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Latitude: 50.7489 / 50°44'56"N
Longitude: -3.8602 / 3°51'36"W
OS Eastings: 268862
OS Northings: 96016
OS Grid: SX688960
Mapcode National: GBR Q9.M446
Mapcode Global: FRA 27S3.KXM
Entry Name: Powlesland Farmhouse
Listing Date: 4 March 1988
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1106059
English Heritage Legacy ID: 94961
Location: South Tawton, West Devon, Devon, EX17
District: West Devon
Civil Parish: South Tawton
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: South Tawton St Andrew
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SX 69 NE SOUTH TAWTON
1/167 Powlesland Farmhouse
Farmhouse, former Dartmoor longhouse-type. Early C16 with major later C16 and C17
modernisations. Plastered cob on stone rubble footings; granite stacks, the hall
one with a tall granite ashlar chimneystack, the hall one with a tall granite ashlar
chimneyshaft; thatch roof, shippon/stable end replaced with corrugated iron.
Plan and development: T-plan house. The main block faces south-east and is built
down a very gentle hillslope. It has a 3-room-and-through-passage plan. Uphill at
the right (north-eastern) end is an inner room parlour with a disused gable-end
stack and mid C17 stair rising to rear. The hall has a front lateral stack. It
projects forward from the passage and shippon section but the hall window and inner
room are brought forward flush with the front of the stack. There was once a winder
stair rising from the hall, to rear lower end. The passage is now blocked to rear
by C20 stairs. Shippon end still in agricultural use and has hayloft over. Unheated
dairy block projecting at right angles to rear of hall and inner room with integral
outshot on hall side.
The roof shows that the early C16 house was open to the roof, divided by low
partitions (at least to the passage), and heated by an open hearth fire. Maybe the
inner room was floored from the beginning. If not it was in the mid C16. The hall
fireplace was inserted in the mid or late C16 and about the same time a passage
chamber was built jettying into the lower end of the hall. In the mid C17, maybe in
more than one of the closely-spaced building phases, the house was thoroughly
refurbished. Hall and inner room front was thrown out a short distance, the hall
floored over, the inner room stair built and the dairy block with its outshot added.
Henceforth the hall was the kitchen, the inner room the parlour. (Present kitchen in
dairy). Shippon (latterly stables) reroofed in late C17 - early C18. House only
superficially altered since then. It is 2 storeys with C20 outshot on right end.
Exterior: house part has regular but far from symmetrical 3-window front of C20
casements with glazing bars, those on the first floor are gabled half dormers.
Passage front doorway left of this section and left of centre overall now contains a
C20 door behind a contemporary gabled porch. The stable section to left has 2
doorways with a small window between and a hayloft loading hatch over the left
doorway. Roof is gable-ended.
Good interior: on the lower (shippon/stables) side of the passage a soffit-
Chamfered and step-stopped beam is half-buried in the crosswall. The hall-passage
partition is late C16; an oak plank-and-muntin screen with raking step stops. At
the same time the passage chamber was jettied into the hall with an oak close-
studded first floor crosswall. The large hall fireplace is granite ashlar with a
hollow-chamfered surround. There is a tiny fire window in the left side, now to the
bay window. The upper end cob crosswall includes a cream oven above an ancient oak
bench. The mid C17 axial beam is soffit-chamfered with exaggerated scroll stops.
Mid C17 oak doorframe from hall to inner room parlour is ovolo-moulded with bar-roll
stops. Inner room fireplace is blocked and ceiling of plain joists. Mid C17
straight flight stair hidden from the room by an oak plank-and-muntin screen, its
muntins ovolo-moulded with bar-roll stops (same surround to doorways off its
landing). Doorway to dairy from rear of hall and C17 crank-headed doorframe from
dairy to outshot. Several old plank doors throughout the house, two of the earliest
held together by projecting oak pegs. The stable/shippon has a plain soffit-
chamfered crossbeam, probably late C17-early C18 and the same date as the A-frame
roof with pegged lapped-jointed collar over the hayloft. Original roof over passage
and hall carried on large side-pegged jointed cruck trusses with cambered collars,
and this section is smoke-blackened from the original open hearth fire. Roof over
inner room parlour inaccessible. Roof over dairy carried on a side-pegged jointed
Powlesland is an attractive late medieval farmhouse with good C16 and C17 features.
Lega-Weekes recorded the mouldings from some of the C17 oak-mullioned windows before
their removal and sketched a shoulder-headed oak doorframe here. It is still
occupied by the Powlesland family.
Source: E Lega-Weekes. Neighbours of North Wyke, Part II, Trans. Devon. Assoc. 34
(1902), illustrations facing pages 599 and 647.
Listing NGR: SX6886296016
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