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.

North Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SS 58444 24934


TAWSTOCK SS 52 SE 5/51 Fishleigh Barton Farmhouse - 25.2.65 GV II*

Barton farmhouse. Possibly C14 origins to rear connecting range, main range probably C15, early C16 outside kitchen range. Main range remodelled 1627 by carved date over main doorway. Rendered stone and cob. Asbestos slate roof with gable ends. Rendered stack to right gable end, axial stack towards left end and lateral stacks to rear of hall and to left (north) side of cross-wing, all with tapered caps. Kitchen range has corrugated asbestos roof with axial stone rubble stack. Complex plan. The main range essentially 3 room and former though-passage plan, the rear doorway blocked and stairs inserted in C20, the lower end extended as a cross- wing. This entire range, including the cross-wing, was formerly open to the roof. The hall has been divided into 2 rooms in C20. At right angles to the main range and enclosing the hall stack is the possible earlier range also formerly open the roof into which the main staircase has partially been inserted. Although much altered, N. Alcock suggests this may have been the original hall built by the first settlers on this site. This short range connects the main range with the outside kitchen block, parallel to the main range and extending northwards forming a 3 sided courtyard. Main range 2 storeys. 6 window range including cross-wing. C20 fenestration, principally 3 light casements 8 panes per light with one 4-light casement to parlour end. Through-passage porch, whose roof is that of the wing continued. Fine inner doorway, straight-headed with ovolo-moulded surround, the date 1627 in relief to the lintel and with the letters L and I above scroll stops to the base of each jamb respectively. Original framed and ledged 3 plank door with old lock. To the south side ground floor of the connecting range is a 4 light timber chamfered mullion window. The kitchen range has a single 3 light timber mullion window with smaller timber diamond mullions between to the upper storey. Interiors Main range Remarkably intact C17 interior features concealing the C15 origins of this range. The majority of doorways have chamfered surrounds and scroll-stopped or bar-stopped durns with old plank doors. That from rear of hall to stair turret is particularly impressive with ovolo moulded surround with large scroll-stops to the durns. Room to left of passage has chamfered axial scroll-stopped ceiling beam and bressumer. Chamfered fireplace lintel with cupboard to left with butterfly hinges. The hall has one cased in beam (with moulded plasterwork cornice) to the smaller room partitioned off from it which retains its frieze of double foliated scrollwork, the ceiling of the main room having collapsed in late C20 exposing a roughly chamfered ceiling beam. Straight moulded plasterwork cornices to most of the passages. The inner room has ornamental plasterwork overmantel of 3 lozenges with end scrollwork and paterae. Encased ceiling beam and frieze of foliated scrollwork. Fine C17 dog- leg staircase with wide original treads moulded handrail, turned balusters and newel-posts, the latter with small knob finials. Chamber over the hall has very fine carved and moulded plaster ceiling with large central ball pendant from which the geometrical ribwork radiates,the panels tipped with sprays of fruits and foliage. Frieze with double-vine leaf and grape decoration. To south end above the frieze is strapwork ornamentation with small head of woman to top centre. On opposite wall is a spray with small head of man. Former fireplace to rear wall originally had Barnstaple fleur-de-lis tiled surround, each tile marked L B and one dated 1626. These have been removed with plans to reset them elsewhere in the house. Beside the fireplace there is believed to be a concealed garderobe. Chamber over inner room has coved ceiling decorated with large paterae and Tudor Roses in bold relief moulded plasterwork overmantel with scrolled spray. Chamber to cross wing, now subdivided, has depressed pointed segmental plaster ceiling with moulded cornice. Roof structure over cross-wing and part of hall only inspected. This revealed particularly fine medieval roof structure with particularly impressive detailing to the cross wing. The latter has 2 archbraced jointed cruck trusses, the archbraces with chamfered soffits, with steeply cranked morticed and tenoned collars, square set ridge purlins to Alcock type H apex and windbracing to the lower tier of butt purlins. Intermediate slightly cranked tie-beam between the 2 trusses. At each end of the cross wing are chamfered gavelforks, an unusual feature for North Devon. All the roof members are thoroughly smoke-blackened. The feet of 3 jointed cruck trusses are visible over the main range, but only 2 of the trusses over the through- passage and lower end of hall could be examined. These had diagonally set ridge purlin and butt purlins, all the roof members being also thoroughly smoke-blackened suggesting the entire range including the cross wing was originally open to the roof. Rear Connecting Range Chamfered ceiling beams with straight cut stops to inserted floor. The roof structure originally consisted of smoke-blackened rafters with collars and ashlar pieces, but without purlins or ridgepiece (N Alcock) but owing to decay only 3 of the rafter couples survive. Alcock remarks that 'In Devon this type of roof, the typical form in S.E. England, occurs in a few early Church roofs, but is replaced by other forms by 1400 at the latest; this is the only recorded secular example'. The Kitchen Range Ground floor partition removed, now large single room with short bay behind the stack with ramp up to first floor. Massive chamfered fireplace lintel. Roof structure of 3 trusses with short curved feet, 2 tiers of threaded purlins and ridge purlin and slightly cambered morticed and tenoned collars. The roof timbers to the stack side of the partition to the central truss are noticeably smoke-blackened indicating that the floor is a later insertion. This is an impressive complex of buildings, the plainess of the exterior belying the variety and richness of interior detail to this very substantial medieval house.

Listing NGR: SS5844424934


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

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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: 06 Mar 2007
Reference: IOE01/16192/29
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Warlow. Source Historic England Archive
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