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Berrator Farmhouse

A Grade II* Listed Building in Buckland Monachorum, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4986 / 50°29'54"N

Longitude: -4.1483 / 4°8'54"W

OS Eastings: 247730

OS Northings: 68732

OS Grid: SX477687

Mapcode National: GBR NW.KVPN

Mapcode Global: FRA 276R.1P4

Plus Code: 9C2QFVX2+CM

Entry Name: Berrator Farmhouse

Listing Date: 21 March 1967

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1105485

English Heritage Legacy ID: 92617

Location: Buckland Monachorum, West Devon, Devon, PL20

County: Devon

District: West Devon

Civil Parish: Buckland Monachorum

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Tagged with: Farmhouse

Find accommodation in
Buckland Monachorum


SX 46 NE
3/27 Berrator Farmhouse
- II*

Farmhouse. Later C15 with C16 alterations and C17 addition, modernised in C20.
Rubble walls. Gable ended asbestos slate roof. Rubble lateral stack at front which
has been truncated above the eaves. Tall rubble axial stack to rear wing and
similar stack at its gable end.
Original plan not entirely clear and incorporates several unusual features. There
were apparently only 2 rooms in the original house, divided by a passage. At this
date the house would have been open to the roof timbers at least over the hall
(which is to the left) probably with a central open hearth fire. The function of
the room to the right is debatable but several of its features are suggestive. It
has always been unheated and has an original front external doorway of a similar
type to that at the front of the passage but it is noticeably wider. The other
noteable feature of this room is its massive rough cross beams. These features
suggest an inferior function and the independent external access and very heavy
rough beams are indicative of a shippon although there is no direct evidence. A
complicating factor is the granite arched doorway in the gable end of this room, an
unusual but not unknown feature for a longhouse, although the different style of
this doorway suggests that it may be later, if not re-used. The beams over the
lower room are probably original, to carry a hay loft, and would have been on a
similar level to the screen at the lower end of the passage. The ceiling over the
hall was probably inserted in the C16 and is considerably higher, no doubt to fit
over the tall hall window. A newel stair was added at the rear of the passage and a
fireplace was inserted at the front of the hall. In the C17 a wing was added at the
rear of the hall consisting of 2 heated rooms, the first one with an axial stack and
the next with a gable end stack. This slightly unusual arrangement was presumably
to compensate for the lack of accommodation in the original house, particularly if
half of it were a shippon. Probably in the C19 or early C20 the hall was divided
longitudinally into 2 rooms to create a dairy at the rear. At some stage the screen
was removed from the lower side of the passage and replaced by a later partition,
there is no evidence of a screen at the upper side of the passage but a low one
could easily have been removed without trace as the inserted ceiling is so high.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 4-window front. First floor windows are all
circa early C19 12-pane hornless sashes except for the right hand one which is a
small single light C20 casement. To the left on the ground floor is a tall 2-light
granite mullioned and transomed C15 window of a high quality. It has cinquefoiled
lights, recessed spandrels and a square hoodmould, in a moulded surround. By its
height and position it appears intended to light an open hall. A window of this
quality is unusual in a relatively small house and it has been suggested that it
comes from Buckland Abbey but it appears to be insitu and the survival of a similar
smaller window on the rear wall supports the evidence for it being original to the
house. Furthermore the 2 shouldered-head chamfered wooden doorframes to the left
and right of centre on the front wall are of a style contemporary with the window.
The left hand doorway leads to the passage and its heavy oak-studded door with
fleur-de-lys hinges, if not original, is certainly early. In front is a C19 open-
fronted gabled porch incorporating a stone seat on the left-hand side. The doorway
to the right is significantly wide with a C19 stable-type door. To its right is a
possible blocked ventilation slit. To its left is a C20 3-light casement with small
panes. Both window and doorway are under a slate pentice roof supported on heavy
timber cantilevers with chamfered and rounded ends which may be C17. At the right-
hand end is a C20 French window. Attached to the right gable end is a lower
outbuilding, probably C19, which conceals a blocked granite 4-centred chamfered
arched doorway in the gable end of the house. The left-hand gable wall of the house
was rebuilt earlier in the C20 due to damage; it is built partly into the hillside
with a road immediately adjoining and the house is positioned down a noticeable
slope. At the rear of the left-hand end is a long C17 wing which partially conceals
the stair projection at the rear of the passage. On the inner face of the wing to
the left is a 4-centred arched granite doorway behind a part glazed C20 porch.
Interior retains features from several periods. The massive rough closely-spaced
beams in the right-hand lower end room are probably the earliest feature, one is
forked at the front. The passage and rear lobby leading to the wing has a
considerably higher beamed ceiling with substantial chamfered cross beams and joists
also chamfered and step-stopped. At the lower side of the passage is a lower beam
with mortices for the removed plank and muntin partition. A dairy has been formed
by later partitions in the rear of the hall and in its rear wall is a partially
blocked 2-light wooden mullioned window with cinquefoiled heads. The fireplace in
the hall has been blocked but the large open hearth is likely to survive behind.
The stone newel stairs at the rear of the passage have a worn wooden shouldered-head
doorframe at the bottom. Leading to the rear wing is a segmental headed chamfered
granite doorframe with crude stops. The inner room of the wing has 3 fairly
insubstantial chamfered cross beams with traces of hollow step stops. The axial
fireplace has 2 ovens but has had its lintel replaced. Its left-hand granite jamb
also functions as jamb for the adjoining segmental headed doorway which is chamfered
with ogee stops. The roof structure appears to be entirely C20.
This house preserves a number of good features from several periods although the
earlier ones are of most interest, particularly the hall window, as features of this
date and quality are unusual in farmhouses in West Devon. Equally interesting is
the unusual plan form - originally only of 2 rooms, one quite possibly a shippon -
for which the features are of a surprisingly high quality. If the lower room were
a shippon it is interesting that for such an early house this was not a 'true'
longhouse with shared access for humans and animals, but a developed form with
separate access for each - this is probably a reflection of its high status.

Listing NGR: SX4773068732

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