Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

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

Torridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SS 56734 17983


ROBOROUGH SS 51 NE 8/163 Coombe Barton and adjoining 16.1.52 front garden walls


Barton, now house. Probably c.1500, altered in the late C16 or early C17. Restored and partly rebuilt in the late C19. Further alterations probably of c.1900 too and also some minor late C20 alterations. Squared and coursed stone to front with limestone ashlar dressings, right-hand wing and rear wall rebuilt in snecked dressed stone, and the rest mostly of uncoursed stone rubble, with some red brick dressings. Gable-ended Welsh-slate roofs with pierced tile ridge-cresting. Square stone lateral and end stacks with weatherings, hall stack rendered. Later brick lateral stack to left. Roughly squared and coursed stone front garden walls with rounded copings and dressed (almost ashlar) stone gate piers. Plan and development: Three-room and cross-passage (probably formerly through passage) plan, facing approximately north (ground falls to right). Hall with integral lateral stack to front, and lit by large mullioned window to the left of the stack. Hall probably formerly open to the roof and later ceiled (probably in the late C16 or early C17) when the first-floor or attic rooms were inserted over the present ceiling probably in the late C19 or c.1900, at lintel level of hall window. Gallery at the lower (right-hand) end of the hall, now c.1900 but probably replacing an earlier structure. Passage to right of hall with former service room (latterly kitchen) to its right, with integral end stack. Staircase at rear of former kitchen, rising from end of passage, probably a C17 insertion but apparently rebuilt in the late C19. Gabled wing projecting to front of the passage and former kitchen, probably a late C19 rebuilding or refacing. It incorporates a porch to the left, leading to the passage, and a pantry to the right. Former inner room to the left of the hall with integral lateral stack to the front. Front wall of hall range probably refaced in the early C17, creating a narrow first-floor passage between the hall stack and the later refacing leading to a small chamber over the hall window. Eaves probably raised over the hall and inner room end, probably in the late C16 or early C17. Substantial late C19 restoration and rebuilding, including much of the rear wall, the left-hand end wall, with the addition of the flight of external steps leading to the first floor, and the front entrance wing. Floor level of the left- hand ground-floor room also raised probably at the same time. The house was also almost completely reroofed in the late C19, except for one truss incorporated in the full-height masonry wall between the passage and the lower-end room. Former service wing projecting at right angles to front of the right-hand end room, apparently late C19 but said to be earlier (possibly largely rebuilt in the C19 - see straight joints in gable end to front and right-hand gable end of main range). Lower integral lateral stack to front of the right-hand end room, probably inserted when the right-hand end wing was added or rebuilt. Probably C19 outshut at rear of right-hand end of the house probably reduced in the late C20. Two-storey house, probably formerly 2 storeys and attic or 3 storeys (see blocked rear window in attic). One storey service wing (said to have been 2 storeys). Mostly C19 adjoining walls enclosing front and left-hand sides of front garden, with gateway to right flanked by mid to late C17 (possibly rebuilt) gate piers. Exterior: Asymmetrical front. Hall range to left has a chamfered plinth. Tall restored mullioned stone window lighting hall, of 4 hollow-chamfered arched lights, central king mullion, chamfered cill, moulded reveals and head, hoodmould with carved square stops and 4-centred relieving arch. Small ground-floor pieced quatrefoil opening in front wall to left of stack with central carved square fleuron. Right- hand - wing has pair of first-floor square-headed mullioned stone windows with 2 hollow-chamfered 4-centred arched lights, returned hoodmoulds with carved square stops and relieving arches. Ground-floor stone window to right with 3 hollow- chamfered 4-centred arched lights, hoodmould with carved square stops and elliptical relieving arch. C19 diamond-leaded panes. C16 stilted 4-centred arched entrance to left with Pevsner type-A jambs (moulded capitals to the main shafts and continuous mouldings between), 2 outer hollow mouldings and hoodmould with carved square stops (carved shield to left-hand stop). Interior of porch with quarry-tiled floor and plastered walls. Late C19 Tudor Gothic style door within porch. Carved slate coat of arms (probably the Wollocombe family) set in square recess in apex of front gable of wing has hoodmould with carved square