Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

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

East Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SY 03910 91586



3/17 Minchen Cottage (formerly - listed as the Vicarage) 1l.11.52


House, formerly a barton possessed by the nuns of St Katherin's Priory,Polsloe, Exeter, and from 1592 the manor house of Aylesbeare. Late C15-early C16, thoroughly renovated in 1589 according to datestone, radically reduced in size and rearranged in early C20, modernised circa 1960. Main block is partly exposed, partly plastered local stone rubble with some Beerstone ashlar detail, service block of early C20 brick; one stack of Beerstone ashlar, much of it carved, and dressed red sandstone, the other probably of local stone rubble with early C20 brick shaft. L-shaped building with the main block facing south-west. The main block includes the medieval hall, as adapted when it was floored and a front projecting lateral stalk was added in 1589, deriving from a probable 3-room-and-through-passage plan house. The passage was on the right (south-eastern) side as evidenced by the surviving bressumer of the lower end jetty over the passage screen (removed circa 1960). Since the early C20 or before the inner room end has been replaced by a small single storey lobby, the passage disused and the service end rebuilt. There is an early C20 single storey service block projecting to front of the service end, the right (south-eastern) end. The former hall has a front projecting lateral stack of 1589 and the former service end has a stack between the room there and the C20 service room extension.The main block is 2 storeys. The main front is most attractive. It is dominated by the hall chimney stack which is of very high quality. It is built of Beerstone ashlar with some smaller blocks of red sandstone. A block towards the base is carved with a pair of sunken quatrefoils. It has ashlar weathered offsets and the shaft uses Beerstone and red sandstone to create a chequer effect and the Beerstone blocks are carved with various geometric motifs all round and one on the front is inscribed with the date 1589. Also below the dripcourse is a band of Beerstone carved with quatrefoils containing various heraldic achievements. There is contemporary work to right with an exposed stone wall containing a ground floor 3-light Beerstone window with flat- arched heads, sunken spandrels and hoodmould, and a first floor 3-light Beerstone gabled half dormer with square-headed lights and a hoodmould ending on the left side with a sunken quatrefoil instead of a label. Further right is a C20 entrance porch with the service wing beyond and an early C20 half dormer, the contemporary chimney shaft and a gable end. To left is the C20 doorway to the lobby which has a red tile leanto roof against the slate hung gable end of the hall. To rear of the hall is another Beerstone 3-light window with flat-arch headed lights but here the hood has been knocked off. The service wing contains C20 windows and door. The inner side includes 2 reset date plaques; one is inscribed TS 1691, the other WS E 1765. Interior. Apart from the hall the inside has been completely rebuilt in the C20. The stack serves both ground and first floor fireplaces; both are Beerstone ashlar but the former has bead-moulded jambs and a replacement oak lintel (probably C17 or C18) and the latter has a chamfered surround. Only the lower end jetty bressumer survives on the ground floor; it is soffit-chamfered with step stops and has traces of probably early C17 painting, a geometric design incorporating a Biblical text only part of which is easily legible. The roof over this part is late C15 - early C16. It is 2 bays with an open side-pegged jointed cruck between similar closed trusses. It also has single sets of windbraces. Furthermore it is smoke-blackened indicating that the original hall was open to the roof and heated by an open hearth fire. Although only a fragment of the early house remains it is of superior quality and very attractive. Source: Devon SMR. The Devon Record Office has measured drawings and photographs of the place made by A W Everett circa 1950 which include an oak plank-and-muntin screen with early C17 painted decoration at the lower end of the hall. Subsequent modernisations have otherwise made little difference.

Listing NGR: SY0391091586


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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.

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