The Old Bakehouse / Cottam's Bakery

21 Mar 2003
The Old Bakehouse, South Molton Street, Chulmleigh, North Devon, Devon, EX18 7BW
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Cottam's Bakery, South Molton Street, Chulmleigh, North Devon, Devon, EX18 7BW
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.

CHULMLEIGH SOUTH MOLTON STREET SS 6814 (west side), Chulmleigh 7/98 The Old Bakehouse (formerly listed as Cottam's Bakery) GV II House, formerly incorporating bakery. Early to mid C16, remodelled in late C16 or early C17, with considerable C19 and C20 alterations. Painted rendered stone rubble and cob. Thatch roof with plain ridge and gable ends. Brick shaft to stone rubble rear lateral stack towards left end, and brick stack at right end.

Plan: Main range now forms single large room except that, to the right of the principal entrance, an axial partition divides the right-hand side into 2 rooms, the front part forming a shop. Right-angled kitchen wing to rear right end forming overall L-shaped plan.

Development: Complex sequence of alterations has obscured the original plan. The largely intact roof structure indicates its origins as a former open hall house; the principal (left-hand) entrance with its opposing rear doorway appears to indicate the position of the former through-passage, part of a plank and muntin screen surviving to the right-hand side. The lower end was therefore to the left, heated by the rear lateral stack, the fireplace retaining evidence of a bread oven and suggesting this was the service end. The truss over the lower end, however, is set so close to the gable end wall that it seems likely that the house extended further to the left, prior to the building of Fernside (q.v.). The smoke-blackening appears to extend from end to end, suggesting the entire range was originally open to the roof, but replacement of the truss over the lower side of the former through-passage has obscured any evidence of a phased insertion of floors. The blackening is relatively light, suggesting a comparatively short time elapsed before the ceiling over of the hall occured. A good early C17 winder staircase survives to the rear left-hand corner of the former hall. The hall apparently was heated by an inserted front lateral stack, but only part of the left-hand jamb of the fireplace survives, the stack having been demolished and the 2-storey hall window bay (which had probably been built out in the C17) was extended to the left in the mid C19 to incorporate a large ground floor shop window and entrance. The shop itself was created out of the hall by the insertion of an axial partition butting onto the surviving section of the plank and muntin screen, the rear part of which was removed. The rear half of the hall would thus have been left unheated, and this was solved by the insertion of a stone rubble wall incorporating a stack at the right end. In the roofspace, however, this wall reduces to a lath and plaster partition, and it therefore seems highly likely that the adjoining cottage (No.6 (q.v)) may well have formed the parlour end to The Old Bakehouse, unfortunately the roof structure over No.6 has been replaced in C20, but the purlins are crudely sawn off over the inserted stack and partition. Also in the C19, a rear wing was added, used for racking baked loaves until the closing of the bakery in the 1960's, when it was converted to a kitchen, the upper storey largely rebuilt. The bakehouse proper is situated in the detached building at the rear of the property, but within living memory the courtyard was covered over.

Exterior: 2 storeys. 4 window range C19 fenestration principally intact. 3 light casements to upper storey, including oriel at right end with shaped timber brackets.

Ground floor has C20 2 light window at left end. The principal doorway of 4 panels, the upper 2 panels glazed, shop doorway and window of 6 tall panes have a continuous bracketted canopy over. 3 light window 3 panes per light at right end.

Interior: Lower end fireplace lintel replaced in C20. Hearth partially lined with hand made bricks, and part of bread oven survives. C19 dado matchboard panelling to end wall. Section of plank and muntin screen with chamfered muntins, 4 1/2 planks wide to right of former through-passage. Chamfered axial hall ceiling beam, terminating at front end where the section has been built out. Narrow gable end fireplace has chamfered brick arch. Early C17 winder staircase to rear of left-hand corner of hall has balustrade at head of stairs with six C17 turned balusters and larger newel, the handrail apparently reused as bottom rail. C19 fireplace to chamber over hall with eared surround and register grate.

Roof: 3 cruck trusses, the feet boxed in or concealed, so not clear whether jointed, with 2 tiers of threaded purlins and ridge purlin and morticed and tenoned cranked collars. Truss over lower side of passage replaced probably in C18 or early C19.

Rafters and battens largely intact, and all roof members except the underside of the thatch are smoke-blackened.

Listing NGR: SS6867014289


This is part of the Series: IOE01/0023 IOE Records taken by Ann Allen; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Dr Ann Allen. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Allen, Ann

Rights Holder: Allen, Ann


Cob, Render, Rubble, Stone, Thatch, Timber, Medieval Cruck House, Tudor Monument <By Form>, Elizabethan Timber Framed House, Timber Framed Building, House, Domestic, Dwelling, Open Hall House, Hall House, Bakery, Commercial, Industrial, Food Processing Site, Food And Drink Industry Site, Shop