Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SY 18536 89932



7/6 Edge Barton Manor 22.2.55 GV II* House, former manor house. Parts are as old as the late C13-early C14, most is late C15 and c16, the house was reduced in size and altered a little in the C18 and c19, restored circa 1935 by Captain Frank Masters and modernised circa 1951. Parts are coursed blocks of Beerstone ashlar, the rest is local flint and Beerstone rubble; Beerstone stacks, the older chimneyshafts are Beerstone ashlar; slate roof, most was originally thatch. Plan and development: basically a U-plan house. The main block faces west and is built down the hillslope with a 3-room plan. Uphill at the left (north) end is (or was) a small unheated room but this has been long filled with rubble up to first floor level. The central room is the largest in the house and has a massive axial stack backing onto the rubble-filled northern room. This is now the dining room but was formerly the hall. Downhill, at the right (south) end, is a parlour with a front projecting lateral stack. The north wing projects at right angles, and overlaps slightly, the rear of the unheated north room. A great stone newel stair in the angle of these wings gives access only to the upper rooms of the front end room and those of the north wing. The north wing has a 2-room plan and is unheated (except for a C20 rear lateral stack serving the top floor only). The south wing projects at right angles to rear of the parlour and it has a 2-room plan. The small room towards the front has now been united with the parlour. The rear room is heated by an axial stack. In the C20 the space between the 2 wings was infilled providing a new main stair and service rooms. The historic development of the house is difficult to determine due to the extent of C18, C19 and C20 alterations and also it is likely that some of the medieval house has been demolished. The earliest recognisable fabric is found in the south wing where there appears to be a fragment of the late C13-early C14 chapel (maybe built by Bishop Walter Branscombe). Here the axial stack is blocking a rose window in the west wall of the chapel and there is a jamb of a doorway through the north wall. The chapel was disused long before the end room of the wing was rebuilt on its site in the C19. The dining room and parlour of the main block occupy a probably late C15 open hall which was heated by an open hearth fire and included a smoke bay. In the mid-late C16 it was divided into a smaller hall and parlour, it was floored over and the fireplaces were inserted. The chambers over were probably the principal chambers. The C16 doorway at the rear of the hall could have led to a stair turret up to these chambers. The north end room of the main block and the north wing are mid-late C16 service rooms as they are now arranged but there are several blockings and features here which prove that the buildings are older, probably late C15-early C16. Since the building includes no historic kitchen facilities it is clear that the house was once larger. The large fireplace in the south wing may have been a C16 or C17 kitchen fireplace which was adapted in the C19 but a full courtyard plan is suspected. New discoveries may alter this interpretation which must be regarded as provisional. Problems remain such as was there a through or cross passage, why do most of the older doors appear to lead out into the courtyard, and is the front door in its original position? Most of the house is now 2 storeys but the north wing has attic rooms too. Exterior: the main west front has an irregular 4-window front. Like all the windows these are C20 replacement Beerstone windows with hollow-chamfered mullions and they contain rectangular panes of leaded glass. A straight join shows between the ashlar of the hall/dining room and the left (north) room. This north end section rises higher and has a gable with shaped kneelers and coping. It also includes a tiny restored lancet at second floor level. The front doorway into the hall (right of centre) is a C20 Beerstone Tudor arch. There is an irregular patch of blocking alongside to left and over the hall window is an arch-headed relieving arch, maybe from a C15 hall window. The wall top was raised in flint rubble when the roof was changed from thatch to slate. The hall stack has a circular Beerstone ashlar chimneyshaft. The parlour stack has divided chimneyshafts, one of them is ashlar. The south gable end has shaped kneelers and coping. The first floor window here is a large and impressive 4-light mullion-and-transom window with hoodmould. A rough butt join shows between the 2 rooms of the south wing. The south side of the north wing has a 2-window front and shows evidence of 2 blocked doorways, one of them was a large 2-centred arch. There are a couple of other blockings which appear to pre-date the late C16-early C17 fenestration. Across the back there is said to have been a dry moat but only a short section at the end of the main block now remains. In more sheltered places around the house some of the Beerstone quoins are decorated with a herringbone pattern and same have ancient graffitis featuring sailing boats. Interior: the earliest fabric appears to be in the south wing. The wall between the 2 rooms here is thought to have been the west wall of the late C13-early C14 chapel. The evidence is the remains of a rose window of that date in the former gable; the tracery contains 4 cusped trefoils. The moulded jamb of an arch-headed doorway in what would have been the north wall may be contemporary. So too is a cusped ogee-headed piscina which has been reset in the present entrance hall. Around the house there are various blocked or disused architectural fragments, notably fragments of arches in the back of the hall stack and a curious half-engaged shaft on the top floor of the north wing. The C15 hall occupied the present hall/dining room and parlour. It was open to the roof which still survives. It is 5 bays. The southernmost bay was originally closed with oak framing providing a smoke bay indicating that there was originally an open hearth fire against the south wall. This bay is heavily smoke-blackened and the sooting fades out north of it. The next 2 trusses are arch-braced jointed crucks. The plain side-pegged jointed cruck at the north end of the hall maybe C16. This hall was divided, floored and provided with fireplaces in the mid-late C16. The hall/dining room has an enormous Beerstone ashlar fireplace with low Tudor arch head and chamfered surround. The 3-bay ceiling here and 2-bay ceiling of the parlour have chamfered and step-stopped crossbeams. Above are 2 master chambers with a smaller unheated room between. These are separated by oak-framed crosswalls, one still containing its original crank-headed doorway. The Beerstone fireplace in the northern chamber has been reduced in size; it had a chamfered surround. The southern chamber was the best chamber on the evidence of the good Beerstone fireplace; it has a Tudor arch with angular corners, a moulded surround and carved shields in the spandrels. The newel stair in the angle of the north wing is thought to be associated with the mid-late C16 refurbishment of the wing since it ascends to the second floor. Even so it looks earlier with 2-centred arch doorways. The ceiling beams on the ground floor are chamfered with step stops. Those above and those in the end section of the main block are plainly finished and are probably C19 replacements. The roof is a C19 replacement although there is a cruck post in the end wall of the main block. Some of the window embrasures of this wing have interesting early graffitis, particularly those on the first floor. Amongst the many initials.(the earliest dated 1610) are representations of sailing ships, animals and an Elizabethan lady. The end room of the south wing appears to be a complete C19 rebuild and has plain carpentry detail. The large kitchen fireplace however maybe adapted from a C17 one. Edge Barton Manor is most attractively positioned on the steep side of a valley with views looking towards the sea. It also forms a good group with its farmbuildings and is surrounded by a series of terraces. The house was the home of the Branscombe family from the C11-C14 and the Wadham family from C14-late C16. It was occupied by tenant farmers 1618-1933. Sources: H Dalton Clifford A Manor House Restored Country Life, August 30 1962 : Devon SMR.

Listing NGR: SY1853689932


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
'Country Life' in Country Life, (1962)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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