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HER Number:MDV20001
Name:39 and 40 Newport Road, Barnstaple


Site of 39 and 40 Newport Road which were demolished in the 1980s. The houses, the original parts of which probably dated to the the 17th century, were constructed of stone and cob with the remains of an earlier thatched roof structure surviving beneath their slate roofs. The principal room of No. 39 had a fine moulded plaster ceiling, probably early 18th century in date.


Grid Reference:SS 567 322
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE
Ecclesiastical ParishBISHOPS TAWTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/163

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XVII to XVIII - 1601 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1855-1895, Towns 1855-95 1:500 (Cartographic). SDV348147.

Building at south-eastern end marked as a Smithy.

Department of Environment, 1973, Barnstaple, 40 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV89941.

Nos 39 and 40 Newport Road (north side). Early 18th century, 2 storey, plaster lined. No. 39 wide front with casement windows. Interior, ground floor west room plaster ceiling with large oval panel, now divided by later square beam, wide boarded doors with strap hinges on lugs, door with 2 fielded panels. No. 40, narrow front with 2 casement with glazing bars at 1st floor. Nos 39, 40 and 44 form a group with Rose and Crown Inn on the south side.

Egeland, P., 1981, 39-40 Newport Road (Personal Comment). SDV322754.

Site visit February 1981. Planning application to demolish these properties, which lie on line of proposed new road.

North Devon Rescue Archaeology, 1982, 39-40 Newport Road, Barnstaple (Ground Photograph). SDV350918.

Photos of interior and exterior of houses prior to demolition.

Farrell, A., 1982, Report on Nos 39 and 40 Newport Road, Barnstaple (Report - Survey). SDV77185.

Site visits April and May 1982. Record made by North Devon Rescue Archaeology prior to demolition. Limited access to number 40 due to its condition. This property was a farm within living memory and a barn was formerly attached to north end of number 39. The survey showed building to be of cob and stone with remains of thatched roof structure surviving beneath present raised slate roof. The staircase at the rear was a secondary feature and there had been a two-storey wing/extension at the rear previously. Three-room cross passage plan. Good plaster ceiling in ground floor room of number 39. The site lies within medieval Borough of Newport.

Weddell, P. J., 1990, Archaeological Recording in the Medieval Borough of Newport, Barnstaple in 1983., 111-22 (Article in Serial). SDV77188.

The original building was 19.5 metres long, of cob walls up to 0.7 metre thick on stone footings, although parts of number 39 contained stone and brick within the main walls. Floors were deeply terraced in at the east end. Upper storey may be secondary. Roof of post medieval appearance, with principal rafters with notched apex and through purlins (citing Laithwaite). Principal room with fine moulded plaster ceiling, probably early 18th century, with later beam inserted 18th century recessed cupboard in rear wall, contemporary fireplace. The room on the opposite (east) side of the through passage, latterly the kitchen, had a stone flagged floor and rear fireplace. Beyond was a room of recent origin, with lime-mortar floor, probably an end-wall fireplace, and at some time a doorway at far end of house. Pottery from number 40 suggests a tpq of 17th century. The house was divided into 2 in late 19th century. New through passage and staircase in east end, floor relaid, new fireplace inserted and 2 small brick extensions built to rear. This was now No 40 Newport Road. Less known of number 39, but after demolition of west wing the new west end wall was altered substantially. Main body of building probably late 17th to early 18th century, but original plan cannot be established. Terracing out of earlier floors has removed any evidence of medieval occupation, although there was a scatter of medieval pot (handmade, unglazed North Devon coarsewares) as well as postmedieval including 17th century sgraffito. The medieval cobbled street under the front garden of number 39 was wide enough to have accommodated market stalls. It may have succeeded a hollow way. Covered over by the 17th century. Enclosured and cultivated in the late 18th or early 19th century.

Weddell, P. J., 20/06/1983, Interim Report on Trial trenching at Nos 39-40 Newport Road, Barnstaple (Report - Interim). SDV77183.

Trial trenches across the site after demolition, in May/June 1983. (details in Interim Report). Both houses (originally one possibly 17th century cob and thatch building) largely remodelled in 19th century with brick walls in addition to the cob ones. The buildings are set back 5 metres from the road, but in the ?medieval period a cobbled street (wider than the present one) extended to house frontage. Encroachment (represented by gullies) on to the street in post-medieval period. Also a series of trodden clay surfaces of 17/18th century. Pot currently being studied.

Southwest Archaeology, 2013, Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database, Mapping Area 246, 359 (Un-published). SDV351581.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV322754Personal Comment: Egeland, P.. 1981. 39-40 Newport Road. Not Applicable.
SDV348147Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. Towns 1855-95 1:500. Towns 1855-95 1:500. Digital. [Mapped feature: #82652 ]
SDV350918Ground Photograph: North Devon Rescue Archaeology. 1982. 39-40 Newport Road, Barnstaple. Photograph (Paper) + Digital.
SDV351581Un-published: Southwest Archaeology. 2013. Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database. Greater Barnstaple Area Project. Digital. Mapping Area 246, 359.
SDV77183Report - Interim: Weddell, P. J.. 20/06/1983. Interim Report on Trial trenching at Nos 39-40 Newport Road, Barnstaple. Exeter Archaeology Report. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV77185Report - Survey: Farrell, A.. 1982. Report on Nos 39 and 40 Newport Road, Barnstaple. Unknown.
SDV77188Article in Serial: Weddell, P. J.. 1990. Archaeological Recording in the Medieval Borough of Newport, Barnstaple in 1983.. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 48. Paperback Volume. 111-22.
SDV89941List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Barnstaple. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 40.

Associated Monuments

MDV43057Related to: Medieval cobbled street, 39-40 Newport Road, Barnstaple (Monument)
MDV21750Related to: Newport Borough (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV2188 - Report on Nos 39 and 40 Newport Road, Barnstaple
  • EDV2189 - Trial trenching at Nos 39-40 Newport Road

Date Last Edited:Mar 12 2015 10:15AM