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Bridford Barton

A Grade I Listed Building in Bridford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6654 / 50°39'55"N

Longitude: -3.6764 / 3°40'34"W

OS Eastings: 281622

OS Northings: 86423

OS Grid: SX816864

Mapcode National: GBR QM.BH5T

Mapcode Global: FRA 3759.ZH6

Plus Code: 9C2RM88F+5F

Entry Name: Bridford Barton

Listing Date: 9 March 1988

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1318200

English Heritage Legacy ID: 85567

Location: Bridford, Teignbridge, Devon, EX6

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge

Civil Parish: Bridford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Bridford St Thomas a Becket

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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SX 88 NW

Bridford Barton

Farmhouse. Circa early/mid C14 origins with a probably early C15 rear wing, the C14 block partly re-roofed in the early C16. Remodelling in circa early C17, C20 alterations. Whitewashed rendered stone and cob ; thatched roof, gabled at ends ; axial stack with granite shaft heating early C17 hall, axial stack to right of centre with brick shaft, probably C20 left end stack.

Plan: overall U plan with a three room and cross passage main block, facing east, with short rear left and rear right wings. The house originated as a grand and exceptionally early medieval open hall, probably of two cells, with a roof construction that is of base cruck design: two bays of this survive with two intermediate ties. The surviving left end truss is a spere truss with aisle posts, presumably marking a division in the original house, to the left of this truss the early roof has been replaced by a conventional early C16 jointed cruck truss.

The rear left wing, also with an unusually early smoke-blackened roof, probably had an independent open hearth. When the building was floored, in the circa early C17, a hall stack was inserted, backing on to the cross passage ; with a heated inner room, at the right end. The range was subsequently extended to the right by an outbuilding and a barn was added at the rear right ; the outbuilding and barn have been absorbed into the house. Late C20 single-storey addition between the rear wings.

Exterior: two storeys. Asymmetrical six window front. Entrance to cross passage to left of centre with a C20 thatched porch on posts with plank and stud front door. Two- and three-light C19 and C20 timber casements and sashes with glazing bars with a late C20 bow to the left of the porch and a two-light timber mullioned window of circa 1700 with timber stanchions, first floor window from left.

Interior: the major interest of the house lies in the outstanding roofs but the ground floor is also of interest although modernized in the late C20. The granite ashlar back of the hall stack with a hollow-chamfered cornice is exposed in the passage which has chamfered stopped joists. One of the aisle posts of the C14 spere truss is exposed but buried in the lower end partition of the passage. The early C17 hall has a chamfered stopped crossbeam and an open fireplace with a granite lintel and monolithic granite jambs, the left hand jamb altered or replaced to provide an opening into a recess, probably a smoking chamber subsequently altered to a bread oven. The inner room has a chamfered stopped crossbeam and blocked fireplace ; the lower end room has rough exposed crossbeams and joists and now extends into the rear left wing.

Roof: remarkable. The C14 roof is a base cruck construction with massive arcade plates (no purlins) into which the common rafters are notched. The main truss is a face-pegged base cruck with straight (rather than arched) braces below the collar and straight wind braces. There are intermediate ties between the main trusses. The spere truss, more clearly visible in the roofspace than the main truss, has massive aisle posts (one is visible in the cross passage, descending virtually to ground level about four foot away from the front wall of the house). There is evidence that the spere truss was infilled between the straight braces although the infill may be secondary. The roof formerly extended further to the left where it has been replaced in the circa early C16 by a conventional side-pegged jointed cruck truss over the lower end. The upper tier of the C14 roof consists of common rafter couples with lap-jointed collars. The construction of the roof, with no crown post to give longitudinal bracing to the upper tier, has caused racking of some of the common rafters and the joints of some of the main timbers have parted, revealing secret dovetails of a very early character; the ties are splayed and tabled into the arcade plates. Smoke-blackened battens and thatch survive throughout with an odd arrangement of longitudinal pieces, with some disused mortises, in corresponding positions each side (near the later stack) set across two common rafter bays just below collar level, indicating some special arrangement of unknown function. The rear left wing also retains an unusual but probably later medieval roof of an extremely rare design in Devon. Three arched brace trusses of slender scantling with claspled diagonally-set purlins and a clasped square set ridge above a yoke ; lap joints of an early character. The battens and thatch are post-medieval but the other timbers are smoke-blackened.

A comparable roof in Ashburton, Devon, was recorded by Michael Laithwaite prior to demolition in 1970 but no other examples are known in the County. A multi-phase medieval house with an outstanding survival in the C14 roof. The character of the roof construction suggests that this could be the earliest roof in Devon.

Interpretation of roof by John Thorp.

Listing NGR: SX8162086423

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