This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.
WEMBWORTHY RASHLEIGH LANE SS 61 SE 1/75 Rashleigh Barton including 6.2.53 rubble walls and outbuildings adjoining to east GV II*
Farmhouse and adjoining outbuildings. Late medieval or C16 core, enlarged and refurbished in early C17 and includes dated plasterwork of 1631 and 1633, minor later C17 improvements, C19 outshots and outbuildings. Plastered cob on rubble footings and some plastered stone rubble; local stone rubble stacks and chimney shafts; slate roof which includes a number of C17 crested ridge tiles.
House faces west with an irregular plan around the core of a 3-room-and-through- passage plan with service end room at right (south) end. Beyond (south of), the service end room is a C17 service cross wing projecting forward and partly rebuilt in C20. The inner room at right (north) end was rebuilt in C17 as a crosswing projecting forward and back and comprising front parlour with master chamber above and rear buttery or service room. A corridor between these rooms leads from the hall to the C17 stair block which projects from left (north) end on same axis as the main block. Service end room has outer axial stack backing onto crosswing, hall has large rear lateral stack and parlour has lateral stack in outer side.
Another axial stack at upper end of hall serving first floor chamber only. C19 outshots along back of hall, passage, service end room and service crosswing and includes a kitchen stack. Rear passage doorway is now blocked. 2 storeys.
Main (west front) has regular but not quite symmetrical 1:3:1 window front to left of the blind side of the stair block. The windows are all early C20 casements with glazing bars and central window of main block, over the passage door, is blind.
Passage door with overlight and a second door on inner side of parlour crosswing are C19. Both crosswings are gable-ended. The service crosswing end to right was rebuilt completely in C20 but parlour crosswing is original C17 work and the end includes the remains of the Cl7 hoodmoulds with carved facetted labels. There is another similar hoodmould on the inner side of the parlour over a sunken square panel with moulded surround containing the Clothworthy arms in bas relief and flanked by a square label with foliate decoration to left and a circular label containing the initials MC to right. This plaque has probably been moved from over the passage doorway in the C19 when a parlour window here was blocked and the present doorway inserted. All the chimney shafts are built of neat stone rubble with coping and that to the hall is particularly tall. The left (north) gable end to the stack block has a C20 casement to the service room under the stairs but above are 2 C17 oak stair windows; tall 3-lights with ovolo-moulded mullions to the first half landing and shorter but 4 lights with chamfered mullions to stairhead. The rear side of stair block has C17 oak wall plate with ovolo moulding along its soffit. The outer side of the rear buttery/service room has a ground floor C17 oak 6-light window with chamfered mullions. On the outside of the right (south) service crosswing an external flight of stone steps lead to first floor doorway.
Well-preserved interior of surprisingly high quality. The features which show all appear C17 but the core may include earlier hidden features. For instance the roofspace over the hall is inaccessible and the partitions either side of the passage are clad with plaster.
The small service end room is lined with C17 oak small field panelling including a carved geometric pattern frieze. A window in the rear wall is blocked and a cupboard to left of the fireplace (blocking a doorway) has panelled doors hung on late C17 H-hinges. The fireplace is blocked but has a fine C17 oak 3-panel chimney piece above. In the central panel is the carved arms of the Clotworthy family and the flanking panels contain ornate round-headed blind arches, all beneath a frieze of the same fabulous beast with acanthus leaf consoles between. From the passage to the hall is a late C17 oak 8-panel door; moulded central muntins and the rest of the frame is scratch-moulded. The massive hall fireplace is Beerstone with a flat Tudor arch and ovolo-moulded surround. It is partly blocked and the face of the lintel is covered by a C19 mantel shelf. The high ceiling was probably inserted in C17 to a formerly open hill. It is a 4-panel intersecting beam ceiling clad with C17 ornamental plasterwork featuring the remains of moulded cornices and a broad frieze of repeating foliate ornament interrupted by shields. At the upper end of the hall is an alcove containing a double coam oven, probably inserted in C18 or C19. Alongside is an early C17, possibly even late C16, oak doorway with a bead- moulded surround and solid moulded architrave. The doorway once had an ogee or Tudor arched head but was altered in the C17 to accommodate a round-headed 12-panel oak door in which the head is enriched with a carved bifurcated scroll.
