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Beacon Down

A Grade II Listed Building in Highampton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8192 / 50°49'9"N

Longitude: -4.1503 / 4°9'0"W

OS Eastings: 248630

OS Northings: 104392

OS Grid: SS486043

Mapcode National: GBR KM.XLFW

Mapcode Global: FRA 266X.T36

Plus Code: 9C2QRR9X+MV

Entry Name: Beacon Down

Listing Date: 29 February 1988

Last Amended: 21 June 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1326474

English Heritage Legacy ID: 93196

Location: Highampton, West Devon, Devon, EX21

County: Devon

District: West Devon

Civil Parish: Highampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Highampton Holy Cross

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Architectural structure Thatched cottage

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A small C18 house. The garage and other outbuildings are not included.


A small C18 house. The garage and other outbuildings are not included.

Cob, rendered and limewashed, with a thatched roof, corrugated metal to the rear extension; one brick stack, one rendered.

A two-room plan with a central passage, orientated east-west, with a small lean-to extension off the eastern end.

A small house of two storeys, and three bays, that to the left much wider than the other two. It has limewashed cob elevations under a thatched roof, and gable end stacks. The windows are later C19 or early C20 multi-paned timber casements. The main elevation to the roadside has a shallow, gabled open porch with a slate roof to the central, narrow entrance bay. The wide doorway has a C19 or early C20 half-glazed panelled door; the symmetrical front has two windows to each of the ground and first floors. The western gable end has a large, high buttress (added in the early C21). The rear elevation has less regular fenestration, with the first-floor windows offset. Attached to the right is a long, narrow lean-to with its roof divided into two separate pitches to respect the first-floor window. This extension has one similar window to the rest of the house, with a modern window and door to its south.

The ground-floor rooms have exposed beams and joists, the beam to the living room chamfered with run-out stops. This room retains a large inglenook with timber bressumer over, built from irregular rubble stone, with a C19 bread oven (door missing), the fireplace now housing a woodburning stove. To the right of the fireplace is a steep stair which winds through 90 degrees. Extending from this in the lean-to is a modern utility room and bathroom. The other ground-floor room is now the kitchen; the former fireplace is closed, the fire replaced with a heat-storage stove. To the first floor are two bedrooms and bathroom. The rooms have deep, slightly splayed window openings. The roof structure is formed from pegged, rustic A-frame trusses with some queen struts. The roof retains many historic battens supporting the thatch.


Beacon Down (formerly Beacon’s Down) originated as a small house in the C18. An attached outbuilding was added to the house as a linear extension in the early C19; both are shown on the 1848 tithe map, along with a separate building set slightly forward from the house and outbuilding range, fronting the lane to the north, and smaller outbuildings to the west. At this period, and until the late C20, the entire complex was in single ownership. The 1885 Ordnance Survey map shows broadly the same arrangement, with a small link having been between the two outbuildings, and various small lean-to extensions to both buildings. In the 1980s, the ownership was divided, with the former outbuilding and the other agricultural buildings sold separately from Beacon Down. Further outbuildings were added in the later C20.

Reasons for Listing

Beacon Down, a small cob and thatch house constructed in the C18, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:
* as a well-preserved vernacular house of the C18;
* the house retains its through-passage plan;
* although, as to be expected in a modest building of this type, there is little in the way of decorative treatment, the house retains its large inglenook fireplace and chamfered ceiling beams.

Historic interest:
* the house demonstrates good use of local materials and traditional building techniques.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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