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HER Number:MDV22106
Name:Higher Stiniel, Chagford

Summary

Former farmhouse. Late 15th - early 16th century with major 16th and 17th century improvements, enlarged in late 17th century (maybe associated with a date of 1686), modernised in early or mid 19th century and again in 1973. Four-room-and-through-passage plan house built down a slight slope and facing south. Remarkable roofing structure found here; apparently to support the half-hipped roof end, the central post curves in towards the ridges.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 706 855
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NW/199
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XVI to XVII - 1600 AD to 1699 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 1960, Okehampton RD, 9 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV275388.

Higher Stiniel (on north side of road). Roughcast with thatched roof and stone stacks. Two storeys. 17th century.


Alcock, N. W. + Hulland, C., 1972, Devonshire Farmhouses. Part IV: Some Medieval houses in East and North Devon, 47, fig. 4 c-d (Article in Serial). SDV25025.


Mercer, E., 1975, English Vernacular Houses, 148 (Monograph). SDV336308.

House built of squared granite in the late 16th century. It is of two storeys and two cells separated by a through passage behind the stack from a third cell divided into two. The main door to the passage has an arched timber head. An open truss over the hall has jointed raised crucks, and a closed truss above the timber partition between passage and lower end has one straight principal and one principal of cruck-like shape.


Alcock, N. W., 1981, Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue, 108 (Report - non-specific). SDV342504.

True cruck recorded at main house at Stiniel.


Timms, S. C., 1983, List of Devon buildings in NMR Recorded Buildings Index, London (Un-published). SDV337271.

(19/12/1983) Alcock's record of houses at Stiniel deposited in National Monuments Record in 1978.


Timms, S., 1986, Oral report on Higher Stiniel (Personal Comment). SDV240480.

Remarkable roofing structure found here. Apparently to support the half-hipped roof end, the central post curves in towards the ridges. It carries a short horizontal timber at the base of the hip which was strengthened by braces (now removed). The central post is almost a cruck blade itself. Compare Cotmead, Pinhoe (SX99SE/36) (citing Alcock).


Department of Environment, 1987, Chagford, 26-27 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV350463.

Higher Stiniel including garden walls adjoining to south. House, former farmhouse. Late 15th century/early 16th century with major 15th century and 17th century improvements, enlarged in late 17th century (maybe associated with a date of 1686), modernised in early or mid 19th century and again in 1973. Granite rubble walls and stacks.
A four-room-and-through-passage plan house. Regular but not symmetrical 5 window front. Long and complex structural history. See designation record for full list details.


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


Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

Shown on the modern mapping.


