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Latitude: 50.5131 / 50°30'47"N
Longitude: -4.0647 / 4°3'52"W
OS Eastings: 253710
OS Northings: 70177
OS Grid: SX537701
Mapcode National: GBR NZ.K5SB
Mapcode Global: FRA 27CP.Y0R
Entry Name: Church House Cottages
Listing Date: 14 June 1952
Last Amended: 28 October 1987
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1105374
English Heritage Legacy ID: 92859
Location: Walkhampton, West Devon, Devon, PL20
District: West Devon
Civil Parish: Walkhampton
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
SX 57 SW
13/127 Church House Cottages (formerly
listed as Church House)
2 cottages, originally the church house. Circa early C16, modified in 1698, altered
in late C19 and restored in later C20. Stone rubble walls, partly rendered and
colour-washed. Gable ended asbestos slate roof. 3 rendered stacks, one at each
gable end and one lateral.
Plan: Interesting variation on church house plan which can be reconstructed despite
the conversion into 2 cottages. On the ground floor it comprised a large room at
either end with a small room in between, in front of which was an entrance lobby by
which each room was reached and from which a straight flight of stairs in a
projection at the front of the building was also approached. The purpose of each
room can be deduced from their features: the left-hand room, judging from its very
large gable end fireplace with ovens was where the baking took place. The small
central room with only one small window and what appears to have been a serving
hatch into the right-hand room, is likely to have stored the ales which were then
served into the right-hand room where presumably the customers congregated and could
leave by a back door. This room had a fireplace in its gable end wall and there is
also a small fireplace on its front wall which may be later. The first floor
consisted of one large room used for meetings and probably celebrations; the
external stairs to its doorway in the right-hand gable end have been removed How
much this arrangement relates to the date plaque of 1698 - presumably refering to a
re-modelling can only be conjectured, possibly the large hearth was added to the
kitchen at this stage. Subsequently the building became an inn. In 1895 the building
ceased to be an inn and soon after it was divided into 2 cottages.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Original entrance front faces churchyard and is asymmetrical
with 4 windows and a shallow rectangular stair projection to left of centre. C20 1
and 2-light casements. The stair projection has a chamfered granite framed light.
To the right of the projection is the original granite 4-centred arched doorway with
roll moulding and recessed spandrels. Above is a date-stone of 1698 with the
initials R.S.J.W. Beneath the eaves a chamfered stone cornice extends along the
house. At the right gable end are four 2-light granite mullion windows hollow-
chamfered with segmental heads in rebate frame. At the centre is a granite 4-centre
arched doorway. This odd feature - evidently giving access to the principal 1st
floor room - is explained in a print of the Church House in 1805 by Samuel Prout.
It depicts this gable end with a lean-to roof set against it, supported on an
octagonal pillar, below which where the steps leading to the 1st floor doorway. The
print also shows a stone arched doorway leading into the churchyard and the mounting
steps on the front wall which still survive. This set-up still existed in 1867
although the "window-places" were blocked in 1842. They and the doorway were
uncovered in the early 1980's. The present entrance front has C20 stone porches to
left and right of centre with C20 irregularly placed casements. Between the porches
is a single granite framed light to the central room. The stone cornice also
extends around this side. At the right end is a lower outbuilding reputedly a
Good interior preserving many early features. The original window openings are
marked internally by stone arches above. On the ground floor are heavy cross-beams,
chamfered and resting on curved stone corbels. The kitchen has a very large
fireplace with chamfered wooden lintel and jambs of dressed granite. 2 stone ovens.
To the right of the fireplace in the end wall is a wide blocked doorway with granite
arch above. The entrance lobby at the centre has 3 granite doorways opening off it
- one with a pointed arch to the kitchen and 2 with segmental heads to the stairs
and the small store room. The stairs are a straight flight of granite with a
corbelled and stepped stone with a similar doorway at the top. In the store room a
small blocked granite-framed opening is visible in the right-hand wall which can
also be seen on the other side and was probably a serving hatch. The right-hand
room has a fireplace with chamfered granite jambs and a replaced lintel. It also
has a much smaller reconstructed fireplace on its long wall. Built into the
partition wall of this room is a large carved stone face probably a gargoyle from
the church. The original stone arched head to the rear doorway of this room
The original roof is still in situ and complete, consisting of principals with
curved feet, threaded purlins cut out to become trenched and cranked collars notched
and set into the trusses.
This building must be one of the most complete church houses in Devon with not only
numerous early features but also its plan-form still preserved and forming a good
group with the Church (q.v).
Source: Walkhampton - The story of a Parish: L. Govier
Listing NGR: SX5371070177
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