of c.1900 too and
also some minor late C20 alterations. Squared and coursed stone to front with
limestone ashlar dressings, right-hand wing and rear wall rebuilt in snecked dressed
stone, and the rest mostly of uncoursed stone rubble, with some red brick dressings.
Gable-ended Welsh-slate roofs with pierced tile ridge-cresting. Square stone lateral
and end stacks with weatherings, hall stack rendered. Later brick lateral stack to
left. Roughly squared and coursed stone front garden walls with rounded copings and
dressed (almost ashlar) stone gate piers.
Plan and development: Three-room and cross-passage (probably formerly through
passage) plan, facing approximately north (ground falls to right). Hall with
integral lateral stack to front, and lit by large mullioned window to the left of the
stack. Hall probably formerly open to the roof and later ceiled (probably in the
late C16 or early C17) when the first-floor or attic rooms were inserted over the
present ceiling probably in the late C19 or c.1900, at lintel level of hall window.
Gallery at the lower (right-hand) end of the hall, now c.1900 but probably replacing
an earlier structure. Passage to right of hall with former service room (latterly
kitchen) to its right, with integral end stack. Staircase at rear of former kitchen,
rising from end of passage, probably a C17 insertion but apparently rebuilt in the
late C19. Gabled wing projecting to front of the passage and former kitchen,
probably a late C19 rebuilding or refacing. It incorporates a porch to the left,
leading to the passage, and a pantry to the right. Former inner room to the left of
the hall with integral lateral stack to the front. Front wall of hall range probably
refaced in the early C17, creating a narrow first-floor passage between the hall
stack and the later refacing leading to a small chamber over the hall window. Eaves
probably raised over the hall and inner room end, probably in the late C16 or early
C17. Substantial late C19 restoration and rebuilding, including much of the rear
wall, the left-hand end wall, with the addition of the flight of external steps
leading to the first floor, and the front entrance wing. Floor level of the left-
hand ground-floor room also raised probably at the same time. The house was also
almost completely reroofed in the late C19, except for one truss incorporated in the
full-height masonry wall between the passage and the lower-end room. Former service
wing projecting at right angles to front of the right-hand end room, apparently late
C19 but said to be earlier (possibly largely rebuilt in the C19 - see straight joints
in gable end to front and right-hand gable end of main range). Lower integral lateral
stack to front of the right-hand end room, probably inserted when the right-hand end
wing was added or rebuilt. Probably C19 outshut at rear of right-hand end of the
house probably reduced in the late C20. Two-storey house, probably formerly 2
storeys and attic or 3 storeys (see blocked rear window in attic). One storey
service wing (said to have been 2 storeys). Mostly C19 adjoining walls enclosing
front and left-hand sides of front garden, with gateway to right flanked by mid to
late C17 (possibly rebuilt) gate piers.
Exterior: Asymmetrical front. Hall range to left has a chamfered plinth. Tall
restored mullioned stone window lighting hall, of 4 hollow-chamfered arched lights,
central king mullion, chamfered cill, moulded reveals and head, hoodmould with carved
square stops and 4-centred relieving arch. Small ground-floor pieced quatrefoil
opening in front wall to left of stack with central carved square fleuron. Right-
hand - wing has pair of first-floor square-headed mullioned stone windows with 2
hollow-chamfered 4-centred arched lights, returned hoodmoulds with carved square
stops and relieving arches. Ground-floor stone window to right with 3 hollow-
chamfered 4-centred arched lights, hoodmould with carved square stops and elliptical
relieving arch. C19 diamond-leaded panes. C16 stilted 4-centred arched entrance to
left with Pevsner type-A jambs (moulded capitals to the main shafts and continuous
mouldings between), 2 outer hollow mouldings and hoodmould with carved square stops
(carved shield to left-hand stop). Interior of porch with quarry-tiled floor and
plastered walls. Late C19 Tudor Gothic style door within porch. Carved slate coat
of arms (probably the Wollocombe family) set in square recess in apex of front gable
of wing has hoodmould with carved square stops. Ground-floor pierced quatrefoil
opening in left-hand side of porch too. One-storey wing projecting to front of
right-hand end has a pair of small-paned 2-light wooden casements in the left-hand
side, the left-hand one probably an insertion and the right-hand one replacing a
doorway (see straight joints below). Doorway to right with C20 door and dressed
stone segmental-arched head. Straight joints in gable end to front suggest some
later rebuiling. The left-hand gable end of the main range has a ground-floor c.1900
doorway with plank door and bullnose brick reveals and segmental head, and first-
floor late C19 plank door, pegged wooden frame and dressed stone segmental head,
approached by flight of external stone steps with slate treads. The right-hand gable
end of the main range has a vertical straight joint to the left, suggesting the front
wall of the right-hand end of the house was rebuilt when the front service wing was
added, and straight joints flanking the integral stack, suggesting the eaves have
been raised at this end of the house too. Rear asymmetrically fenestrated, mostly
late C19 wooden casements but also 9 pair of first-floor c.1900 plate-glass sashes.
