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HER Number:MDV22306
Name:Upper hall house at Neadon, Manaton

Summary

High status structure with first floor hall and ground floor service space, later used as a barn, now a house again. Probably late 15th century, likely to have been abandoned and used as a farm building in late 17th century, restored as a house 1982-3. Originally the living accommodation was always on the first floor (retains high quality features such as fireplace, garderobe, laver and decorated cusp-headed window). The ground floor appears to have always served a subsidiary purpose (has a lack of domestic features, small window openings and drain at one end), probably originally service, and was at some stage converted to a shippon from the evidence of a central drain. Large amount of documentary material relating to Neadon dates back to 1332. This is a building of outstanding architectural interest both for its unusual plan form the only known survival of such in Devon, and for the remarkable existence of a great many original features.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 750 824
Map Sheet:SX78SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishManaton
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishMANATON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78SE/56/2
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HALL HOUSE (Built, XV - 1450 AD to 1499 AD (Between))
  • STABLE (Altered, XVII - 1650 AD to 1699 AD (Between))
  • HOUSE (Altered, XX - 1982 AD to 1983 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 1952, Newton Abbot Rural District (Provisional List), 78 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV280219.

Upper hall house at Neadon. 15th century. Stone with corrugated iron roof. On road front there is a two-light west opening with Medieval cinquefoiled heads. On north-west front a large door opening with medieval arched door frame, and another similar but smaller one, blocked on first floor. On south-east side is stone projection by a blocked door with incised stone at top. Formerly chapel.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1963, Monuments Threatened or Destroyed, 1956-62, 31 (Un-published). SDV83845.

Barn of granite, two storeys. Built in late 15th century, probably to contain first-floor dwelling and byre beneath; end chimney and garderobe projection on first floor; upper cruck-truss roof.


Hicks, C. E., 1982, Proceedings of the 120th Annual Meeting, xxix (Article in Serial). SDV345203.

Visit in 1982 briefly noted.


Beacham, P., 1983, Notes on the Upper Hall, Neadon (Unknown). SDV313824.

An exceptional building, whose original function is not entirely clear. Its plan with an upper floor hall and ground floor for storage is remarkable for Devon, the nearest parallels being church houses and priests houses (also found in Brittany).
The building is faced with large ashlar granite blocks which suggest two major medieval periods, the eastern end coming first and the western end representing a rebuild. The ground floor has a wide arched timber doorway, splayed slit windows, evidence of a central drain and a ceiling of massive beams. It appears to have been used for storage and later as a shippen.
The upper hall represents high quality accommodation, with a narrower arched timber door and large windows, one having a late 15th century timber two-light cusped frame. At west end of this upper hall is a large fireplace, garderobe and laver. There is evidence for a dais in front of the fireplace, a sleeping platform and a screen. The medieval roof is of four bays with upper crucks and collars. The difference between the two decorated western bays and the two plain east bays further suggests medieval rebuilding.
The relationship of this building to the outbuilding (MDV22307) is discussed. This building seems to have been of lesser importance in the post-medieval period and deteriorated until an award-winning restoration programme was undertaken in 1982/83. This grant-aided work has included the reconstruction of medieval internal features.


Department of Environment, 1987, Manaton, 28-29 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV303187.

Neadon Upper Hall (formerly listed as stable at Neadon Farm (formerly chapel)).
First floor hall, later used as a barn, now a house again. Probably late 15th century, likely to have been abandoned and used as a farm building in late 17th century, restored as a house 1982-3. The walls are substantially faced in granite ashlar.
The original plan in its basic form seems clear: the living accommodation was always on the first floor judging from the high quality features such as fireplace, garderobe, laver and decorated cusp-headed window. Two storeys.
Very good interior with many original features surviving. See List for full details.


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

Depicted on the modern mapping.