The corridor through the parlour end crosswing is lined with C17 oak small field wainscotting and has C17 doors to buttery/service room and parlour; the former 8- panel, the latter 10-panel and hung by cockshead hinges to a probably late C17 doorframe. The corridor ceiling is enriched with a regular series of moulded plaster sunflower roundels. The parlour is very fine. The granite fireplace has a flat Tudor arch with moulded surround and chamfer roll stops and its pentan is made up of slates laid to herringbone pattern. Cupboard to left has reset 8-panel oak door and blocked door to cellar under stairs to right has chamfered and scroll stopped oak frame. The 3-bay ceiling of rich ornamental plaster is lovely and unusual. The soffits of the crossbeams are enriched with florettes including some Tudor roses and each bay has a moulded cornice over a frieze packed with various fruits, flowers and foliage. Each bay contains a central moulded plaster shield with various heraldic achievements from which flow a free pattern of intertwining foliage, a different fruiting plant in each panel, and amongst which roam a menagerie of beasts, birds and insects. Some of the beasts are allegoric such as the griffin, others are real and range from the exotic monkey and elephant to the mundane fox and horse. The main stair has been dismantled, mended and re-erected.
They rise in 3 broad flights around a closed well and both sides are lined with oak small field panelling. The stair head has reset oak railings with moulded high handrail and turned balusters and newel posts, the latter with ball caps. Stair also includes a fine original oak dog gate made up of 2 tiers of slender balusters turned as smaller versions of the main balusters and crested by a row of ball caps.
The parlour crosswing contains the master chamber suite. The rear room is now subdivided but was originally an unheated 2-bay room with a curious narrow closet or wardrobe room to the rear. The coved ceiling was once enriched with ornamental plasterwork but now only a fragment of the single rib geometric pattern and one moulded angle spray survive. However most of the frieze remains and at each end are the Clotworthy arms in a strapwork cartouche enriched with putti and garlands of fruit and flanked by vases of flowers surrounded by snails, insects and birds.
The inner cartouche features the initials I and MC with the date 1633. Original oak 8-panel door hung on cockshead hinges to the closet/wardrobe. From the rear to front chamber is round-headed 8-panel door with similar carved head to that below in the hall. The front master chamber has a magnificent 3-bay coved ceiling of ornamental plasterwork. Enriched ribs define a geometric pattern and include 3 pendants, the central one larger and open. The panels are filled with a riot of birds, beasts, flowers and fruits. Under a projecting cornice the frieze features charicatured faces in cartouches flanked by fabulous beasts or intertwining foliage. The inner end has the Clotworthy arms in a moulded frame flanked by allegoric medallions in enriched strapwork cartouches and on each side is a reclining figure in classical garb. The plasterwork at the outer end however is different, probably late C17. The frieze here of shields and pegasus supporters is relatively formal and above is a descending high relief bunch of fruit flanked by cherubs.
There are 2 small chambers over the hall. That at the upper (northern) end is lined with C17 oak small field panelling, its fireplace is blocked and a relatively simple strapwork cartouche over the panelling on the party wall is partly hidden by the lowered ceiling. The oak panelled door between the chambers is hung on one original cockshead hinge and a replacement H-hinge and has small ball-cap handles similar to those along the top chambers of the dog-gate. The lower end chamber is plainly-finished. Both chambers have blocked windows in the rear wall, the lower end, one still retaining its original oak 3-light frame with chamfered mullions and is exposed in a rear cupboard. A C17 doorway with chamfered surround and scroll stops leads from the lower end chamber through the rear wall to a Cl7 corridor to the service end chambers. The chamber over the service end and passage has a painted ashlar fireplace with chamfered surround and pyramid stops. The chimney breast has a moulded plaster lozenge-shaped plaque. It has angle sprays on each side and contains another Clotworthy family arms and the initials I and MC with the date 1631. This room also has a C17 moulded plaster cornice.
From each end of the rear high plastered rubble walls with slate coping extend eastwards soon returning to enclose a small courtyard which contains a C19 woodshed with slate monopitch roof in the north-east corner and C19 pigsties against the back wall. Most of this appears to be C19 work but the northern wall (abutting the buttery/service) room is late C17. It is very high and includes a large doorway containing an oak bead-moulded frame with a broad moulded architrave on the outside face.
Rashleigh was owned by the Rashleigh family from C14 until 1503 when it was acquired by Thomas Clotworthy whose arms there are over the parlour door.
Source: Devon SMR
Listing NGR: SS6717912893
© Dr Barbara Hilton. Source: Historic England Archive
This photograph was taken for the Images of England project
People & Organisations
Photographer: Hilton, Barbara
Rights Holder: Hilton, Barbara
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