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Briar Cottage

A Grade II Listed Building in Silverton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8173 / 50°49'2"N

Longitude: -3.4853 / 3°29'7"W

OS Eastings: 295461

OS Northings: 103023

OS Grid: SS954030

Mapcode National: GBR LJ.XT09

Mapcode Global: FRA 36LY.207

Plus Code: 9C2RRG87+WV

Entry Name: Briar Cottage

Listing Date: 11 June 1986

Last Amended: 22 February 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1169265

English Heritage Legacy ID: 95452

Location: Silverton, Mid Devon, Devon, EX5

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Silverton

Built-Up Area: Silverton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Silverton St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Briar Cottage, dating from the late C17, and formerly two units, with the western part probably being the earlier.


Cottage, dating from the late C17, formerly two, with the western part probably being the earlier. There is a large extension of circa 1905, now a separate dwelling, which is not of special interest.*

MATERIALS: cob, rough-cast rendered and painted. The roof is thatched, and there are brick stacks. The windows have timber mullions with leaded lights, with fixed and casement sections, some retaining historic glass.

PLAN: Briar Cottage is L-shaped. It is thought that the former western cottage is the earlier part: this is L-shaped, running alongside the road, with a short projection to the north-east; the cottage possibly originally had a lobby-entry plan, with a central stack, and an entrance to the west. The former eastern cottage is rectangular on plan, extending eastwards in line with the north-east projection of the western cottage. The principal entrance to Briar Cottage is now in the south-facing elevation, towards the garden.

EXTERIOR: Briar Cottage is of two storeys. The south-facing, principal elevation has a central doorway, with modern glazed doors protected by a thatched porch; this is flanked by three-light windows with timber mullions and 10 leaded panes to each light, with similar windows above. A C20 glazed porch* stands in the angle between the southern and eastern sections, with modern glazed doors in the north wall giving access to the dining room, and a modern arched opening giving access to the kitchen to the west. Above is a two-light window. In the south face of the southern projection is a three-light window; in 1987 there was a door in this position, and it is thought that this wall, which is relatively thin, may have been re-built. There is a two-light casement to the first floor. The western, street elevation of the cottage has similar windows, irregularly placed: there is a three-light window on the ground floor to the north with a two-light window above, and another two-light ground-floor window to the south – possibly originally a door; to the south, at a high level, is a small three-light window. The western part of the north elevation is obscured by Huntley Lodge; the eastern part has a ground-floor window to the east, and two small horizontal windows beneath the eaves, the one to the west dating from the circa 1987 works. Within Huntley Lodge at first-floor level is a small casement window, which formerly lit the north-east corner of the original western cottage.

INTERIOR: the ground-floor of Briar Cottage has three main rooms. To the west, in the original western cottage, the kitchen is to the south; the chimney opening of the central stack to the north wall has been filled. To the west of this is the entrance to the dining room, possibly representing the original lobby, with a window – possibly originally the doorway – to the west. Running through the dining room is an axial beam with waney edges. In this room the fireplace has been blocked, but retains its timber bressumer. The window embrasure to the west has late-C18 or early-C19 panelling, with recessed panels and a window seat. In the living room to the north are two transverse beams; these have scroll-stop chamfers, which are thought to have been enhanced during the circa 1987 works. The joists are chamfered, and numbered in the eastern bay; these details are thought also thought to have been enhanced. The fireplace in this room was re-opened circa 1987, exposing the original timber bressumer. At the east end of the room is a small segmental-arched chimney opening, probably dating from the C18; this has been blocked. Rising from the room to the north is a timber stair, with chamfered detailing, installed circa 1987. The first floor of Briar Cottage, originally three rooms on the same plan as the ground floor, received a number of divisions circa 1987, and most of the joinery and fittings are of that date. In the easternmost bedroom, the chimney has been filled, but a small cupboard recess remains in the south-east corner. The roof over the original western cottage retains its timber trusses, the principal rafters crossed and pegged at the apex, with ridge piece, collars and purlins; there has been some replacement of timbers, but the roof is largely intact. The cob chimney rises through the centre of the roof space.

*Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act of 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.


The house currently known as Briar Cottage is thought to date from the late C17. The tithe map of circa 1840 shows the current cottage as two distinct units, with a further two units attached immediately to the east, and another extending to the north along the east side of the road. At the time of the survey made for the 1889 Ordnance Survey map, the configuration of the site was similar, with the northern unit having been divided in two. By the time of the survey made for the OS map published in 1905, the two easternmost units had been demolished, as had the northern section, with the area to the north remaining as a garden. It is thought that it was shortly after this, and perhaps in 1905, that a large extension seen today was built to the north. In 1987 or shortly afterwards the two main sections of the building were separated into two separate dwellings, with extensive internal work taking place to both parts; the later section was given the name Huntley Lodge.

Reasons for Listing

Briar Cottage, dating from the late C17, and formerly two units, with the western part probably being the earlier, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historical: as a cottage, developed from two smaller dwellings, originating in the C17 and preserving substantial fabric of that date;
* Survival: surviving essentially intact externally, the building also retains a number of internal features including an intact roof structure, and beams, some chamfered, and enhanced in the 1980s.

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