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HER Number:MDV36947
Name:Bakers Thatch, Church Street, Braunton


House, probably originally farmhouse, part later used as bakery at lower end. Early 16th century with possibly earlier fabric. Contains apparently unique plasterwork of probable 17th- or 18th century date.


Grid Reference:SS 489 370
Map Sheet:SS43NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NE/224
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 98315

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Early Medieval to XVIII - 1066 AD to 1800 AD)

Full description

Child, P., 19/06/2003, Plasterwork at Bakers Thatch, Church Street, Braunton (Correspondence). SDV347757.

Plasterwork appears to be unique i terms of local plasterwork traditions. There is a stylistic similarity to North Devon embossed tiles in its general form, but the actual designs are not the same. The moulds were clearly not the same as those for the tiles, as the latter are always square. This seems to imply that the moulds were specially made. The decorative motifs are more likely to be at the end of the vernacular plasterwork tradition, rather than at its start. The vase containing the flower is identified by John Allan (Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter) as being modelled on a Frechen drinking jug (a Bellarmine), but these extend from circa 1550 to circa 1700. North Devon moulded tiles however, are only found at the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century, so the plasterwork is probably of this date.

Department of Environment, 1985, Braunton, 36 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV73918.

House, probably originally farmhouse, part later used as bakery at lower end. Early 16th century with possibly earlier fabric. Colourwashed rendered and cob with thatch roof, built gable end to street. Two storeys. Originally 3-cell through-passage plan, smoke-blackened roof suggesting former open hall, with inserted rubble stack backing onto through passage. Rear through-passage doorway now blocked. Further axial rubble stack inserted when upper end was divided late 18th/early 19th century, to form extra middle room. Small 1709 datestone at street gable end may refer to partial rebuilding at this end or other works in house. Roof timbers replaced at upper end probably when the extra stack was inserted. Two original trusses with heavy straight principals survive, that over hall is heavily smoke-blackened on 'hall' side only. Parts of ridge purlin, 2 piers of trenched purlins, rafters and battens also survive and are similarly smoke-blackened, but roof structure at lower end heavily patched. Hall has roughly chamfered beam stopped at south end only. Other details: 11/76.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2004, Braunton (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV341322.

House, late 15th century, remodelled early 17th century, altered and extended 18th century. Colourwashed rendered cob and stone rubble, thatched roof with gabled end and.stone rubble axial stacks. Long 4 room and through-passage house. The original late 15th century house occupied the left (west) 2 rooms and central through-passage. It was open from end to end and divided by low partitions, the hall to the right of the passage heated from an open hearth fire. In about the early 17th century, an axial stack was built in the hall backing on to the through-passage, and floors were inserted to create first floor chambers. In about the 18th century the roof over the lower end of the hall was replaced, probably when a 2-room plan extension with an axial stack was built at the right hand east end of the house. The 1709 datestone in the west gable end might refer to this 18th century work. In the 19th century the lower west end room was used as a shop. A good example of a late Medieval 2-room and through-passage plan house, originally open to the roof from end to end, remodelled in the early 17th century with an interesting section of a 17th century moulded plaster frieze in the hall. See list for full details. Other details: 11/76.

Ordnance Survey, 2015, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV357601.

Cramp, C., 2015, North Devon Relief-Decorated Ceramics in the Household, 202, 205-6, 209; Fig 8.10 (Article in Monograph). SDV365391.

The possibility of a specific link between relief-stamped pottery and ornamental plasterwork has been raised by this find. The repeat design of the impressive section of plasterwork frieze in one room is formed by using three rectangular stamps which depict a heraldic lion passant, an ornate fleur-de-lis and a handles long-necked pot holding a daisy-like flower, with some additional hand-incised motifs. The overall style is suggestive of the late 16th or early 17th century. This plasterwork is unique and the stamps bear some resemblance to those on early relief tiles, but it is improbable that the stamps used for this plasterwork would also have been used for relief-decorated tiles.
In 2005 two whole tiles of design N4 with rich brown glaze were noticed protruding below a hedge in the garden of Bakers Thatch, whose features include unusual plaster wall decoration in the inner room. The tiles may have come from the house, but this is also close to the church. An unidentified corner fragment was also found.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV341322List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2004. Braunton. Amendment to List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interes. A4 Stapled.
SDV347757Correspondence: Child, P.. 19/06/2003. Plasterwork at Bakers Thatch, Church Street, Braunton. Letter to Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon. Letter + Digital.
SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #89258 ]
SDV365391Article in Monograph: Cramp, C.. 2015. North Devon Relief-Decorated Ceramics in the Household. West Country Households 1500-1700. Hardback Volume. 202, 205-6, 209; Fig 8.10.
SDV73918List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1985. Braunton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 36.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 29 2023 2:05PM