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HER Number:MDV16954
Name:Priestacott, Great Torrington,


Early 18th century house, said to be the former parsonage for Great Torrington.


Grid Reference:SS 498 211
Map Sheet:SS42SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGreat Torrington
Ecclesiastical ParishGREAT TORRINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS42SE/75
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Early Medieval to XXI - 1066 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M., 1931, The Place-Names of Devon: Part One, 123 (Monograph). SDV1312.

'Priestacott' was mentioned as 'Prestcot' in 1281.

Doe, G. M., 1939, Address of the President, 53 (Article in Serial). SDV14615.

This was the parsonage for Great Torrington, it is now converted to a farmhouse. A track is said to lead to the church from here. The ecclesiastical function apparently ceased in the 16th century.

Department of Environment, 1973, Great Torrington, 3 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV2214.

Domesday reference to site. Present house includes early c18 construction. Two storey long range extending, left, as stone and brick outbuildings.
Interior: beams now cased, ledged plank doors with wrought hinges on lugs at both floors, also first floor doors with h hinges with straps and two panels included some fielded. C18 stair with column newels and square balusters

de Villiers, S + Passmore, A., 2014, Barns at Priestacott, Great Torrington (Report - Assessment). SDV359738.

This document presents a heritage statement for two barns at Priestacott, Great Torrington, Devon. The document has been prepared by AC archaeology in June 2104 to inform proposals to convert the redundant outbuildings into residential use, whilst retaining development within the overall boundaries of the site.

Priestacott is located 2km to the north of Great Torrington at a height of 130m aOD, just off the crest of a hill, on a south-facing slope. The site comprises a farmhouse, with groups of historic barns to the east and west around a courtyard. The rear of the house and barns to the east are flanked by a lane, to the north of which are modern agricultural buildings. The underlying geology comprises Carboniferous and stone of the Bude formation. In the locality this stone is mixed with mudstone and siltstone of the same formation.

The barns and horse engine house are located on the east and northeast side of the farmyard and are attached to the east end of the farmhouse (Plates 1-3). They are constructed of sub-rectangular blocks of local sandstone bonded with an offwhite lime mortar with common lime inclusions; a section of the upper part of the east wall is cob. Localised repairs have been made using brick, and the northeast corner of the east range has been rebuilt using concrete blocks. Internally there the remnants of whitewashed wall plaster; the external elevations are untreated, except within the former horse engine house where the wall was whitewashed. The buildings are roofed in corrugated iron sheeting except the horse engine house whose roof has been removed due to its dangerous state. The barn roofs are pitched with straight gables, except at the north end of the east range that has a hip.

Priestacott has early origins with documentary references dating back to the medieval period. As its name implies, during the medieval period the property was a parsonage for the vicar of Great Torrington. This function appears to have changed in the late 15th century when a property in Torrington itself was granted for use as a vicarage. After that date, Priestacott seems to have been occupied as a farm. In 1525 the Dean and Chapter of Christ College, Oxford acquired the curacy of Great Torrington, and later records indicate that they owned Priestacott. It seems likely that before they acquired the farm it remained in the ownership of the church, even after the vicarage moved to Great Torrington.

The present farmhouse is 18th century, and the farm buildings 17th or 18th century in date. They probably represent a rebuilding of the existing holding perhaps after a period of decline following the Civil War in the mid 17th-century. The buildings discussed were a threshing barn and cowhouse, and these functions continued until the late 20th century. The buildings were repaired during the 20th century, but were not significantly upgraded.

The barns draw their significance from their evidential (in particular their architectural) value, with lesser contributions from their historical association with the surviving farm buildings, and their setting within the farm.

Chappell, S., 2015, Priestacott Farm, Photo (Un-published). SDV357797.

A wooden screen photographed in the calf house in 2009 may have come from the house.

Sources / Further Reading

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. 123.
SDV14615Article in Serial: Doe, G. M.. 1939. Address of the President. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 71. A5 Hardback. 53.
SDV2214List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Great Torrington. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 3.
SDV357797Un-published: Chappell, S.. 2015. Priestacott Farm. File Note. Digital. Photo.
SDV359738Report - Assessment: de Villiers, S + Passmore, A.. 2014. Barns at Priestacott, Great Torrington. AC Archaeology Report. ACD910/1/0. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7051 - Heritage Statement, Barns at Priestacott, Great Torrington (Ref: ACD910/1/0)

Date Last Edited:Aug 11 2016 2:20PM