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.

West Devon (District Authority)
Bratton Clovelly
National Grid Reference:
SX 46428 90670



9/14 Wrixhill Farmhouse


Farmhouse. Late C15 extended and altered in approximately early C17 with later C17 wing and further alterations in C18 and C19. Rendered cob walls. Asbestos slate roof hipped at left end and gabled to right. 2 axial stacks, left-handed one is of rubble, right-hand one is constructed of dressed granite; rendered rubble lateral stack to inner face of rear wing. Complex and unusual development of plan. Originally three room and through-passage plan with lower room to the right. There was a central hearth in the 2-bay hall and the house was also open to the roof over the lower end but the inner room was floored. The insertion of the 2 axial stacks may have coincided with this addition or occurred at any time in the first half of the C17; they need not necessarily be exactly contemporary. An unusual aspect of this customary stage of modernisation was that instead of keeping to the tradition 3-room and through-passage plan the insertion of the 2 stacks created just 2 rooms with a very wide passage onto which the stacks backed; thus the hall was occupied by the passage and lower stack and the passage was absorbed into a large heated lower room. Possibly this became a kitchen and the left-hand room, which had the 2nd axial stack, a parlour. The hall, which had now become the passage, was ceiled at this stage; the lower room, despite the insertion of a stack, was not ceiled and remarkably, according to the present owner, was recalled by his grandmother as having been still open to the roof within her memory. This is corroborated by the lack of ceiling beams visible at this end of the house and the existence of only C19 joinery compared to the C17 and C18 joinery visible in other parts. In the later C17 a 1-room wing was added at the rear of the left-hand room heated by a lateral stack - this may have been intended as a kitchen although this then raises the question of what use the unceiled right-hand room was put to. A certain amount of remodelling appears to have occurred in the C18 from the evidence of several 2-panel doors and a staircase with turned balusters leading from the lower room to over the passage. In the C19 leanto additions were made at the right-hand end of the house, at the rear of the main block and against the inner face of the rear wing - this formed a passage from the house to an outbuilding which was attached at the rear of the wing. 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 3-window front of C19 and early C20 2-light casements with glazing bars; the ground floor right-hand window has 3 lights. Early C19 20-pane hornless sash to left on ground floor. 1st floor right-hand window is in gabled dormer. C20 panelled door at centre with a large sloping buttress to either side and one towards the right-hand end. The wing projects to the rear of the left-hand side with a small outbuilding attached at its rear which is parallel to the front block and has on its rear wall a shouldered-head wooden door frame with studded oak door which has been reused from the house. The outshuts at the rear of the house and side of the wing are under continuous catslide roofs. Interior: the 4 original roof trusses survive in slightly varying forms which suggest the status of different ends of the building. The right-hand truss has threaded purlins and diagonal threaded ridge with cranked collar. The 2 trusses over the higher end of the passage and over the hall are very similar but have curved collars. All these timbers are smoke-blackened, the principal rafters curve into the walls but it is not possible to see how far they extend. Over the inner room part of an identical clean truss survives. An unusual feature of these trusses is that instead of being arch-braced the principal rafters begin to curve on their inner face before they meet the collars which continue the curve - thus making it continuous. In the approximately early C17 extension the rear blade of the roof truss survives, clean, with threaded purlin. Over the rear wing the roof trusses are probably original and consist of substantial well cut principal rafters with cambered collars which are lapped and pegged to the principals. The only other surviving feature in the house dating from its original build is a wooden shouldered-head doorframe which was at the rear of the original passage. Both fireplaces in the main range are blocked but that in the rear wing has a chamfered wooden lintel. The only beams visible on the ground floor are in the passage end are chamfered with no visible stops. On the 1st floor C17 square-headed wooden doorframe survives leading into the chamber over the inner room, it is chamfered with ogee stops. Adjoining it in the rear wall of the inner room where it joins the wing is a curved recess which probably housed a newel stair. In the present passage are 3 C18 2-panel doors. In several ways this house is an important survival; the form of its original roof trusses shows it was a high quality medieval house which had a complex and unusual development that can be traced from a number of features of various periods. The remarkable existence in releatively recent times of one end of the house still open to the roof raises questions about the modernisation of Devon farmhouses in general. The house has been little altered since the C19 and forms part of a traditional farm complex.

Listing NGR: SX4642890670


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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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