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

MANATON SX 77 NE 5/40 - Neadon Upper Half [formerly listed as stable at Neadon Farm 23.8.55 GV (formerly Chapel)] I
First floor hall, later used as a barn, now a house again. Probably late C15, likely to have been abandoned and used as a farm building in late C17, restored as a house 1982-3. The walls are substantially faced in granite ashlar which survives to full height at each gable end but with evidence of considerable rebuilding to the front (north-west) face in granite rubble and to the rear wall with dressed granite. It is therefore arguable whether the ashlar coursing from end to end is continuous or not. The walls are lined internally with granite rubble. The chimney stack to the south-west gable end is a late C20 rebuild in granite ashlar. Delabole dry slate roof with gable ends.
The original plan in its basic form seems clear: the living accommodation was always on the first floor judging from the high quality features such as fireplace, garderobe, laver and decorated cusp-headed window. From its lack of domestic features, small window openings and drain at 1 end, the ground floor always served a subsidiary purpose, probably originally service, and was at some stage converted to a shippon from the evidence of a central drain. There was a through-passage to the south-west end of the ground floor.
The original form of the first floor is more problematic, mainly because of the roof construction. In their basic construction the 3 trusses are almost identical, comprising upper crucks morticed at the apex with a threaded ridge and triangular strengthening block beneath, with threaded purlins and cranked collars morticed into the principals. The discrepancy lies in the spacing of the bays : the 2 north-east bays being virtually twice the length of the south-west ones; the fact that the middle truss does not have curved feet but finishes higher up than the other 2 and has a hole in the soffit of its strengthening block; also the decoration to the 2 north-east bays in the form of chamfered timbers and wall-plates, which is absent in the other 2 bays. One possible explanation for this discrepancy is that the 2 ends of the house were built (or 1 end perhaps rebuilt) at slightly different stages and the central truss was modified when the middle sections of the lateral walls were rebuilt. (P Beacham). This is entirely feasible but an alternative explanation might be that the difference between the 2 ends of the roof represents a difference in status and possibly function of the space below. Thus the end with the fireplace, adjacent garderobe and laver, and large original window opening would have the decorative roof. If the 2-window openings occupying blocked doorways on the north-west face were to be considered as original doorways from their chamfered lintels and straight sides then the truss above would automatically have to be shorter than the others. The only reason to have 2 adjacent external doorways would be if there was a full height partition at this position inside for which the hole in the soffit of the strengthening block might possibly suggest evidence of a stave for a wattle and daub partition. The collar beneath also has similar holes but as this was moved from the adjacent building it cannot be considered as further evidence. Firmer evidence for a lower partition more towards the north-east end is provided by a deep groove in the upper face of the cross beam and the stubs of a former cross beam above which presumably acted as a head beam for a wooden screen. The existence of an original small second floor window at the north-east gable end adds to the evidence for a sleeping platform at this end. This screen and platform were reconstructed in the restoration of 1982-3.
Facade: 2 storeys. On north-west front at ground floor to right is wide doorway with heavy timber door frame chamfered with 3-centred arched head. At left end is ventilation slit low down in the wall with adjacent very small square opening. At far left is late C20 reconstructed wooden staircase. To the right and a little below this is some evidence of pockets in the stonework which might have been to carry some form of gallery possibly extending to the 2 former doorways on first floor right of centre. On first floor to far left is small single light late C20 casement with leaded panes in original opening. To right of it is original doorway with heavy timber frame, chamfered with 4-centred arched head. Old timber lintel above. 2 blocked doorways to right of centre now occupied by inserted late C20 casements with leaded panes. South-west (right) gable end has small original window slit to right with arched head, below it is cantilevered projecting moulded granite lip to laver. Rear (south-east) face has original small window opening on ground floor right. At ground level to the right is original semi-circular drain-hole carved out of single granite block. To centre and centre left are 2 doorways with further to the left a later window inserted into the blocked rear door to former passage. Rectangular garderobe projection to far left. On first floor is small window to the right and larger original tall window opening to centre left, both have late C20 wooden casements with leaded panes. On north- east gable end first floor is late C15 window with 2-light wooden frame with central mullion and transom forming smaller lights below. Each light has cusped head although those to the lower lights have virtually worn away. The spandrels have finely carved foliage and the whole is set within a chamfered wooden frame. The stone surround to the opening is grooved to take the frame. Late C20 leaded pane window set behind and also to smaller original window opening above. From the north corner of this gable end the courtyard boundary wall extends approximately 15 metres north-west to the adjacent outbuilding. Part at least is contemporary with the house as for a short distance the lower few courses are an extension in ashlar of the stonework of the house. Otherwise the wall is of granite rubble with small rubble capping. Gateway at north-west end with dressed granite piers and moulded granite caps appearing to be re-used pier bases. Drainage outlet at lower left hand end.
Very good interior with many original features surviving. On the ground floor is 1 original cross beam chamfered with hollow stops and with some chamfered and stopped joists. There is also another later, rougher beam. On the first floor all the openings have chamfered and stopped lintels. The gable end fireplace is granite framed with a straight lintel, hollow chamfered; the jambs continue the chamfer with ball stops. To left of the fireplace is laver with moulded edge and drainage hole at the back to the outside. To the left and at right angles is the garderobe with a round-headed timber doorframe, chamfered and original drainage hole. Adjacent to the garderobe the window has dressed granite splayed sides.
There is a considerable amount of documentary material relating to the settlement at Neadon the earliest known one being the The Devonshire Hay Subsidy of 1332 which refers to "Peter Bynythedon" in Manaton parish. At various times the property passed through the possession of the Foxford and Nosworthy families and a deed of 1666 mentions 3 tenements at Neadon.
This is a building of outstanding architectural interest both for its unusual plan form the only known survival of such in Devon, and for the remarkable existence of a great many original features. There are, however, several puzzling aspects of the house and it is impossible to be entirely certain of what the original building was like, quite possibly it is the most complete survival of a complex of medieval buildings now disappeared or substantially altered as the courtyard wall and adjacent building seem to suggest. Sources: "Brief Historical and Architectural Notes on the Upper Hall, Neadon, Manaton" - P Beacham. Documentary Evidence relating to Neadon, Manaton - M Laithwaite.
Listing NGR: SX7504982433

Sources / Further Reading

SDV280219List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1952. Newton Abbot Rural District (Provisional List). Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 78.
SDV303187List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Manaton. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 28-29.
SDV313824Unknown: Beacham, P.. 1983. Notes on the Upper Hall, Neadon. Unknown.
SDV345203Article in Serial: Hicks, C. E.. 1982. Proceedings of the 120th Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 114. A5 Hardback. xxix.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #83389 ]
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV83845Un-published: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1963. Monuments Threatened or Destroyed, 1956-62. Photocopy. 31.

Associated Monuments

MDV77799Part of: Neadon farmstead, Manaton (Monument)
MDV34425Related to: Bank barn north-west of Neadon Farmhouse, Manaton (Building)
MDV22305Related to: Neadon Farmhouse, Manaton (Building)
MDV22307Related to: Outbuilding at Neadon, Manaton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:May 14 2018 10:29AM