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HER Number:MDV33257
Name:Mount Pleasant Farmhouse, Murchington


Mount Pleasant Farm house in Murchington was built in the 16th century with major late 16th century and 17th century improvements and last modernized in the 19th century. Adjoining buildings include the former shippon, stores and stable. The shippon shows evidence for domestic use with the remains of a 16th-17th century fireplace and bread oven.


Grid Reference:SX 687 883
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishThrowleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTHROWLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/220
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 94757

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Built, XVI - 1501 AD to 1600 AD (Between))

Full description

Etheridge, T., 14/10/2013, Mount Pleasant Farmhouse, Murchington (Report - Watching Brief). SDV352646.

Programme of archaeological monitoring and recording prior to building extension and alterations. The floor and walls of the shippon were recorded as was the building to its east. The shippon was built of coursed granite stone on a base of large unshaped granite stones. The remains of a lime floor was revealed in the south-east corner of the building. Two possible drains were also discovered, one along the eastern eall and the other against the northern wall. The remains of a fireplace, bread oven and chimney survive in the east wall . The fireplace dates to the 16th-17th century. Its masonry appears much disturbed suggestive of much alteration since its original construction. The chimney was supposedly fitted during the 17th century but was subsequently removed in the 19th century. The bread oven was fitted in the 16th century and a section of its structure still survives.
Three trenches were also excavated as part of the building works. Trench 1, a sewer trench, had only just cut into the surface when it encountered a crude cobbled surface. No other archaeological features were encountered. Trench 2, a pipe trench, was located solely within the topsoil. No finds were recovered. Trench 3, a wall trench, ran north-south from the south wall of the shippon and cut into a former hedge bank along its eastern side. It contained a series of deposits. Finds included sherds of white refined earthenware, post medieval North Devon ware and South Somerset ware, a number of iron objects and animal bones. These finds are considered to relate to the levelling up of the area in the late 19th century. Finds recovered from the hedgebank were of a similar nature.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Shown on 19th century map with at least six adjoining buildings.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Shown as five adjoining buildings on early 20th century map.

Department of Environment, 1987, Throwleigh, 168 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV274669.

Mount Pleasant farmhouse, 16th century with major late 16th century and 17th century improvements, last modernized in the 19th century. Whitewashed granite stone rubble with large roughly-shaped quoins; granite stacks, one with its original granite ashlar chimney shaft; thatch roof. L-shaped house on level ground. Two storeys. Three window front (with only one to the first floor) of 19th century and 20th century casements with glazing bars. Interior is largely the result of a superficial 19th century modernization but the original layout appears to be well preserved. Roof not inspected although the bases of the principals shown in the main block indicate 17th century A-frame trusses.

Cox, J. + Thorp, J. R. L., 2010, Mount Pleasant Farm, Murchington (Report - Assessment). SDV347906.

