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Downes

A Grade II* Listed Building in Crediton Hamlets, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.786 / 50°47'9"N

Longitude: -3.6306 / 3°37'50"W

OS Eastings: 285151

OS Northings: 99763

OS Grid: SX851997

Mapcode National: GBR LB.ZS1G

Mapcode Global: FRA 3780.KDN

Entry Name: Downes

Listing Date: 20 May 1985

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1170140

English Heritage Legacy ID: 95165

Location: Crediton Hamlets, Mid Devon, Devon, EX17

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon

Civil Parish: Crediton Hamlets

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Crediton

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text

SX 89 NE CREDITON HAMLETS

8/64 Downes

II*

The description shall be amended to read

Country mansion. Built for Gould family circa 1692; acquired by James Buller of
Morval by marriage in 1739 and since has remained Buller home; some high quality
improvements of about that time; remodelled in 1794; service accommodation rebuilt
1854; main block altered circa 1794 and again circa 1868. Original brick faced
with Beer stone ashlar in 1794, later work in brick; slate roofs, lead roof ridges
and hips. Exterior now Palladian but basic late C17 layout remains. Originally
built as a courtyard house with main block facing south-east. Kitchen and service
rooms to rear have been demolished leaving only C19 L-shaped service accommodation
block (now estate offices) behind south west wing. All ranges are 2 storeys with
attic rooms in roofspace. Front range is flanked by single storey pavilions set
forward from house, possibly original, but more likely early C18. According to 1787
map these were attached with concave quadrant walls. Main block symmetrical with
central front door and central staircase plan; main rooms either side and principal
bed-chambers over on first floor. In 1855 main door moved to south-west side with
new porch and passage connection to original entrance hall. Service rooms and stair
to rear. Pavilion left of front was wine cellar until 1842. Right pavilion and
north-east wing contain high quality rooms furbished in late C18 and C19. Symmetrical
south-east front has main block recessed behind flanking pavilions. 7-window front
of 12-pane sashes with centre 3 articulated by slight break forward and pediment over;
central double doors have pedimented doorcase with Ionic pilasters; simple plinth;
modillion eaves cornice with parapet above and pediment containing C18 Buller arms