Gateway in front garden wall has 2 late C17 square piers with cavetto-moulded
plinths, scrolled carvings to the front corner of the base of each pier, and
pyramidal caps. Pair of late C19 wrought-iron gates.
Interior: Probably C17 hall fireplace with ovolo-moulded stone jambs, herringbone
stonework at rear and bread oven with cast-iron door. Huge early C17 plaster
overmantel consisting of the arms of the Wollocombe family set in a strapwork
cartouche with 2 figures and 2 fronds below. Overmantel probably lowered when first
floor was inserted, and fireplace probably reduced in height at the same time (no
wooden lintel apparent at time of survey - January 1988). Tall narrow chamber to
left of fireplace with plastered walls, ventilated by pierced quatrefoil in the front
wall and with plank door. Circa 1900 wooden gallery at the lower (right-hand) end of
hall with chamfered beam supported on 2 chamfered square posts, and wooden balustrade
Circa 1900 dado rail, and c.1900 plastered walls and ceiling. Left-hand ground-floor
room has a C17 ovolo-moulded dressed-stone segmental-arched fireplace (partly
collapsed at time of survey) with dressed stone relieving arch. Fireplace formerly
higher but floor raised in the late C19. Old (probably C18) carved square hoodmould
stop discovered in fireplace during restoration at time of survey, with raised
lettering: "R/17". Small chamber to left of fireplace with plank door. C19 floor
joists and wooden slips visible in C19 rear wall (unplastered at time of survey).
Plain joists spanning passage at lower end of hall. Two doors from passage to lower
end rooms, one to pantry in room adjoining porch and plank door with beaded wooden
frame into right-hand end room (latterly kitchen). Former kitchen has chamfered cross
beam and half beam to right with runout bar stops, and plain joists. Open fireplace
to right with plain jambs, cut-back wooden lintel and cloam oven with C19 cast-iron
door. Pantry with quarry tile floor. First-floor room over passage and gallery has
large scantling ceiling joists. First-floor left-hand end room (approached
externally) has a section of late C15 or early C16 moulded wall plate along the rear
wall. Further evidence of former c.1500 roof over this room includes the blocked
closely-spaced sockets for the feet of former trusses above the wall-plate level in
the front and rear walls, and the shadow line of a former arched-braced (or cruck)
truss on the masonry wall between the end room and the hall. Curious first-floor
passage between hall stack and front wall, leading to a small chamber over the hall
window, possibly created after a later refacing of the front of the house. The
chamber is floored by large old boards. Wooden lintel in wall at right-hand end of
passage, possibly formerly a doorway leading into the porch.
Roof: Mostly rebuilt in the late C19 or c.1900 with machine-sawn tie-beam trusses.
One C16 or early C17 unblackened truss remains against the upper (left-hand) side of
the full-height masonry wall between the passage and the lower-end room. Truss
consists of straight principals with sockets for former threaded purlins and a curved
mortice and tenoned collar. Blocked former attic or second-floor window in rear wall
of hall-section, with splayed jambs.
Coombe Barton was formerly the Wollacombe family home.
Sources: N. Pevsner, Buildings of England. North Devon (1952), p.78

Listing NGR: SS5673417983

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