Five phases of development were identified at Mount Pleasant Farm in Murchington. The L-shaped house is built of uncoursed granite rubble under a thatched roof. It faces south over a small garden and the driveway. A rear wing projects at right angles from the west end.
Phase 1: The Late Medieval longhouse probably has late 14th-early 15th century origins and was open to the roof.
Phase 2: The early 16th century house included the insertion of an axial stack to house the hall fireplace and the construction of a first floor chamber over the inner room which jettied into the hall which was still open to the roof.
Phase 3: In the 17th and 18th centuries the house was modernised and enlarged when the hall was floored over and the main block was extensively rebuilt. A parlour block was built at right angles to the rear of the inner room.
Phase 4: Modernisation of the rear wing was undertaken in the mid 19th century and most of the ground floor arrangement remains from this time. The external door was replaced and an internal porch was created. The first floor chamber may have been divided into two at this time.
Phase 5: Refurbishment was undertaken in the early 20th century when the east end of the main block was altered and the building truncated. Inside the house a new kitchen with a bathroom above was created in the narrow east end. All the doors and windows were replaced and the hall stair was rebuilt.
The stores, originally a shippon, adjoining the eastern end of the farmhouse reuse the Medieval masonry as its north, south and east walls. The walls were reduced to their present height in the 20th century when the main house was truncated. It has a monopitch corrugated iron roof and an earthen floor incorporating some flagstones in the northeast corner. A small lean-to shed against the east end wall was probably built in the 18th or early 19th century. The floor consists of granite setts or cobbles and the slit ventilator in the south wall suggests it was built for animals. It was reroofed in the 20th century.
A single bay stable is built against the north end of the farmhouse. The west wall is of stone rubble and the upper sections of the east and north walls are of cob to eaves level. The gable of the north end is boarded suggesting the original roof was half-hipped. The roof was rebuilt with corrugated iron sheeting in the 20th century. A stout post in the northeast corner rises from the stone footings through the cob to eaves level with a short horizontal rail extending westwards across that end of the north wall. The purpose of these timbers is unknown. The floor has been re-surfaced in concrete. The loft is carried on a roughly chamfered axial beam and the boards and joists were renewed in the 20th century. The eastern section of the stable has been taken into the house and divided off by a brick wall.

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

Mount Pleasant Farmhouse was Listed on 16th September 1987. It was built in the 16th century with later alterations of granite stone rubble under a thatched roof.
Plan and development: L-shaped house on level ground. The main block faces south-south-east and it has a three-room-and-cross-passage plan. There is no sign of any passage rear doorway. Small unheated inner room (probably used as a dairy) at the left (west) end. Hall has an axial stack backing onto the passage and small unheated service end room. One-room plan parlour block projecting at right angles to rear of inner room with a gable-end stack. At one time the parlour block had been used as a separate one-room plan cottage. It is not possible to determine the early development of the house since the main block roof was replaced in the 17th century. Nevertheless it is clear that the house began as an open hall house and there is evidence that the inner room too was open to the roof. This suggests early 16th century origins. House is now two storeys.
Exterior: 3-window front (with only one to the first floor) of 19th and 20th century casements with glazing bars. The passage front doorway is right of centre and contains a 19th century plank door and the eaves are carried down over as a hood. Roof is half-hipped to left and gable-ended to right. Rear of the main block is blind. The outer side of the rear parlour wing also contains 19th and 20th century casements with glazing bars and a secondary late 19th - early 20th century part-glazed door.
Interior appears to-be largely the result of a superficial 19th century modernisation but the original layout appears well preserved. The hall has a granite ashlar fireplace. At the upper end of the hall a series of axial joists with rounded ends provides evidence of an internal jetty. The hall was floored over probably in the mid or late 17th century by a roughly-finished crossbeam. No carpentry detail shows in the inner or service rooms. The parlour has a soffit-chamfered axial beam and the fireplace is blocked by a 19th century grate. Roof was not inspected although the bases of the principals show in the main block and indicate 17th century A-frame roof trusses. Mount Pleasant is a little modernised farmhouse and one of a group of attractive listed buildings in the hamlet of Murchington. Other details: LBS Number 94757.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV274669List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Throwleigh. Historic Houses Register. A4 Bound. 168.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347906Report - Assessment: Cox, J. + Thorp, J. R. L.. 2010. Mount Pleasant Farm, Murchington. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K777. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV352646Report - Watching Brief: Etheridge, T.. 14/10/2013. Mount Pleasant Farmhouse, Murchington. Southwest Archaeology Report. TMM13. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV114792Related to: Little Mead, Murchington (Building)
MDV33295Related to: Threshing Barn at Mount Pleasant Farm, Murchington (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5357 - Archaeological Assessment of Mount Pleasant Farmhouse, Murchington
  • EDV6288 - Archaeological Monitoring and Recording at Mount Pleasant Farmhouse, Murchington (Ref: TMM13)

Date Last Edited:Apr 8 2016 2:42PM