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HER Number:MDV22039
Name:Bunksland Farmhouse, East Anstey


The farmhouse was originally built in the late 14th century and represents a significant survival of a hall house of this date. It underwent phases of alteration in the 15th, mid 16th and 17th centuries with further minor updates in the 18th and 20th centuries. It has a later linhay and stable/haystore adjoining at the east and west ends respectively.


Grid Reference:SS 850 262
Map Sheet:SS82NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishEast Anstey
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishEAST ANSTEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS82NE/26
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 97353

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Built, XIV to Late 20th Century - 1301 AD (Between) to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

National Monuments Record, SS82NE20 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV341494.

Bungsland Farmhouse and outbuildings comprising a hay loft and shippon of probable early 15th century date with later alterations.

Alcock, N. W., 1981, Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue, 112 (Report - non-specific). SDV342504.

Jointed cruck recorded at Bungsland Farm (citing Hulland).

Hulland, C., 1982, List of Historic Houses (Un-published). SDV75440.

Full survey deposited in West Country Studies Library.

Department of Environment, 1983, South Molton RD (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV365116.

Farm and barns listed Grade II.

Department of Environment, 1987, East Anstey, 1 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV340469.

Bungsland Farmhouse and attached outbuildings, comprising hay barn to left and shippon to right. Farmhouse probably early 15th century, remodelled probably in late 16th or early 17th century, some 19th century alterations and virtually unaltered since. Shippon probably 17th century. Barn at left end circa 1880.
Farmhouse and shippon rubble and cob, farmhouse rendered on front only. Barn of stone rubble with brick dressings. Farmhouse has corrugated asbestos roof, shippon corrugated, barn slated.
The farmhouse is an interesting example of multiphase development. Three room and cross-passage plan, lower end to right with axial stack backing onto passage, with straight run staircases to rear of cross passge and running up gable wall of inner room.
Farmhouse consists of apparently, a four bay open hall house. The hall of two bays has an impressive wind-braced jointed cruck roof, but most unusually a closed truss at the upper end. The inserted axial stack created a solid wall partition at the lower end of the hall. The lower end, to the right of the cross-passage consists of a small unheated front parlour and rear dairy with the lofted shippon attached at the right hand end; the latter is a late 17th or rarly 18th century addition, possibly coinciding with the creatin of the parlour and dairy out of a former byre.
Very fine and unusual probably 15th century roof structure. The ridge, surviving front rafters and truss are all heavily smoke blackened.
A remarkably unspoilt example of a medieval dwelling of some status, the interior detail and particularly the roof structure being of considerable interest. The closed truss at the upper end of the hall is a rare example of a type that may once have been more common in the south-west.
See listing description for full details.

Laithwaite, M., 1989, Devon Farmsteads. A Preliminary Survey, 18 (Report - Survey). SDV339847.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 899 (Monograph). SDV325629.

A medieval house with an exceptional roof, externally completely disguised by later alterations and additions. Three-room cross-passage plan with an early arched door to the hall from the cross passage, and a 17th century inserted stack and ceiling in the hall. Excellent medieval roof on jointed cruck trusses, with clasped purlins, and one closed truss with substantial curved braces, both very unusual in Devon. Cranked collars and lower wind-braces. All the roof of massive timbers.

Child, P., 1992, Bungsland Farm, East Anstey (Correspondence). SDV346778.

Medieval cob byre attached to the west end of the house is at risk of collapse from failure of the door lintel on the north side, and disappearance of slates.

North Devon District Council, 2003, North Devon Buildings at Risk Survey 2000-2003, 36 (Report - Survey). SDV344372.

Slating to verge of attached outbuilding poor - missing slates to verge at gable end and holes in roof to both north and south slopes. Other details: Photograph.

Ordnance Survey, 2009, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV341569.

Arnold, A., Howard, R. + Tyers,K., 2020, Bunksland Farmhouse East Anstey: tree-ring dating of oak timbers (Report - Scientific). SDV363787.

