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Latitude: 50.7175 / 50°43'2"N
Longitude: -3.9042 / 3°54'15"W
OS Eastings: 265666
OS Northings: 92598
OS Grid: SX656925
Mapcode National: GBR Q7.94V2
Mapcode Global: FRA 27Q5.SXY
Entry Name: West Week Farmhouse
Listing Date: 20 February 1952
Last Amended: 20 February 1967
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1106061
English Heritage Legacy ID: 94967
Location: South Tawton, West Devon, Devon, EX20
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 SE SOUTH TAWTON
4/173 West Week Farmhouse
Farmhouse, former Dartmoor longhouse. Early C16 with major later C16 and C17
improvements, one of them associated with a datestone of 1585, shippon renovated in
the early C20, the rest modernised in 1986. Granite stone rubble, parts are coursed
blocks of granite ashlar, rear is plastered and shippon end has cob wall tops;
granite stacks with granite ashlar chimneyshafts; slate roof (formerly thatch) and
corrugated iron roof to shippon.
Plan and development: the house is built down a gentle hillslope and faces east-
north-east, say east. The main block has a 4-room-and-through-passage longhouse
plan. Uphill at the right (northern) end is an inner room parlour with a gable-end
stack and formerly had a winder stair alongside the stack to rear. A kitchen wing
projects at right angles to rear. It has a gable-end stack and the chamber over
formerly shared the stair from the parlour. The hall has a front projecting lateral
stack with projecting window bay alongside. Wide passage now contains C20 stair.
Front 2-storey porch, the upper room with a garderobe. Small unheated dairy below
the passage. Downhill at the left (southern) end is the shippon. It was enlarged in
the C18 or C19 with a wing projecting at right angles to rear. This whole shippon
section was thoroughly refurbished and converted to a milking parlour in the early
Interpretation of the historic development of this house is difficult. The early
C16 house was basically the main block; it was open to the roof, divided by low
partitions and heated by an open hearth fire. By the mid C17 the house had been
transformed essentially to what it is today; that is to say, the kitchen wing,
porch and fireplaces had been added and all the rooms were floored. Nevertheless
dating the building phases involved here is very problematic. For instance the
insertion of the hall fireplace appears to be contemporary with the building of the
hall bay, itself associated with the flooring of the hall. These processes are
usually separated by several decades. There is however dating evidence in the
carved initials of William and Jane Battishill; he died in 1615. (The same
initials appear on the porch). The inner room parlour end has a datestone of 1585.
this is very late for the initial flooring of the inner room but could date its
rebuilding, and possible enlargement to the present parlour with heated chamber
over. The kitchen block could be a late C16 addition but is considered more likely
to be early or mid C17 in date. The shippon was thoroughly refurbished in the early
C20 and all of it is open to the roof. The house is 2 storeys.
Exterior: overall irregular 2:1:1:2 - window front. The 2-window section left of
the porch is of C20 casements with glazing bars. There is a C20 cow door and a
blocked third first floor opening was probably a hayloft loading hatch. The 3 first
floor windows right of the porch are all C20 casements with glazing bars although
the centre one is flanked by labels carved with fourleaf motifs. The 1585 date
plaque is set high in the wall at the right end. Inner room has a late C16 4-light
granite-mullioned window with king mullion. Hall has a larger 3-light version and
hoodmould with the labels inscribed and IB (the same over the 2-light porch window
but here in reverse). Some of the late C16 mullions are replaced and all contain
C20 diamond panes of leaded glass. Gabled porch has round-headed outer arch with
chamfered surround. On the left side the garderobe shaft projects. On the right
side a blocked ground floor window and tiny slit to first floor. Passage doorway
contains a C20 door. Both porch and right end gable have shaped kneelers and coping.
Rear has C20 casements with glazing bars and to rear of hall a C20 rebuilt granite-
mullioned window. Kitchen window has granite hoodmould and labels carved IB.
Passage rear doorway contains C20 door.
Interior: inside the back door are deep slots for a draw-bar. Small oak Tudor arch
from passage to service end dairy. Hall has a large granite ashlar fireplace and a
4-panel intersecting beam ceiling of moulded beams. Parlour has a granite ashlar fireplace (smaller version in the chamber above) and soffit-chamfered crossbeam with
step stops. Each of the main block room-sections, that is to say passage and dairy,
hall and parlour have a different roof. The 2-bay section over passage and dairy is
the earliest and carried on a face-pegged jointed cruck with cambered collar and
small triangular yoke (Alcock's apex type L1). It is probably early C16. It is now
open to the apex over the stair but it looks smoke-blackened from the original open
hearth fire. A clean mid or late C16 side-pegged jointed cruck over the passage
hall partition was filled with oak close-studding in the late C16-early C17.
Unusually wide roof bay over the hall propped by an intermediate truss in the late
C19-early C20. The 2-bay roof over the parlour is carried on a clean face-pegged
jointed cruck truss, unusual for the late C16. The kitchen has a large unstopped
soffit-chamfered and step-stopped oak lintel; it has an oven. 3-bay roof of
uncollared true cruck trusses. Here dating is difficult. The roof trusses and
crossbeam are of indeterminate date. The fireplace is late C16 or C17 but the first
floor doorway from the former parlour stairs could be early C16; an oak round-
headed arch. Since this room is said to have a small window connecting through to
the principal bed chamber and has a cupboard in the wall which could be interpreted
as an aumbry Lega-Weekes suggests this upper room was a domestic chapel or oratory.
If so it must be pre-Reformation.
Despite the problems of dating and interpretation West Week is an important and
attractive Dartmoor farmhouse. The farmhouse, along with its granite walls and
gateway (q.v.), granite crosses (q.v.), and farmbuildings form an exceptional group
in a particularly good Dartmoor setting with open moorland behind. It is mentioned
in Domesday as part of the manor of Whicha or Week. In 1550 it was sold by the
Wykes to the Battishill Family.
Source, Devon SMR. E. Lega-Weekes. Neighbours of North Wyke Part 1, Trans. Devon
Assoc 33 (1901) pp 446 - 447.
Listing NGR: SX6566692598
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