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HER Number:MDV3607
Name:Church House, Walkhampton

Summary

Church House Cottages, Walkhampton (formerly listed as Church House). Two cottages, originally the church house. Circa early 16th century, modified in 1698, altered in late 19th century and restored in later 20th century. Stone rubble walls, partly rendered and colour-washed. Gable ended asbestos slate roof. Three rendered stacks, one at each gable end and one lateral. Plan: Interesting variation on church house plan which can be reconstructed despite the conversion into two cottages. This building must be one of the most complete church houses in Devon with not only numerous early features but also its plan-form still preserved and forming a good group with the Church.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 537 701
Map Sheet:SX57SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWalkhampton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SW/16
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 92859

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHURCH HOUSE (XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1599 AD (Between))

Full description

Copeland, G. W., 1960, Devonshire Church-Houses: Part 1, 136 (Article in Serial). SDV298102.

Church house, almost forms part of the churchyard boundary on its east side. Largely of granite rubble, partly plastered, with prominent quoins at the north-west and with an old grouted slate roof. Near the centre of the front is a pointed segmental granite doorway in a tiny and sunken paved forecourt within the churchyard. Above the doorway is a granite date stone inscribed 'R. S.1. W.1698' in raised characters, probably the restoration date. North of the doorway is a wide rectangular staircase projection with a small granite window. The other windows are late replacements, but some retain their granite lintels. Near the centre of the front is a lateral chimney stack.
The front doorway admits to a small 'vestibule' with three granite doorways, one of which admits to the semi circular stone staircase in the projection which has a stone ceiling. This vestibule and the large adjacent living room have massive oak ceiling beams on slightly moulded granite corbels, one of which is over a window that retains its granite frame. The large open fireplace has a wooden lintel. At the end of the passage are two more granite doorways one with a semi hexagonal head and corbel carved as a grotesque human mask. The outer walls have chamfered stone wall plates; at the rear there is a mounting block. Once an inn.

Copeland, G. W., 1961, Devonshire Church Houses, part 2, 264 (Article in Serial). SDV7456.

Copeland, G. W., 1964, Devonshire Church Houses: Part 5 (Article in Serial). SDV299096.

Other details: Plate 14.

Timms, S., 1983, Information from Devon County Council Planning Department (Personal Comment). SDV227558.

16th century windows and door in gable end have been revealed during building works. Very important church house comparable with one at South Tawton. Other details: F23/11.

Govier, I., 1984, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV227557.

Devon County Council, 1988, JV, 6, 6a (Aerial Photograph). SDV227563.

Waterhouse, R. E., 1991, Untitled Source, 45-54 (Un-published). SDV157323.

The church house is aligned north/south. The primary structure seems to have been constructed in slate ironstone rubble with a stringcourse at first floor level of quartz blocks. All these surfaces were probably rendered. A central, narrow door with roll-moulded gothic foiled arch enters a small lobby with stone partitions which open at the south end into a large room lit by two double light stone mullioned windows in the south wall.
In 1698 reconstruction work took place of a wall and insertion of four windows and a smaller chimney stack. There is a granite date stone in the stack with initials and date. Set in the north wall is a huge rhyloite gargoyle head, which must have originated from the church. C19 stud and plaster partition to main room. Modern stair runs up the east wall. In the east wall of the lobby is a wide doorway with a broad chamfered gothic arch. This gives access to a small square unheated room. Plain chamfered gothic arched door with large hinges leads through the north wall of the lobby into the kitchen. In the northern gable is a wide hearth with a wooden lintel. To the left is a large oval oven relined with 18th or 19th century brick. In the rear wall is the entry to another, smaller oven which has been blocked off within. To the south of the hearth projection is another wide gothic arch, rising two steps to a 19th century shippon attached to the end. A lateral stair with 10 granite ashlar steps leads up to first floor hall. This seems to have been open until about the middle of the last century and all partitions are fairly modern.
The roof structure is abnormal. Of standard Devon A-frame construction, but the truss feet are of true cruck form, though very short and sawn to shape. Other roof structural features. See survey for full details and plans. Other details: Copy in SMR.

Reid, R., 1996, The Architectural Work of George Wightwick, 127-9 (Article in Serial). SDV336171.

Church house was extended and adapted in 1888. Used as a council school until 1923.

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

Church House is depicted on the modern electronic mapping.

