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.

Torridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SS 55081 15641


BEAFORD SS 5515 20/18 Old Parsonage - II*

Parsonage, now house. Late C15 or early C16, possibly altered in the mid to late C16, and altered and probably enlarged in the early to mid C17. Further alterations probably of the late C17 or early C18. Uncoursed stone rubble to ground floor and rendered cob to first floor. Rendered to rear. C20 concrete tile roof (formerly thatched), gable-ended to left and hipped to right. Stone lateral stack to rear, rendered stone end stack to left and rendered brick end stack to right. Plan and development: The present plan consists of hall with external lateral stack to rear,through passage to right, and former parlour to left with small one-roomed wing at rear of right-hand end (present kitchen). The lower right-handd service end has been demolished. House faces south and ground falls to right. The c.1500 house probably consisted of hall, passage and parlour, either open to the roof from end to end or with an unheated ceiled solar above the parlour. Remains of probable jointed cruck trusses and some reused smoke-blackened timbers in the roof probably date from this phase. The solar over the parlour is possibly an insertion (perhaps mid C16), and projected into the open hall (see moulded bressumer of former internal jetty). If the solar was inserted it was probably re-roofed (see unblackened raised cruck trusses) and sealed off from the hall (which remained open) at the same time (see partition rising into roofspace, only blackened on hall side). Stair turret in left- hand rear corner of parlour probably added at this time too. The integral end stack at the parlour end was probably added at a later date, either in the late C17 or early C18, unless the parlour fireplace was later rebuilt. There were probably formerly service rooms below the through passage (right-hand end) which have since been demolished. There is no evidence of this in the end wall of the house but this could be the result of later rebuilding. A 1679 terrier refers to "two Buttery Chambers" which were probably at the lower end. A one-storey lean-to outshut was added to the right-hand end probably in the C18 or C19. The "Out Kitching with earthen floor" referred to in the terrier of 1679 probably refers to a separate building, now demolished. The external lateral stack at the rear of the hall was probably added in the early C17 and the chamber over the passage was possibly also enclosed at the same time. The C17 alterations also appear to have included the rebuilding of the roof over the hall and passage, probably replaceing a smoke- backened roof of c.1500. The first floor appears to have been inserted in the hall in the late C17 or early C18 (a hall chamber is not mentioned in the terrier of 1679). The short wing at rear of the parlour was probably added at the same time. However the 1679 terrier refers to a "School House with Chamber over" and it is possible that the rear wing was either the former school room (perhaps reduced in the C18) or a C18 rebuiling of it. The hall was reduced in width (at probably quite a late date) by the removal of the partition (see half beam) to a position underneath the moulded bressumer of the former jettied solar. The house poses some problems. If the parlour end was floored from the outset the internal jetty into the hall is unusual as it is a feature usually associated with inserted floors. Also, if the solar is not an insertion it is possible that the roof over it is also of c.1500 and not a later C16 rebuilding. The use of raised and jointed crucks in the same building is not uncommon. Two storeys with one-storey outshut. Exterior: Three first-floor late C19 three-light wooden casements, ground-floor late C19 three-light wooden casement to left with wrought-iron diamond-section bars inside, and central late C19 or early C20 two-light wooden casement (lighting hall). Doorway to right with C20 six-panelled door (top 4 panels glazed). Right-hand part of south front projects slightly (possibly the result of later partial rebuilding). Tall later raking buttress between centre and left-hand windows. Outshut to right has C19 or C20 two-light wooden casement to right. Stair turret in left-hand gable end has small C19 two-light wooden casement. Large stack to rear of hall has chamfered offsets and tall tapered shaft, weatherings and string course. Former bread oven to right of stack, since rebuilt (including part of offset above). Probably late C17 ground-floor small 2-light wooden rear window to parlour with central chamfered mullion and diamond-section stanchions. Blocked first-floor openings in wall to right of rear stack (possibly evidence of former larger rear wing). Two ground-floor probably C18 small 2-light wooden windows in rear wall of rear wing, with diamond-section stanchions. Interior: Fine C16 plank and muntin oak screen with roll-moulded muntins, chamfered head beam with stepped runout stops, and 2 doorways, the left-hand one has an old boarded door with wrought-iron strap hinges and right-hand one is blocked. Some old graffiti on screen, including the date: 1666. Large probably early C17 fireplace to rear of hall with ovolo-moulded granite jambs with lintel, with cambered top and stone relieving arch above. Hall has roughly-chamfered cross beam and moulded (cut back) half beam along left-hand wall, probably former bressumer of internal jetty (solar at upper end probably inserted). Left-hand ground-floor room (parlour) has C16 cross beam to right, probably in line with the former partition between parlour and hall (chamfered on left-hand side only). Large joists spanning between this beam and further chamfered half beam against left-hand wall. Probably late C17 fireplace to left with splayed stone jambs and brick flat arch. Ground-floor room in rear wing (present kitchen) has reused timbers as ceiling joists. Old winder stair in stair turret to left of parlour. Roof: Remains of c.1500 smoke-blackened roof, including truncated jointed cruck in rear wall of hall to right of stack (visible in hall wall and resting on wooden pad) and some reused blackened chamfered purlins in left-hand bay of roof over hall. C17 two-bay hall roof with 2 trusses (right-hand one over passage screen) consisting of principal rafters pegged at apices and halved lapped collars and ridge-piece. Short bay to right over passage, with hip principal. Circa 1500 or mid C16 two-bay roof over parlour end has 2 unblackened raised cruck trusses (right-hand one incorporated in partition between hall and parlour) with mortice and tenoned apices, mortice and tenoned cambered collars, pairs of threaded purlins and diagonally-set ridge-piece. Left-hand truss has a scotch at the foot. Lath and plaster partition between second and third bay from left, unblackened on the parlour (left-hand) side but with evidence of smoke blackening on the hall side. Sources: C. Hulland, Report on The Old Parsonage (1978); Devon Record Office, Terrier dated 1679.

Listing NGR: SS5508115641


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

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Books and journals
Hulland, C , Report on The Old Parsonage, (1978)


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: 15 Aug 2000
Reference: IOE01/02745/21
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Barbara Hilton. Source Historic England Archive
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