Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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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)
National Grid Reference:
SS 68839 14278


SS 6814-6914 CHULMLEIGH 7/52 EAST STREET (north side) Swallows, Merlins Cottage Bakers, Muffets and Wrens Cottage 25.10.'88 GV II Range of 5 dwellings, originally tenement farmhouse. Early C17 but earlier fabric may well be concealed. Extended are rear probably in C18, front range sub-divided into 3 tenements probably in C19 and C20 alterations. Painted roughcast rendered stone rubble and cob. Thatch roof, half hipped at right end with large rendered stone rubble stack, stone rubble rear lateral hall stack with tapered cap enclosed by outshut, axial brick stack and rendered stack at hipped left end. Rear range (Muffets) also thatched , hipped at rear end with 2 lateral stacks on left-hand outer wall. Plans and development: despite subdivision into 3 tenements, the front range, comprising Swallows at left, end, Merlins Cottage to centre and Bakers at right end, is a surprisingly little altered 3-room-and-through-passage house, the divisions between the cottages occurring at each end of the hall which is heated by the rear lateral stack, with inner room (Bakers) to right and lower end and screens passage (Swallows) to left. Direct entrances have been made into Merlins and Bakers Cottages. The front through passage doorway has been blocked and a new doorway inserted to left to Swallows. The screen to the lower side of the passage has been removed and 2 rooms formed from the lower end and former passage, a brick stack having been inserted against a surviving screen. Merlins and Bakers are both single plan cottages with staircases and small service room s to all cottages in the continuous rear outshots. The original staircase appears to have been beside the hall stack, but there may also have been one beside the inner room stack. Access to the main roofspace was not possible at time of survey, and although heavy straight principals are visible over the hall section suggesting the early C17 date, it is highly likely that an earlier roof structure survives. Possibly in the C18, the wing, probably originally a kitchen wing, but now forming Wrens and Muffets Cottages was added to rear left end creating an overall L-shaped plan. Exterior 2 storeys. 4 window range. All 3 light casements, 2 panes per light except for 4 paned sash at right end. Swallows has 3 light casement, 2 panes per light to left of C20 door and 2 light casement, 2 panes per light inserted in blocked former through-passage doorway to right. Merlins Cottage has C19 plank door to left of 3 light casement, 3 panes per light. Bakers has plank door with 4 glazed upper panes to left of C20 3 light window. Small 2 light window at left end. Interior: hall and inner room (Merlins and Bakers) have cross ceiling beams with sunk ovolo moulding and decorative run out stops. Scratch-moulded joists to both rooms. Similarly moulded lintel to inner room fireplace. Hall/passage screen exposed on hall side only, 6 planks wide and incorporating gentle ogee-headed doorway. Cased in C17 door surround to rear of inner room. Boxed in beam to lower side of passage has grooved soffit indicating former position of second screen. Lower end has chamfered cross ceiling beam. Both the beam and the existing screen stop short of the front wall, suggesting the latter may have been built out at the lower end. The interiors of all 3 cottages are relatively unspoilt. No access to roofspace at time of survey but heavy straight principals visible over all suggest early roof structure is intact and possibly might indicated a medieval core.


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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: 17 Mar 2003
Reference: IOE01/10316/27
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Ann Allen. Source Historic England Archive
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