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HER Number:MDV11857
Name:Saunton Court, Braunton


Manor house of 15th century date with possibly earlier origins. Remodelled and extended by Lutyens in 1932, although much of the early roof structure remains intact.


Grid Reference:SS 456 379
Map Sheet:SS43NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NE/23
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 98349
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS43NE 16

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (Early Medieval to XX - 1066 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1905, 8SW (Cartographic). SDV335631.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 142 (Monograph). SDV336196.

Saunton Court, 1932 by Lutyens, as an extension, and virtual rebuilding of a farmhouse. Much of the detail looks like a revival of Lutyen's early style.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953 - 1954, SS43NE16 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV337745.

1. Saunton Court: Remains of Medieval Mansion.
2. Reference to existing source, see Pesvener.
3. An ancient building used as a farmhouse (1903).
4. A grey stone building extended to the north west but evidently incorporating the original house almost in its entirety with perhaps slight alterations. Owned by the Christie Estate.

Department of Environment, 1985, Braunton, 52-53 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV73918.

Manor house, 15th century, possibly earlier origins, remodelled and extended by Lutyens in 1932. Rubble stone brought to courses with stone dressings to the openings. Slate roofs with gable ends, hipped to rear range with deep eaves. Ornamental guttering with acorn finials to the brackets. Stone lateral hall stack with moulded cap to rear now enclosed by 1932 additions, stacks to left and right side of cross-wings respectively and rear gable end of right-hand cross-wing, with tapering caps and slated weatherings. Originally open-hall with 2-storey porch to through passage, with cross wings at each end with additional short right-angled projection from right-hand cross-wing. The hall did have floor inserted at later stage but Lutyens removed floor, remodelled the fenestration and added kitchen block and single-storey range to rear parallel to main range to form an open courtyard to rear.
Single-storey hall with 2-storeyed cross-wings and porch. Hall has 3 window range of 20th century hornless wood sashes with cambered heads, 6 over 6 panes. Gabled porch at lower end of hall with horned sash, 6 over 6 panes, above round-arched porch with inner arch supported on engaged columns, roll-moulded in post blocks and bases. Cambered-arched inner doorway with rusticated surround and sculptured head keystone over double-leaved door of 6 panels, the upper panels glazed. Two sashes on each floor to each cross-wing, 6 over 6 panes, square-headed to upper storey with horns with relieving arches to left hand cross-wing and cambered heads without horns to ground floor. Right side of cross-wing has sash, 6 over 6 panes, over 12-paned window, and similar sash over double horizontal sliding sash window on east face of right-angled projection. The range to rear by Lutyens has 3 window range on courtyard side flanking glazed door. Left side of left hand cross-wing has horizontal sliding sashes, double to left and single to right, above doorway with dressed stone relieving arch to left, and 2 single horizontal sliding sashes to right, of double horizontal sliding sashes. Projecting portion of kitchen block with steeply pitched roof to outshut at left end has triple horizontal sliding sashes, 6 panes per sash to front and rear on each floor, that to ground floor front with dressed stone relieving arch.
Interior remodelled by Lutyens, apart from 17th century stone bolection moulded fireplace to rear end of right side cross-wing. Also much of the early roof structure intact. Over the hall, half the timbers comprising the whole rear side have been replaced with the shallower pitch required for Lutyens galleried additions. The lower cross-wing roof structure has also been replaced. But 3 heavy principals and one whole truss at the juncture of the upper cross-wing remain over hall. Original truss had yokes, diagonal set threaded ridge purlins, 2 tiers of threaded purlins and archbraced collars. Collars now removed, but substantial number of rafters, most of purlins and 2 yokes survive, all heavily smoke-blackened, as are original trusses. The cross-wing at upper end has almost complete medieval roof structure with 3 trusses, 2 with short yokes and the third with saddle, 3 tiers of purlins, the middle tier square-set with soffit mortices for chamfered windbraces all intact on south side and 2 surviving to north side. Chamfered arch-bracing to cranked collars morticed into soffits of principals. The short right-angled projection from the upper cross-wing contains a single pair of raised crucks with diagonally threaded ridge purlin and small yoke, a small slightly cambered collar and 1 tier of threaded purlins.
The Lutyens remodelling involved repanelling of the principal rooms including master bedroom to rear of lower cross-wing. Ground floor room of upper cross-wing to rear also has alcoves flanking panelled doors with swags above, and more elaborate frieze and eared architecture to opposing frame in front room, which also has Adam fireplace, with fluted pilasters with rams head capitals, carved cherubs scene to central cartouche and flanking festoons. Hall with walnut panelled doors at each end has large painted ceiling medallion depicting "The Judgement of Paris" possibly by Cipriani 1740. Engaged classical-style pilasters but with bells in the capitals, 4 to each side and 2 to each end. Bolection marbled chimneypiece to rear wall. Panelled through-passage has alcove on left wall with goats head to head of niche in garlanded surround. Panelled room to left of through-passage has terracotta mantel with trophied cluster of rural implements flanking centre pastoral cartouche brought from France by Robert Adam. Fine wooden open-well staircase to rear of cross-passage with turned balusters, wreathed handrail ramped up to square fluted newels. Fireplaces to principal bedrooms, at front of each cross-wing, that at lower end has bolection moulded surround with ducks-nest style grate in cast iron with radiating ribbed surround. Other details: 7/50.

English Heritage, 2000, Saunton Court, Devon (Register of Parks and Gardens in England). SDV341435.

Saunton Court is a rubble stone, slate-roofed manor house dating from the 15th century, possibly with earlier origins. Originally built as an open hall, with a 2 storey porch on the south-east façade leading to a through passage, and with cross wings to north-east and south-west, the house was extensively remodelled and extended in an informal neo-Georgian style by Lutyens in 1932. Other details: GD1691.

Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 1060 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

Saunton court. Including garden structures to e incorporating gateway, garden walls & gatepiers, gazebo, grotto & flight of steps. Manor house, 15th century, earlier origins possibly, remodelled and extended by lutyens in 1932.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV335631Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1905. 8SW. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 142.
SDV337745Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953 - 1954. SS43NE16. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. No. 1060.
SDV341435Register of Parks and Gardens in England: English Heritage. 2000. Saunton Court, Devon. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. A4 Stapled.
SDV73918List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1985. Braunton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 52-53.

Associated Monuments

MDV74778Related to: Former Farm Buildings at Saunton Court (Monument)
MDV74782Related to: Former Farm Buildings at Saunton Court (Monument)
MDV74777Related to: Gazebo in Saunton Court Gardens (Building)
MDV18644Related to: Saunton (Monument)
MDV32498Related to: Saunton Court Gardens (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Aug 17 2016 9:34AM