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Latitude: 50.6523 / 50°39'8"N
Longitude: -4.3044 / 4°18'15"W
OS Eastings: 237192
OS Northings: 86161
OS Grid: SX371861
Mapcode National: GBR NN.8B5R
Mapcode Global: FRA 17WB.T2G
Entry Name: Smallacombe Farmhouse
Listing Date: 14 June 1952
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1317882
English Heritage Legacy ID: 92368
Location: Lifton, West Devon, Devon, PL16
District: West Devon
Civil Parish: Lifton
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
SX 38 NE LIFTON
2/122 Smallacombe Farmhouse
Farmhouse. Circa late C16 origins, remodelled and turned round circa early C18.
Stone rubble with some brick dressings, wrongly described as a "brick building" by
Pevsner. Slate roof gabled at ends, brick cornices. Gable ends slate hung. The
west-facing C16 house was rebuilt in the early C18 with an east entrance front. 1
C16 doorway survives at the rear and a lean-to adjoining the south end with a C16
doorway and 2 mullioned windows may be the remains of a south cross wing. Nothing of
the earlier house appears to survive above ground floor level. The main block of the
C18 range has rear outshuts to either side of a 2-storey projection with a roof
hipped to the rear, this may have been the early C18 stair projection although it is
now ceiled over at first floor level. 2 storeys. 3 window symmetrical east front
with a central 2-leaf panelled door under a flat porch canopy carried on granite
columns, porch probably C20. 2 ground floor 36-pane sashes with crown glass may be
early C19 replacements. 3 narrow first floor 18-pane sashes, the central sash boxed.
two 2-light granite mullioned windows to south end of south lean-to have timber
casements and iron stanchions. Hollow-chamfered arched granite doorway with pyramid
and ball stops on the west end of the lean-to. The ground was levelled up when the
C18 house was erected leaving most of the old south cross wing below the ground level
of the C18 building. The hipped rear projection has 2 C20 buttresses and a probably
re-sited moulded granite arched doorway to the left with carved spandrels and a
Interior The most remarkable feature of the house is a delightfully exuberant
plaster ceiling to the first floor of the rear projection, probably dating from the
first decade of the C18, with more or less free-hanging plaster figures in a design
which may celebrate one of Marlborough's victories in the War of the Spanish
Succession. A central winged figure in an oval moulding probably represents victory
and carries a wreath in one hand and may originally have been blowing a trumpet.
Cherubs' heads, wreaths and foliage, the leaves completely free-hanging, surround the
oval. The ceiling is coved below the central design, 2 corners containing scallop
shells with grotesque heads derived from green men and long trails of flowers and
leaves. In the opposite corners are 2 plaster figures of grenadiers, 1 apparantly in
the act of lighting a grenade, surrounded by military trophies including cannon and
breast plates. Some C20 repair after damage by a falling cat. Kathleen and Cecil
French suggested that the ceiling was the work of "lesser local craftsman" imitating
1697 Dutch plasterwork at Bowringsleigh. An C18 dog-leg stair has slim turned
balusters, a flat moulded handrail and a timber lattice dog gate. 2-panel doors,
some with low middle rails.
Kathleen and Cecil French "Devonshire Plasterwork", T.D.A., 1957, Vol. 89,
pp. 124 - 144.
Listing NGR: SX3719286161
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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