Tree-ring analysis was undertaken on samples taken from timbers of the roof and ground floor of this farmhouse, resulting in the successful dating of 14 of them. The timbers of the roof are now known to have been felled in AD 1396–7, demonstrating that the house was constructed at the end of the fourteenth century. A ground floor doorframe was constructed of timbers felled in AD 1507–32 and is likely to be coeval with a fireplace bressummer beam felled in AD 1515–32. These represent a secondary phase of building work.

Lane, R., 2022, Bunksland, East Anstey, Devon. Historic building assessment and survey (Report - Survey). SDV364739.

Historic building recording and investigation were undertaken prior to and during repair and consolidation works in 2018 and 2020. The farmhouse is listed Grade II* and on the Heritage at Risk Register. It has been unoccupied since 2009 and several sections of walling have collapsed.
The main range comprises the central farmhouse with a linhay at the east end and a stable/haybarn at the west end, behind which is a dairy.
The farmhouse was originally built in the late 14th century and represents a significant survival of a hall house of this date . Dendrochronological analysis of roof timbers has provided a felling date of 1396-7. It was a four bay dwelling built of cob on a stone plinth under a thatched roof. The two central bays were originally an open hall; smoke-blackened thatch and timbers survive in the roof. The jointed cruck frames and purlins with wind-braces are considered to be typical of farmhouses of this period in this region with the quality of the carpentry suggesting that this was originally a relatively high status dwelling.
Evidence suggests that a ceiling was inserted in the high-end, western bay in the 15th century to create an upper chamber. It is possible that the fireplace in the western gable wall also dates from this time.
In the early 16th century a stone wall, doorway and chimney were built across the lower bay of the hall to create a separate cross passage. Dendrochronological analysis suggests that this took place c.1515-1520. The 16th century fireplace with its large timber bressummer beam still survives (the bread oven is a 19th century insertion). Evidence suggests, however, that the hall remained open to the roof until the 17th century. It is likely that the cross passage was also floored over at this time, although unfortunately no dendrochronological date was obtainable from the timbers.
The linhay appears to have originally built as a separate building, perhaps in the 17th century but was joined to the farmhouse in the 18th century, at which time it was also reroofed. The east wall of the farmhouse was removed and a new end wall constructed part way across the lower bay. The reason for the extension of the linhay and the resultant loss of space in the farmhouse is not clear.
The stable or hay barn at the western end of the farmhouse was built in the 19th century with the dairy behind added in the 20th century. Other 20th century alterations include a new staircase, probably in the same place as the original 17th century stairs and replacement of the thatch roof in corrugated iron.
See report for full details,

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 899.
SDV339847Report - Survey: Laithwaite, M.. 1989. Devon Farmsteads. A Preliminary Survey. A4 Stapled + Digital. 18.
SDV340469List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. East Anstey. Historic Houses Register. Comb Bound. 1.
SDV341494National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. SS82NE20. National Monuments Record Index. Website.
SDV341569Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2009. MasterMap. MasterMap. Digital. [Mapped feature: #83272 ]
SDV342504Report - non-specific: Alcock, N. W.. 1981. Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. 42. Photocopy + Digital. 112.
SDV344372Report - Survey: North Devon District Council. 2003. North Devon Buildings at Risk Survey 2000-2003. North Devon District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 36.
SDV346778Correspondence: Child, P.. 1992. Bungsland Farm, East Anstey. Letter. A4 Stapled.
SDV363787Report - Scientific: Arnold, A., Howard, R. + Tyers,K.. 2020. Bunksland Farmhouse East Anstey: tree-ring dating of oak timbers. Historic England. 191-2020. Digital.
SDV364739Report - Survey: Lane, R.. 2022. Bunksland, East Anstey, Devon. Historic building assessment and survey. Historic England. 13-2022. Hardcopy + Digital.
SDV365116List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. South Molton RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown.
SDV75440Un-published: Hulland, C.. 1982. List of Historic Houses. List of Historic Houses. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV74858Part of: Bunksland or Bungsland Farm, East Anstey (Building)
MDV133621Related to: Linhay at Bunksland Farm, East Anstey (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4341 - Survey of Devon Farmsteads
  • EDV4599 - North Devon Buildings at Risk Survey 2000-2003
  • EDV8861 - Historic building recording and investigation at Bunksland Farm, East Anstey

Date Last Edited:Apr 5 2024 2:52PM