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Beechwood House and Adjoining Service Courtyard Walls

A Grade II Listed Building in High Bickington, Devon

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Latitude: 50.9645 / 50°57'52"N

Longitude: -3.9812 / 3°58'52"W

OS Eastings: 260974

OS Northings: 120207

OS Grid: SS609202

Mapcode National: GBR KV.MF8J

Mapcode Global: FRA 26KK.DTT

Plus Code: 9C2RX279+QG

Entry Name: Beechwood House and Adjoining Service Courtyard Walls

Listing Date: 16 February 1989

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1326592

English Heritage Legacy ID: 91680

Location: High Bickington, Torridge, Devon, EX37

County: Devon

District: Torridge

Civil Parish: High Bickington

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: High Bickington

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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High Bickington


SS 60 20
15/64 Beechwood House and adjoining
- service courtyard walls


Rectory, now house, and adjoining service courtyard walls. Circa 1830-40.
Rendered, probably over stone rubble. Hipped scantle-slate roof. Rendered stacks
with cornices.
Plan: Double-depth central-entrance plan, facing west. Central entrance hall, small
study to right with integral end stack and staircase to rear, drawing room to left
with canted bay to left, and dining room to its rear with axial stack between and
integral end stack. Projecting kitchen wing set back to right, with integral end
stack, and service wing projecting to rear with former bakehouse/wash house at far
end. Wall enclosing service courtyard in angle at rear. Two storeys with one-storey
part at rear of service range.
Exterior: Plinth and deeply projecting eaves. Symmetrical 3-bay front; early C19
twelve-pane glazing bar sashes (upper leafs of principal windows with samll cyma-
moulded horns) with stone cills, and ground-floor windows with moulded cornices above
supported on small shaped brackets. Central recessed early C19 four-panelled door
with central beading, round-arched overlight, moulded imposts and moulded architrave
to arch with keystone. Tuscan doorcase with pilasters supporting frieze, moulded
cornice and blocking course. Three-bay left-hand return front. Pair of first-floor
12-pane glazing bar sashes to left, tripartite glazing bar sash to right (with solid
wall between lights), pair of ground-floor tall 6-pane glazing bar sashes to left
(upper leaves of 2 panes) with stone cills and moulded cornices supported on small
shaped brackets and ground-floor canted bay to right with moulded cornice and
blocking course and 3 tall 6-pane glazing bar sashes (top leaves of 2 panes). Right-
hand return front has tall margin-light glazing bar sash (with horns to upper leaf)
lighting staircase hall and small ground-floor 4-pane window lighting pantry with
internal wrought-iron bars. Right-hand kitchen wing has small wooden bellcote on
ridge with round-arched openings, pyramidal lead cap with ball finial and gilded
weathervane, and bell with pulley-wheel. First-floor and ground-floor wide
tripartite glazing bar sashes (16-pane to centre and 8-pane to side lights), ground-
floor window with segmental-arched head. Lean-to porch in angle to left has pair of
early C19 three-panelled doors (upper panels raised and fielded and lower 2 panels
beaded flush). Early C19 downpipe in angle of wing has moulded semi-curcular lead
rainwater head. Rear of main block is irregularly fenestrated, with pair of early
C19 glazing bar sashes on each floor to left. Service wing to rear, facing service
courtyard, has first-floor round-arched glazing bar sash to right with impost blocks
and key block and doorway to right has pair of small-paned half-glazed doors (lower
panels beaded flush). Small ground-floor 2-light wooden casement to left. One-
storey probable former bakehouse/wash house to left with 4-pane window and plank
door. Former cartshed adjoining to far left with 2-bay open front (right-hand bay
blocked). Rear (south) of right-hand end of service wing has 2 first-floor C20
nine-pane glazing bar sashes, ground-floor C20 triple 12- and 4-pane glazing bar sash
to right with segmental head, and early C19 twelve-pane glazing bar sash to left,
