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HER Number:MDV12466
Name:Cogworthy, Yarnscombe


Possible 15th century manor house remodelled in late 16th- or early 17th century. A good quality house with interesting interior features.


Grid Reference:SS 550 229
Map Sheet:SS52SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishYarnscombe
Ecclesiastical ParishYARNSCOMBE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS52SE/15
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 91877

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (Early Medieval to XVII - 1066 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M., 1931, The Place-Names of Devon: Part One, 83 (Monograph). SDV1312.

'Koggeworth' was recorded in 1270 and 'Coggworthy' in 1663, also 'Cogga's worpig' was documented in 1200.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953 - 1980, SS52SE5 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV337973.

Cogworthy; possible 15th century manor house. About time of Henry V this manor was the inheritance of John Cockworthy.
Visited 7/12/1953 . The house is part stone part cob, and is largely stucco faced. The interior has large beams and oak panelling. The walls are extremely thick and the fireplaces large. East face has large porch with rounded ashlar arch, apart from a modern roof this house is probably entirely of pre-1688 and appears to have been a courtyard type. Adjacent buildings around the courtyard have probably been removed. Other details: Photograph.

Department of Environment, 1959, Torrington RD Provisional List, 21 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV118.

A manor house of the Cockworthys, a 15th century family. Rough cast. Two storeys. Two storey porch with mould stone entrance. Interior has passage, panelled screen of 16th century and also doors and moulded jambs. Courtyard with simple cob gate house.

Timms, S. C., 1980, Cogworthy (Ground Photograph). SDV337975.

Timms, S. C., 1981, Building, Sketch (Worksheet). SDV337974.

Visited 30/7/1980 and 8/9/1980. The main building, which faces east, has the typical three room cross passage plan with screen surviving between the passage and hall. Hall has fireplace in its back (west) wall with protecting staircase next to stack. Internal features include doors, doorframes and beams. Some with stop decoration and remains of plaster ceiling in roof space. A rear wing projecting west from the north end of the main building, contains decorated plasterwork in the roof space. A front wing, protecting windows and jointed crucks, is to be demolished. Other details: Photos in Conservation Section Collection S.

Hulland, C., 1982, List of Historic Houses (Un-published). SDV75440.

Cogworthy in its surviving form is a late medieval building with 17th century and later alterations. Late 18th century pottery found in a blocked doorway has been deposited in Exeter Museum. There is a small plain two storey gatehouse on the east side of the courtyard. Visited but not recorded.

Department of Environment, 1989, Yarnscombe, 189 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV336000.