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

Church House Cottages (formerly listed as Church House). Two cottages, originally the church house. Circa early 16th century, modified in 1698, altered in late 19th century and restored in later 20th century.
Stone rubble walls, partly rendered and colour-washed. Gable ended asbestos slate roof. Three rendered stacks, one at each gable end and one lateral. Plan: Interesting variation on church house plan which can be reconstructed despite the conversion into two cottages. On the ground floor it comprised a large room at either end with a small room in between, in front of which was an entrance lobby by which each room was reached and from which a straight flight of stairs in a projection at the front of the building was also approached. The purpose of each room can be deduced from their features: the left-hand room, judging from its very large gable end fireplace with ovens was where the baking took place. The small central room with only one small window and what appears to have been a serving hatch into the right-hand room, is likely to have stored the ales which were then served into the right-hand room where presumably the customers congregated and could leave by a back door. This room had a fireplace in its gable end wall and there is also a small fireplace on its front wall which may be later. The first floor consisted of one large room used for meetings and probably celebrations; the external stairs to its doorway in the right-hand gable end have been removed How much this arrangement relates to the date plaque of 1698 - presumably referring to a re-modelling can only be conjectured, possibly the large hearth was added to the kitchen at this stage. Subsequently the building became an inn. In 1895 the building ceased to be an inn and soon after it was divided into two cottages.
Exterior: two storeys. Original entrance front faces churchyard and is asymmetrical with four windows and a shallow rectangular stair projection to left of centre. 20th century 1 and 2-light casements. The stair projection has a chamfered granite framed light. To the right of the projection is the original granite 4-centred arched doorway with roll moulding and recessed spandrels. Above is a date-stone of 1698 with the initials R.S.J.W. Beneath the eaves a chamfered stone cornice extends along the house. At the right gable end are four 2-light granite mullion windows hollow- chamfered with segmental heads in rebate frame. At the centre is a granite 4-centre arched doorway. This odd feature - evidently giving access to the principal 1st floor room - is explained in a print of the Church House in 1805 by Samuel Prout. It depicts this gable end with a lean-to roof set against it, supported on an octagonal pillar, below which where the steps leading to the 1st floor doorway. The print also shows a stone arched doorway leading into the churchyard and the mounting steps on the front wall which still survive. This set-up still existed in 1867 although the "window-places" were blocked in 1842. They and the doorway were uncovered in the early 1980's. The present entrance front has 20th century stone porches to left and right of centre with 20th century irregularly placed casements. Between the porches is a single granite framed light to the central room. The stone cornice also extends around this side. At the right end is a lower outbuilding reputedly a stable. Good interior preserving many early features. The original window openings are marked internally by stone arches above.
On the ground floor are heavy cross-beams, chamfered and resting on curved stone corbels. The kitchen has a very large fireplace with chamfered wooden lintel and jambs of dressed granite. Two stone ovens. To the right of the fireplace in the end wall is a wide blocked doorway with granite arch above. The entrance lobby at the centre has three granite doorways opening off it - one with a pointed arch to the kitchen and two with segmental heads to the stairs and the small store room.
The stairs are a straight flight of granite with a corbelled and stepped stone with a similar doorway at the top. In the store room a small blocked granite-framed opening is visible in the right-hand wall which can also be seen on the other side and was probably a serving hatch. The right-hand room has a fireplace with chamfered granite jambs and a replaced lintel. It also has a much smaller reconstructed fireplace on its long wall. Built into the partition wall of this room is a large carved stone face probably a gargoyle from the church. The original stone arched head to the rear doorway of this room survives.
The original roof is still in situ and complete, consisting of principals with curved feet, threaded purlins cut out to become trenched and cranked collars notched and set into the trusses.
This building must be one of the most complete church houses in Devon with not only numerous early features but also its plan-form still preserved and forming a good group with the Church. Source: Walkhampton - The story of a Parish: L. Govier (Amended 1987) Other details: LB UID: 92859.

Hamilton-Leggett, P., 2016, A Brief Guide to St. Mary the Virgin, Walkhampton (Leaflet). SDV363907.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV157323Un-published: Waterhouse, R. E.. 1991. The Church Houses of South Devon. A4 Unbound. 45-54.
SDV227557Monograph: Govier, I.. 1984. Walkhampton - the Story of a Parish. Unknown.
SDV227558Personal Comment: Timms, S.. 1983. Information from Devon County Council Planning Department. Unknown.
SDV227563Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1988. JV. Devon Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 6, 6a.
SDV298102Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1960. Devonshire Church-Houses: Part 1. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 92. A5 Hardback. 136.
SDV299096Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1964. Devonshire Church Houses: Part 5. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 96. A5 Paperback.
SDV336171Article in Serial: Reid, R.. 1996. The Architectural Work of George Wightwick. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 128. A4 Stapled. 127-9.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #88883 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV7456Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1961. Devonshire Church Houses, part 2. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 93. A5 Hardback. 264.

Associated Monuments

MDV2328Related to: Church of St Mary, Walkhampton (Building)
MDV3608Related to: Cross opposite the Church House, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV3605Related to: Walkhampton Church House cross: a wayside cross on the east side of Church House (Monument)
MDV128979Related to: Walkhampton Church Way (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Oct 20 2020 9:47AM