Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:


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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)
South Tawton
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 65666 92598



4/173 West Week Farmhouse 20.2.52 20.2.67 GV II*

Farmhouse, former Dartmoor longhouse. Early C16 with major later C16 and C17 improvements, one of them associated with a datestone of 1585, shippon renovated in the early C20, the rest modernised in 1986. Granite stone rubble, parts are coursed blocks of granite ashlar, rear is plastered and shippon end has cob wall tops; granite stacks with granite ashlar chimneyshafts; slate roof (formerly thatch) and corrugated iron roof to shippon. Plan and development: the house is built down a gentle hillslope and faces east- north-east, say east. The main block has a 4-room-and-through-passage longhouse plan. Uphill at the right (northern) end is an inner room parlour with a gable-end stack and formerly had a winder stair alongside the stack to rear. A kitchen wing projects at right angles to rear. It has a gable-end stack and the chamber over formerly shared the stair from the parlour. The hall has a front projecting lateral stack with projecting window bay alongside. Wide passage now contains C20 stair. Front 2-storey porch, the upper room with a garderobe. Small unheated dairy below the passage. Downhill at the left (southern) end is the shippon. It was enlarged in the C18 or C19 with a wing projecting at right angles to rear. This whole shippon section was thoroughly refurbished and converted to a milking parlour in the early C20. Interpretation of the historic development of this house is difficult. The early C16 house was basically the main block; it was open to the roof, divided by low partitions and heated by an open hearth fire. By the mid C17 the house had been transformed essentially to what it is today; that is to say, the kitchen wing, porch and fireplaces had been added and all the rooms were floored. Nevertheless dating the building phases involved here is very problematic. For instance the insertion of the hall fireplace appears to be contemporary with the building of the hall bay, itself associated with the flooring of the hall. These processes are usually separated by several decades. There is however dating evidence in the carved initials of William and Jane Battishill; he died in 1615. (The same initials appear on the porch). The inner room parlour end has a datestone of 1585. this is very late for the initial flooring of the inner room but could date its rebuilding, and possible enlargement to the present parlour with heated chamber over. The kitchen block could be a late C16 addition but is considered more likely to be early or mid C17 in date. The shippon was thoroughly refurbished in the early C20 and all of it is open to the roof. The house is 2 storeys. Exterior: overall irregular 2:1:1:2 - window front. The 2-window section left of the porch is of C20 casements with glazing bars. There is a C20 cow door and a blocked third first floor opening was probably a hayloft loading hatch. The 3 first floor windows right of the porch are all C20 casements with glazing bars although the centre one is flanked by labels carved with fourleaf motifs. The 1585 date plaque is set high in the wall at the right end. Inner room has a late C16 4-light granite-mullioned window with king mullion. Hall has a larger 3-light version and hoodmould with the labels inscribed and IB (the same over the 2-light porch window but here in reverse). Some of the late C16 mullions are replaced and all contain C20 diamond panes of leaded glass. Gabled porch has round-headed outer arch with chamfered surround. On the left side the garderobe shaft projects. On the right side a blocked ground floor window and tiny slit to first floor. Passage doorway contains a C20 door. Both porch and right end gable have shaped kneelers and coping. Rear has C20 casements with glazing bars and to rear of hall a C20 rebuilt granite- mullioned window. Kitchen window has granite hoodmould and labels carved IB. Passage rear doorway contains C20 door. Interior: inside the back door are deep slots for a draw-bar. Small oak Tudor arch from passage to service end dairy. Hall has a large granite ashlar fireplace and a 4-panel intersecting beam ceiling of moulded beams. Parlour has a granite ashlar fireplace (smaller version in the chamber above) and soffit-chamfered crossbeam with step stops. Each of the main block room-sections, that is to say passage and dairy, hall and parlour have a different roof. The 2-bay section over passage and dairy is the earliest and carried on a face-pegged jointed cruck with cambered collar and small triangular yoke (Alcock's apex type L1). It is probably early C16. It is now open to the apex over the stair but it looks smoke-blackened from the original open hearth fire. A clean mid or late C16 side-pegged jointed cruck over the passage hall partition was filled with oak close-studding in the late C16-early C17. Unusually wide roof bay over the hall propped by an intermediate truss in the late C19-early C20. The 2-bay roof over the parlour is carried on a clean face-pegged jointed cruck truss, unusual for the late C16. The kitchen has a large unstopped soffit-chamfered and step-stopped oak lintel; it has an oven. 3-bay roof of uncollared true cruck trusses. Here dating is difficult. The roof trusses and crossbeam are of indeterminate date. The fireplace is late C16 or C17 but the first floor doorway from the former parlour stairs could be early C16; an oak round- headed arch. Since this room is said to have a small window connecting through to the principal bed chamber and has a cupboard in the wall which could be interpreted as an aumbry Lega-Weekes suggests this upper room was a domestic chapel or oratory. If so it must be pre-Reformation. Despite the problems of dating and interpretation West Week is an important and attractive Dartmoor farmhouse. The farmhouse, along with its granite walls and gateway (q.v.), granite crosses (q.v.), and farmbuildings form an exceptional group in a particularly good Dartmoor setting with open moorland behind. It is mentioned in Domesday as part of the manor of Whicha or Week. In 1550 it was sold by the Wykes to the Battishill Family. Source, Devon SMR. E. Lega-Weekes. Neighbours of North Wyke Part 1, Trans. Devon Assoc 33 (1901) pp 446 - 447.

Listing NGR: SX6566692598


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

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Books and journals
'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Transactions of the Devonshire Association, , Vol. 33, (1901), 446-447


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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