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 67265 24473



4/93 Halswell Farmhouse - 20.2.67 - II Farmhouse. Probably early C16, with late C16 and C17 remodellings, extended in C18. Stone rubble and cob, unrendered to rear. Thatch roof with gable ends. Plain ridge. Corrugated iron roof with hipped end to front right-hand wing. Tall front lateral stone rubble hall stack and rear lateral stone rubble stack heating lower end. Brick stack to rebuilt left gable end heating inner room. Plan. 3-room and through passage plan with front wing to right-hand (lower) end formerly part of dwelling, now used for farm storage. Interesting development. The hall and lower end were originally open to the roof, the lower end ceiled first with a deep jetty into the hall. Clay daub and stud partition above jetty beam heavily smoke-blackened on hall side and change in floor levels indicates hall was ceiled last, probably in early C17, with a small leanto dairy added at its rear. Solid cob wall partition rises to apex of roof between hall and inner room; no access to roof space over inner room, so not possible to ascertain whether inner room is a later addition, but the cruck truss over inner room set close to the partition suggests it would certainly have been added by the early C17. In probably the C18, the front wing was added. A fireplace across the rear right-hand angle with bread oven and a blocked doorway through to the lower end suggests it may have formed a kitchen to the original range which at this stage was divided into 2 dwellings, the hall/through passage screen forming the dividing partition. A new additional doorway was inserted to the left of the original through-passage doorway, giving access into a new passage taken out of the lower end of the hall with dog-leg staircase at the rear. In the late C18/early C19, the front wing was extended forwards by a 2-storey, single room plan addition, also with a fireplace across the rear right-hand angle. There are no connecting doorways through to the rest of the wing, strongly suggesting this was occupied as a separate cottage, so that at this period Halswell Farmhouse may have been occupied by 3 family units. 2 storeys. 3-window range. C20 fenestration, 2-light casements. 2-storey hall window bay built out in line with lateral stack. Late C16/early C17 4-centred arched through-passage timber doorway with chamfered surround. Wing has a 2-light casement 2 panes per light, to each side of old plank door, and a 2-light window over the right-hand ground floor window, 1 of the lights retaining its square-leaded panes. Old plank door to the end cottage. Interior. Of considerable interest. Lower end and hall fireplaces probably survive behind C20 grates. Roughly chamfered beam to lower end. Small square C18 cupboard built into front wall of lower end with marquetry inlay pattern. Plank and muntin screen between hall and through-passage, largely concealed by inbuilt cupboards and lath and plaster but appears to be intact, probably originally with doorways at each end, the left-hand doorway replaced by raised and fielded panelled cupboard door with butterfly hinges, the rear doorway now concealed by staircase. New doorway formed in centre of screen by removing 2 of the muntins. Muntins are chamfered and stopped near the base. Part of pulley system for hanging pigs survives in through- passage. To judge by exposed floor below the inserted staircase, the hall was originally cobbled. Deep jetty beam in hall apparently resting at front on concealed hall fireplace lintel. The beam is chamfered but apparently unstopped at each end. C17 ovolo-moulded doorframe to rear upper end wall of hall through to dairy, the left-hand durn concealed, right-hand durn with ornate rams horns stop. Inner room has higher ceiling with single axial ceiling beam with pyramid stops at the upper end. Large recess in rear wall at head of inserted stairs at lower end of hall with wide chamfered lintel indicates probable position of original staircase, serving the lower end before hall was floored over. Roof structure entirely intact. 4 raised cruck trusses, the exposed foot of the hall truss indicating they rest on short timber wall plates. The truss over inner room with feet plastered in is not accessible. The 3 remaining trusses, 1 over hall and 2 over lower end have 2 tiers of threaded purlins and ridge purlin, morticed and tenoned cranked collars with long protruding pegs. None of the 3 trusses are closed, the jetty partition rising to the apex of the roof about a metre to the right of the hall truss. Studs and clay daub entirely intact, heavily smoke- blackened on hall side, as is the hall/inner room solid cob partition. The hall roof structure including all the rafters, battens and underside of thatch, are heavily encrusted in soot, the roof members also entirely intact below the closed partition becoming progressively cleaner towards the lower gable end wall. The front wing has roughly pegged C18 trusses with straight principals. Fireplaces intact to both units, that to earlier range has bread oven. Halswell Farmhouse is of considerable interest, not only as a good example of a medieval open hall house, but also for its retention of many later features which clearly illustrate its development, including its subdivision and extension by the C19 into apparently 3 family units.

Listing NGR: SS6726524473


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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: 24 May 2004
Reference: IOE01/11402/17
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Ann Allen. Source Historic England Archive
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