------------------------------------

SX 89 NE CREDITON HAMLETS

8/64 Downes

II*


Country mansion. Built for Gould family circa 1692; acquired by James Buller of
Morval by marriage in 1726 and since has remained Buller home; some high quality
improvements of about that time; remodelled in 1794; service accommodation rebuilt
1854; main block altered circa 1878 and again circa 1910. Original brick faced
with Beer stone ashlar in 1794, later work in brick; slate roofs, lead roof ridges
and hips. Exterior now Palladian but basic late C17 layout remains. Originally
built as a courtyard house with main block facing south-east. Kitchen and service
rooms to rear have been demolished leaving only C19 L-shaped service accommodation
block (now estate offices) behind south west wing. All ranges are 2 storeys with
attic rooms in roofspace. Front range is flanked by single storey pavilions set
forward from house, possibly original, but more likely early C18. According to
late C18 map these were originally detached but were connected in 1794 with concave
quadrant walls. Main block symmetrical with central front door and central
staircase plan; main rooms either side and principal bed-chambers over on first
floor. In 1794 main door moved to south-west side with new porch and passage
connection to original entrance hall. Service rooms and stair to rear. Pavilion
left of front has wine cellar. Right pavilion and north-east wing contain high
quality rooms furbished in late C18 and C19. Symmetrical south-east front has main
block recessed behind flanking pavilions. 7-window front of 12-pane sashes with
centre 3 articulated by slight break forward and pediment over; central double
doors have pedimented doorcase with Ionic pilasters; simple plinth; modillion
eaves cornice with parapet above and pediment containing C19 Buller arms. Roof
hipped each side. From each end a quadrant wall approx. two-thirds the height of
the main block, breaks forward, first square with plain forward pilaster, then
concave to meet the corners of the pavilions. These have plinth, plain cornice and
parapet. Each front of 3, high, round-headed windows containing 12-pane sashes
under fixed single pane half-round heads, the centre bay broken forward slightly.
The quadrant wall to right includes a large triple-sash window. Roof of each block
is hipped each side and 2 flat-headed dormers to left contain 3-light casements
with glazing bars. On south-west side 6-windows front is recessed between service
block and south pavilion. Main front of 1878 brick, but set in front of it, a
single storey asymmetrical flat roofed ashlar fronted range with off-centre portico
porch, to right of which is a 3-window extension meeting the pavilion as an
extruded corner and closing with the service wing as an open collonaded screen of
Beer stone, the whole sharing frieze, modillion cornice and parapet. It was
probably built in 1910. Porch projects from left side of extension and contains six
fielded panel door with overlight of decorative glazing divided by cast iron
glazing bars of continuous nut shell pattern. Door flanked by paired Ionic
pilasters with open pediment over containing cartouche with Buller arms. Large
wrought iron footscraper either side of porch. The extension to right has two 12-
pane sashes with applied Ionic pilaster between and pairs each end. Pilasters are
not applied to projecting single bay at right end but entablature is carried round.
To left of porch 2-bay screen of 3 Ionic columns in antis continues line of the
extension to meet the service block. Painted brick main block behind contains 4-
pane sashes with segmental heads; those 2 first floor at right end are blind.
Eaves on shaped brackets. Eaves on shaped brackets. Roof is hipped to front and
gabled to rear and includes 4 flat roofed dormers. 3 with 3-light casements with
glazing bars and a fourth double window dormer. The 4-window north east elevation
of main block is 1794 work partly restored in 1910; Beer stone ashlar on moulded
plinth of volcanic ashlar. The 3 ground floor windows to right, (18-pane sashes)
project in the form of a segmental bay.
Interior has features of all periods but most notable are those of circa 1692 and
circa 1726. The front entrance hall was adapted in late C19 or early C20 and has
bolection-moulded oak panelling with box cornice. The same date is 2-arched screen
with door left to 1794 entrance hall was apparently placed across the foot of a
grand early C18 stair. The screen is made up of early C18 joinery including
panelled pilasters with carved ascanthus brackets under forward breaks in the
cornice. The arches have carved female heads at each apex. There are dog-gates at
the bottom of the stairs; their tops swept down to the middle and slender moulded
bars forming a grille in the centre panel of each. The stair rises in 3 flights
around a large open well; moulded flat handrail, ornate twisted balusters, open
string with elaborately carved ascanthus brackets; plastered soffit with ribbed
rectangular panels. The stair is lit by a big round-headed sash window; its large
panes contain geometric leaded glass in the centre surrounded by leaded fragments
of C17 and C18 French stained glass. Above a fine ornamental plasterwork ceiling
comprising a central double rib roundel enriched with high relief plants, fruits
and flowers surrounded by panels containing wreaths, garlands, and grotesque
scrolls and a coved cornice includes armorial bearings in cartouches and floral
swags. The arms of James Buller I and his first wife Elizabeth Gould date the
plasterwork and probably the stairs to the early C18. The screen, stair and
plasterwork are paralleled at Bellair, Topsham Road, Exeter. Front entrance hall
was enlarged in C19 by removal of partition to right room which otherwise preserves
bolection-moulded chimney piece and panelling. Room to left of hall has early C17
small-field oak panelling and a contemporary ornate carved oak chimneypiece
inscribed MD TD (Margaret and Thomas Dunscombe) and the date 1604. It is supposed
to have been brought from Higher Dunscombe (q.v.) Moulded plaster ceiling comprises
central roundel with panels around defined by bolection-moulded ribs, and the
chamber above has a similar ceiling. The right front chamber is lined with
bolection panelling with an original painted panel in the overmantel depicting an
Old Testament scene of royal feasting and dancing.
The north-east wing has C18 white marble rococco chimney pieces with shells and
festoons in the ground floor boudoir and chamber above. The first floor sash
windows overlooking the courtyard have lower panels of late C19 thick translucent
leaded glass in geometric patterns. Most of the rest refurbished in C19 and ground
floor ballroom and right pavilion have Tudor-style ceilings of that date, the
latter with contemporary carved Yorkstone fireplace and chimney piece. Fittings
in the service (south-west) include C19 service bells, each with an individual tone
and ceramic labels.


Listing NGR: SX8515199763

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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