History in Structure

Dunsmore Farmhouse

A Grade II* Listed Building in Silverton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8029 / 50°48'10"N

Longitude: -3.4827 / 3°28'57"W

OS Eastings: 295616

OS Northings: 101424

OS Grid: SS956014

Mapcode National: GBR LJ.YMJ7

Mapcode Global: FRA 36LZ.30Y

Plus Code: 9C2RRG38+5W

Entry Name: Dunsmore Farmhouse

Listing Date: 5 April 1966

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1169093

English Heritage Legacy ID: 95397

ID on this website: 101169093

Location: Mid Devon, EX5

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon

Civil Parish: Silverton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Silverton St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Farmhouse

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SS 90 SE
- Dunsmore Farmhouse
Farmhouse. Early C16 with later alterations and extensions, notably of the late
C16/early-Cl7. Stone, plastered, under gabled-end slate roofs. The original plan
has been so altered that it is difficult to reconstruct. The most likely building
sequence is as follows: (1) a conventional medieval 3-room, through-passage plan, the
higher end to the left of the passage, the service-end has been demolished; the
medieval hall roof (smoke-blackened and of jointed cruck construction) remained open
until well into the C20 when a false ceiling was inserted to form the present ground-
floor living room. The through-passage survives, its lower end wall now forming the
present end wall; the lower end roof truss now abuts the gable wall, and carries
purlins that evidently extended beyond into another bay, but which have been sawn
off. (2) a late-C16/early-Cl7 rebuilding or higher end extension in the form of 2
cross-wings, 1 (wing A) extending to the rear, the other (wing B) projecting forward,
and containing the principal rooms. An external front lateral stack, separately
gabled, heats the medieval hall; external lateral stacks heat both wings A and B, and
an internal end stack heats the rear rooms of wing B. All stacks with brick shafts.
Exterior: The old range roof-ridge is at a much lower level than the later work.
Front: hall with no first floor windows; only 1 6-light ovolo moulded window to the
left of lateral stack; entrance to through-passage at extreme right-hand side; face
of cross-wing A, to left, gabled and flush with old range and contains present front
entrance (under canopy on shaped brackets); one 3-light ovolo moulded window to all
floors; inner face of projecting cross-wing B to extreme left with one 5-light
ovolo-moulded window to ground and first floor, both with hood moulds; front of wing
B is flanked by buttresses each with 3 set-offs; 5-light ovolo-moulded window to
ground and first floor (both with hood moulds) and 3-light ovolo-moulded window to
Left-hand side elevation of cross-wing: leanto with 3-light ovolo-moulded window
above (lighting main chamber); rear elevation of cross-wing B with 1:5:1 light bay
window, C19 or C20 and one 3 and 1 single-light window above; this face is sharply
recessed at its junction with cross-wing B (possibly marking the point of a former
stair turret at the end of the earlier main range), this recessed plane with one 2-
light ground floor window, and a tiny opening above.
Outer (east) face of cross-wing A with 2, 3 and 4-light C19 casement windows; rear
end of cross-wing B, buttressed with 3-light ovolo-moulded window to first and attic
window, each with transom, the former larger and largely renewed.
Inner (west) face of cross-wing A with one 3-light ovolo-moulded window to first
floor, and a 5-light C19 casement window below.
Rear of original hall range with 1 blocked door, and a porch in the angle formed by
the wing; large 3-light window with transom, ovolo-moulded; opposed passage door.
Right-hand end with access to first floor (ie. loft, unfloored) only.
Interior: Old hall: 4 lightly smoke-blackened upper crucks (possibly jointed) with
cranked collars, 2 pairs of trenched purlins, diagonal ridge-piece and retaining some
of the original rafters. All with wooden pegs, except for the smoke-blackened
slatting that closes the truss of the upper end of the hall, which is affixed by
large iron nails. Simple chamfered jambs to fireplace (altered). A blocked
doorway, arched and chamfered gives in from the inner room perhaps a solar to the
upper part of the higher-end of the hall, and this could possibly have been the site
of a gallery, remembering that the hall never received an early first floor.
Cross-wing B (the main reception and bedrooms): (i) room occupying front of wing; the
windows have internal ovolo mouldings, that to the front (ie.north) with composite
ovolo and cavetto moulding with fillet; 4 cross beams with composite ovolo and
cavetto moulding with unusual knob-stops; fireplace with cyma reversa moulding to
stone jambs and timber lintel; back oven. (ii) the room to the rear of (i) with one
deeply-chamfered cross beam, hollow step stop with bar. The chamber above (i) is the
master bedroom, and its late-C16/early-C17 decorative scheme survives intact.
Plaster ceiling, single ribbed mesh with squares, spades and semi-circles, thistles,
roses and other floral motifs; cornice with faces and cornucopia (illustrated in
French's article cited below); panelling, 4 squares in height with an added tier of
rectangles running below the plaster cornice; fire surround with composite ovolo and
cyma-recta moulded stone jambs and wooden lintel, the jambs with elaborate bulbous
bases; chimneypiece flanked by fluted pilasters rising the full height of the room,
the overmantle with 2 panels supported by Ionic, waisted half-columns, the panels
quartered, the centre knops with dentilled borders, the whole with modillioned
cornice. Door to this chamber, and to that above room (ii) with composite surrounds
on bulbous bases, the panels treated like those on the overmantel. This smaller
chamber has its own plaster ceiling, a single ribbed unit comprising intersecting
spades, with roses but no foliage (illustrated in French's article cited below). A
third door surround, with panelled door, but more simply treated gives into another
room from the same first floor landing.
Reference: the plaster ceilings are noticed and illustrated in French's article in
Trans.Devonshire Association 89 (1957), 129, 130, 131; plates 10A and 12A.

Listing NGR: SS9561601424

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