Historic England, 2018, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

SX 78 NW CHAGFORD - 4/33 Higher Stiniel including garden - walls adjoining to south - GV II
House, former farmhouse. Late C15 - early C16 with major C16 and C17 improvements, enlarged in late C17 (maybe associated with a date of 1686), modernised in early or mid C19 and again in 1973. Granite rubble walls and stacks, all the latter with their original granite ashlar chimney shafts; thatch roof, part reroofed with slate in 1973. Plan and development: 4-room-and-through-passage plan house built down a slight slope and facing south. The inner room at the left (western) end is terraced into the hillside. Originally an open hall house heated by an open hearth fire it was progressively floored over and the fireplaces inserted through the C16 and C17. The inner room has a slightly projecting end stack and the hall has an axial stack backing onto the passage. The 2 service end rooms may originally have been a shippon but no evidence of this remains. These rooms are divided by an axial stack serving the room off the passage. This end was refurbished in the late C17 and the outer room may be an extension of that time. It was refurbished again in the early or mid C19. House now 2 storeys throughout.
Regular but not symmetrical 5-window front. Only that first floor left end (the inner room chamber) is C19; a small 3-light casement with rectangular panes of leaded glass. The others in this left end 2-window section under the thatch are C20 replacement casements with rectangular panes of leaded glass and at the left end similarly glazed French windows. 2 blocked ground floor windows show in the wall this end. Thatch eyebrows over the first floor windows. The right end 3-window section has C20 replacement horned 16-pane sashes under the slate roof. The front passage doorway is nearly central and now contains a C20 door. A secondary C20 door at right end. All the doorways and ground floor windows have C20 granite lintels. Roof is gable-ended.
Since the inner room end is terraced into the slope there is a doorway to the first floor chamber in the end wall, now containing a C20 door. Interior shows the work of all the main building phases. It is a house with a long and complex structural history. The oldest apparent feature is the roof over the hall and inner room which was erected in the late C15 - early C16. The only roof truss to survive has been cut through by the hall stack but enough of it survives. It is a true (probably raised) cruck with cambered collar and yoked apex carrying the square set ridge (Alcock's apex type H). There is a hip cruck at the inner room end. The purlins and ridge between are original and thoroughly smoke-blackened indicating that the original house was divided by low partitions and heated by an open hearth fire. There was, it seems, another truss over the upper end of the hall but it has been removed, maybe as early as the first improvement. Probably some time in the first half of the C16 a rubble crosswall was built at the upper end of the hall. It is nearly full height and from the top a post rises with a Y-forked top to prop the ridge. This is smoke-blackened indicating that the open hearth was still in operation in the hall and also that the smoke could spread through to the inner room end. It might have been floored by this time but the axial beam here has unstopped soffit chamfers and is therefore of indeterminate date. If the upper wall truss was removed this early it caused no structural problems for more than a century. Its position is now marked by a crude late C17 A-frame with pegged lap-jointed collar. The hall was given a fireplace in the early C17. It is granite with a soffit- chamfered and worn (probably scroll) stopped oak lintel. It has an oven to right. In the passage the back of the fireplace is made of large blocks of granite ashlar with a soffit-chamfered cornice. It is also inscribed with the date 1686 and initials RB. The fireplace is earlier. This must either commemorate a new owner, or, more likely, the refurbishing of the lower end. The hall was floored over at the same time or a little later than the inserted fireplace. Its crossbeam is soffit- chamfered with step stops. Since both the inner room and service end fireplaces have been rebuilt their date cannot be ascertained but must have been inserted in the late C16 or C17. The only exposed carpentry in the lower end is the roof; a series of late C17 uncollared principal rafter trusses.
The front garden is also terraced into the hillslope. The left (western) side is revetted by a tall rubble wall attached to the left end of the house. As it returns across the front it ramps down to a low boundary wall. This was probably built in the mid or late C19. Higher Stiniel is both an interesting and attractive farmhouse situated in an exceptionally picturesque Dartmoor hamlet which contains other important listed buildings such as Stenhall (q.v.) and Stenhall Cottage (q.v.). The farmhouse may have been a Dartmoor longhouse before the late C17 but the evidence is not conclusive. However it does appear to be the oldest house in a hamlet that has attracted some historical interest since it is first recorded in 1224 as Stenenhalle which means hall of stone.
Sources: Devon SMR. Dr N Alcock Stiniel, Chagford. Parts 1 and 2 Devon Life (March and April, 1974).
Listing NGR: SX7061985553


Alcock, N. W., c.1970-75, Stiniel. Chagford. Part II, 28-29 (Article in Serial). SDV357421.

Higher Stiniel was the main farm. It has the standard three room and passage plan and, although it has been more altered that Stenhall Cottage, it still retains two thirds of a smoke-blackened roof and one true cruck truss. The form of the roof apex suggests an earlier date than Stenhall Cottage but it would be unwise on present knowledge to date it earlier that the 15th century. The end room, below the cross passage, has been rebuilt but its size suggests that it was originally a shippon.


Unknown, Unknown, Upper Stiniel, Chagford (Ground Photograph). SDV357422.

Old photos of Upper Stiniel.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV240480Personal Comment: Timms, S.. 1986. Oral report on Higher Stiniel.
SDV25025Article in Serial: Alcock, N. W. + Hulland, C.. 1972. Devonshire Farmhouses. Part IV: Some Medieval houses in East and North Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 104. Paperback Volume. 47, fig. 4 c-d.
SDV275388List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1960. Okehampton RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 9.
SDV336308Monograph: Mercer, E.. 1975. English Vernacular Houses. English Vernacular Houses. Unknown. 148.
SDV337271Un-published: Timms, S. C.. 1983. List of Devon buildings in NMR Recorded Buildings Index, London. Typescript.
SDV342504Report - non-specific: Alcock, N. W.. 1981. Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. 42. Photocopy. 108.
SDV350463List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Chagford. Historic Houses Register. A4 Bound. 26-27.
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV357421Article in Serial: Alcock, N. W.. c.1970-75. Stiniel. Chagford. Part II. Devon Life. Photocopy. 28-29.
SDV357422Ground Photograph: Unknown. Unknown. Upper Stiniel, Chagford. Photocopy.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #83301 ]
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV77180Part of: Higher Stiniel, Chagford (Monument)
MDV33191Related to: Bank barn west of Higher Stiniel, Chagford (Building)
MDV33192Related to: Poultry house east of Higher Stiniel, Chagford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Nov 19 2018 4:00PM