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Ford Farmhouse

A Grade II Listed Building in South Zeal, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7258 / 50°43'33"N

Longitude: -3.9225 / 3°55'20"W

OS Eastings: 264405

OS Northings: 93565

OS Grid: SX644935

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.8L5P

Mapcode Global: FRA 27N5.CNZ

Plus Code: 9C2RP3GH+82

Entry Name: Ford Farmhouse

Listing Date: 4 March 1988

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1326088

English Heritage Legacy ID: 94937

Location: South Tawton, West Devon, Devon, EX20

County: Devon

District: West Devon

Town: West Devon

Civil Parish: South Tawton

Built-Up Area: South Zeal

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: South Tawton St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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3/143 Ford Farmhouse


Farmhouse. Early-mid C17 on older site, modernised circa 1970. Plastered granite,
where exposed there are large crudely-squared blocks laid to rough courses; granite
stacks, one still with its original granite ashlar chimneyshaft; slate roof,
formerly thatch.
Plan: the house faces south looking up the hillslope which also slopes a little from
west to east. Although it has a 4-room-and-through-passage plan this is a
development of the late medieval model and the whole house was floored from the
beginning. Large inner room parlour downhill at the right (east) end and is heated
by a gable-end stack. The hall here is no more than an unheated lobby off the
passage which contains the main stair, apparently a rebuild of the original, which
rises to the rear wall then divides to each of the main bed-chambers (both of which
contain original fireplaces). Service end kitchen has a massive axial stack backing
onto the fourth room. This large fourth room is evidently original but is something
of a mystery since it is superfluous to an otherwise completely-conceived house.
Its gable-end stack is a late C19-early C20 insertion. However, there is a curious
small fireplace in the back of the kitchen stack which contains a large ash pit and
the owners report removing 3 phases of forge from the front of it. Maybe this was
built as a workshop; a possible explanation is that the farm has historically been
associated with mining. House is 2 storeys throughout, the 2-storey outshots
rebuilt that high circa 1970.
Exterior: irregular 5-window front of C20 casements with glazing bars and the French
window to the kitchen replaced a narrow slit window there. Passage front doorway is
right of centre and contains a C19 plank door. Roof is gable ended.
Interior: the passage is lined both sides with oak plank-and-muntin screens, the
muntins chamfered with step stops. A section into the hall/entrance lobby has been
removed. All the ground floor rooms have soffit-chamfered and step stopped
crossbeams (except for a replacement beam in the left end room) and the granite
fireplaces have oak lintels with similar finishes, so too do the first floor
doorways from the stairs. The kitchen fireplace is very large and there is a
secondary cream oven on the left, separated from the main fireplace by a new cheek
made from a single slab of granite. The fireplace also contains 2 enormous ovens,
the largest one has been cut through by a passage from the room behind (the putative
workshop) to the dairy outshot. An enigmatic feature in the kitchen is the wide
alcove the in the back wall. Did this formerly open into the dairy outshot behind?
or was it for kitchen cupboards? Roof throughout carried on A-frame trusses with
pegged lap-jointed collars with dovetail-shaped halvings.
Ford has an interesting single-phase plan representing a late phase in the evolution
of the modern house-type from the medieval hall-house. The owners have traced the
documentary history of the house back to its first mention in the Domesday survey.

Listing NGR: SX6440593565

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