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HER Number:MDV33260
Name:Barn and bakehouse at Great Ensworthy, Gidleigh


Early-mid 17th century barn and bakehouse constructed from granite stone rubble with a corrugated iron roof (formally thatch). The main part (to the right) is a threshing barn open to the roof. At the uphill end there is a one-room bakehouse which was originally two storeys but the upper floor has now collapsed. A rare example of a detached bakehouse associated with a threshing barn.


Grid Reference:SX 660 894
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishGidleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGIDLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/208/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 94701

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BAKEHOUSE (Constructed, XVI to XVII - 1600 AD to 1650 AD (Between))
  • THRESHING BARN (XVI to XVII - 1600 AD to 1650 AD (Between))

Full description

1840, Tithe Map (Cartographic). SDV339770.

Barn and bakehouse shown on the Tithe Map (approximately 1840 in date). Western half of the building shown shaded red/pink (the same as the longhouse at Ensworthy) which usually denotes a dwelling.

Jones, B., 1996, Great Ensworthy, Gidleigh, 6-7 (Report - Assessment). SDV347677.

Great Ensworthy bakehouse and barn is likely to date from the early to mid 17th century and consists of a granite two-storey building with a heated single room plan. This forms the west end of the present barn. Its original function is uncertain but may have been domestic and may have had at least two rooms. The date of the original phase is suggested by the detail of a fireplace and ceiling beam in the surviving west bay. The relationship between the building and the main house may suggest this building performed some ancillary domestic function, possibly as a detached kitchen or bakehouse but the building faced south, away from the longhouse which would have been inconvenient. It is possible that this building functioned as a separate dwelling.
In the 18th or 19tth century the east bay was extended and altered to allow the construction of the barn, which is built from random rubble and is a tall single storey building. It may have originally been used as a threshing barn.

Thorp, J. R. L., 2000, Bakehouse at Great Ensworthy, Gidleigh, 1-5 (Report - Assessment). SDV347690.

Bakehouse is a granite rubble construction, roofed with corrugated iron, although would have originally been thatched. The barn has large, full height opposing doorways to the central threshing floor and a series of pigeon holes in the south wall high up to the east of the barn doorway. In the rear or north wall the doorway is blocked and the only other feature is a slit ventilator at the west end, right against the dividing crosswall.
The bakehouse is a two storey cottage with one-room plan facing south. The ground floor has a fireplace in an axial stack in the crosswall, backing onto the barn. The first floor structure has gone but the remains of a stone flight of stairs can still be seen. Two windows and a door opening in the south wall.
The origins of this building may have been as a late medieval barn. Keystone believe that the bakehouse was built inside an existing building; probably a barn dating to the late 15th or early 16th century.

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

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

Barn and bakehouse. Early-mid 17th century. Granite stone rubble including a proportion of roughly-squared blocks laid to rough course and built on large boulder footings and with large dressed quoins; corrugated iron roof (formerly thatch).
Plan: the building faces south-east and is built down the hillslope. The main part, to right, is a threshing barn with large opposing nearly full height doorways onto the threshing floor. It is open to the roof. At the uphill left end there is a 1-room plan bakehouse with an axial stack backing onto the barn. This was originally two storeys but the floor has now collapsed.
Exterior: the cottage section has a 2-window front of open embrasures and the first floor one has been enlarged to provide a hay loading hatch. The doorway to right of the ground floor window has a plain solid frame and contains an old plank door. A sloping buttress to right marks the division between the bakehouse and barn. The large barn doorway appears to have been heightened a short distance since the monolithic granite jambs are not quite full height. There is a row of pigeon holes high in the wall at the right end. Roof is gable-ended. The right gable-end wall includes a hayloft loading hatch and a series of ventilation slits.
Interior: the bakehouse fireplace is built of granite with a soffit-chamfered and step-stopped oak lintel. It includes a massive granite oven under the granite stops of the newel stair. The first floor structure has collapsed but a soffit-chamfered and step-stopped half beam survives against the end wall. There is a blind rubble crosswall between barn and bakehouse. Two-bay roof to bakehouse and five bays to barn, all A-frame trusses with pegged lap-jointed collars to the barn section only. Detached bakehouses such as this are very rare and of great interest to students of vernacular architecture. It is even more unusual for one to be associated with a threshing barn. Other details: LB UID: 94701.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV339770Cartographic: 1840. Tithe Map. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #87784 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347677Report - Assessment: Jones, B.. 1996. Great Ensworthy, Gidleigh. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A4 Comb Bound. 6-7.
SDV347690Report - Assessment: Thorp, J. R. L.. 2000. Bakehouse at Great Ensworthy, Gidleigh. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K607. A4 Comb Bound. 1-5.

Associated Monuments

MDV77266Part of: Great Ensworthy farmstead, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV33259Related to: Longhouse at Great Ensworthy, Gidleigh (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5233 - Survey at Great Ensworthy Farm, Gidleigh
  • EDV5234 - Survey of the bakehouse at Great Ensworthy

Date Last Edited:Jan 20 2014 10:41AM