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Kirkham House

A Grade II* Listed Building in Paignton, Torbay

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Latitude: 50.4382 / 50°26'17"N

Longitude: -3.5703 / 3°34'12"W

OS Eastings: 288585

OS Northings: 60991

OS Grid: SX885609

Mapcode National: GBR QT.RSF9

Mapcode Global: FRA 37DW.YQ0

Plus Code: 9C2RCCQH+7V

Entry Name: Kirkham House

Listing Date: 13 March 1951

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1207782

English Heritage Legacy ID: 383802

Location: Torbay, TQ3

County: Torbay

Electoral Ward/Division: Roundham-with-Hyde

Built-Up Area: Paignton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Paignton St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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1947-1/5/41 (South side)
13/03/51 Kirkham House
(Formerly Listed as:
Kirkham House (Priest's House))


House, now in guardianship. C15 origins with 1520-1560
alterations, major scheme of repair in the 1950s by the
Ministry of Works.
MATERIALS: Local red breccia; slate roof; stacks with stone
shafts and rhomboidal caps.
PLAN: Single-depth 3-room and through-passage plan with
passage to left of centre. Hall to right, still open with a
C16 first-floor room jettied into it over a spere truss;
unheated service room or shop (separate entrance onto street)
at the far right end. High quality parlour to the left. First
floor consists of a superior room over the parlour, a small
unheated C16 chamber above the part-floored hall and a second
heated chamber at the right end with garderobe. Rear outshut
with C16 gallery over, gallery providing access to 2nd heated
first-floor chamber, formerly reached by separate stair.
Kitchen consists now of ruinous walls (separately listed) to
rear. Superior detail inside suggests a high status user for
this house.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical front with 4 windows on the
ground floor and 3 on the first. Gabled slate roof with
slightly sprocketed eaves. Front door to left of centre with
moulded timber-frame, ogee-arched head and a C20 plank and
stud door. Tudor style mullioned windows, some preserving
moulded lintels, date from the Ministry of Works renovation of
the house except the left-hand first-floor window which is an
C18 casement with flat-faced mullion. Blocked doorway to right
of centre. Rear elevation has timber-framed gallery,
reconstructed by Ministry of Works.
INTERIOR: Passage retains cobbled floor and wide segmental
stone arch to rear doorway chamfered on one side with a
pyramid stop. Plank and muntin screens to both sides of the
passage; unusually wide shoulder-headed doorway to hall. Hall
fireplace, heated from rear lateral stack, has unusual
brattished stone mantelshelf. C16 jettied room into hall at
lower end is supported on a moulded beam. Parlour has a C15
fireplace; C16 moulded beams. Alcove adjacent to fireplace may
represent position of C15 stair. Present C20 stair reached
through ogee arched doorway in rear wall. Shoulder-headed
doorway from hall to unheated room which has rough carpentry.
Hooded fireplaces to both first-floor end chambers. The
gallery, a rare survival, is of jointed cruck construction. A
remarkable feature of the interior is the provision for
domestic piscinas. There were originally 2, one in the hall
and one in the parlour with some evidence that they were fed
from lead tanks in the outshut. Unfortunately, in 1910 it was
decided that there were of ecclesiastical origin and they have
been removed, one to the vestry of the parish church of St
John the Baptist, the other to the parish church of
Goodrington. The one in St John the Baptist has a carved boss
surrounding the water pipe.
Roof: consists of 2 types of trusses. Some A-frame trusses,
the principals with short curved feet. The others, unusual for
Devon, have ashlar pieces and sole plates.
HISTORY: This is a fine and unusual example of a small-scale
but high-quality medieval house with unusually grand provision
for eating and washing. There is no documentary evidence to
confirm the supposition that it was a priest's house. The
repair works on behalf of the Ministry were exemplary of their
time. Fine architects' drawings of the 1950s are retained by
English Heritage, Properties in Care.
(Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants: Revised Guide to
Kirkham House: 1989-; Buildings of England: Cherry B and
Pevsner N: Devon: London: 1952-1989: 841).

Listing NGR: SX8858560991

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