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Latitude: 50.6457 / 50°38'44"N
Longitude: -3.8447 / 3°50'41"W
OS Eastings: 269669
OS Northings: 84508
OS Grid: SX696845
Mapcode National: GBR QC.0N2W
Mapcode Global: FRA 27TC.KZ9
Entry Name: Lower Jurston Farmhouse Including Garden Walls to South
Listing Date: 22 February 1967
Last Amended: 16 September 1987
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1166337
English Heritage Legacy ID: 94584
Location: Chagford, West Devon, Devon, TQ13
District: West Devon
Civil Parish: Chagford
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Chagford St Michael
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SX 68 SE CHAGFORD
5/53 Lower Jurston Farmhouse
22.2.67 including garden walls to south
Farmhouse, former Dartmoor longhouse. Probably late C15-early C16 with major C16 and
C17 improvements; the last major modernisation was late C19. Main block has granite
ashlar walls of massive coursed blocks, some granite stone rubble patching and some
cob on wall tops, whitewashed on front only; granite stacks, both with their
original granite ashlar chimney shafts; thatch roof. Kitchen block of granite stone
rubble and cob; granite stack topped with C19 brick; slate roof.
Plan and development: main block is longer than usual, is built down a gentle slope,
and faces south-south-east, say south. It has a 4-room-and-through-passage plan with
the inner room terraced into the hillside on the left (western) end. There is an
unheated dairy between the inner room and hall and the long storeroom below the
passage was obviously built originally as a shippon on the downhill right end.
Although the structure appears to be largely C15-C17 most of it is now hidden by C19
plaster and therefore it is not possible to establish the precise development of the
house. However just enough is accessible to suggest that the house begun as a Devon
longhouse with the open hall then heated by an open hearth fire. Through the C16 and
C17 it was progressively floored providing first floor chambers, it was enlarged and
the fireplaces were inserted. The present dairy probably occupies the original inner
room but, probably in the late C16-early C17, the house extended that end to provide
a new inner room parlour with end stack and a newel stair alongside. The hall has an
axial stack backing onto the passage and a newel stair in a turret projecting to
rear. A probable mid-late C17 kitchen block with end stack projects at right angles
to rear and blocks the rear end of the passage. Now 2 storeys throughout.
Exterior: irregular 5-window front of C20 casements without glazing bars. The
original front passage doorway is right of centre and now contains a late C19 plank
door with contemporary gabled hood, now corrugated iron. Alongside to right part of
the blocked cow door shows. Probably in the late C19 a secondary doorway was
inserted to the inner room parlour and given a gabled slate roofed porch. On this
side plaster and whitewash hide evidence of earlier fenestration but here and there
the ashlar blocks show through. Only right at the left end can part of a small
blocked window can be seen. The roof is gable-ended to left and half-hipped to
right. On the right end the granite ashlar is exposed and is clearly the end of a
shippon. There is the central disused drain hole, a small slit window directly above
and a first floor hayloft loading hatch. The rear too is of exposed stone and has
few windows. The kitchen block and its woodstore hide the rear of hall and passage
and contain C20 windows. To left of this the shippon has its ashlar walls exposed
and intact containing 3 small C19 windows with internal shutters (possibly enlarging
original slit windows). To right of the kitchen block the ashlar dies out behind the
inner room parlour which includes a C19 half dormer containing a 12-pane sash. There
are 2 doorways inserted into this section, 1 containing a C19 door, the other
blocked. A small window to the chamber over the dairy is boarded over but appears to
include an old oak frame. The parlour end wall is also ashlar and this shows a
blocked stair window.
Good interior of a house obviously with a long and complex structural history even
though much of the historic fabric is hidden behind the C19 and maybe earlier plaster
of superficial modernisations. The evidence for its late medieval origins
principally lies in the roof but only the shippon-end roof is accessible at present.
Here there is a hip cruck and 2 (probably raised) true cruck trusses. Both these
have cranked collars but their apex forms are different; the lower one with a
mortice-and-tenon joint (Alcock's type E), the upper one yoked carrying a diagonal
ridge (Alcock's type L1). The latter at least probably dates from the first half of
the C16. The rafters are slightly blackened but not enough so to prove
smokeblackening. The truss over the hall and the now-closed truss at the upper end
are also true crucks with cambered collars. They are suspected to be original but
the apex types and evidence of smoke-blackening from the open hearth fire is hidden
in the roofspace. The closed truss over the upper end of the dairy and the truss
over the parlour have straight principals from presumably C17 A-frame trusses and
reinforce the idea that this end is an extension.
In the shippon end the former hayloft is carried on 3 crossbeams, all of them soffit-
chamfered but all finished differently; the 1 nearest the passage has step stops,
the middle 1 has no stops and the end 1 has straight cut stops. There is no sign of
an early passage-shippon partition. Between half and two thirds has a flimsy C18 or
C19 planked screen, the rest is open. In the hall the fireplace has a granite lintel
and hollow-chamfered surround. It was probably inserted in the late C16 or early
C17. At the upper end there is evidence of an internal jetty indicating that the
hall was the last room to be floored. The main beam is boxed in but a half beam
against the chimney block is early C17; it is ovolo-moulded with scroll stops. No
carpentry detail is exposed in the dairy or parlour and the fireplaces in the parlour
and chamber above are blocked. In the kitchen there is a plain chamfered axial beam
and the fireplace lintel is obscured. The roof here was not inspected.
A narrow strip of garden along the front of the house is enclosed by low rubble
walls, probably late C19 in date.
This is an extremely important house; a late medieval Dartmoor longhouse with a
classic plan development, that is to say a kitchen block added to rear and a parlour
separated from the hall by a dairy.
Jurston was a medieval estate first mentioned in 1242 and known as Jordaneston or
Jesson in the C13. In the medieval period it was occupied by the Prouz family.
Source. Devon SMR.
Listing NGR: SX6966984508
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