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Listed Building
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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 53179 16872


BEAFORD SS 51 NW 7/32 Woolleigh Barton and adjoining 16.1.52 former chapel


Barton and adjoining former chapel, now divided. Probably C15 (possibly earlier) and probably altered or enlarged in the early C16. Various C17 internal alterations and possible additions of the same date or of the C18. Mid to late C19 remodelling and possible minor additions of the same date or of the early C20. Uncoursed stone rubble and some roughly squared and coursed stone, with some ashlar dressings to chapel. Rendered wing to rear. C19 rear addition of gault brick and uncoursed stone rubble. Some C19 alterations and additions with red-brick dressings. Gable ended Welsh slate roofs, hipped over left-hand end of hall range. Some C20 asbestos slates to rear of cross wing. Stone lateral stacks to rear of hall and to cross wing, mostly rendered, and red brick axial stack off-centre to left and later red brick integral corner stack to cross wing. Plan and development: Three-room and through-passage plan hall range, probably of the C15, facing south (ground falls to left). Hall with external lateral stack to rear, through passage to left and former service room beyond to left with former end stack. Hall formerly open to the roof with an open hearth (see remains of smoke-blackening in roof), with the rear stack probably added in the C17. Hall ceiled at eaves height, probably also in the C17, when the whole hall range was completely re-roofed. Probably mid to late C17 two-roomed addition at the left-hand end of the hall range. Gabled solar cross wing at the upper (right-hand) end of the hall range, consisting of slightly projecting tall front block with external lateral stack to right and lower projecting rear block with integral end stack (truncated). The front block contained a first-floor great chamber (since partitioned and ceiled) heated by fireplace in lateral stack and the rear block formerly had a first-floor great bed chamber (also since divided). The ground floor of the front part of the cross wing (below the great chamber) was the kitchen and dairy at a later date, probably in the C19. The cross wing appears to be a later alteration (probably early C16) and probably replaced a former smaller upper end of the late C14/early C15 hall range. Chapel probably of c.1400 (Pevsner dates it to the C15) projecting at right angles to the front of the cross wing, re-roofed in the late C17, and has a later inserted floor (probably a C19 insertion when the chapel became a store, with a loft approached by external steps to front). Staircase inserted at rear of former service end to left of passage, probably in the early C19. Wing at rear of C17 addition to left was probably also added in the early C19. The late C19 remodelling of the house probably included the addition of rebuilding of the lean-to porch to the through passsage (it appears to incorporate some earlier fabric, either from an earlier porch or from elsewhere), and the insertion of a second through passage/staircase hall at the upper (right-hand) end of the hall (possibly an earlier insertion). Ground floor bay window added to former service room in the late C19 too. Late C19 addition in angle of cross wing at rear. Right-hand side wall of front block of cross wing probably partly rebuit the C19 (see masonry and window openings), which might explain the absence of an internal moulded wall plate on this side now. Two storeys but retaining one-storey hall. Exterior: Large late C19 three-light wooden mullioned and transomed hall window with brick segmental-arched head. Probably early C19 first-floor boxed glazing bar sash to left of porch at former service end with small panes to upper leaf (4 x 2) and 2 large panes to lower leaf (altered in the late C19). Window opening has been reduced, probably when sash was inserted (see straight joint of former jamb to left). Late C19 ground-floor projecting bay to left of porch, with canted left-hand corner, brick dressings and lean-to slate roof, and 4-pane sash to front and 2-pane sash to left-hand corner, both with chamfered wooden lintels and stone cills. Passage doorway has pair of probably early C19 three-panelled doors (reeded flush lower panels and moulded upper panels) with nail studding, probably late C19 beaded Tudor- arched wooden frame, beaded wooden reveals and wooden lintel. C19 stone porch with lean-to slate roof, and interior with plastered ceiling, probably reused chamfered cross beam and lintel, C19 wooden side benches with matchboarded dado and C19 encaustic tiled floor. Doorway to right of hall window (leading to inserted passage) has C19 boarded door with C19 chamfered wooden frame, 3-part rectangular overlight and brick segmental-arched head. Wide stone buttress between hall window and right- hand door. Probably C17 addition at left-hand end of hall range has 2-window front; early C19 boxed 16-pane glazing bar sashes, the ground-floor one to right with brick segmental-arched head and those on ground and first floors to left with C20 concrete lintels. Two stone buttress (between windows and left-hand corner) with brick dressings and chamfered offsets. Small C19 square wooden bellcote on ridge at right- hand end of hall, with square posts, shingle-hung sides, tented cap and still retaining bell. Row of pigeon nesting holes below eaves at rear of left-hand end of hall range. Cross wing: evidence of blocked window in gable to front (see straight joints). Left-hand return front of wing (in angle with hall range) has first-floor late C19 two-light wooden casement (lighting dairy) with brick segmental-arched head and internal wrought-iron bars. Also blocked window below eaves in left-hand return front. Right-hand return front (north-east side) of solar cross wing has large central stone stack with semi-circular lean-to bread oven at base (probably an addition, see straight joints). Two-window front; late