Livehayne / Livenhayes Farmhouse

1 Jun 2006
Livehayne, Yarcombe, East Devon, Devon, EX14 9BJ
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Livenhayes Farmhouse, Yarcombe, East Devon, Devon, EX14 9BJ
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.

YARCOMBE ST 20 NW 7/166 Livenhayes Farmhouse (formerly listed as Livehayne) 22.2.55 GV II"

Farmhouse. Probably early C16 with major later and C17 improvements (the kitchen refurbishment is dated 1662), some C19 modernisation. Local stone and flint rubble; stone rubble stacks and Beerstone ashlar chimneyshafts; thatch roof, slate to rear outshots.

Plan and development: 3-room-and-through-passage plan house facing south and built down the hillslope. Uphill at the left (west) end is an unheated inner room which is still used as a dairy. Next to it is the hall with an axial stack backing onto the passage. Downhill at the right (east) end is the kitchen with a gable-end stack.

The roofspace is inaccessible and therefore the early structural history of the house cannot be ascertained. It certainly began as some form of open hall house and was probably heated by an open hearth fire. The owner reports that the thatcher noticed some smoke-blackened timbers in the roof. The chamber over the inner room dairy jetties into the upper end of the hall. It may well be an original feature and the doorway in the face of the partition is thought to have been for a ladder access to the chamber from the hall. The hall stack was probably inserted in the mid or late C16 and the hall was floored in the late C16 - early C17. The service end was thoroughly refurbished to provide a kitchen in 1662 by Samuel Newbury according to a plaque in the chimneyshaft.

The house is 2 storeys with secondary outshots to rear of the hall, passage and kitchen.

Exterior: irregular 4-window front. Most are probably early C19 casements containing rectangular panes of leaded glass but the kitchen has a replacement casement with glazing bars. The dairy window is unglazed, covered with metal gauze and has internal shutters. The other dairy windows are similar and that in the end wall is probably C17; 2 lights with chamfered mullion. The first floor windows rise a short distance into the eaves. The passage front doorway is right of centre and contains a C19 part-glazed plank door behind a contemporary gabled hood on shaped raking struts and is now argumented by a pair of timber posts. The front wall is propped by a couple of C19 raking buttresses. The roof is half-hipped to left and gable-ended to right.

Good interior: the dairy has a plain chamfered crossbeam. The partition between the dairy and hall is plastered over but is evidently oak-framed. The hall has high quality carpentry detail. The fireplace is blocked by a C19 grate but its large size is evident and a fine overmantel is exposed carved out of the oak lintel; it is moulded with an embattled crest. The ceiling is 6-panel of richly-moulded intersecting beams and abuts the internal jetty at the upper end. The features of the kitchen end all date from 1662. Along the lower (kitchen) side of the passage is an oak plank-and-muntin screen. On the kitchen side the muntins are chamfered with step stops over an oak bench. The crossbeam is chamfered with scroll stops.

The large kitchen fireplace is painted stone ashlar with an oak lintel and low Tudor-arch head with a chamfered surround. The large oven with cast iron door was rebuilt in the C19. The lintel is continued across a cupboard to right. This was originally a walk-in curing chamber with an arched head cut into the lintel (this is now hidden).

On the first floor the partition of the original jettied chamber is a closed truss including an oak plank-and-muntin screen which includes the ladder access doorway; a 2-centred arch with moulded surround. The rest of the roof is carried on jointed cruck trusses, one of which is plastered over. Without access to the roofspace it is not possible to ascertain whether the trusses are all contemporary.

Livenhayes is a particularly good example of a late medieval farmhouse which was modernised in the C16 and C17 to an unusually high standard.

Listing NGR: ST2386607384


This is part of the Series: IOE01/2243 IOE Records taken by David Withey; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr David Withey. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Withey, David

Rights Holder: Withey, David


Flint, Rubble, Slate, Stone, Thatch, Timber, Medieval Farmhouse, Tudor Domestic, Agricultural Dwelling, Dwelling, House, Agriculture And Subsistence, Farm Building, Agricultural Building, Cross Passage House, Monument <By Form>, Dairy, Food And Drink Processing Site, Cruck House, Timber Framed House, Timber Framed Building, Open Hall House, Hall House