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Prowse Farmhouse

A Grade II* Listed Building in Sandford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8375 / 50°50'14"N

Longitude: -3.6439 / 3°38'37"W

OS Eastings: 284343

OS Northings: 105501

OS Grid: SS843055

Mapcode National: GBR L9.WGPS

Mapcode Global: FRA 368W.D6Z

Plus Code: 9C2RR9P4+XF

Entry Name: Prowse Farmhouse

Listing Date: 26 August 1965

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1272973

English Heritage Legacy ID: 446856

Location: Sandford, Mid Devon, Devon, EX17

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sandford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Sandford St Swithin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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1/252 Prowse Farmhouse


Manor house, now farmhouse. Probably late C15, improved and extended in C16.
Plastered cob and rubble; volcanic stone stacks topped with C20 brick; wheat reed
thatched roof, replaced with slate on rear service wing. Originally a 3-room-and-
through-passage house facing south with service room at west (left) end. In C16
rear wing added at right angles to rear of service room and inner room rebuilt as a
crosswing projecting to front and back. The front projection of cross wing
collapsed circa 1920 and was rebuilt flush with main front and without gable end.
End stack projecting from service room, large projecting lateral stack to rear of
hall and end stack to service wing. Irregularly-spaced 6-window front of C20
casements and C20 doors at right end and to passage left of centre, latter in C20
round-headed arch. Rear elevation includes earlier features with late C15-early
C16 round-headed oak doorframe to rear of through passage which still includes
original studded oak plank door with plain strap hinges. Late C17-early C18
casement above door has flat-faced mullions, vertical iron glazing bars and
rectangular panes of largely-original leaded glass. On inner side of service wing
first floor window has mid-late C16 3-light oak frame with elaborately-moulded
mullions and inner side of east wing includes mid-late C16 oak doorframe with
segmental head.
Good interior includes much late C15 and C16 carpentry of exceptional quality.
Earliest structural elements are the 4 roof bays at west end. Late C15 trusses are
possibly jointed crucks but evidence of jointing is plastered over. Early type of
apex with saddle piece over ends of principals carrying a square-set ridge
(Alcock's Type C). The trusses have cambered collars and arch bracing with carved
bosses at the apex (remarkably similar to those at nearby Bremridge Farmhouse
(q.v.). Trusses carry 2 sets of butt purlins and single sets of windbraces.
This structure is completely smoke-blackened, indicating that the original house
was divided by low partitions and heated by an open hearth fire. House was
transformed in C16 by rebuild of inner room as crosswing, addition of service wing,
insertion of chimney stacks and flooring of main block. Early-mid C16 crosswing
has remains of 4-bay roof of side-pegged jointed cruck trusses with single sets of
windbracing. Central truss was originally closed by large-framed partition. Front
room (reduced in length after collapse of front circa 1920) is said to have been a
chapel. Rear room is connected to main block by flat-arched oak doorway and its
roof damaged by hipped end. Ground floor of crosswing also shows evidence of
central framed crosswall. The chamfered beams each side have runout stops and rest
on posts with jowled heads against hall. The through passage has a pitched stone
floor and an elaborately-moulded mid-C16 oak plank-and-muntin screen to the hall,
its frieze enriched with square floral motifs. The passage roof has an 8-panel
intersecting beam ceiling with richly-moulded beams, sets of moulded joists at
right angles to those in neighbouring panels and carved oak bosses including a
Tudor rose and an heraldic achievement. Both screen and ceiling have survived
unstained. Hall has a 15-panel intersecting beam ceiling with similar but not
identical mouldings to the beams in the passage, unmoulded sets of joists at right
angles to those in neighbouring panels (mostly plastered over) and no bosses. Hall
is now subdivided and C16 fireplace has been rebuilt and reduced in size reusing
the original Beer stone jambs. A cob crosswall divides the passage from the
service end. Service room and rear wing have plain chamfered crossbeams. Service
room fireplace is blocked. Stack to rear wing added probably in C18; it blocks
attic gable window. Wing has mid-late C16 3-bay roof of oak A-frame trusses with
cambered collars mortice-and-tenoned to principals. Eastern 2 bays of main block
rebuilt in C17. Other early features probably remain hidden throughout the
building. Prowse is a very interesting and important house. The manor is also
known as Higher Dodderidge. It is recorded as the house of Walter Prou in 1330.
(Place-names of Devon).

Listing NGR: SS8434305501

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