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Hole Farmhouse Including Gate Piers Adjoining East End

A Grade II* Listed Building in Branscombe, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6992 / 50°41'57"N

Longitude: -3.1463 / 3°8'46"W

OS Eastings: 319137

OS Northings: 89471

OS Grid: SY191894

Mapcode National: GBR PC.6G0V

Mapcode Global: FRA 4797.81Q

Plus Code: 9C2RMVX3+MF

Entry Name: Hole Farmhouse Including Gate Piers Adjoining East End

Listing Date: 22 February 1955

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1333291

English Heritage Legacy ID: 88684

Location: Branscombe, East Devon, Devon, EX12

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Branscombe

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Branscombe St Winifred

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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7/12 Hole Farmhouse including
- gate piers adjoining east end
- II*

Farmhouse. Early-mid C16, with C17 improvements, modernised circa 1960. The front
is of coursed blocks of Beerstone ashlar; the rest is also Beerstone ashlar but not
so neat and includes patches of stone rubble, the east wing includes a section of
chequer pattern walling made up of small Beerstone blocks and knapped black flint;
stone stacks with Beerstone ashlar chimneyshafts tile roof, formerly thatch.
Plan: courtyard plan house. The main block faces south-south-east, say south, and
is built down the hillslope. it has a 3-room-and-through-passage plan. The uphill
left (west) end is terraced into the hillslope. It is an inner room with a gable-
end stack. Next to it is the hall with an axial stack at the upper end backing onto
the inner room. Below the passage there is a lower end room (maybe a parlour) with
a gable-end stack. A rear block projects at right angles behind each end room. The
left or west wing has a gable-end stack and is thought to be the kitchen block.
There is a lower north wing which nearly encloses the courtyard and this has been
converted to a 2-room plan cottage.
Since no internal inspection was available at the time of this survey it is not
possible to interpret the layout of the house and its historical development in
detail here. Nevertheless it is clear that the hall at least was originally open
to the roof and the Devon SMR records the survival of the original "medieval" roof.
Smoke-blackening from an open hearth fire is not mentioned but might be expected if
the house is early C16 (or maybe late C15). The present house appears to be largely
the result of a major mid or late C16 renovation and the rear wings might date from
this time. The rear passage doorway is blocked by the east Wing. The rear (north)
block was probably service rooms but all external evidence was removed or disguised
in its conversion to the present cottage.
The house is now 2 storeys throughout.
Good exterior: irregular 3-window front. The ground floor left end window is a C20
casement containing diamond panes of leaded glass. The first floor windows are
circa 1960 plate glass half dormers with hipped roofs. The other windows are C16;
3-light Beerstone windows with Tudor arch heads and hoodmoulds, they contain
rectangular panes of leaded glass. The passage front doorway is right of centre and
is a C16 Beerstone Tudor arch; it contains a C20 door. Directly above is a
Beerstone plaque bearing the arms of the Holcombe family. The roof is gable-ended .
To rear of the hall is a C16 full height 5-light window with moulded Beerstone
mullions Tudor arch headed lights and sunken spandrels, all except the 1 blocked
light containing rectangular panes of leaded glass and iron glazing bars. There are
other smaller versions in both rear wings and a couple of probably C17 ovolo-moulded
mullion Beerstone windows. The courtyard (northern) side of the east wing has an
attractive chequer face of small cream-coloured Beerstone blocks and black flint.
The present main doorway has been inserted into the right (east) end of the main
block and contains a C20 door.
Interior was not available for inspection at the time of this survey although a
Tudor arch fireplace with moulded surround and sunken spandrels was seen in the
hall. The beam flooring the hall was roughly squared and is probably C19 or C20.
Devon SMR reports a "medieval" roof here and the former list description reports
"old ceiling beams etc. within". Also the parish guide reports "a fine Elizabethan
fireplace on which are carved the names of Gulbart Holcombe (born 1594) Elizabeth
Holcombe (born 1590) and Josias Holcombe (married 1593)." It would seem that the
interior is as well preserved as the exterior. Therefore, before a full internal
survey is undertaken, great care should be taken with any modernisation work here
lest C16 or C17 features be disturbed.
Against the east end of the main block there is a gateway, Beerstone gateposts with
ball finials. Although this has been restored the gateway is probably C17.
The first documentary reference to Hole dates from 1249. It was the home of the
Holcombe family during the C15, C16 and C17. It next passed to the Bartletts and
then, by marriage, to the Stuckeys.
Sources: Devon SMR. F C Butters, Branscombe, The Parish and the Church (1949), p

Listing NGR: SY1913789471

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