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South Yarde Farmhouse

A Grade I Listed Building in Rose Ash, Devon

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Latitude: 50.9774 / 50°58'38"N

Longitude: -3.7509 / 3°45'3"W

OS Eastings: 277177

OS Northings: 121230

OS Grid: SS771212

Mapcode National: GBR L4.LRLC

Mapcode Global: FRA 361J.DJZ

Plus Code: 9C2RX6GX+WJ

Entry Name: South Yarde Farmhouse

Listing Date: 20 February 1967

Last Amended: 18 October 1988

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1325489

English Heritage Legacy ID: 97632

Location: Rose Ash, North Devon, Devon, EX36

County: Devon

District: North Devon

Civil Parish: Rose Ash

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Rose Ash

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Farmhouse

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Rose Ash



6/101 South Yarde Farmhouse
20.2.67 (formerly listed as South
Yard Farmhouse)

Farmhouse. Probably late C15/early C16, remodelled with the hall stack and floor
inserted in the circa late C16/early C17, some alterations of the circa mid C19. Cob
and stone rubble, whitewashed and rendered, with some brick repair on the rear
(north) wall and right (east) end wall; corrugated asbestos roof (thatched until
1953), hipped at the right end, gabled at the left end (formerly hipped); left end
stack, axial stack to left of centre, both with rendered shafts.
Plan: South Yarde is the hall range of a high quality and most unusual late medieval
open hall house of courtyard plan, a parallel range across a narrow yard to the north
almost certainly being the detached kitchen (North Yarde, separately listed). South
Yarde originated as a single depth south-facing range, 3 room and cross passage plan,
lower end to the left (west). The roof timbers are smoke-blackened from the left end
at least as far as the higher (east) end partition of the centre room: there is no
access to the roofspace over the right (east) end room. The arrangement was an
extremely grand 2-bay hall with uniquely decorated roof timbers in the centre. The
lower end, with a plainer but contemporary roof structure, presumably functioned as
some kind of service room and may also have been open to the roof timbers or may have
been floored but open to the cross passage and hall above first floor level. Without
sight of the roof over the inner (right end) room it is not clear whether it was
storeyed originally, a stone winder stair from the rear of the hall in a stair
projection may have provided access to a first floor chamber over the inner room or
may be part of the late C16/early C17 programme of remodelling. This involved an
axial hall stack introduced into the cross passage giving a lobby entrance at the
front (south). The centre room was floored with a fine intersecting beam ceiling and
the stair was either added or adapted at this date to give access to the chamber over
the centre room. The lower end may have been floored at the same date: the stack at
this end is probably a post C17 addition, the inner room remains unheated. Post C17
modifications to the lower end involved the creation of an axial passage at the back
between the hall and the left end wall, probably in the mid/late C19, the date of the
chimneypiece of the lower end room which served as a parlour at that date. A small
salting house has been taken out of the inner room with a dairy added, outside the
wall of the original building, on the north east corner. It seems likely that North
Yarde (q.v.) continued to be used as the kitchen in the C17. The plan of South Yarde
is unchanged since the C19 and its earlier phases of plan are still evident.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 3 window south front with a gabled porch to the
lobby entrance to left of centre and a C20 front door. A plank door to the inner
room to the right replaces a former mullioned window (information from the owner). 3
ground floor and 3 first floor windows, all 2-light C19 or early C20 windows with
glazing bars except first floor right which is 3 lights.
Interior: The hall, in the centre, has a fine intersecting beam ceiling forming 9
panels with richly moulded beams, the panels cross-joisted, the joists scratch-
moulded on the soffits with roll mouldings to the sides. The stack is stone with a
cambered lintel concealed by a C19 mantelshelf with a centrally positioned bread
oven. The hall/inner room partition is a screen with a good 4 centred arched
chamfered timber doorframe. To the right of the doorframe the screen has been faced
with circa mid C17 panelling with a fine shaped bench end to the hall bench. There
is a circa late C17.panelled door at the bottom of the stair. The inner room has a
chamfered axial beam with only one stop visible at the screen end. The lower end
room has no exposed ceiling beams and a C19 chimneypiece. The stone stair has been
cased in timber. On the first floor the chamber over the inner room is plain. The
chamber over the hall is open to the apex of the roof and is divided from an axial
passage parallel to the north wall by a simple head height partition. The room
above the lower end has a plaster ceiling.
Roof An extraordinary roof, both for its construction and for an unfinished scheme of
carved decoration on the main truss over the hall. 4 jointed cruck trusses, the feet
of the crucks descending to the ground (information from the owner), the centre 2
trusses with chamfered arch braces, the chamfers continued on the crucks which have a
moulded feature, like a capital, at the springing of the arches. There are three
tiers of threaded purlins, richly-moulded, with keeled pyramid stops and 3 tiers of
upward curving wind braces, the upper pair removed in the bay into which the stack
was inserted (Hulland). The ridge is most unusual, V-shaped in section and
therefore appearing to be made of 2 timbers although it has been cut from a single
piece, each half moulded and stopped to match the purlins. On the east face of the
main hall truss there is an unfinished carving scheme. The intention seems to have
been to cover this face of the truss at least with panels of trefoil-headed blind
tracery. The carving is only complete on part of the north side of the truss but
parts of the remainder show the initial phases of carving before the detail was
refined. Trefoiled panels existed on the roof of Colston's House, the home of a
Bristol merchant, known from a drawing of 1821 (Wood) but no other comparable scheme
is known to date. The truss over the lower end is plainer, the purlins unmoulded and
"dropped at their west ends and notched into the framework of the inserted stack"
(Hulland). The east end truss is infilled with heavy framing and evidence of smoke
staining has been seen under the plaster.
Hulland's article on Yarde refers to owners and tenants of the building. The
settlement was owned by Richard de Yerda in 1211 and remained in the Yard family
until 1615. Richard Yard, 1450 - c1514 was probably responsible for the present
Group value with North Yarde and with a farmyard of traditional farmbuildings to the
South Yarde is an outstanding building. The medieval roof is a remarkable survival
and the unfinished state of its carved decoration provides important evidence of the
methods of a late medieval carver. The late C16/early C17 remodelling is also fine
and the house has not suffered from any damaging alterations this century while in
the hands of the Rolle family.
The method of carving on the east end hall truss is described by A.W. Everett in a
letter to the owner, dated 10/4/63 which is partly quoted by Charles Hulland in his
account of the house in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association.

Wood, M, The English Medieval House, (pp 1965, 1981 edn), p. 319
Hulland, 'Devonshire Farmhouses Part V, Transaction of the Devonshire Association
(1980) vol. 112, pp 127.

Listing NGR: SS7717721230

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