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HER Number:MDV12442
Name:Upcott Barton, Sheepwash


Derelict farmhouse of late medieval or 16th century date, probably altered in 17th century with late 17th century addition.


Grid Reference:SS 476 074
Map Sheet:SS40NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSheepwash
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPWASH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS40NE/6
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 91063
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS40NE1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XV to XVII - 1401 AD to 1700 AD)

Full description

Department of Environment, 1959, Torrington RD Provisional List, 17 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV118.

Built of stone and rubble. Slate roof. Some wood mullion and transom windows but house much altered and has deteriorated.

Ordnance Survey, 1963, Ordnance Survey 6 inch map (Cartographic). SDV166087.

Upcott Barton remains of mansion.

Seymour, D. J., 1977, Torre Abbey. An Account of its History, Buildings, Cartularies and Lands, 189 (Monograph). SDV340436.

Upcott Barton is going fast to ruin and was abandoned in 1968; the great hall with its fine moulded beams is a pitiful sight.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978, SS40NE1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV20993.

Stone and rubble house with a slate roof, but now [1978] unoccupied and ruinous. It seems to be 17th century in origin, altered in 18th century. A small outbuilding with a 15th-16th century doorway is said to be a chapel but may be the remains of a medieval house.

Department of Environment, 1988, Sheepwash, 53 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV12608.

Derelict farmhouse. Late medieval or c16 probably altered in C17 with late C17 addition. Mainly rubble walls to existing elevations with some cob to rear right-hand end. Gable-ended slate roof.
3 brick stacks - 1 axial, 1 at right gable-end and one rear lateral.
Plan: original plan not entirely clear due to the left end of the house now being ruinous and the fact that the building has obviously had a complex structural history the basic plan was T-shaped and it is the stroke of the T at the left end, forming a cross wing which is ruinous with its walls virtually completely collapsed. However, one medieval roof truss survives over this end, of a high quality and obviously meant to be seen although its exposure to the elements precludes the survival of any evidence of smoke-blackening. Therefore this cross wing could either have been the hall or a great chamber. Nor does the main range of the house assist much in deducing its plan form since it has been considerably rebuilt and remodelled at the right end in the late C17. Between these 2 end ranges is a large room heated by a rear lateral stack and with a passage to its left. Its roof structure is C19 and so gives no clue to its original form. Taking the house as a whole, however, the most likely interpretation is that the ruinous range was a great chamber over the lower end with the hall to its right and a passage between them, and the late C17 block is a rebuilding of the inner room - possibly as a parlour wing with staircase. This end was probably further altered in the C19.
Exterior: 2 storeys apart from minous wing at left end. The exterior was probably remodelled in the C19 and its fenestration dates mainly from this time apart from the projecting rear face of the right-hand end which has 3 probably late C17 wooden mullioned and transomed windows - 1 on the 1st floor to left and 2 below.
Interior: the ruinous range preserves on arch-braced roof truss with ovolo and roll-moulded soffit which has been cut off above the collar to accommodate the C19 roof over the central range which runs at right angles to it. On the ground floor of this range is a small fireplace which has a chamfered wooden lintel with straight cut stops. One chamfered cross-beam survives. The central room has a good C17 lateral fireplace with hollow chamfered granite lintel and jamb to right. Probably c19 staircase to right of fireplace but it may be in the position of an earlier one. The right-hand range has a 1st floor late C17 bolection moulded chimneypiece. The ground floor fireplace has a curved back with slates in herringbone pattern, moulded granite jambs and a probable replacement plain wooden lintel. Over this range is a hardwood roof structure with lapped and pegged collars which probably also dates from the late C17 rebuilding.

Martin, G., 2019, Inside the abandoned haunted house that no one has lived in for 50 years (Website). SDV365488.

Series of photos on the DevonLive website showing the exterior and interior of the house, which hasn't been occupied since the 1960s. The house, part of which has collapsed, is reputed to be haunted. The collapsed section was formerly a library and had an exquisite ceiling.

Ordnance Survey, 2023, Mastermap 2023 (Cartographic). SDV365227.

Upcott Barton marked.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV118List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1959. Torrington RD Provisional List. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 17.
SDV12608List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Sheepwash. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 53.
SDV166087Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1963. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Map (Paper).
SDV20993Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978. SS40NE1. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV340436Monograph: Seymour, D. J.. 1977. Torre Abbey. An Account of its History, Buildings, Cartularies and Lands. Torre Abbey. An Account of its History, Buildings, Cartularies and Lands. Photocopy + Digital. 189.
SDV365227Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2023. Mastermap 2023. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #80500 ]
SDV365488Website: Martin, G.. 2019. Inside the abandoned haunted house that no one has lived in for 50 years. DevonLive. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV37443Part of: Upcott Barton, Sheepwash (Monument)
MDV37444Related to: Cemetery at Upcott Barton (Monument)
MDV12444Related to: Chapel at Upcott Barton, Sheepwash (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1543 - SS40NE1

Date Last Edited:Nov 17 2023 3:47PM