also with segmental head. Early C19 stone rubble walls enclosing north and east
sides of courtyard at rear. Round-arched doorway to north with voussoirs, and wide
gateway to east. Small slate-roofed lean-to outbuilding in angle of wall.
Interior: Complete and well-detailed early C19 interior. Entrance/staircase hall
with moulded skirting board, lincrusta wallpaper to dado, moulded dado rail and
moulded plaster cornice (also to landing). Six-panelled doors with panelled reveals
and soffits and moulded architraves. Entrance lobby flanked by antae with plain
medallions to moulded capitals and supporting beam with panelled soffit. Front
doorway with moulded architrave, and draught lobby with 2 half-glazed doors and half-
glazed side-lights. Fine early C19 dog-leg staircase with landing, open string with
cut brackets, treads with moulded nosings, moulded wall string, lincrusta wallpaper
to dado, dado rail, turned balusters (2 per tread) cast-iron foot newel and swept
moulded handrail, wreathed to foot newel with carved stylized foliage. Flying top
flight with beaded corners to soffit. Balustrade returns to landing. Staircase with
old brass stair rods at time of survey (January 1988). Small study to right of
entrance has moulded plaster cornice and soffit and early C19 chimney-piece with
pilasters and bracketed mantelshelf. Drawing room to left of entrance has moulded
skirting board, picture rail and enriched plaster cornice and soffit. Windows with
panelled shutters, lower jambs and soffits. Windows in bay with vertical-sliding
panelled shutters. Early C19 chimney-piece consisting of pilasters and frieze with
Greek key ornament and scrolled brackets supporting mantelshelf. Dining room to rear
of drawing room has moulded skirting board and plaster cornice with egg and dart
enrichment and plaster soffit with vine-trail enrichment. Windows with panelled
shutters and moulded architraves. Narrow early C19 oak floor-boards. Elliptical-
arched sideboard recess with panelled reveals and soffit and moulded architrave.
Marble fireplace with panelled pilasters. Six-panelled green-baize door leading to
kitchen corridor, with stone floor, meat hooks and board for former servants' bells
(since removed). Four-panelled door to cellar. Former kitchen has large fireplace
with early C19 beaded architrave and mantleshelf, and flanking cupboards. Windows
and doors with beaded splayed jambs. Matchboarded dado. Small pump room to rear of
kitchen with lead pump. Early C19 dog-leg back staircase with winders, closed
string, stick balusters and 2-leaf child gate. Pair of early C19 doors in rear wing
each with 2 raised and fielded panels. Bakehouse/wash house in rear of service wing
with probable former washing copper and bread oven with cast-iron door. Most windows
throughout the house retain old glass.
There is a plan of High Bickington Rectory of c.1600 in Devon Record office which
shows an extensive range of buildings around 2 courtyards. However, it is not clear
whether Beechwood House (the old rectory) stands on the site of the building shown in
the c.1600 drawing. The rectory on this site appears to have been superseded by
another rectory (q.v.), also an early C19 building, in the village (now itself
superseded by a late C20 rectory). Kelly's Directory of 1837 refers to High
Bickington Rectory as "... a substantial modern residence, with well-wooded grounds
[which] stands on an eminence overlooking the Taw Valley, which affords an extensive
view of the beautiful scenery of the neighbourhood." Although this description might
be of the former rectory in the village the reference to "well-wooded grounds"
suggests it is of this house, i.e. Beechwood House. The house stands in small wooded
landscaped grounds including a wooden-balustraded terrace overlooking the view to the
north and garden walls (q.v.) to the south. This is a well-detailed and largely
unaltered example of an early C19 rectory, particulary notable for the use of horns
(although small) on the upper leaves of the principal glazing bar sash windows at
such an early date.
Sources: Kelly's Directory of Devonshire and Cornwall (1883), p.47; Devon Record
Office; Post Office Director of Devonshire (1866), p.723.

Listing NGR: SS6097420207

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