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.

North Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SS 61225 24056


CHITTLEHAMPTON SS 62 SW MIddle Nethercleave

3/112 - 20.2.67 - II Farmhouse, now private dwelling. Probably early C16, remodelled probably in late C16, extended in C17, with C20 alterations. Painted roughcast rendered stone rubble and cob. Thatch roof with gable end to left, corrugated iron roof, hipped to lower end. Pantiled roof to gable-ended rear wing. 2 tall front lateral unrendered stone rubble stacks heating parlour and hall with tapered caps, that to parlour also corbelled on right side to first floor fireplace, that to hall heightened in brick with bread oven projection. Plan. Former 3-room and through-passage plan with added parlour at upper end to left, the hall/through-passage partition removed and rear doorway blocked with large gable-ended wing containing staircase to rear of inner room. Development. Interesting multiphase development. Former open hall house, the cob wall partition rising to the apex of the roof between the hall and the narrow unheated inner room being heavily smoke-blackened on the hall side only. However, the ridge purlin over the inner room is also smoke-blackened; the cob wall partition between the hall and inner room may therefore be a later insertion, the inner room being ceiled prior to the hall. Alternatively, as the ridge purlin is the only surviving member of the roof structure over the inner room, it could be reused. In the late C16 or early C17, the upper end was extended by the addition of a large parlour; the inner room being partitioned axially towards the rear to create a connecting passage between the hall and new parlour, and a gable ended wing added at the rear of the passage containing a fine staircase with an unheated room beyond. The function of the inner room, which has only a rough unchamfered axial ceiling beam, therefore always appears to have been as a small unheated service room; probably because the lower end, which was altered in the C19 but retains an unsmoke-blackened cruck truss, remained in use for agricultural accommodation, either for livestock or storage - its use at the time of survey was still as a lofted storage space. 2 storeys. 6-window range in all. Small C17 leaded light window to right of parlour stack. C19 3-light window 2 panes per light above C20 3-light window to inner room. Eyebrow dormers flanking hall stack with C20 fenestration. The hall window has been built out in line with stack with a pantiled leanto roof. C20 door to former through-passage. Lower end has 6-paned window over part glazed, part slatted window to left of loft door over plank door. 2-light chamfered mullion window to left gable end and C19 3-light casements, 8 panes per light to rear of parlour end, both to upper storey. Interior. Lower end has roughly chamfered cross ceiling beams. Single storey right-angled rear extension housed the copper, with brick stack. Solid stone rubble wall to lower side of former passage, the screen on the upper side unfortunately removed in late C20. Part of the screen has been reused in bookcase with initialled date 1751. Chamfered hall fireplace lintel with hollow step stops. Single cross ceiling beam, chamfered with hollow step stops resting at front end on the lower end of the fireplace lintel. Creamery niche in upper end wall of hall. Fine early C17 straight-run staircase to gabled rear wing, with wide timber treads and small opening lighting the passage side with 4 turned balusters. Rear gabled wing has chamfered cross ceiling beam with pyramid stops. Inner room has single rough axial ceiling beam. 6-panelled door to parlour beyond, which has a deep chamfered keel- stopped axial ceiling beam and chamfered fireplace lintel, with hollow step stops. The chamber over the inner room has an early C16 timber mullion window of 3 triangular headed lights in the former gable end wall, subsequently blocked by the addition of the parlour end. Roof: 2 jointed cruck trusses, 1 over lower side of former passage, the other over the hall, with 2 tiers of trenched purlins and diagonally set ridge purlin. All the roof members over the hall, including surviving rafters, are heavily smoke- blackened, as is the cob wall partition on the hall side only between the hall and inner room. The truss over the hall is sited directly over the hall ceiling beam, and is closed below collar level. The floor heights to each side of the ceiling beam were different before being levelled out in the late C20, so the possibility that a jettied arrangement over the passage existed before the flooring of the hall proper cannot be discounted. Indeed, a sequence of blacksmith's nails to the pair of rafters immediately to the right (lower) side of the hall truss, similar to those at Hawkridge Barton, Chittlehampton (q.v.) may survive as evidence of a possible curtain arrangement to block smoke from the open hall entering the jettied. chamber. The truss over the lower side of the former through-passage is clean on the lower end side; over the lower end is a clean cruck truss with short curved feet, formerly with a morticed and tenoned collar. The ridge purlin over the inner room is scarfed into that over the hall and is also smoke-blackened, but no other original roof members survive. The roof structure over the parlour end was not accessible. Middle Nethercleave farmhouse has an interesting plan form and sequence of development, with a large parlour end added beyond the inner room, the lower end apparently always intended for agricultural use. Despite C20 alterations, including removal of the screen, front through-passage doorway, and some of the original roof structure, the interior retains a considerable number of interesting features. It ceased to function as a farmhouse when North Nethercleave was built in the late C19.

Listing NGR: SS6122524056


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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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