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


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Statutory Address:

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

North Devon (District Authority)
East Anstey
National Grid Reference:
SS 85291 26505


EAST ANSTEY DUNSLEY HILL SS 82 NE 2/7 Dunsley Farmhouse - - II* Farmhouse. Probably early C16, remodelled in late C16, lower end largely rebuilt and extended circa 1700, with C20 alterations. Roughcast rendered stone rubble and cob. Asbestos slate roof with gable ends. Rendered axial stack, rendered stack at left end, small brick stack to rear of lower end and capped rear lateral stack to rear right end. Plan and development: Complex multiphase development. The house consists of a hall heated by axial stack backing onto cross-passage, with inner room to right, upper end partitioned in C20 into 2 rooms, with gable ended stair projection to rear of left-hand room, and lower end to left of cross-passage also consisting of 2 rooms. The hall and lower end were originally open to the roof, with a solid wall partition at the upper end of the hall. It is unclear therefore whether the inner room is an addition; the cruck truss is clean over this end suggesting the inner room was floored from the outset. The hall appears to have been floored and the axial stack inserted in the late C16. The lower end appears to have been largely rebuilt and extended in circa 1700, consisting of 2 rooms, the smaller room nearest tile cross- passage apparently a dining room, divided axially towards the rear with a stack on the rear partition wall flanked by a staircase on the right which breaks into 2 flights, and former stair on the left which led, unusually, down to a cellar kitchen, the stack heating the dining room extending down into the cellar fireplace incorporating a bread oven. The second room at the left end was the parlour. Thus, the lower end contains the rooms of higher status, while the hall and inner room appear to have been used since circa 1700 as the living/kitchen area. Dairy outshut to rear left end, and C20 single storey right-angled extension to front of inner room. Exterior: 2 storeys, with cellar below lower end. 5-window range. C20 fenestration. Shallow bracketted canopy to cross-passage doorway with plain pilasters and C20 door. Interior: The plain exterior hides the richness of the interior. Inner room has single axial chamfered ceiling beam. Fireplace blocked. Staircase in rear stair projection has had lower treads replaced, but retains C17 balustrade with slender turned balusters, moulded handrail and knob finials. Hall has closely spaced deep chamfered beamed ceiling, with principal axial beams and half cross beams to the front of the axial stack. Hall fireplace concealed by C19 chimneypiece, but original lintel and old oak inglenook bench with shaped legs survive behind. Headrail and a short section of plank and muntin screen to lower side of cross- passage, some of the screen reused across the rear of the passage when stairs in lower end were inserted. Small room to left of passage has moulded plaster cornice and C18 dado panelling. Parlour at left end has plasterwork panelling on all but the front wall, of single large panels above smaller dado panels with decorative enriched plaster cornice. The end wall chimneypiece has 2 narrow vertical panels flanking a narrow plasterwork overmantel panel with egg and dart surround and containing 3 small plasterwork roundels depicting mythical scenes. The recesses to each side of the fireplace contain semi-circular arched alcoves with reeded pilasters and raised and fielded 2 panelled doors to the lower cupboards. The fireplace grate, said to be Adam style, was removed in C20, and only the outline of a large oval plasterwork ceiling can be traced. The house retains a large number of C18 raised and fielded 3 and 4 panelled doors; the chamber over the hall retains a partially cased in C17 chamfered door surround. The cellar below has a fireplace to the rear wall, with a brick-lined bread-oven, the lintel replaced. In the front right-hand corner is a low niche to a well. Roof structure: 3 original trusses appear to survive, that over the left end is certainly a jointed cruck, those over the hall and inner room are plastered over. Due to the height of the bedroom ceilings the trusses are only accessible in the roofspace above collar height. The collars appear to be cambered and morticed and tenoned. The ridge is diagonally set, and the purlins appear to be trenched. The solid wall paritition at the upper end of the hall rises to tne apex of the roof and is smoke-blackened on the hall side only. The cruck truss over the inner room is clean, as are all the remaining roof timber, suggesting the end was floored by the outset. The hall and lower end truss and surviving rafters are smoke-blackened, wnich becomes progressively lighter towards the lower end. Beyond the lower end truss are 2 further trusses, with straight principals, probably dating from the C18 extension. Dunsley Farmhouse is an excellent example of a multiphrase farmhouse clearly of some stature, the richness of the interior detail contrasting strongly with the plainness of the exterior.

Listing NGR: SS8529126505


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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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Date: 21 Nov 2004
Reference: IOE01/13493/09
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Hedley R. Hooper. Source Historic England Archive
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