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HER Number:MDV2298
Name:Meavy Barton Farmhouse


Originally small manor house or barton farm to the manor, now farmhouse. Circa early 16th century greatly remodelled and extended in mid 17th century, Stone rubble walls, rendered at the front. Gable ended slate roof. Apparently built by Sir William Strode for Built for Sir Francis Drake who never lived there.


Grid Reference:SX 539 672
Map Sheet:SX56NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMeavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMEAVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 439065
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NW/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 92717

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1550 AD (Between))

Full description

Reichel, O. J., 1928 - 1938, The Hundred of Roborough (Walchentona) in Early Times, 102,108,109,110,127-129 (Article in Monograph). SDV336618.

The site of the manor of church Meavy, recorded as Mewi in the Domesday survey. It was one of four Mewi's then held by Juhel. The subsequent history of its possession in medieval times is given.

Copeland, G. W., 1942, Eleventh Report of the Plymouth and District Branch, 123 (Article in Serial). SDV145407.

Meavy great house. Elizabethan. Built by Sir William Strode.

Copeland, G. W., 1951, 20th Report of the Plymouth and District Branch, 110-111 (Article in Serial). SDV244496.

Meavy Barton - the great house, Meavy. Built for Sir Francis Drake who never lived there. Building only half of what it was, even porch has been curtailed.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1952, SX56NW9 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV244498.

Meavy Barton; remains of mansion.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 656 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Farmhouse depicted on the modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

Originally small manor house or barton farm to the manor, now farmhouse. Circa early 16th century greatly remodelled and extended in mid 17th century, Stone rubble walls, rendered at the front. Gable ended slate roof. Three tall granite ashlar stacks with dripcourses and moulded rims - one at each gable end (the right-hand one was originally axial) and one axial stack.
Interesting plan and development. The remains of an arch-braced roof truss surviving over the central hall stack is the earliest feature and suggests an early 16th century date. The fact that it is not smoke-blackened, even though the stack has been inserted beneath it, means that it was either a truss over an open hall which originally had a stack somewhere else or it was over an important first floor chamber. The extent of this original house is, however, unclear, as in the mid 17th century it was greatly remodelled and extended to form an unconventional plan. The lower end, to the right, below the passage has been demolished and its extent is not known although for a house of such size and quality it is possible that it formed a cross wing. The remodelled house is double depth. To the left of the passage is a small room heated by a stack backing onto the passage, probably a parlour. To its rear is a lobby leading from the passage to the hall on the left of the parlour. At the rear of the lobby is a large open well staircase.
The large hall is heated by a very wide axial fireplace at its inner end; this is the stack which was inserted beneath the early 16th century truss. The doorway adjoining the hall fireplace shares its jamb, and is similar to the two doorways at the rear of the hall which lead to two small unheated service rooms, suggesting that the hall stack is contemporary to the remodelling of the house. To the left of the hall is a room heated by a gable end stack, which projects at the front and may have formed a "great parlour". It has a service room at the rear but a straight joint is visible between the two on the outside which suggests that the parlour may have formed part of the original house. At the lower side of the passage a doorway moulded at the inside led to the lower end; the doorway at the rear of the passage is also moulded on the inside and may be evidence of the lower end extending to the rear.
Apart from the demolition of the lower end - the time of which is uncertain - the house has been very little altered or extended since the 17th century apart from the 19th century outshut built against the left-hand end. Two storeys with attic to projecting gabled wing at the left-hand end. Asymmetrical 3-window front with lean-to porch at front of right-hand end and wide projecting gable wing at left-hand end. All windows are original 2-light chamfered granite mullions with 20th century casements inserted into the lights. On the 2nd floor of the projecting gable is a single chamfered granite framed light. The 1st floor windows are in gabled dormers on the main range. The lean-to porch was originally two storeys from the evidence of a moulded string course above the doorway which has a roundheaded granite arch with roll moulding and hollow chamfer. The spandrels have carved star motif and each jamb has a moulded plinth. The inner doorway has a similar roundheaded granite arch with a simpler roll moulding which is stopped on the inside and outside of the doorway by a carved heart. The arched oak door is probably contemporary and has a moulded frame and stiles. The passage is now single storey and at the right-hand, end is its roundheaded granite doorway with originally led to the lower end. To its left is a stone mounting block against the wall. 3- window rear elevation also has 2-light granite mullions, the left-hand ground floor one is blocked. To the right is a tall gable with a pointed arched chamfered granite doorway on the ground floor beyond which are 2 mullioned windows with 1 and 2 lights. On the 1st floor of this section is a 2-light mullion window with a single granite framed light on the 2nd floor. At the left gable end a clear straight joint can be seen between the 2 builds and there are two 2-light granite mullioned windows on the 1st floor. Below these is a 19th century outshut.
Good interior which preserves the 17th century plan and numerous 17th century features. All that is recognisable of the 16th century house is one roof truss which is virtually over the hall stack. Its morticed collar has been removed but the lowest section of moulded arch- bracing survives. At the apex it can be seen where a form of saddle was set into the principals; the ridge does not survive. The whole truss is clean. The other roof trusses are 17th century with straight principals, threaded purlins, and collars which are lapped and pegged onto the trusses. The hall has a wide granite framed fireplace with continuous roll moulding and a carved star in each spandrel. On the rear wall of the hall are two 4-centred granite arched studded plank doors. The left-hand room at the rear of the hall contains a large granite salting tub. The small room to the left of the passage has 4-centred granite arched doorway and a chamfered granite framed fireplace, now blocked. Behind this room is a large good quality mid 17th century open well staircase which has closed string, square newels with ball finials, turned balusters and a heavy moulded handrail. There are three further 4- centred granite arched roll-moulded doorways - one into the right-hand side of the hall, one at the rear of the passage and one at its left-hand side. The two first floor rooms at the left-hand have 17th century granite framed fireplaces with straight lintels. The former importance of this house is demonstrated in the quality of its features and the unusual plan. It has been little altered since the 17th century internally and externally and forms part of a very traditional farm complex. (Listed 1987) Other details: LB UID: 92717.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV145407Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1942. Eleventh Report of the Plymouth and District Branch. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 74. A5 Hardback. 123.
SDV244496Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1951. 20th Report of the Plymouth and District Branch. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 83. Unknown. 110-111.
SDV244498Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1952. SX56NW9. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 656.
SDV336618Article in Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928 - 1938. The Hundred of Roborough (Walchentona) in Early Times. The Hundreds of Devon. A5 Hardback. 102,108,109,110,127-129.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #83549 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV77830Part of: Meavy Barton farm, Meavy (Monument)
MDV80775Related to: Barn 10 meters north-east of farmhouse, Meavy Barton (Building)
MDV80776Related to: Farm building 30 meters east of farmhouse, Meavy Barton (Building)
MDV80774Related to: Outbuilding 5 meters north of Meavy Barton farmhouse (Building)
MDV80777Related to: Pigsties south-east of farmhouse, Meavy Barton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 13 2016 2:49PM