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HER Number:MDV22023
Name:Higher Town Farmhouse, Sampford Courtenay


House, formerly a farmhouse, early 16th century with 17th century modifications. A relatively unusual example of a late medieval house apparently with two open halls, and with its original roof structure virtually intact.


Grid Reference:SS 631 011
Map Sheet:SS60SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSampford Courtenay
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSAMPFORD COURTENAY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS60SW/54

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XVI to XVII - 1501 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

ALCOCK CITING CHILD, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV255323.

Higher town farm. Jointed cruck recorded.(alcock citing p. Child).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV255324.

Alcock, n. W. /cruck construction(cba res rep 42)/(1981)111.

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

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

House, formerly farmhouse. - Early C16 with C17 modifications plastered cob walls. Concrete tile roof gabled to left end hipped to right. 1 axial brick stack at eaves level at right-hand end. Plan: originally 3-room-and-through-passage plan out with somewhat more unusal subsequent development. The lower room initially had a non-domestic function and a solid wall divided it from the main part of the house. The house itself was open to the roof with a central hearth to the hall. The 2nd phase of development was the addition of a rear wing behind the higher end which also had an open hearth fire but the inferior carpentry detail of the roof suggests it had a kitchen function. This cannot have had an open hearth for very long as its roof is only lightly smoke- blackened. The front range was ceiled in the circa early C17 and a hall stack inserted backing onto the passage. Subsequently in the C17, however, the room arrangement was probably altered slightly - the inner room considerably enlarged at the expense of the hall and a rather awkwardly placed corner fireplace inserted at its higher end. In the C20 the lower room was converted to domestic use although the loft space above it was not utilised. Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 2-window front, 4 windows on ground floor. C20 2-light casements with small panes to the right-hand side. C20 glazed door to left of centre and stable type door at left-hand end. On first floor to left of centre is loading hatch. Wing extends behind right-hand end. Interior: hall has granite-framed hollow-chamfered fireplace with oven in left-hand side. Heavy chamfered ceiling beam resting on stone corbel at the front. Inner room has chamfered cross beam with straight-cut stops. Its corner fireplace has a chamfered wooden lintel with run-out stops. The large rear wing room has 4 chamfered ceiling beams with hollow step stops. Its fireplace has granite jambs and a cambered chamfered wooden lintel. Roof: the original roof timbers survive over both ranges including common rafters - over the front part the timbers are heavily sooted whereas over the rear wing they are only darkened. There are 2 trusses here which are morticed at the apex with diagonal ridge and have threaded purlins. The inner one has no collar whereas the end one has a simple lapped collar which may be later. Over the front range are 4 trusses. The lower end one is clean and is a face-pegged jointed cruck. A light partition (on top of a cob wall rising to eaves level) separates it from the rest of the roof and is clean on the lower side and blackened on the higher side. This partition is against an insubstantial truss. The 2 higher end open trusses are very substantial, one with a cranked morticed collar chamfered on the underside and the other with mortices for a collar; threaded purlins. This is a relatively unusual example of a late medieval house apparently with 2 open halls and with its original roof structure virtually intact.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV255323Migrated Record: ALCOCK CITING CHILD.
SDV255324Migrated Record:
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #83265 ]
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 23 2014 11:48AM