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HER Number:MDV11465
Name:Uplowman Court


Farmhouse, former manor house, late 13th or early 14th century origins but most is 16th and l7th century, modernised in the mid 19th century. It seems likely that the main block was the open hall range of the medieval house, and the eastern crosswing was a solar range with chapel attatched.


Grid Reference:ST 013 155
Map Sheet:ST01NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishUplowman
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishUPLOWMAN

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST01NW/10
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 96034
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: ST01NW4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (VIII to Post Medieval - 701 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

National Buildings Record, ST01NW, 79990 (Ground Photograph). SDV351693.

National Buildings Record, ST01NW/59383 (Report - non-specific). SDV351694.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, ST01NW4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV351691.

Reichel, O. J., 1928 - 1938, The Hundred of Tiverton in Early Times, 3,8,15,31 (Article in Monograph). SDV35420.

This may represent the site of the Domesday manor of Oplomia. This was not the chief manor but its name to the parish because the church was sited here; it was held by Elmer the Priest at the time of the Domesday book, and in Saxon times. It was called Preston or Priest-town up to the 13th century at least, a small estate, it may be identical with the glebe of the church. It was appurtenant to Lower Coombe, the chief manor.

Reichel, O. J., 1928 - 1939, The Hundred of Halberton in Early Times, 49,58,63 (Article in Monograph). SDV51621.

Uplowman had 480 acres in Halberton hundred the remaining 2,912 acres were included in Tiverton hundred.

Wood, M., 1965, The English Medieval House, 232 (Monograph). SDV337307.

Archer, R., 1987, Uplowman Court, Uplowman (Plan - measured). SDV358897.

Child, P., 1987-88/2004, Proposed Conversion of Uplowman Court (Correspondence). SDV351696.

An important house which had its own chapel. Features exposed during works at Uplowman Court included a fine hooded medieval fireplace, and the larger part of a base cruck truss left in the otherwise 19th century roof. These features indicate that the building is of at least 14th century date and is probably the crosswing and chapel range of a substantial domestic hall which would have been sited in the area now occupied by the farmhouse. Unfortunately the latter does not seem to contain any features of this earlier period, unless they are completely hidden away. Some parts of the building are extremely precarious and in particular the east gable wall of the chapel with the lancet window, and the partiton wall between the chapel and the main range. The cruck truss is also only supported by a slender partition. A piece of decorated medieval glass was found within the blocked chapel window.

Mid Devon District Council, 1988, Listed Building Consent for the Converion of Part Redundant/Dilapidated Building to Dwelling - Uplowman Court, Uplowman (Correspondence). SDV351697.

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, 1988, Report on the Condition and Repair of Uplowman Court (Un-published). SDV351695.

Generally the external fabric of the crosswing is in sound condition, with the exception of the south end of the east wall. Internally, damage is far worse, with unsound partitions and first floor construction. The chapel is in poor condition with severe distress in the east wall. The damage has come about primarily since the removal of the roof and through a general lack of maintenance and repairs being carried out. See report for full details.

Dixon + Prichard Architects & Surveyors, 1988, Restoration of Uplowman Court, Uplowman, Tiverton (Plan - measured). SDV358898.

Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants, 1988, Survey of Uplowman Court, Uplowman, Devon: Solar Wing and Chapel (Report - Survey). SDV351689.

The crosswing at the eastern end of Uplowman Court farmhouse was sold off from the main farmhouse in July 1988. Once building work commenced it was soon clear that this was a much more important building than was previously suspected. It is the solar wing with attached chapel of a large, high quality manor house, built circa 1300 for the de Willington family. The remains are remarkably extensive for a house of this date. There was a major refurbishment in the mid/late 16th century, some minor 17th century alterations and a modernization in the 19th century, but the medieval shell, including several original features, had been retained. The building has suffered a century or so of neglect and its condition is now (July 1988) poor. See report for further details.

Department of Environment, 1988, Uplowman, 146-147 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV338496.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 881 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Exeter Archaeology, 2002, Assessment of Uplowman Waste Water Treatment Works, 1 (Report - Assessment). SDV337834.

National Monument Record, 2013, 188154 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV351690.

