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Latitude: 50.6553 / 50°39'18"N
Longitude: -3.8317 / 3°49'53"W
OS Eastings: 270619
OS Northings: 85553
OS Grid: SX706855
Mapcode National: GBR QC.05FP
Mapcode Global: FRA 27VB.R22
Entry Name: Higher Stiniel Including Garden Walls Adjoining to South
Listing Date: 16 September 1987
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1326004
English Heritage Legacy ID: 94564
Location: Chagford, West Devon, Devon, TQ13
District: West Devon
Civil Parish: Chagford
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Chagford St Michael
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SX 78 NW CHAGFORD
4/33 Higher Stiniel including garden
- walls adjoining to south
House, former farmhouse. Late C15 - early C16 with major C16 and C17 improvements,
enlarged in late C17 (maybe associated with a date of 1686), modernised in early or
mid C19 and again in 1973. Granite rubble walls and stacks, all the latter with
their original granite ashlar chimney shafts; thatch roof, part reroofed with slate
Plan and development: 4-room-and-through-passage plan house built down a slight
slope and facing south. The inner room at the left (western) end is terraced into
the hillside. Originally an open hall house heated by an open hearth fire it was
progressively floored over and the fireplaces inserted through the C16 and C17. The
inner room has a slightly projecting end stack and the hall has an axial stack
backing onto the passage. The 2 service end rooms may originally have been a shippon
but no evidence of this remains. These rooms are divided by an axial stack serving
the room off the passage. This end was refurbished in the late C17 and the outer
room may be an extension of that time. It was refurbished again in the early or mid
C19. House now 2 storeys throughout.
Regular but not symmetrical 5-window front. Only that first floor left end (the inner
room chamber) is C19; a small 3-light casement with rectangular panes of leaded
glass. The others in this left end 2-window section under the thatch are C20
replacement casements with rectangular panes of leaded glass and at the left end
similarly glazed French windows. 2 blocked ground floor windows show in the wall
this end. Thatch eyebrows over the first floor windows. The right end 3-window
section has C20 replacement horned 16-pane sashes under the slate roof. The front
passage doorway is nearly central and now contains a C20 door. A secondary C20 door
at right end. All the doorways and ground floor windows have C20 granite lintels.
Roof is gable-ended. Since the inner room end is terraced into the slope there is a
doorway to the first floor chamber in the end wall, now containing a C20 door.
Interior shows the work of all the main building phases. It is a house with a long
and complex structural history. The oldest apparent feature is the roof over the
hall and inner room which was erected in the late C15 - early C16. The only roof
truss to survive has been cut through by the hall stack but enough of it survives.
It is a true (probably raised) cruck with cambered collar and yoked apex carrying the
square set ridge (Alcock's apex type H). There is a hip cruck at the inner room end.
The purlins and ridge between are original and thoroughly smoke-blackened indicating
that the original house was divided by low partitions and heated by an open hearth
fire. There was, it seems, another truss over the upper end of the hall but it has
been removed, maybe as early as the first improvement. Probably some time in the
first half of the C16 a rubble crosswall was built at the upper end of the hall. It
is nearly full height and from the top a post rises with a Y-forked top to prop the
ridge. This is smoke-blackened indicating that the open hearth was still in
operation in the hall and also that the smoke could spread through to the inner room
end. It might have been floored by this time but the axial beam here has unstopped
soffit chamfers and is therefore of indeterminate date. If the upper wall truss was
removed this early it caused no strutural problems for more than a century. Its
position is now marked by a crude late C17 A-frame with pegged lap-jointed collar.
The hall was given a fireplace in the early C17. It is granite with a soffit-
chamfered and worn (probably scroll) stopped oak lintel. It has an oven to right.
In the passage the back of the fireplace is made of large blocks of granite ashlar
with a soffit-chamfered cornice. It is also inscribed with the date 1686 and
initials RB. The fireplace is earlier. This must either commemorate a new owner,
or, more likely, the refurbishing of the lower end. The hall was floored over at the
same time or a little later than the inserted fireplace. Its crossbeam is soffit-
chamfered with step stops. Since both the inner room and service end fireplaces have
been rebuilt their date cannot be ascertained but must have been inserted in the late
C16 or C17. The only exposed carpentry in the lower end is the roof; a series of
late C17 uncollared principal rafter trusses.
The front garden is also terraced into the hillslope. The left (western) side is
revetted by a tall rubble wall attached to the left end of the house. As it returns
across the front it ramps down to a low boundary wall. This was probably built in
the mid or late C19.
Higher Stiniel is both an interesting and attractive farmhouse situated in an
exceptionally picturesque Dartmoor hamlet which contains other important listed
buildings such as Stenhall (q.v.) and Stenhall Cottage (q.v.). The farmhouse may
have been a Dartmoor longhouse before the late C17 but the evidence is not conclusive.
However it does appear to be the oldest house in a hamlet that has attracted some
historial interest since it is first recorded in 1224 as Stenenhalle which means hall
Sources: Devon SMR. Dr N Alcock Stiniel, Chagford. Parts 1 and 2 Devon Life (March
and April, 1974).
Listing NGR: SX7061985553
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