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


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1107316.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 28-Oct-2020 at 09:27:31.


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 83162 23497


KNOWSTONE OWLABOROUGH LANE SS 82 SW 3/30 Owlaborough Farmhouse - 20.2 67 - II Farmhouse. Probably early C16, remodelled in late C16, inner room added or rebuilt in C17, lower end modified considerably in C19 and C20 with late C19 extension at right end. Unrendered stone rubble facade; cob to rear. Asbestos slate roof to main range, slate roof with gable end to late C19 extension at right end, and corrugated iron roof, hipped at left end to lower end. Rendered stack to right end, axial (formerly gable end) brick stack heating inner room, and axial brick stack heating hall towards left end of main range. Plan: unusual modified long-house type plan, with hall, inner room and late C19 2- storey kitchen extension of 1 room plan beyond the inner room to right, and long lofted lower end with lower roof level at left end used for housing stock until 1970's, and now used for storage. Development: the smoke-blackened roof structure indicates the hall was originally open, the blackening fades over the lower end of the hall, and the close proximity of the truss to the partition wall between the hall and lower end suggests the latter has been considerably remodelled at a later date; the original extent of the lower end, apparently floored or lofted from the outset is unclear and whether its original function was as a shippon or service end. The hall appears to have been ceiled and the stack inserted in the late C16; an unusual feature is that the stack is situated well forward of the partition wall at the lower end of the hall, leaving enough room for a small winder staircase to be inserted at the rear of the hall fireplace. The C16 chamfered door surround in the partition wall suggests the passage may have been sited to the left of the partition wall, but no corresponding partition survives on tne lower side of the 'passage' tne lower end was probably therefore altered in the C17 and a main entrance made direct into the hall. At the upper end of the hall, the solid wall partition and the inner room ceiling beams, fireplace and roof structure, all suggest the inner room is a later, probably late C17 addition; however an exposed central timber upright in the solid cob wall and apparently intended to support the ridge-piece, could possibly suggest a timber- framed closed partition originally existed (c.f. Bungsland Farmhouse, East Anstey q.v) and that the inner room was entirely remodelled rather than added in the C17. The 2 storey kitchen extension beyond the inner room was added in the late C19, and at the same time, the upper end of the hall was divided to create a cross-passage giving access to a principal staircase, entirely replaced in C20, in lofted outshut to the rear of the hall and inner room which incorporated the dairy, salting-house and apple loft. Exterior: 2 storeys. 8 window range in all. Main range has C19 fenestration entirely intact, all 3 light casements to ground floor, and 2 light casements to upper storey, 6 and 8 panes per light, except to upper storey left end which has C20 casement. All the window lintels have been renewed in C20. 2 C20 doors lower end has entirely C20 fenestration and 3 doorways, the central doorway wider than those to each side. Interior: inner room has chamfered axial ceiling beam and square cut joists. Chamfered fireplace lintel. Hall has single axial chamfered ceiling beam, the joists (exposed only in the C19 passage) are also chamfered with pyramid stops. Hall fireplace has good dressed stone jambs and small arched opening at the base of the hearth in the rear wall, possibly a raking hole for ashes. Large brick-lined bread oven. Small steep winder staircase to rear of fireplace. C16 semi-circular headed chamfered doorway, now blocked, at lower end of hall. Lower end, divided into stables, and shippon, has stable fittings principally intact. Early C19 raised and fielded 4 panelled doors largely intact throughout to main range. Roof structure: 2 trusses over hall, that over centre is certainly a side-pegged raised jointed cruck, the feet of the other truss close to the lower end of the hall are boxed in. The central truss has a thin, slightly cambered morticed and tenoned collar, which has been removed from the second truss; both carry 2 tiers of trenched purlins and diagonally set ridge purlin. The rafter couples are not halved at the apex but side-pegged together with large wooden pegs. All the roof members, including the battens are smoke-blackened, decreasingly so below the inserted stack, and the medieval roof structure over the hall is surprisingly well preserved below the C20 superimposed one. The heavy inner room purlins are supported entirely on the partition walls, and are clean. C19 roof structure over kitchen extension, lower end entirely reroofed in late C20. Despite the superficially altered exterior, Owlaborough is a farmhouse of considerable interest, retaining an unusual plan form, a medieval roof structure and some good quality internal fittings.

Listing NGR: SS8316223497


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].