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The Drewe Arms Including Curved Wall Adjoining at North West

A Grade II* Listed Building in Broadhembury, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8354 / 50°50'7"N

Longitude: -3.2779 / 3°16'40"W

OS Eastings: 310109

OS Northings: 104758

OS Grid: ST101047

Mapcode National: GBR LS.WRDP

Mapcode Global: FRA 460W.QSC

Plus Code: 9C2RRPPC+4R

Entry Name: The Drewe Arms Including Curved Wall Adjoining at North West

Listing Date: 22 February 1951

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1204396

English Heritage Legacy ID: 87058

Location: Broadhembury, East Devon, Devon, EX14

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Broadhembury

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Broadhembury St Andrew, Apostle and Martyr

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Find accommodation in


SY 10 SW

5/56 The Drewe Arms including curved
22.2.51 wall adjoining at north west


Public house, part of the Broadhembury Estate. Late medieval origins, remodelled in
the C17, partly rebuilt at the north-west end in the early mid C18, possibly
following a fire. Creamwashed rendered cob and stone; main range thatched at the
south-east end, half-hipped at left end, gabled at right end; rear wing thatched,
half-hipped at end; north west end of main range slated with a lower ridge line
gabled at right end. Projecting left end stack with a stone shaft with ashlar
quoins, repaired in brick; axial stack at junction between the thatched and slate
roof with a brick shaft, projecting right end stack with a brick shaft.
Plan: L plan. The single depth main range faces north-east; rear left (south) wing
at right angles. The core of the house is a late medieval open hall at the thatched
(south-east) end of the main range, the passage and lower end partly rebuilt in the
early/mid C18 with different floor levels. The higher (left) end retains one massive
smoke-blackened jointed cruck truss with a later roof structure above it, the inner
room may always have been storeyed, it retains a fine circa early C16 window on the
front elevation and was lined with linenfold panelling. The hall was probably
floored in the C17 with a stack introduced backing on to the passage and a ceiling of
intersecting beams. The rear wing may have been added at the same time, it retains
one principal of a curved foot truss which had a mortised collar. The ground floor
of the lower end is now the cellar, with steps down from the through passage and 2
C18 rooms on the first floor, one very large with a massive chimney-piece. A
straight stair rises against the rear wall of the lower end from the through passage,
a second stair rises adjacent to the passage within the higher end. The inner room
has been subdivided axially into 2 rooms, and these 2 rooms, with the C17 hall are
the public rooms of the public house and have entirely escaped brewery modernization.
The only comparable unspoiled public house interior in Devon is the Drewe Arms at
Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 4 window front with regular fenestration. The
eaves thatch is eyebrowed over the 2 left hand first floor windows, lower roofline to
the slated lower end at the right. Probably C16 gabled porch to the through passage
at the left of the slated block: the porch has a wide segmental arched outer doorway,
a cusped slit window on the right return, slate-topped porch seats, a wide moulded,
timber inner doorframe with urn stops, a Tudor arch and a large C17 or C18 plank
door. The ground floor window left, lighting the former inner room, is a fine C16
stone mullioned window with a moulded frame and mullions, carved spandrels,
saddlebars and stanchions. It is glazed with square leaded panes. To the left of
the porch, lighting the hall, a tall 4-light casement with square leaded panes with a
smaller similar window above, first floor left is a 3-light C20 timber casement with
glazing bars. The right hand block, slightly set back, has deep eaves and 2 first
floor early/mid C18 paired 18-pane sashes with thick moulded glazing bars, the right
hand window with a moulded frame. A fine, possibly C18 wrought iron inn sign
incorporates a probably later lamp and armorial bearings crowned with a lion rampant.
A probably C18 ramped ashlar stone wall adjoins the pub at the right enclosing the
rear courtyard.
Interior: The lower side screen of the through passage is probably C19 with
chamfered muntins. The C17 hall has an open fireplace, the fireback re-lined in
brick, with a chamfered lintel with mason's mitres. The front part of the room has a
ceiling of chamfered intersecting beams. The inner room is divided axially into 2
with a cross beam surviving in the rear room only. A disused hatch survives between
the 2 smaller rooms. The front room is plain. The lower end rooms, now with public
house cellar, are unheated with chamfered crossbeams. A small section of linenfold
panelling survives on the partition wall of the higher end stair. On the first
floor, the 2 C18 rooms of the lower end have massive chimney-pieces, the right hand
room is very large and must have been used for public functions; the chimney-piece
has a broken pediment and carved heads, the smaller room has an Adam style chimney-
piece with very large-scale detail.
Roof: One medieval side-pegged jointed cruck truss of massive scantling survives
over the hall. No access to apex at time of survey but there is evidence of a soot
crust on the timbers. The front purlins have been truncated to accommodate the
window. The rear wing retains the remains of a curved foot truss of circa mid C17
date. The lower end trusses are X apex and probably C18. In 1888 W.H. Hamilton
Rogers visited Broadhembury in the course of researching the biography of Toplady,
the author of 'Rock of Ages, who was vicar of Broadhembury 1768-78. He described the
Drewe Arms, mentioning "an antiquated gateway to the yard in the rear". He and his
companion were "ushered through several large rooms into the special parlour for
strangers" - evidently the inner room - where they were refreshed with "a dainty
spread and sparkling cider, a huge home-made loaf, and a roll of sweet butter, the
whole evidently manufactured on the premises". The inner room is described although
it is not clear whether it had been subdivided at this date: "Its dimensions are
small, but the walls, from floor to ceiling, are wainscotted with multidudinous
panels of oak, carved into the well-known linen pattern so much used during the
reigns of the 7th and 8th Henrys, and a rich cornice of boldly-carved masks and
allegorical devices runs round the top. A large stone window, consisting of a series
of narrow Tudor arched openings, and defended from outside intrusion by iron lattice
bars of enormous strength, throws a subdued light into the quaint old apartment." It
seems likely that most of the linenfold panelling was re-used in Broadhembury House,
(qv) when that building was remodelled by Harbottle Reed sometime between 1903 and
An extremely interesting building, not only for high quality medieval origins but
also for the C18 partial rebuilding and its very rare unspoiled pub interior. One of
8 closely-spaced medieval houses in the village.

Listing NGR: ST1010904758

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