Cogworthy. A thorough late 16th-/early 17th century remodelling of an earlier house, 20th century renovations and 20th century rear stair wing. Cob on stone rubble, the cob rendered; 20th century slate roof laid in diminishing courses (formerly thatched) half-hipped at the right end, gabled to the front (e at the left; axial stack to left of centre and 2 rear lateral stacks to the main range, axial stack to the rear right wing.
Plan: the existing arrangement is an approximate L plan: a 3 room and through passage main range, facing east, with a rear right wing at right angles. The house was originally larger, probably a double courtyard plan. The gatehouse of the front courtyard survives (separate listing) and a front left wing was demolished in the last 10 years, a store room at the left (south) end of the main range is all that remains of it. It is likely that there was a rear service yard.
The main range has a 2 storey porch to the through passage to right of centre. The hall is heated by a rear lateral stack with a stair rising in an outshut off the rear wall. The inner room is heated from the axial stack at the junction with the store room, the lower end room was formerly heated by a right end stack which has been replaced (probably in the early 19th century) by a rear lateral stack. The main range is likely to have originated as an open hall house with a lower end kitchen although this phase of the building is conjectural. The late 16th-/early 17th century arrangement probably included a great chamber over the hall and passage (remains of plasterwork in the roofspace) with access from the hall via the stair in the outshut. The rear right kitchen wing is probably an addition of this date. It includes a kitchen and back kitchen, heated from back to back fireplaces in the axial stack and had a high quality chamber over the kitchen with decorated plasterwork and a garderobe. Twentieth century alterations have involved the demolition of the front left wing (possibly semi-agricultural in function), the surviving store room given a gable to the front at the left (south) end; the addition of a 20th century stair wing to the rear of the through passage, adjacent to the rear right kitchen wing and the introduction of carpentry and joinery, some reused from elsewhere, some copying original features.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 6 window front, gabled to the front at the left end with a 2 storey gabled porch to the through passage to right of centre with a moulded stone outer doorframe with some replacement.2, 3 and 4 light timber casements with c20 square leaded panes, 2 of the ground floor windows (to the left of the porch and the window lighting the inner room) are c17 with chamfered mullions and replaced sills. The rear left first floor window is a re-sited 17th century mullioned casement. Twentieth century ovolo-moulded inner doorframe to the porch, copied from 17th century doorframes in the house. Reused 17th century door. The porch has porch seats and restored plaster moulding.
Interior: the higher side partition of the passage is a fine oak screen with 2 original cambered doorframes. The screen, which is divided into large plain panels was evidently designed as a framework for more elaborate panelling. The hall has a repaired plaster cornice which extends to flank the plastered over crossbeams and an open fireplace. On the rear wall a good 17th century ovolo-moulded doorframe with unusual stops leads into the stair outshut which contains a small closet with a 17th century doorframe (perhaps a buttery or wine store) under the stair which is made up of reused 17th century balusters, said to originate from a house in Plymouth. The inner room has a plastered over ceiling beam and a 17th century fireplace with dressed stone jambs and a chamfered stopped intel. The lower end room is entered from the passage through a moulded, repaired doorframe. The room has a plastered over axial beam and a small fireplace with a timber lintel on the rear wall. The late 20th century stair wing incorporates a stair made up of reused turned 17th century newels and balusters. The 17th century kitchen has a 17th century doorframe, a chamfered, stopped crossbeam, exposed joists and a splendid 17th century kitchen fireplace with a chamfered lintel that extends the whole width of the room. The fireplace is divided into 2 by a crosswall, the left hand opening possibly a smoking chamber. The division is marked by a stone crosswall, the lintel supported by a timber corbel. The main hearth has a 19th century bread oven. The back kitchen has an open fireplace with a chamfered, stopped timber lintel. On the first floor there is an axial passage. Two 17th century doorframes at the top of the hall stair lead into room over the inner room and the putative great chamber, one with an ovolo-moulded frame. There is another chamfered doorframe to the room over the lower end, the frame chamfered on the room side, rather than the passage side. The room over the kitchen has a garderobe with a cranked lintel, original door and original timber seat, a small blocked window is splayed on the inside.
Roof: thick crosswalls to the apex divide the inner and lower ends from the hall. The truss over the inner end is an a frame with a mortised collar the principals with a thin chamfer below the collar, the collar also with a thin chamfer. There are 2 trusses over the hall, one matches the previously described truss, the other has a lap dovetailed collar. The remains of a plaster cornice survive in the roof space and on the higher side wall the remains of decoration consisting of sprays of stylised flowers. Small iron hooks below the cornice may have been for hanging tapestries. The roof truss over the lower end has a mortised collar, the truss over the porch has a lap dovetailed collar. Some original trenched purlins survive. A 20th century roof structure has been added over the 17th century trusses. The wing has 'A' frame trusses with lap dovetailed collars. The remains of a good 17th century strapwork frieze remains in the roof space over the room with a garderobe. The plaster line indicates that it originally had a cambered ceiling.
A good quality house with interesting interior features. Other details: LBS no 91877.

West, A., 2007, Archaeological Watching Brief Undertaken as a Condition of Planning Permission for Construction of a House Extension at Cogworthy Manor, Yarnscombe, Barnstaple (Report - Watching Brief). SDV348179.

No pre-modern archaeological features were found during a watching brief on the excavation of a foundation trench for an extention to the house. Sherds of late 18th to early 20th century pottery were recovered form the topsoil and two sherds of North Devon gravel-tempered ware dating between the late 16th and late 18th century were recovered from the subsoil.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV118List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1959. Torrington RD Provisional List. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 21.
SDV1312Monograph: Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M.. 1931. The Place-Names of Devon: Part One. The Place-Names of Devon: Part One. VIII. A5 Hardback. 83.
SDV336000List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1989. Yarnscombe. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 189.
SDV337973Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953 - 1980. SS52SE5. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV337974Worksheet: Timms, S. C.. 1981. Building. Worksheet + Digital. Sketch.
SDV337975Ground Photograph: Timms, S. C.. 1980. Cogworthy. Historic Environment Record Photo Collection. Slide.
SDV348179Report - Watching Brief: West, A.. 2007. Archaeological Watching Brief Undertaken as a Condition of Planning Permission for Construction of a House Extension at Cogworthy Manor, Yarnscombe, Barnstaple. Exeter Archaeology Historic Environment Record Entry. EA6098. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV75440Un-published: Hulland, C.. 1982. List of Historic Houses. List of Historic Houses. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV67886Related to: Cogworthy Gatehouse, Yarnscombe (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5587 - Watching Brief at Cogworthy, Yarnscombe (Ref: Project No. 6098)

Date Last Edited:May 21 2015 2:42PM