C19 two-light small-paned wooden casements with brick segmental-arched heads, the left-hand ground-floor window (lighting dairy) with stone segmental arched head and internal wrought-iron bars (probably formerly wider, see straight joint to left) and the right-hand ground-floor window (lighting kitchen) replaced and widened in the late C20. Probably inserted first-floor small C19 four-pane casment to right with brick segmental-arched head. Lower rear block of cross wing to right has first-floor 2-light wooden casement to right with wooden lintel. North-west side of rear block of cross wing (onto service court) has 2 first-floor C19 small-paned 2-light wooden casements with brick segmental-arched heads and ground-floor with central C19 casement flanked by C19 boarded doors. Gable end of wing to rear with external steps up to first floor boarded door. Former chapel adjoining front of cross wing: former east (liturgical) window in gable end to front, with dressed stone pointed arch, now loft doorway with C19 boarded door and approached by external flight of 8 stone steps. Left-hand return front (south- west side) has c.1400 continuously-chamfered arched stone doorway with broach stops and old boarded door with wrought-iron strap hinges. Probably inserted louvred loft opening above. Two large blocked windows to right of doorway (see dressed stone arches). Right-hand return front of former chapel has inserted loft window to right, inserted loft doorway to left and ground-floor boarded door off-centre to right with brick segmental-arched head. Interior: Hall range much remodelled in the late C19, including 6-panelled doors throughout and encaustic-tiled floor to through passage. High-ceilinged hall has small probably C17 cupboard in front wall, with one-panelled door. Probably early C19 staircase at rear of former service end to left with stick balusters and open string with cut brackets. Late C19 staircase in inserted passage to upper end of hall. Roughly chamfered ceiling beams in kitchen (in ground floor below former great chamber). First-floor rear room in cross wing (former bedchamber, now divided by later partitions) has blocked early C16 stone fireplace to rear wing with deep lintel. Early C16 garderobe in corner of right of stack, consisting of a circular turret in the thickness of the wall, with wooden seat, small blocked window with splayed jambs, and C16 mortice and tenoned round-arched rebated door frame with old plank door. Roofs: C17 seven-bay roof over hall, passage and former service room, with trusses consisting of principal rafters crossed at apices, notched lapped collars and staggered purlins. Late Medieval closed truss at upper end of hall, with principals removed and partly bricked up but with some smoke-blackened timbers, including vertical studs with mortices for former longitudinal curved braces in the vertical plane (possibly to support a former canopy). Three-or 4-bay C17 roof over C17 addition at left-hand of hall range, with trusses consisting of principal rafters and lapped collars. Very fine unblackened early C16 arched-braced truss roof over former great chamber in cross wing (now only visible in attic). Seven trusses (one against front wall) with ogee - and cavetto-moulded arched bracing and cavetto moulding to underside of principals and collars. Straight principals, collars with cambered tops, pairs of threaded (or possibly butt) purlins, one tier of upcurved wind braces with hollow-moulded top side, and diagonally-set ridge-piece. C16 moulded wooden wall plate survives on left-hand side (south-west) wall (2 roll mouldings with 2 slanted mouldings between) with gaps at foot of each principal, probably formerly to take wooden corbels (possibly carved heads, since removed). Undecorated C16 truss against rear wall (collar removed). A section of arched bracing had come away from the front truss at the time of survey (December 1987) and was resting on the attic floor. Walls of attic plastered, including ashlar area above wall plate on left-hand side wall. Two small blocked windows in front gable of wing and one blocked window in left-hand side wall (in angle with hall range). Evidence of top of former window in right-hand side wall to (see recess with chamfered top). Roof over former bedchamber in wing to rear of former great chamber was replaced in the late C19. Stone cross wall between each chamber, rising up into roofspace. Interior of chapel: Chamfered jambs to former east window. Square-headed piscina in south wall with chamfered jambs and corbelled quatrefoil bowl. C17 three-bay roof with 3 trusses consisting of straight principals and halved lapped curved collars (one truss against rear wall). Evidence of line of former (higher) probably C15 or C16 roof (see curved recess of former truss against end wall). There is a small service courtyard at the rear of the house enclosed by an attached service range (q.v.), which might formerly have incorporated a Medieval kitchen (see smoke-blackened roof). The owners (December 1987) report that the Medieval font from the chapel is now in the grounds of Trevilla (q.v.), a nearby house, and there is an old font base (q.v.) in the garden there. Woolleigh Barton is a very fine example of a late Medieval manor house and deserves further study. Sources: N. Pevsner, Buildings of England. North Devon. (1952), pp. 50 and 170; Charles Hulland, Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association Vol. 116 1984 Devonshire Farmhouses Part III Medieval Houses in North and Mid - Devon, p. 56. . Lt

Listing NGR: SS5317916872


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), 50 170
'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Transactions of the Devonshire Association, , Vol. 116, (1984), 56


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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Date: 01 Jul 2000
Reference: IOE01/00889/24
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Barbara Hilton. Source Historic England Archive
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