Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II*

List Entry Number: 1147488

Date first listed: 04-Oct-1960

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Feb-1989

Statutory Address: DOWNES HOUSE


Ordnance survey map of DOWNES HOUSE
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Statutory Address: DOWNES HOUSE

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

County: Devon

District: Torridge (District Authority)

Parish: Merton

National Grid Reference: SS 52956 12312


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Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


MERTON MERTON SS 5212 22/156 Downes House, (formerly listed as 4.10.60 Down's Farmhouse)


House formerly farmhouse. Circa 1500 extensively remodelled and extended in early to mid C17 with C19 addition. Plastered cob and rubble walls. Gable ended asbestos slate roof. Large rubble stack at left gable end, brick stack at right gable end and lateral brick stack at front. Plan: Presently 3 rooms with staircase in position of cross passage and small wing and outshut at rear. The house originated as an open hall with central hearth with a through passage and long lower room to the right, probably divided only by low partitions. In the early to mid C17 a heavy remodelling and upgrading of the house took place, probably in stages, which involved the addition of an inner room at the higher end of the hall and a small wing behind the lower room, there may also have been a stair projection at the rear of the hall which has been absorbed by a later outshut. The house was made 2 storeys throughout, a front lateral stack built onto the hall with an adjoining window bay and gable end stacks added at either end which also had first floor fireplaces. All the ground floor rooms became heated apart from that in the rear wing which appears to have been an unheated service room. The lower room was evidently a parlour so either the hall or inner room must have functioned as a kitchen. The outshut adjoining it is probably a C19 addition and the stairs inserted into the passage are likely to be a similar date. Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 4 window front of circa mid C20 3-light casements. To left of centre wall projects slightly to incorporate the lateral hall stack and its window bay. Circa early C20 gabled porch with arched doorway to right of centre. Behind it is a C17 double ovolo moulded wooden doorframe with a 6- panelled C19 door. The rear elevation of the house has an outshut to the right a wide hipped roof wing to the left of centre. Adjoining the house on its north- elevation (rear) corner is a short section of wall which re-uses a C17 ovolo-moulded doorframe that must once have been inside the house. Good interior: Lower room to right has good C17 plaster overmantle with central heraldic shield, a female figure to either side, and typical Jacobean strapwork surround with cornice above. The fireplace retains its dressed stone jambs but its lintel has been replaced. A C19 inserted fireplace adjoins it. At the rear of the lower room is a C17 moulded wooden doorframe with vase stops. There is a C17 plank door with bead mouldings leading to the cupboard under the stairs - from this it can be seen that the hall/passage partition is a plank and muntin screen although it is plastered over elsewhere. The hall fireplace has been reduced in width but retains its rough wooden lintel, chamfered with bar stops. At the rear of the hall is a doorway reached by a step up with C17 ovolo moulded frame and good quality contemporary panelled door. Fireplace in left-hand room is mainly plastered over but has a chamfered wooden lintel and oven in left-hand side. On the first floor the landing above the stairs and lower room has a moulded C17 plaster cornice. The first floor room of the wing has a C17 moulded wooden doorframe with vase stops. The chamber over the lower room has a moulded wooden lintel and plaster overmantle with oval plaque which has a mermaid at the centre, a winged mermaid either side and a mask at the top. The first floor room at the other end also has a C17 fireplace with ovolo-moulded wooden lintel and plaster overmantle in stylised strapwork design with central shield in square panel. Roof: 2 medieval trusses survive over the hall and lower side of passage - they are probably raised crucks and have morticed cranked collars, threaded purlins and ridge. Most of the common rafters and battens survive and the whole structure is heavily smoke-blackened. The roof over the lower end has been replaced but one purlin extends through and is more lightly smoke-blackened. The cob wall at the higher end is smoke-blackened on the hall side. The house is important as an interesting C17 remodelling of a late medieval house and because of the surviving medieval fabric and high quality C17 features.

Listing NGR: SS5295612312


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

Legacy System number: 91771

Legacy System: LBS

End of official listing