Barn north-west of Troakes Farmhouse and cow house


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Troakes Farm, Bolham Water, Clayhidon, Cullompton, EX15 3QB


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Statutory Address:
Troakes Farm, Bolham Water, Clayhidon, Cullompton, EX15 3QB

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Mid Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A barn dating from the C18, with later alterations.

Reasons for Designation

The Barn at Troakes Farm which dates from the C18 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: Architectural interest: * despite some partial rebuilding, overall it survives well and retains a high proportion of historic fabric, including the original roof structure.

Historic interest: * it illustrates well the character and development of regional farming traditions within the context of the overall national patterns in farming history.

Group value: * as an integral element of an historic farmstead which, together with the Grade-II listed farmhouse and cow house, forms a group which survives well.


Troakes Farm is an isolated farmstead which is located on a south-facing slope to the north of the Bolham River, some 3km south-east of Hemyock. It is mentioned in the will of John Troke dated 1548 (Oakford Archaeology, see Sources). The house is an evolved, multi-phase building with probable late-medieval origins, possibly built as a longhouse with a slightly derivative layout since there appears to have previously been a cross passage at the upper end of the building which retains evidence for a door at either end that has been infilled. The roof timbers show no evidence for smoke blackening, suggesting that it either had an open hall that was soon ceiled over or that there was always an upper floor. The house was extensively remodelled in the early C17 and again probably in the C18, around which time the lower end, forming the southern part of the building, was probably brought into domestic use. It was likely that the agricultural building, most likely a cow house since there is no evidence for stalls, was added onto the north end of the house around the same time. Further alterations have taken place in subsequent centuries.

By the 1780s the farm was owned and occupied by the Tarrants, who are understood (Oakford Archaeology) to have been an affluent local family of yeoman farmers. The farm is shown on the 1838 tithe map, which depicts the house with a rectangular plan and defining the east side of a long, narrow yard and a parallel, but offset, linear range of attached buildings, with the barn forming the northern element of this range, enclosing the west side. There are also three, smaller detached buildings to the north. The tithe apportionment records Plot 1265, as ‘Building & Courtledge’, and that Trokes, as it was then known, was owned by the Reverend John Clarke and tenanted to John Hartnell, a local farmer. On the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889 the plan of the house has taken on its present form, and by this date it is called Troakes Farm. Some of the farm buildings have been removed over the years; others have been substantially rebuilt or replaced with modern structures.

The farm is understood to have been depicted in a painting by Robert Polhill Bevan (1865-1925), one of the founders of The Camden Town Group, and was included in an exhibition of his work in 1965 at the Ashmolean Museum.


A barn dating from the C18, with later alterations.

MATERIALS It is constructed of random stone rubble and concrete blocks under a roof covered with corrugated metal sheeting.

PLAN The BARN forms the northern element of a linear range that enclosed the west side of a narrow, rectangular yard. This range previously comprised three attached buildings, but the central one is not extant and the southern building has been extensively rebuilt in the C20. The house and an attached agricultural building at its north end define the east side of the yard.

DESCRIPTION It is a single-storey, single-depth building of four bays. The prinicipal (east) elevation has a pedestrian entrance with a plank door; a large, full-height opening with a modern metal door; and a taking-in door set high in the wall. The central part of the wall has undergone some rebuilding. There is a further opening in the south gable wall. The opposing, west elevation has been subject to some rebuilding in concrete blocks and has a C20 metal-framed window. The roof structure comprises three principals with applied collars and pegged at the apex, a tie beam to the central truss, long diagonal bracing and two rows of purlins. There are some C20 timbers, added when the roof covering was replaced.


A Plan of the Parish of Clayhidon in the County of Devon (Tithe Map), 1838, accessed 7 January 2021 from
Photographs of Troakes Farm, Clayhidon c.1950, accessed 7 January 2021 from
First Ecology, August 2020, Troakes Farm, Clayhidon, Devon. Bat Assessment
Oakford Archaeology, December 2020, Archaeological desk-based assessment and Historic Building Appraisal at Troake’s Farm, Clayhidon, Devon


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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