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.

Mid Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SS 73288 07116


LAPFORD SS 70 NW 4/56 - Bury Barton Farmhouse 26.8.65 GV II*

Large farmhouse. Probably late C14 - early C15 with C16 and C17 improvements. Mostly plastered mudstone rubble but including some cob, and some exposed stone rubble to rear; rubble stacks topped with C19 and C20 brick; slate roofs (originally thatch). Essentially an L-shaped building with attached service wings. Main block faces the inner court of farmbuildings (qv) to the north. It is made up of the former medieval hall, now main living room and a store, at the right (west) end, through passage and service end (now dining room), with smaller and narrower dairy block on same axis projecting from left (east) end. The rear or east wing projects at right angles behind the service/dining room and contains a stair lobby and rear kitchen. A single room secondary service annexe is attached to east side of kitchen. Hall has front projecting lateral stack; service dining room and kitchen have end stacks, latter with large oven projection. C19 west end stack to main block serves first floor only. Main stair now in through passage. Now 2 storeys throughout. North front has irregular 2-window front of C19 casements with glazing bars including some original glass. Passage doorway is almost central and contains a C19 6-panel door and gabled and tiled roofed porch. To right are the 2 ground floor windows, 1 each to dining room and dairy. First floor windows over porch and to dining room chamber. At first floor level the dairy is recessed very slightly from main front but the recess fades out at ground floor level. To left of the passage door is the large hall stack and left end is blind but includes a wide C16 or early C17 timber hoodmould for a now-blocked ground floor window. Roof is gable-ended. Rear 2-window front to rear of main block. C19 part-glazed 6-panel door with flat hood on shaped timber brackets to rear of passage at right end. C19 plank door to store at left end. C19 casements with glazing bars to hall and first floor right. C19 16-pane sash to first floor, one with horns, C19 casement with glazing bars to kitchen and late C19 French windows to stair lobby. Roof is gable- ended. Good interior including the core of a medieval house and many features from C16 and C17. House has a long and complex structural history. The medieval fabric can only be seen in the roofspace. Much of the late C14-early C15 roof survives. Hall has a 3-bay roof up to present west end where the remains of a spere truss remain embedded in the wall. The roof appears once to have continued westwards. The medieval upper end has been demolished apparently. At lower (east) end of passage is an intact spere truss and some of the roof continues eastwards over the service end and includes evidence for a return into rear wing where an identical roof structure also survives; a single truss towards the-front with purlins ridge and common rafters continuing north and south. Over the stair lobby/kitchen crosswall the roof stops and the ridge suggests that there was once a closed truss at this point. The structural timbers are of large scantling throughout. The spere truss comprises vertical aisle posts supporting the square set purlins and bridged by a flat collar. Beneath the collar one long curving brace survives of the original 2 which formed an arch with daub filled spandrels. On top of the collar a king post, braced each side by diagonal braces from the collar, supports the ridge. On the hall side a curving arch brace rises from the king post to the ridge. There are also horizontal diagonal braces from the collar to the purlin. The 3 trusses are identical. They are jointed crucks with unusual scarfed joints and face-pegged with a slip tenon (c.f. nearby Rudge Farm, Morchard Bishop). In the front wall of hall the foot of a truss can be seen resting on a large template approximately 1.5 metres above floor level. The principals have a cambered collar with slightly-hollow chamfered archbraces below. At the apex a large yoke holds the principals which clasp the ridge (Alcock's Type H). They carry the butt purlins and single sets of windbraces. The hall roof and the fragment surviving over service end is heavily sooted indicating that the original house was open to the roof and heated by an open hearth fire. The roof in the wing is only slightly smoke-blackened if at all and may have been floored. The common rafter couples are collared throughout. The dairy wing also includes a similar scarfed jointed cruck truss with same type H apex but no arch or windbraces; a straight collar and carries diagonally-set threaded purlins. Thus this small block must be as early or not much later than the main build. In C16 and C17 fireplaces were added and floors inserted as the house was adapted to its present layout. Hall stack is probably C16 but fireplace is blocked. Hall floored probably in early C16-early C17 and one of 2 crossbeams is exposed; it is moulded towards the upper end with bar-chamfer stops and chamfered towards the lower end. Lower end has tall late C16-early C17 oak plank-and-muntin screen; its muntins are chamfered with runout stops and it includes a central flat-arched doorway. On the chimney breast is a moulded plaster overmantel featuring an heraldic achievement in a strapwork cartouche and featuring flowers and putti. The heraldry and flanking initials are thought to commemorate the marriage of John Bury and Mary Arscott of Tetcott in 1614. The service end dining room was renovated in C19 and ceiling beams are hidden. It includes a large granite and volcanic stone fireplace with plain soffit-chamfered oak lintel and includes a blocked side oven to right. It is probably C17. Rear wing shows mostly C17 features. Kitchen and stair lobby are divided by an oak plank-and-muntin screen; chamfered muntins with scroll stops. 2 kitchen crossbeams are chamfered with straight cut stops and fireplace is blocked but; is known to have a flat-arched lintel. Roofs over kitchen and ancillary service wing are C17 with A-frame trusses with pegged lap-jointed collars with shaped halvings, and there is a similar truss with dovetail halved collar in the dairy wing. Some of the first floor rooms have C17 moulded plaster cornices, often exposed only in roofspace, which indicate that most of internal crosswalls are C17 or earlier. This house is important principally because of its well-preserved medieval roof. The first certain documentary reference to Bury Barton is in 1502 when farm was owned by Bury family. Source: N W Alcock A Devon Farm: Bury Barton, Lapford Trans. Devon Assoc. C11 (1960) pp 105-131. It includes plans, elevations and photographs.

Listing NGR: SS7328907118


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. 102, (1960), 105-131


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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