Uplowman Court: The east portion of Uplowman Court is 13th century with a contemporary two-light window in the end gable. It was originally L-shaped with the hall in the north wing. In the 16th century it was re-fashioned. There are blocked early 14th century windows in the east wall of the hall. To the west of the older portion is the present house which may be 17th century but was much altered in the 18th century. It is a grade II* listed building and has grade II associated cider house, linhay and stables.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England, 1325911 (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Farmhouse, former manor house. Late C13 - early C14 origins but most is C16 and Cl7, modernised in the mid C19. The unmodernised section is exposed stone rubble, the rest is plastered stone rubble probably with cob; stone rubble stacks topped with C19 brick, some plastered; slate roof, formerly thatch. Plan and development: large farmhouse with an irregular plan facing south-south- east;, say south. Basically it has T-plan. The main block has a 3-room plan. The large left (west) end room has a gable-end stack. The centre room has an axial stack backing onto the left room. The right room has an end stack backing onto the east; end crosswing. There is a cross passage between the right and centre rooms. The crosswing is L-shaped. The main part contains 3 rooms, a main front and back room either side of a small lobby. Only the rear room is heated, by an outer lateral stack. The "chapel" projects to right of the front room. Outshots across the back of the main block, the one behind the left end room has a rear stack. This is a house with a long and complex structural history. Later alterations have made it difficult to determine the early history in detail. Nevertheless it seems likely that the main block was the open hall range of the medieval house and the eastern crosswing was a solar range with chapel attatched. There is evidence that the hall was open to the roof and heated by an open hearth fire but the sooted roof truss appears to be early C16 (late C15 at the earliest). The solar fireplace and stone window look the same date. Only the chapel window looks earlier. Apart from the smoke-blackened roof truss the main block contains mostly Cl7 carpentry detail and not all of that is exposed. The C19 renovation hides the details of the Cl7 layout but it seems that the left (west) room was the kitchen with a bakehouse behind, the centre room was the dining room and the right room a parlour. The parlour stack intrudes into the crosswing. The present layout of the crosswing is late C16 or Cl7. The first floor level appears to be a little higher than it was originally. It is not clear why the front room is unheated since it has such a fine ceiling structure. It once included an oak-framed screen to the rest of the wing but this was replaced by a cob wall, probably in the mid Cl7 when the lobby partition was erected and the rear room given a kitchen fireplace with curing chamber alongside. This house is 2 storeys. Exterior: main block has an irregular 4-window front of mid C19 casements with glazing bars. The passage front doorway contains a-mid C19 6-panel door with overlight behind a contemporary flat-roofed timber porch with trellis sides. The secondary doorway (into the left end kitchen) has a mid C19 door with gabled hood. The main block roof is gable-ended. The crosswing is disused. The front end of the wing contains a late C16 - early Cl7 oak-framed window. It is partly blocked but 3 of the original 5-lights are open; the mullions are chamfered externally and ogee- moulded internally. Above it a late Cl7 oak 2-light window with flat-faced mullions and containing rectangular panes of old leaded glass. The roof above is hipped. The gable-end wall of the chapel has large red sandstone conglomerate buttresses and has the late C13 - early C14 2-light window of volcanic ashlar. The outer side of the crosswing contains 1-light of an originally wider window built of volcanic ashlar. It has a transom and shoulder-headed lights. There are other oak C17 chamfered or flat-faced mullion windows some with iron glazing bars and saddle bars and a Tudor arch doorway to rear. Interior: the main block is largely the result of the C19 modernisation although where carpentry detail is exposed it is mostly Cl7. The left end room has the only exposed crossbeams; they are soffit-chamfered with step stops. The large fireplace has a soffit-chamfered oak lintel. There is a much neater fireplace to the right room indicating its parlour status. The centre room fireplace is blocked. Only limited access was available to the main roof but a tall side-pegged jointed cruck could be seen over the centre room. It is smoke-blackened from the late medieval open hearth fire. Remarkably the western outshot lean-to roof is supported on side- pegged jointed crucks too. The disused crosswing has a partly-blocked late C15 - early C16 first floor fireplace backing onto the main block. One of its volcanic ashlar jambs shows with chamfered edges and hood corbel. The rest of this fireplace is blocked by a C19 chimneypiece. Although the front room is unheated it has a fine late C16 - early Cl7 9-panel ceiling of richly-moulded intersecting beams. A contemporary oak Tudor arch door into the chapel which was floored about the same time; it has a soffit- chamfered and step-stopped crossbeam. The rest of the crosswing appears to be mid Cl7. There is a plain cob-nogged oak-framed partition between the lobby and secondary kitchen. The fireplace is volcanic ashlar with a soffit-chamfered qak lintel. In the back is a blocked oven doorway and the alcove to left was a walk-in curing chamber. Plain-chamfered crossbeam here. The roof of the crosswing and chapel was replaced in the C19 but a couple of cruck posts remain in the walls. This important building is complex and intriguing. This is the possible site of the Domesday manor of Uplonia. Source: a full photographic record of the crosswing with measured ground plan and description by Eric Mercer and Sarah Pearson in NMR.
Date first listed: 5th April 1966

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 881.
SDV337307Monograph: Wood, M.. 1965. The English Medieval House. The English Medieval House. Unknown. 232.
SDV337834Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2002. Assessment of Uplowman Waste Water Treatment Works. Exeter Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1.
SDV338496List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Uplowman. Historic Houses Register. 146-147.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1325911.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV351689Report - Survey: Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. 1988. Survey of Uplowman Court, Uplowman, Devon: Solar Wing and Chapel. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV351690National Monuments Record Database: National Monument Record. 2013. 188154. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV351691Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. ST01NW4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV351693Ground Photograph: National Buildings Record. ST01NW. National Buildings Record Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 79990.
SDV351694Report - non-specific: National Buildings Record. ST01NW/59383. National Buildings Record Report.
SDV351695Un-published: Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. 1988. Report on the Condition and Repair of Uplowman Court. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV351696Correspondence: Child, P.. 1987-88/2004. Proposed Conversion of Uplowman Court. Letters and photograph. A4 Unbound + Digital.
SDV351697Correspondence: Mid Devon District Council. 1988. Listed Building Consent for the Converion of Part Redundant/Dilapidated Building to Dwelling - Uplowman Court, Uplowman. Letters + Plan. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV35420Article in Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928 - 1938. The Hundred of Tiverton in Early Times. The Hundreds of Devon. A5 Hardback. 3,8,15,31.
SDV358897Plan - measured: Archer, R.. 1987. Uplowman Court, Uplowman. Architect's Drawing. A2 Folded + Digital.
SDV358898Plan - measured: Dixon + Prichard Architects & Surveyors. 1988. Restoration of Uplowman Court, Uplowman, Tiverton. Architect's Drawings. A1 Folded + Digital.
SDV51621Article in Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928 - 1939. The Hundred of Halberton in Early Times. The Hundreds of Devon. A5 Hardback. 49,58,63.

Associated Monuments

MDV77310Related to: Cider House at Uplowman Court Farm (Building)
MDV73683Related to: Court Cottage, Uplowman (Building)
MDV77312Related to: Linhay and Stables at Uplowman Court Farm (Building)
MDV1458Related to: St Peter's Parish Church, Uplowman (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 6 2017 1:20PM