stops. Ground-floor pierced quatrefoil opening in left-hand side of porch too. One-storey wing projecting to front of right-hand end has a pair of small-paned 2-light wooden casements in the left-hand side, the left-hand one probably an insertion and the right-hand one replacing a doorway (see straight joints below). Doorway to right with C20 door and dressed stone segmental-arched head. Straight joints in gable end to front suggest some later rebuiling. The left-hand gable end of the main range has a ground-floor c.1900 doorway with plank door and bullnose brick reveals and segmental head, and first- floor late C19 plank door, pegged wooden frame and dressed stone segmental head, approached by flight of external stone steps with slate treads. The right-hand gable end of the main range has a vertical straight joint to the left, suggesting the front wall of the right-hand end of the house was rebuilt when the front service wing was added, and straight joints flanking the integral stack, suggesting the eaves have been raised at this end of the house too. Rear asymmetrically fenestrated, mostly late C19 wooden casements but also 9 pair of first-floor c.1900 plate-glass sashes. Gateway in front garden wall has 2 late C17 square piers with cavetto-moulded plinths, scrolled carvings to the front corner of the base of each pier, and pyramidal caps. Pair of late C19 wrought-iron gates. Interior: Probably C17 hall fireplace with ovolo-moulded stone jambs, herringbone stonework at rear and bread oven with cast-iron door. Huge early C17 plaster overmantel consisting of the arms of the Wollocombe family set in a strapwork cartouche with 2 figures and 2 fronds below. Overmantel probably lowered when first floor was inserted, and fireplace probably reduced in height at the same time (no wooden lintel apparent at time of survey - January 1988). Tall narrow chamber to left of fireplace with plastered walls, ventilated by pierced quatrefoil in the front wall and with plank door. Circa 1900 wooden gallery at the lower (right-hand) end of hall with chamfered beam supported on 2 chamfered square posts, and wooden balustrade Circa 1900 dado rail, and c.1900 plastered walls and ceiling. Left-hand ground-floor room has a C17 ovolo-moulded dressed-stone segmental-arched fireplace (partly collapsed at time of survey) with dressed stone relieving arch. Fireplace formerly higher but floor raised in the late C19. Old (probably C18) carved square hoodmould stop discovered in fireplace during restoration at time of survey, with raised lettering: "R/17". Small chamber to left of fireplace with plank door. C19 floor joists and wooden slips visible in C19 rear wall (unplastered at time of survey). Plain joists spanning passage at lower end of hall. Two doors from passage to lower end rooms, one to pantry in room adjoining porch and plank door with beaded wooden frame into right-hand end room (latterly kitchen). Former kitchen has chamfered cross beam and half beam to right with runout bar stops, and plain joists. Open fireplace to right with plain jambs, cut-back wooden lintel and cloam oven with C19 cast-iron door. Pantry with quarry tile floor. First-floor room over passage and gallery has large scantling ceiling joists. First-floor left-hand end room (approached externally) has a section of late C15 or early C16 moulded wall plate along the rear wall. Further evidence of former c.1500 roof over this room includes the blocked closely-spaced sockets for the feet of former trusses above the wall-plate level in the front and rear walls, and the shadow line of a former arched-braced (or cruck) truss on the masonry wall between the end room and the hall. Curious first-floor passage between hall stack and front wall, leading to a small chamber over the hall window, possibly created after a later refacing of the front of the house. The chamber is floored by large old boards. Wooden lintel in wall at right-hand end of passage, possibly formerly a doorway leading into the porch. Roof: Mostly rebuilt in the late C19 or c.1900 with machine-sawn tie-beam trusses. One C16 or early C17 unblackened truss remains against the upper (left-hand) side of the full-height masonry wall between the passage and the lower-end room. Truss consists of straight principals with sockets for former threaded purlins and a curved mortice and tenoned collar. Blocked former attic or second-floor window in rear wall of hall-section, with splayed jambs. Coombe Barton was formerly the Wollacombe family home. Sources: N. Pevsner, Buildings of England. North Devon (1952), p.78

Listing NGR: SS5673417983


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

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Books and journals
Pevsner, N , The Buildings of England: Devon North, (1952), 78


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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