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39, High Street

A Grade II* Listed Building in Barnstaple, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0812 / 51°4'52"N

Longitude: -4.0606 / 4°3'38"W

OS Eastings: 255759

OS Northings: 133343

OS Grid: SS557333

Mapcode National: GBR KQ.D55B

Mapcode Global: FRA 26C8.CW3

Plus Code: 9C3Q3WJQ+FQ

Entry Name: 39, High Street

Listing Date: 31 December 1973

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1385154

English Heritage Legacy ID: 485616

Location: Barnstaple, North Devon, Devon, EX31

County: Devon

District: North Devon

Civil Parish: Barnstaple

Built-Up Area: Barnstaple

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Barnstaple St Peter and St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Building

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684-1/7/138 (East side)
31/12/73 No.39


Shop with rooms above. C14 or early C15; front range rebuilt
early C18, rear wing extended C19. Front range is of red brick
(Flemish bond), painted at the front, rendered at the back.
Rear wing is wholly rendered, rear gable-wall of the older
part, and possibly also the side walls, is of stone rubble.
Slated roofs with red ridge-tiles, the rear wing tarred. No
chimneys, unless an old red-brick stack on the right side wall
of the wing belongs to this building rather than to No.38A
L-shaped plan with narrow courtyard on left side of the rear
wing; latter may be basically a medieval open hall. Front
range is one-room deep with cross-passage at left-hand end of
ground storey; staircase in left-hand rear corner.
3 storeys at front, 2 in the wing. Front to High Street is
3-window range. Ground storey has late C20 shop front. Both
sets of upper-storey windows have segmental arches with
keyblocks, those in 3rd storey fluted. All now contain fixed
12-pane, late C20 sashes; those in 3rd storey formerly had
flush-framed 6-pane sashes.
Rear wall of front range has at left side a late C16 to mid
C17 wooden, ovolo-moulded mullioned window of 2 lights
(probably re-set); right-hand (south) light blocked, but
left-hand (north) light contains an early or mid C19 wooden
casement of 15 panes, 2 of them with old, greenish glass.
INTERIORS: front range contains little of interest, except for
first-floor window seats, with ovolo-moulded panelled fronts
and a similar 2-panelled door. Entirely plain staircase cut
through 2 apertures in rear wall. Roof space not accessible.
Rear wing is similarly featureless, except for the roof space,
but under the plaster the walls may contain blocked windows,
doorways and fireplaces of an early date.
The roof-structure is of major importance, dating probably
from the C14 or early C15. It comprises 2 trusses with cranked
collars, 2 tiers of through purlins and a square-set
ridge-piece; nearly all the common rafters are old, and
possibly original. The front truss has a small rectangular
projection below the centre of the collar; the ridge is
clasped between the tops of the principal rafters and
supported by a triangular strengthening piece. The rear truss
differs in having a saddle to support the ridge. Both trusses
have scratched carpenter's marks, though not obviously in
numbered sequence.
There is some evidence of smoke-blackening from a former open
hearth, especially at the front end, but it is not heavy
compared with many rural medieval roofs in Devon. The
different character of the rear truss and the reduced
blackening at that end may suggest that the wing was extended
during the Middle Ages. The boxed feet of the trusses are
visible on the first floor; the curve on the left side end may
crucks or jointed crucks. 2 chimney-breasts are visible on
right hand side of roof-space: one of brick at front and one
of stone with occasional bricks at rear.
Medieval roof-trusses, especially of this early type, are rare
in Devon towns. If, as seems likely, the rear wing was an open
hall, then this is also a medieval urban house type not known
elsewhere in the county.

Listing NGR: SS5575933343

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