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HER Number:MDV21674
Name:Bickham House


Country house with early 18th century core, remodelled and extended in the early 19th century. The earlier fabric is cob on stone rubble footings, the early 19th century sandstone, all colourwashed and plastered.


Grid Reference:SX 915 843
Map Sheet:SX98SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishKenn
Ecclesiastical ParishKENN

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX98SW/40
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 85794

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (XVIII to XIX - 1701 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Swete, R. J. (Revd), 1792-1801, 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete, 11/125, 11/133 (Record Office Collection). SDV337942.

Illustration by Swete.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

'Bickham House' shown.

Department of Environment, 1949, St Thomas RD, 69 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV339051.

Bickham House. Early 19th century or late 18th century. Two storeys with dormers. Stucco. Hipped slate roof with parapet. Large splayed bay of two storeys on north end of main building. Verandah on left of bay to corner of house, supported on a large number of Tuscan columns. Has modern extension.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 513 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Small mansion set it its own park. Early 18th century with early 19th century alterations to the entrance front.

Devon Gardens Trust, 1995, Bickham House (Worksheet). SDV356147.

Bickham House. Late 17th, early 18th and early 19th century house. Walled kitchen garden, herbaceous garden and lake.

Gray, T., 1995, The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources (Monograph). SDV671.

The buildings are listed Grade II*. Early 18th century country house with later additions. The parkland and kitchen garden survive. Red sandstone outbuilding and gates also listed.

Clark, J. + Richardson, D., 2013, Bickham House (Un-published). SDV356148.

A small mansion attractively set in its own 5 acre park in a peaceful wooded valley. The early 18th century house of the Short family, disguised by early 19th century asymmetrical additions to the entrance front: a colonnaded veranda running around two sides of the house, and a large projecting bowed dining room, with service wing beyond.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

English Heritage, 2014, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV355683.

Country house. Early C18 core, remodelled and extended in the early C19. The earlier fabric is cob on stone rubble footings, the early C19 sandstone, all colourwashed and plastered ; slate roof behind parapet, gableted and half- hipped to the early block ; stacks with brick shafts. Plan: The high quality C18 house was east-facing, probably with a central entrance into a stair hall. The remodelling took place both within the shell of the C18 house and extended it, and the present plan is that of the early C19; the main block 3 rooms wide ; double depth; with a central entrance into a heated hall, a full depth principal room to the left, a dining room that projects to the front at the right, a service range at the extreme right and the early C18 stair retained to the rear of the entrance hall but partitioned off from it. The early C19 interior is very intact. Exterior: 2 storeys and attic. Asymmetrical east front with a moulded cornice below the parapet the bow-fronted dining room projecting to the front at the right end of the main block ; 4 windows above a portico to the left of the projection ; 5 window front to the service block, set back at the right end. To the left the ground floor, blind except for the front door, is recessed behind a 7-bay Tuscan portico, the columns paired on either side of the front door and at the left end, the portico returning for 4 bays at the left. Wide panelled C19 front door with glazed panels to left and right of the door and a rectangular fanlight with diamond glazing bars ; first floor C19 and C20 sash windows with glazing bars. The dining room, to the right, has 3 large 12-pane sash windows. The service block, at the extreme right has five first floor and 3 ground floor windows, mostly large small-pane early C19 sashes. The left return of the main block has 3 early C19 2-leaf transomed French windows with glazing bars behind the portico, one first floor sash and 2 blind windows. The rear elevation of the main block incorporates part of the rear wall of the early C18 house with deep coved eaves, a central pediment with an oeil-de-boeuf and a large round-headed stair window with glazing bars, the other windows are sashes with glazing bars except an early C20 bay window, ground floor right. The service block, to the left, retains its early C19 sashes and rear service door. Interior: Early C18 features include the open string stair with turned balusters and wall panelling ; good panelled doors, some on the ground floor, numerous on the first floor with more modest 2 panel doors on the attic storey. The early C19 interior features include good marble chimneypiece, plaster cornices and shutters. A handsome evolved country house, the seat of the Short family, described in 1822 as "now of Bickham, in Kenne" (Lysons). The house was illustrated by Swete in 1795.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 513.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337942Record Office Collection: Swete, R. J. (Revd). 1792-1801. 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown + Digital. 11/125, 11/133.
SDV339051List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1949. St Thomas RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 69.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #83169 ]
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV356147Worksheet: Devon Gardens Trust. 1995. Bickham House. Devon County Sites and Monuments Register. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV356148Un-published: Clark, J. + Richardson, D.. 2013. Bickham House. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. Digital.
SDV671Monograph: Gray, T.. 1995. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. Paperback Volume.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jan 21 2015 10:36AM