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Highstead Farmhouse

A Grade II* Listed Building in Bradford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8253 / 50°49'31"N

Longitude: -4.245 / 4°14'42"W

OS Eastings: 241976

OS Northings: 105263

OS Grid: SS419052

Mapcode National: GBR KH.X6FX

Mapcode Global: FRA 260X.D17

Plus Code: 9C2QRQG3+4X

Entry Name: Highstead Farmhouse

Listing Date: 14 February 1958

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1326575

English Heritage Legacy ID: 91580

Location: Bradford, Torridge, Devon, EX22

County: Devon

District: Torridge

Civil Parish: Bradford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Bradford with Cookbury

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Farmhouse Thatched farmhouse

Find accommodation in


SS 40 NW

6/26 Highstead Farmhouse

- II*

House formely farmhouse. Circa 1500 or sligntly earlier with probably later C16 and
C17 alterations further C19 modifications and addition. Cob walls re-faced with
rubble at the front and side. Gable-ended thatch roof. 3 brick stacks - one at
each gable-end and one axial, lateral stack to rear outshut.
Plan: at present 3 main rooms with entrance into stair lobby and a passage to its
left but complex development of plan and tne lack of access to the roof space over
the hall and left-band and causes a few problems if interpretation. he original
position of the passage is not entirely certain but is most likely to have been
between the central and right-hand rooms now occupied by has a C19 or early C20
straight run staircase. This may hot in fact be the original position of tne
passage since the building began as an open hall house with a central hearth.
Unfortunately, due to tne inaccessibility of the roof spaces over the hall and left-
nand end of the house, evidence for the original divisions of the house - tneir
position and form is not available. A full neight partition divides the roof-space
over the nall from that at the right-hand end but it does not appear to be original
and it seems very likely that the hall roof is also stroke-blackene.d. The left-hand
rotative higher end is more problemnatic because there is no access to its roof-
space and an early doorway survives on its 1st floor. This opens onto a room over
the hall which has a different floor level - suggesting that the hall was floored
over at a different tine to the inner room and tne early 1st floor doorway was
perhaps reached by ladder access from the nall for an original or 2nd phase chamber
over the inner room. Certainly there is a solid wall dividing it from the hall.
The ceiling over the lower end too is at a different level to that of tne hall which
indicates that the hall is likely to have been floored ove last of all - probably by
early C17. Interestingly its stack was inserted at the putative higher end rather
than backing onto the passage as is more customary in Devon. The position of the
lower end stack is also interesting as it was inserted not at the usual gable-end
out set-in to form a narrow room at the very end of the house. Possibly at the time
that this stack was inserted a newel stair was added in a projection to its rear.
The inner room has a fireplace at its gable-end which is likely to be a later
insertion. Another unusual feature is the presence of a stack at tne lower side of
the putative passage which at present has no fireplace but may have been constructed
to serve one on the 1st floor. Further alterations were made probably in the C19
when the stairs were inserted and a passage made benind the hall leading to the rear
part of the inner roonlwtticn had been subdivided. The passage also served a kitchen
added in a lean-to at the rear of the hall. Probably at this stage the house was
refronted in stone rubble.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 5-window front of which the left-hand half
projects sligntly with circa early C20 2- and 3-lignt casements. The right-hand
side has 2 single light C20 casements to the right and a 3-light C20 casement to the
left on tile ground floor. Above it is an early C13 16-pane sash witn a later C19
12-pane sash to its left. At the left end of the recessed section is a gabled porch
with a C19 glazed and panelled door behind it. The rear elevation has a reztang.jiar
stair projection towards the left-hand end witn large C19 outshut to its right.
Good interior: room to right of entrance has fireplace with chamfered and step-
stopped wooden lintel and chamfered ceiling beam. The small room beyond it nas a
fireplace using the same stack with a narrow chamfered wooden lintel. The newel
stairs have been removed from their projection. The hall has a chamferen ceiling
beam with indistinct stops. Its fireplace is blocked but a chamfered wooden lintel
is visible. To the front of the stack is a massive wooden post apparently
supporting a cracked ceiling beam. To the rear of the hall stank - now in the
separate passageway - is what may be an original wooden doorframe - 4-centred with a
small peak in the head forming a kind of ogee. On the 1st floor is a contemporary
or earlier C16 roundheaded chamfered door frame. The room over the lower end has the
vesrtiges of a C17 partition at one end.
Roof: over the hall a cruck truss is visible on the 1st floor but without access to
the roof space here or over the higher end of the house evidence of smoke-blackening
is not available - it is highly likely to survive over the hall, however. Over the
lower end 2 original trusses survive with a complete smoke-blackened roof including
battens and thatch. The ridge is diagonal, the purlins trenched and the collar
halved with notched lap joint to the surviving complete truss. The other truss has
had the stack inserted into it.
This is one of the few medieval houses surviving in this area and also one of the
most complex which contains some very interesting internal features as well as an
attractive facade.

Listing NGR: SS4197605263

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