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HER Number:MDV21484
Name:38 and 38A High Street, Barnstaple


38 and 38a High Street represent the complete survival of a 17th century house behind a 19th century exterior.


Grid Reference:SS 557 333
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/254
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 485615

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (XVII to XIX - 1601 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

North Devon District Council, 18/10/1983, Planning (Development Control) Committee Agenda (Un-published). SDV327508.

38 and 38A High Street represent a complete survival of a 17th century house behind a 19th century exterior. The evidence is most clearly seen in late 17th century roof structure which has seven or eight trusses with curved feet and trenched purlins. The collars are missing but the mortises for the collar joints have notched halvings. Carpenters' marks are also visible. That this is a 17th century structure is also suggested by height of building, by the floor levels and by evidence of plasterwork on the ground floor. Fragmentary evidence (including plasterwork) is visible in the Petre Glass shop. Access was not gained to an interesting structure at rear which is also involved in the present planning application. This is divided from the glass shop by a later stud wall with brick nogging but it may be a post-medieval structure. Overall, the evidence suggests a 17th century town house of very high quality.

Child, P., 1999, Proposed Alterations - 38 and 38A High Street, Barnstaple (Correspondence). SDV347791.

In recent years the ground floor ceilings have been raised and their moulded decorations reinstated. A full ceiling was subsequently inserted at approximately the original height, completely disguising the decorative work.
A new shop front has been inserted into what was previously a voided ground floor elevation.

Southwest Archaeology, 2013, Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database, BHBS Mapping Area 1049 (Un-published). SDV351581.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

38 and 38A High Street. Originally probably single house, now pair of shops with storage and flat above. C16 or early C17, remodelled C18; rear wing of No.38a probably a C18 or early C19 addition. Rendered, solid walls. Right-hand gable is of stone rubble, left-hand gable (probably belonging structurally to No.39 (qv)) of brick; rear wall of wing is of stone rubble with timber-bonded brick at the top. Slated roof; rear wing has lean-to roof. 2 red-brick chimneys of C18 or early C19 on left wall of wing; large chimney at front end, smaller one at rear surmounted by a good C19 chimney-pot with pockets. Single-depth front range, now 3 rooms wide on first floor; rear wing, probably 2 rooms deep originally, on left side. 3 storeys. 3-window range. Ground storey has C20 shop fronts. Upper storeys have sashes in recessed box-frame; mid or late C19 sashes with horns, each sash now having 2 upright glazing bars, ground-floor window right boarded up in 1993. Wooden eaves cornice; iron gutter decorated with lion-heads. INTERIORS: front part of shop at No.38A has ceiling with old moulded plasterwork; wreath in centre probably early C18, rectangular reed moulding of uncertain date round the edge. Heavy plastered beam running from front to back; similar beams in first-floor rooms of both sections of the building. Remains of C18 moulded plaster cornice in first-floor front room of No.38A. Roof has 4 trusses (2 in each section) with short curved feet at the front; wall has been heightened so these now visible in 2nd-floor rooms. Trusses have 2 tiers of through purlins and an angled ridge resting in a slot at the apex; housings remain for former halved collars with shaped ends. Gouged carpenter's marks. Rear feet of trusses buried in wall. It is reported that No.38A formerly contained a stair with an `acorn' newel post. C16 roof trusses with crucked feet of this kind are rare examples of regional vernacular. Fireplaces, beams and other features of interest are likely to be concealed under the plaster. Partly empty at time of survey.

Department of Environment, 29/09/1988, Barnstaple Re-Survey (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV59491.

Beacham, P., Dec 1983, Barnstaple Local Public Inquiry. Historic Buildings in Barnstaple Town Centre Included in Redevelopment Proposals. Addendum to Proof Evidence, 2 (Report - non-specific). SDV354497.

38/38A High Street have a late 16th or early 17th century front block but it is difficult to say with any certainty if any historic structure survives to the rear as the buildings behind are particularly complex. However, there appears to be an early rear wing adjoining No. 39 which looks to retain its original form at ground floor level only.

Beacham, P., Nov 1983, Barnstaple Local Public Inquiry. Historic Buildings in Barnstaple Town Centre included in Redevelopment Proposals. Proof Evidence, 2.2 (Report - non-specific). SDV354431.

Originally built as one property, now divided into two. It has a 19th century street elevation, with modern shopfronts, completely disguising a complete survival of a 17th century house. Evidence for the original construction can be most clearly seen in the roof where the characteristic late 17th century form of roof construction survives almost complete. Much of the original 17th century flooring is also still intact beneath later cladding and at ground floor level there is evidence of late 17th or early 18th century plasterwork in No. 38A. Any alteration would be likely to destroy the intrinsic historic interest of this almost intact 17th century house.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV327508Un-published: North Devon District Council. 18/10/1983. Planning (Development Control) Committee Agenda. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV347791Correspondence: Child, P.. 1999. Proposed Alterations - 38 and 38A High Street, Barnstaple. Letters to Local Planning Authority. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #83110 ]
SDV351581Un-published: Southwest Archaeology. 2013. Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database. Greater Barnstaple Area Project. Digital. BHBS Mapping Area 1049.
SDV354431Report - non-specific: Beacham, P.. Nov 1983. Barnstaple Local Public Inquiry. Historic Buildings in Barnstaple Town Centre included in Redevelopment Proposals. Proof Evidence. Devon County Council. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.2.
SDV354497Report - non-specific: Beacham, P.. Dec 1983. Barnstaple Local Public Inquiry. Historic Buildings in Barnstaple Town Centre Included in Redevelopment Proposals. Addendum to Proof Evidence. Devon County Council. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV59491List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 29/09/1988. Barnstaple Re-Survey. A4 Unbound.

Associated Monuments

MDV105683Related to: 14 Tuly Street, Barnstaple (Building)
MDV96205Related to: 39 High Street, Barnstaple (Building)
MDV38928Related to: Well at 38 High Street, Barnstaple (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 18 2015 8:19AM