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The Old Manor

A Grade II* Listed Building in Talaton, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7891 / 50°47'20"N

Longitude: -3.3236 / 3°19'24"W

OS Eastings: 306797

OS Northings: 99671

OS Grid: SY067996

Mapcode National: GBR LQ.ZRTD

Mapcode Global: FRA 37X0.BYZ

Plus Code: 9C2RQMQG+JH

Entry Name: The Old Manor

Listing Date: 22 February 1955

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1333753

English Heritage Legacy ID: 86946

Location: Talaton, East Devon, Devon, EX5

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Talaton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Talaton St James the Apostle

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Find accommodation in
Talaton

Description

TALATON
SY 09 NE
6/190 The Old Manor
22.2.55
GV II*

Former farmhouse. Late C15 - early C16 with major later C16, C17 and early C18
improvements, only superficial modernisations since. Basically the walls are
plastered cob on local stone rubble footings but the public sides have been rebuilt
(or refaced) with local handmade brick laid to Flemish bond with decorative burnt
heads on low stone rubble footings; brick and stone stacks topped with C19 brick;
thatch roof.
Plan and development: L-plan house. The main block faces south and has a 4-room-
and-through-passage plan and a former carriageway through the right (east) end. At
the left (west) end is a small unheated inner room (now an office). Next to it is
the former hall (the sitting room) with a front lateral stack. In fact it projects
from the left end but the rest of the front is flush with the front of the stack.
Then there is the passage and the other side is the dining room with the main stair
behind. It has an axial stack backing onto the kitchen to right which itself has an
axial stack, this one backing onto the carriageway that end. The passage is
extended back through outshots across the back to right of it. To the left is a
doorway to the rear wing; it projects at right angles to rear of the left end, it
overlaps the former hall, it also runs along the lane. The doorway leads into a
stair lobby. Behind it are 2 rooms and the first one is a large room heated by an
axial stack backing onto the small end room.
The layout is essentially that of the early C18. Even so it is a house with a long
and complex structural history. The historic core is the centre and left end of the
main block. This was a 3-room-and-through-passage plan house, a hall house, open to
the roof from end to end. It was divided by low partition screens and was heated by
an open hearth fire. Doorways of the passage show that the service end was divided
into two by an axial wall (probably then for service use as buttery, pantry, dairy,
and the like). An inner room chamber which jettied into the upper-end of the hall
was provided at an early stage (whilst the open fire was still in operation). It
seems there was then built a newel turret projecting to rear and gained from the
upper end of the hall. The evidence for when the front stack was first inserted or
when the lower end was first floored has gone, having been rebuilt. The hall was
floored over in the late C16 - early C17, at the same time or a little earlier than
the rear parlour wing was built; the plasterwork there is dated 1639. In the late
C17 the house was refurbished. The service end was rebuilt as a dining room with a
new stack, the stair adjoining was built and the public sides (the front and lane
side) were rebuilt. At about the same time the rear wing parlour was altered and
downgraded, the main parlour seems to have moved to the former hall.
The kitchen at the east end was probably already in operation but it is not easy to
relate the development of this end to the rest of the house. For a start it has a
smoke-blackened roof structure which is a different build to that of the rest. Thus
there was another late medieval building alongside the main house. It, or part of
it, was converted to a kitchen some time between the mid C17 and early C18. In the
late C17 - early C18 the front of this part (and overlapping part of the dining
room) was rebuilt in brick and extended over a new carriageway past the end of the
kitchen. The awkward straight join between the 2 sections of brick could indicate
that this right section was secondary if the earlier brick of the main house went
only so far as a high wall or front service block. House is 2 storeys.
Exterior: the 2 phases of brick on the front are very similar and they contain very
similar original windows. Irregular 4-window front. The ground floor windows are
flat-faced mullion-and-transom windows under low segmental arches and a fifth ground
floor casement at the right end is secondary and blocking a former doorway. The 3
first floor windows to left are oak with ovolo-moulded mullions, the fourth is a
flat-faced mullion window. All contain rectangular panes of leaded glass, some of
it very old. The front passage doorway is left of centre and contains a C19
panelled door. The carriageway at the left end has a low segmental arch. The roof
is hipped to right and half-hipped to left. The rear block also includes several
C17 oak-framed windows, most with chamfered mullions but one on the first floor
inner side has ogee-moulded mullions. The rear block roof is half-hipped.
Interior: of exceptional importance containing high quality work from all building
phases. There are oak plank-and-muntin screens both sides of the passage and
another at the upper end of the hall. All three are original low partition screens
and all are of large scantling. Those either end of the hall have chamfered muntins
with cut diagonal stops and the doorways are 4-centred arches. The lower passage
screen is slightly different; its muntins have runout stops and both doorways are
shoulder-headed arches. At the upper end of the hall the inner room projects as a
jetty. The joists and underside of the jetty and the screen below were painted in
the mid -late C16 (before the hall was floored). Although the faces of the muntins
were later hacked back the design is otherwise unusually well-preserved and the
ancient colours are still bright. It is an attractive and exuberant piece of rustic
craftmanship depicting bunches of flowers in a strapwork pattern. The cupboard in
the back wall contains the lower steps of the early newel stair. The axial beam is
chamfered with pyramid stops. The fireplace is brick and late C17 - early C18. The
dining room has a large brick fireplace with a plain oak lintel, the crossbeam is
chamfered with scroll stops and on the rear wall is late C17 stair entrance, a
timber round-headed arch with key block and a box cornice which is carried over a
cupboard with shaped shelves. The stair rises round a solid well and has square
newel posts, moulded flat handrail and turned balusters. The kitchen has a
chamfered crossbeam with cut diagonal stops and the fireplace here is stone rubble
including some dressed conglomerate blocks and its oak lintel is chamfered; there is
a stone arch doorway to the oven.
The rear block stair is missing its balustrade but it is thought to be C18 or C19.
The main downstairs room is relatively plain. The crossbeam is boxed in and the
fireplace looks C18; brick with a plain oak lintel. However the upper chamber (now
divided) has a fine ornamental plasterwork ceiling; a single rib design with unusual
moulded motifs and on both end walls deep friezes featuring decorative panels which
includes the date 1639 and a coat of arms. The crosswall to the stair includes an
overlapping oak plank screen. The chamber over the hall has the remains of a
moulded plaster cornice. Throughout the house there are some C17 chamfered oak
doorways and several old doors.
The original roof survives virtually intact over the 3-room-and-through-passage
section of the main house. It is carried on a series of large scantling side-pegged
jointed cruck trusses and there were hip crucks each end (the inner room end one is
missing). The whole roof structure is smoke-blackened from the original open hearth
fire. Both the jetty crosswall and the infil of the truss over the lower passage
screen are both smoke-blackened on the hall side only. The 2-bay roof over the
kitchen is a different structure on a lower level. However it too is carried on a
side-pegged jointed cruck truss and the structure is smoke-blackened from another
open hearth fire. The rear wing roof is also carried on side-pegged jointed cruck
trusses but these are C17 and clean.
The Old Manor is an exceptionally well-preserved multi-period house which has had a
minimum of modernisation since the early C18. The present owner, Mr Dixon, has
carefully repaired the structure and much of the detail since 1976. Also the house
forms part of a picturesque group of listed buildings in the vicinity of the Church
of St James (q.v).
Source: Good photographic record by RCHM in NMR.


Listing NGR: SY0680499670

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