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Orchard Hill House

A Grade II Listed Building in Bideford, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0273 / 51°1'38"N

Longitude: -4.2071 / 4°12'25"W

OS Eastings: 245321

OS Northings: 127644

OS Grid: SS453276

Mapcode National: GBR KJ.HJ24

Mapcode Global: FRA 262D.GT4

Plus Code: 9C3Q2QGV+W5

Entry Name: Orchard Hill House

Listing Date: 19 February 1973

Last Amended: 7 September 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1267190

English Heritage Legacy ID: 419424

Location: Northam, Torridge, Devon, EX39

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Northam

Built-Up Area: Bideford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Northam St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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A late-C18 or early-C19 suburban house. Mid-to late C19 extension to the north. Mid-to late-C19 outbuildings, gate piers, and gates. Not included in the listing is the late-C20 conservatory to the west elevation.


A late-C18 or early-C19 suburban house. Mid-to late C19 extension to the north. Mid-to late C19 outbuildings, gate piers, and gates. Not included in the listing is the late C20 conservatory to the west elevation.

MATERIALS: constructed of stone and covered in stucco. Timber sash, and some casement windows. Slate tiles to the roofs. The roofs of the lean-to structures on the north elevation are covered in corrugated iron. Stone chimney stacks.

PLAN: roughly square on plan, with rooms arranged around a central stairwell. Rectangular, two-storey outbuilding range to the north, linked to the house by a single-storey building.

EXTERIOR: a two-storey house with a raised parapet, and wooden cornice. The roof structure behind the parapet comprises two distinct hipped roof structures aligned on a west to east axis. That to the south has two ridge stacks; that to the north has a lateral stack. The principal (east) elevation is arranged as three, almost symmetrical, bays of three, eight-over-eight hornless sash windows to the first floor, and an off-centre, panelled doorway with an early-C19 door with margin glazing. It has a wooden canopy supported on fluted Tuscan pilasters and columns, flanked by six-light windows. A mid-to-late-C19 square bay window, with horned sashes, has been inserted to the right, and to the left is a late-C18/early-C19 hornless sash window of eight-over-sixteen lights, that extends to the floor. The south elevation also has two tall sash windows to its outer bays; the central window has been blocked, and to the first floor are three late-C18/early-C19 sash windows. The north elevation has two single-storey lean-tos either side of a ground-floor recessed entrance.

INTERIOR: a wide archway separates the hall from the stairwell with circular roof light. The open-string staircase has a curtail step and turned balusters. At the rear of the stairwell is an archway to a narrow passageway (repeated to the first floor), with the kitchen beyond. The two reception rooms to the south side of the house have been enlarged and the walls retain the scar of the partition walls that created a third room between them; the window has been blocked. The doors in the new partition wall back immediately onto each other. The rear reception room retains its early-C19 French doors. The ground floor has early-C19 panelled door cases, moulded architrave with floral motifs to the corner blocks, six-panelled doors, plaster cornices, panelled window shutters, and some of its C19 fireplaces; grates removed. The picture rails and dado rails are late C19. To the first floor are early-C19 six-panel doors and mid-to late-C19 four panel doors; there are no fireplaces or cornices.

OUTBUILDINGS: at the east end of a cobbled courtyard is a single-storey building with a pitched roof. There is a single door to the east elevation. To the west elevation is an inserted RSJ and mid-C20 sliding timber doors. The floor is both tiled and cobbled and the partition walls have been removed and a ceiling inserted. The mid-C19 two-storey outbuilding range runs on a west to east axis with an arched central passageway leading from the courtyard to the street, Orchard Hill. To the west end is the door to the former stable, with door to the hayloft above, and a sixteen-light window to the left. The interior has a cobbled and concrete floor. To the east end is an eight-over-eight sash window and a plank door to the possible former bake house which retains its bread oven, stack removed at roof level, and copper. There is an inserted C20 staircase to the first floor. The room to the east end has been opened up to its south elevation, and there is evidence of a former doorway to its east wall. The principal roof trusses of the outbuilding are mid-C19 with C20 common rafters and ridge piece, and a C20 roof light. At the east end of the courtyard, linking the outbuilding with the house, is a coped stone wall and gate piers with iron gates. To the north section of the wall is a pedestrian doorway.


Orchard Hill House is thought to have been built in the late C18 or early C19, and the house appears to be marked on the 1809 Ordnance Survey (OS) map. It is shown on the Northam tithe map (1839) as having an L-shaped footprint, and its gardens are described in the tithe apportionment as ‘plantation’. This footprint is altered on the first edition (1889) OS map, and this and the fabric of the building suggests that the principal house was extended to the north in the mid-C19 with the stem of the earlier L-plan forming a link to the added outbuildings to the north of the house. The 1889 map also shows a conservatory and an additional range to the west elevation of the house. The range was demolished in the mid-to-late C20, and the conservatory was replaced in the late C20. The house appears to have undergone some internal refurbishment in the mid-to-late C19.

From the 1980s onwards housing development has encroached on the garden to the west and the south.

Reasons for Listing

Orchard Hill House, a late-C18/early-C19 house with mid-to late-C19 additions is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* As a pre-1840 suburban house that is well-composed and displays architectural features that are characteristic of the domestic architecture of the period;
* Interior: for the survival of many of its fixtures and fittings from its late-C18/early-C19 phase including its doorcases with corner blocks, and staircase.

Group value:
* Forms a pleasing ensemble with the mid-to late-C19 outbuildings, gate piers and gates to the north of the house.

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