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Rudge Farmhouse

A Grade II* Listed Building in Morchard Bishop, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8543 / 50°51'15"N

Longitude: -3.7849 / 3°47'5"W

OS Eastings: 274460

OS Northings: 107607

OS Grid: SS744076

Mapcode National: GBR L3.VGZ6

Mapcode Global: FRA 26YV.59K

Entry Name: Rudge Farmhouse

Listing Date: 4 November 1985

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1263333

English Heritage Legacy ID: 432606

Location: Morchard Bishop, Mid Devon, Devon, EX17

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon

Civil Parish: Morchard Bishop

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Morchard Bishop St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Lapford

Listing Text

MORCHARD BISHOP
SS 70 NW
4/120 Rudge Farmhouse
-
GV
II*

Large farmhouse. Late C14-early C15, late C16-early C17 improvements and
extensions, modernised and refurbished circa 1852. Plastered rubble with some C19
brick patching and plastered cob on rubble footings to extensions; rubble stacks
with mid C19 brick chimney shafts; slate roof (thatch before 1852). Much altered 3-
room-and-through-passage plan house facing south with former service room at left
(west) end. Late C16-early C17 single room block at right angles off rear corner of
former service room, comptemporary stair block to rear of hall and contemporary
dairy at right angles to rear of inner room. End stacks to former service and inner
rooms and rear lateral stack to hall. Now 2 storeys throughout. Symmetrical 5
window front of circa 1852 comprising central and end tripartite sashes and between
are sashes over each of the 2 front doors. All sashes, including central parts of
the tripartite sashes have 12-panes under segmental arches. Both doors are 4-panel
with overlights, have panelled reveals, doorcase and flat hoods on pairs of shaped
brackets. Stucco quoins each end and plinth. Eaves carried on series of shaped
brackets. Roof is gable-ended. Dairy rear block includes a late C16-early C17 3-
light oak window frame with ovolo-moulded mullions and includes a central iron
casement with shaped catch and leaded glass.
Interior: very good; athough the house was thoroughly refurbished circa 1852. Some
early fabric remains and more probably remains hidden by Victoria plasterwork. From
former hall (now eastern entrance hall) to former inner room there is a thick cob
partition to first floor level with framing above. At lower (western) end of hall
part of a C16 oak plank-and-muntin screen is exposed on former passage side (now a
small pantry lobby). The posts are chamfered, the sill is of unusually large
scantling and a blocked doorway appears to be shoulder-headed (the frame is
obscured). Across the putative passage, the pantry/lobby, is a richly moulded C16
oak axial beam which does not extend into the service room. The service room, now a
kitchen, has a large, probably C17, stone fireplace with plain oak lintel and there
are 2 sections of reset small-field panelled oak waiscotting on the walls. The
sunken star motifs along the frieze are thought to represent the emblem of the Leigh
family occupants of Rudge from at least 1546 to the late C18. The panelling is C17
despite an inscribed date of 1776.
From the rear of the putative passage an originally external door with early-mid C17
oak doorframe with moulded surround and exaggerated late step stops gives access to
a straight flight of stairs in a narrow extension behind the hall. The top landing
incorporates part of a presumably earlier newel turret. First floor has only
Victorian features exposed. The roof however is one of the finest and most
completely preserved late C14-early C15 domestic roofs in Devon. The roof was
raised to accommodate slate in the mid C19 and the builder chalked 'W. Coles
Crediton re raftering roof March 23 1852'. He left the old roof largely intact. It
is of 5 bays and employs oak timbers of massive scantling. The trusses are an
unusual type of jointed cruck in which the principals are scarfed to the posts and
held togethewr by 4 face pegs and buried slip tenon. The posts rest on templates
just below first floor level. Each truss has a cranked collar, arch-braces and a
large yoke carrying a square-set ridge (Alcock's Type H apex). They take 2 sets of
diagonally set purlins, the larger lower purlins are butt purlins, the upper are
threaded. Each bay includes a single pair of windbraces which survive intact on
the rear (north) side, but some have been removed from the front. A distinctive
feature of the roof is the pegging; both the numbers used to fix the joints (e.g. 3
each side securing the collars) and the effect of leaving the pegs projecting and
untrimmed. The roof was originally half-hipped each end. At the west end a half
thickness truss against the end wall carried a now removed hip post but the east end
counterpart has been removed. Another unusual feature of the roof is the common
rafters which have collars resting on the upper purlins, except over the eastern
bay. The roof appears to have been originally open from end to end but the smoke-
blackening at both ends may be disputed. However there are no closed trusses. The
west end and eastern truss have chamfered arch-braces, the rest carry a roll
moulding. The divisions in the roof space are early but probably not original. The
western end bay is divided from the rest by a section of framing a little east of
the truss. The frame rests on a crosspiece set between the lower purlins. It
appears not to have descended further down and may have been a smoke screen, that is
to say a device to confine the smoke from an open hearth fire to the central hall
section where the central bay retains evidence of a smoke louvre. At the eastern
end the remains of a large frames full height partition are positioned over the
hall-inner room cross wall.
Interpretation of the development of this most important house is difficult from the
roof. It could be argued that originally the upper end was at the west and was
later turned round. The owners and occupiers back to Pater the Rugge in 1330 are
known.
Sources. C Hulland. Devonshire Farmhouses Part V. Trans. Devon Assoc. 112
(1980), pp.128-136.


Listing NGR: SS7446007607

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