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HER Number:MDV1306
Name:Dunsmoor Farmhouse, Silverton


Medieval three room, through passage farmhouse dating to the early 16th century with later alterations and extensions, most notably of the late 16th/early 17th century. The medieval hall roof, which is smoke-blackened and of jointed cruck construction, remained open well into the 20th century. Two of the bedrooms have 16th/17th century plaster ceilings.


Grid Reference:SS 956 014
Map Sheet:SS90SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSilverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSILVERTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS90SE/18
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (Built, XVI to XVII - 1501 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

OS, CITING WARD, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV35037.

Dunsmoor. Ceilings from period two (1600-1650) single moulded ribs. Also ceilings with double moulded ribs, friezes with jacobean strapwork, arabesques and shields flanked by figures and heads in cartouches (french). Jointed cruck recorded (alcock). A large house of irregular plan and various dates. The earliest visible details are late 16th century and the house was altered at later dates in 18th and 19th century. Plastered rubble walls with slate roofs. Brick and stone stacks, some lateral. Two storeys. Interior has fine late 16th century panelled room with moulded plaster frieze and ceiling. Several original richly panelled doors with moulded frames. Open fireplace in kitchen (doe). Documented in 1211,1270,1279 and 1306 (mawer et al). The remains of a tudor manor house. In one of its rooms is an ornamental plaster ceiling of jacobean date and close to the house a remarkably fine grange (os, citing ward).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV35038.

French, k. C. /tda/89(1957)129,130,131 pl.10a and 12a/devonshire plasterwork.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV35039.

Alcock, n. W. /cruck construction(cba res rep 42)/(1981)111.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV35040.

Doe/hhr:tiverton rd/(-/6/1959)32.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV35041.

Gover, j. E. B. + mawer, a. + stenton, f. M. /the place-names of devon/(1931)570.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV35042.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV35043.

Ward, j. H. /tda/42(1910)383.

Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

Historic England, 2018, National Heritage List for England, 1169093 (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

Dunsmore Farmhouse. Farmhouse. Early C16 with later alterations and extensions, notably of the late C16/early-Cl7. Stone, plastered, under gabled-end slate roofs. The original plan has been so altered that it is difficult to reconstruct. The most likely building sequence is as follows: (1) a conventional medieval 3-room, through-passage plan, the higher end to the left of the passage, the service-end has been demolished; the medieval hall roof (smoke-blackened and of jointed cruck construction) remained open until well into the C20 when a false ceiling was inserted to form the present ground- floor living room. The through-passage survives, its lower end wall now forming the present end wall; the lower end roof truss now abuts the gable wall, and carries purlins that evidently extended beyond into another bay, but which have been sawn off. (2) a late-C16/early-Cl7 rebuilding or higher end extension in the form of 2 cross-wings, 1 (wing A) extending to the rear, the other (wing B) projecting forward, and containing the principal rooms. An external front lateral stack, separately gabled, heats the medieval hall; external lateral stacks heat both wings A and B, and an internal end stack heats the rear rooms of wing B. All stacks with brick shafts. Exterior: The old range roof-ridge is at a much lower level than the later work. Front: hall with no first floor windows; only 1 6-light ovolo moulded window to the left of lateral stack; entrance to through-passage at extreme right-hand side; face of cross-wing A, to left, gabled and flush with old range and contains present front entrance (under canopy on shaped brackets); one 3-light ovolo moulded window to all floors; inner face of projecting cross-wing B to extreme left with one 5-light ovolo-moulded window to ground and first floor, both with hood moulds; front of wing B is flanked by buttresses each with 3 set-offs; 5-light ovolo-moulded window to ground and first floor (both with hood moulds) and 3-light ovolo-moulded window to attic. Left-hand side elevation of cross-wing: leanto with 3-light ovolo-moulded window above (lighting main chamber); rear elevation of cross-wing B with 1:5:1 light bay window, C19 or C20 and one 3 and 1 single-light window above; this face is sharply recessed at its junction with cross-wing B (possibly marking the point of a former stair turret at the end of the earlier main range), this recessed plane with one 2- light ground floor window, and a tiny opening above. Outer (east) face of cross-wing A with 2, 3 and 4-light C19 casement windows; rear end of cross-wing B, buttressed with 3-light ovolo-moulded window to first and attic window, each with transom, the former larger and largely renewed. Inner (west) face of cross-wing A with one 3-light ovolo-moulded window to first floor, and a 5-light C19 casement window below. Rear of original hall range with 1 blocked door, and a porch in the angle formed by the wing; large 3-light window with transom, ovolo-moulded; opposed passage door. Right-hand end with access to first floor (ie. loft, unfloored) only. Interior: Old hall: 4 lightly smoke-blackened upper crucks (possibly jointed) with cranked collars, 2 pairs of trenched purlins, diagonal ridge-piece and retaining some of the original rafters. All with wooden pegs, except for the smoke-blackened slatting that closes the truss of the upper end of the hall, which is affixed by large iron nails. Simple chamfered jambs to fireplace (altered). A blocked doorway, arched and chamfered gives in from the inner room perhaps a solar to the upper part of the higher-end of the hall, and this could possibly have been the site of a gallery, remembering that the hall never received an early first floor. Cross-wing B (the main reception and bedrooms): (i) room occupying front of wing; the windows have internal ovolo mouldings, that to the front (ie.north) with composite ovolo and cavetto moulding with fillet; 4 cross beams with composite ovolo and cavetto moulding with unusual knob-stops; fireplace with cyma reversa moulding to stone jambs and timber lintel; back oven. (ii) the room to the rear of (i) with one deeply-chamfered cross beam, hollow step stop with bar. The chamber above (i) is the master bedroom, and its late-C16/early-C17 decorative scheme survives intact. Plaster ceiling, single ribbed mesh with squares, spades and semi-circles, thistles, roses and other floral motifs; cornice with faces and cornucopia (illustrated in French's article cited below); panelling, 4 squares in height with an added tier of rectangles running below the plaster cornice; fire surround with composite ovolo and cyma-recta moulded stone jambs and wooden lintel, the jambs with elaborate bulbous bases; chimneypiece flanked by fluted pilasters rising the full height of the room, the overmantle with 2 panels supported by Ionic, waisted half-columns, the panels quartered, the centre knops with dentilled borders, the whole with modillioned cornice. Door to this chamber, and to that above room (ii) with composite surrounds on bulbous bases, the panels treated like those on the overmantel. This smaller chamber has its own plaster ceiling, a single ribbed unit comprising intersecting spades, with roses but no foliage (illustrated in French's article cited below). A third door surround, with panelled door, but more simply treated gives into another room from the same first floor landing. Reference: the plaster ceilings are noticed and illustrated in French's article in Trans.Devonshire Association 89 (1957), 129, 130, 131; plates 10A and 12A.
Date first listed: 5th April 1966

Sources / Further Reading

SDV35037Migrated Record: OS, CITING WARD.
SDV35038Migrated Record:
SDV35039Migrated Record:
SDV35040Migrated Record:
SDV35041Migrated Record:
SDV35042Migrated Record:
SDV35043Migrated Record:
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #114190 ]
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1169093.

Associated Monuments

MDV87213Related to: Barns at Dunsmore Farm, Silverton (Building)
MDV5530Related to: Linhays at Dunsmore Farm, Silverton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 21 2018 10:56AM