Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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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)
Bishop's Nympton
National Grid Reference:
SS 77028 25511



2/27 South Hayne Farmhouse


Farmhouse. Probably early C17 (datestone of 1638), probably extended at the rear and altered in the C19, refashioned in the 1970s. Stone rubble with a slate roof, gabled at ends; end stacks, axial stack, rear left lateral stack, all with C19 brick shafts. Plan: Unusual for the date. A single depth main range, 4 rooms wide with an approximately central entrance into a wide passage with a modern stair at the rear of the passage. The whole of the main range seems to be of one build with a consistent roof structure of an unusual design for Devon. The 2 right hand rooms, heated from the right end stack and an axial stack backing on to the passage, appear to be parlours and are similar in size. The room to the left of the passage may originally have been unheated, perhaps a dairy, (the chimney shaft truncates some of the roof structure) or the chimney may have been rebuilt, the extreme left end room was evidently the kitchen in the C19 and possibly earlier, with a bread oven and formerly with an internal well and a pump. A rear outshut extends the length of the 3 right hand rooms and is probably a C19 addition, no evidence of a rear door in the main range was found during renovations in the 1970s. The roofspace was originally floored. There is some evidence to suggest that it was used as a wool loft, possibly with a door and external steps in the right gable end. Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 5 window front with regular fenestration. Approximately central C20 flat-roofed porch below an early/mid C19 2-centred arched Gothick window with intersecting glazing bars. The other windows are tripartite sashes with small panes, C19 but with some replacement to the left of the door; C20 enlarged copies to the right of the door. A datestone of 1638 with the initials T.B. on the front elevation could date the fabric of the main range but may be re-sited or could refer to a remodelling. The rear elevation has 2-light C19 or C20 casements. Interior: Both right hand rooms have C17 ovolo-moulded lintels to the fireplaces. The room to the left of the entrance has a plain timber lintel to the lateral stack, the left hand room has a C19 fireplace with an iron lintel and bread oven. A re-used C19 stair replaces another stair in the same position. A C17 chamfered, stopped doorframe on the first floor indicates that the first floor axial passage is C17, at least in part. C20 renovations have involved creating openings between the principal rooms and former outshut and the partition between the 2 left hand rooms has been removed. Roof: Instead of the unsual collar rafter roof design of the region the house has a pegged common rafter roof, the collars dovetailed into the couples which are mortised into tie beams. Round the shaft of the rear lateral stack the rafters have been cut away and re-supported on posts, this appears to be an alteration and not part of the original arrangement. There has been some racking of the couples and later support. The roof construction is so rare in the county that it is difficult to date: a similar use of couples at Holcombe Burnell Barton is probably early C17. The design of the roof provides a substantial open space in the attic, interrupted only by the axial stack. The roofspace had a plank floor, which no longer exists, and some surviving fixings suggest that it was originally partitioned. A section of cob on the right gable end wall could indicate the position of a former doorway to the attic: a later farmbuilding now adjoins the house at the gable end. It is possible that the design of the roof indicates a purpose-built wool loft, divided into storage units by low partitions with external access at the right end. Surprisingly little direct architectural evidence of the wool trade survives on Devon farmsteads, considering the importance of the wool industry in the C16 and C17. If this is a wool loft (and proximity to the market town of South Molton may be sigificant), it is a most important survival.

Listing NGR: SS7702825511


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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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