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HER Number:MDV19603
Name:Bitbeare Farm


Early 17th century farmhouse, possibly with earlier origins.


Grid Reference:SS 661 059
Map Sheet:SS60NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWinkleigh
Ecclesiastical ParishUNKNOWN

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS60NE/28
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Post Medieval to XXI - 1540 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Everett, A. W., 1965 - 1967, Plasterwork Overmantel at Bitbeare Farm, Winkleigh (Article in Serial). SDV11885.

Bitbeare Farm. Comprises main range with wing at the back. Mainly rebuilt in 19th century. Discovery of large plaster panel over open fireplace discussed. Dated c 1630.

Department of Environment, 1988, Winkleigh (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV336028.

Bidbeare Farmhouse.
Early C17 possibly with earlier origins, C19 addition, C20 alterations and addition. Plastered cob and rubble walls. Gable-ended asbestos slate roof. Brick stack at left gable-end, rubble rear lateral stack and a similar lateral stack at side of rear wing with a brick shaft.
Plan: original plan not entirely clear but either 2 or 3 room-and-through-passage with lower room to the right. The arrangement of the rooms at the higher end is more problematic, it is at present two with the larger room, obviously the hall, at the centre, heated by a rear lateral stack. Beyond it is a very narrow room but this has a very splendid fireplace in its end wall which must have been intended for an important room so it seems the room arrangement must have altered. Behind the hall and passage a large kitchen wing was added which exhibits no features earlier than the C19 but may date back further. The lower end appears to have been rebuilt in the later C19 and a small late C20 addition was erected behind the left-hand end. Internal alterations have also taken place in the C20 such as the insertion of stairs into the passage.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 4-window front of mainly C19 sashes of 6:4:6 panes on the 1st floor and 8 panes on the ground floor to left of centre. There is a large late C20 casement to left on first floor and late C20 French windows have been inserted on the ground floor to the right. Narrow C20 glazed door to the left. To right of centre is a late C19 or early C20 gabled stone porch with segmental arch and C19 panel door behind.
Interior: the most impressive feature is the very fine early C17 fireplace with plaster overmantle in the left-hand end room. It has chamfered and ball-stopped granite jamb to the left jowelled at the top to support a hollow chamfered and ogee-stopped wooden lintel. To the right only the top, jowelled section of the jamb survives. The plaster overmantle has a male and female figure to either side with strapwork motifs inbetween and a heraldic shield at the centre which apparently bears the arms of Gidleigh and Northleigh so it may celebrate a wedding (The Gidleigh family were responsible for erecting a memorial chapel in Winkleigh Church. This is virtually the only exposed early feature in the house although the hall is likely to have concealed ceiling beams and fireplace, and possible an early doorway according to the present occupants.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV11885Article in Serial: Everett, A. W.. 1965 - 1967. Plasterwork Overmantel at Bitbeare Farm, Winkleigh. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 30. Unknown.
SDV336028List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Winkleigh. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 3 2006 3:56PM