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HER Number:MDV38054
Name:The Great Hall, Mapstone Hill, Lustleigh


Former manor house at Mapstone Hill, Lustleigh probably dating back to the Medieval period. The Old Manor house was used from at least the 16th century as a rectory until the 1920s when a replacement was constructed. In the 1950s the manor house was converted into smaller dwellings. Felling dates of 1301-1326 obtained in 2009 through dendrochronological analysis.


Grid Reference:SX 782 816
Map Sheet:SX78SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishLustleigh
Ecclesiastical ParishLUSTLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78SE/149
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 84640

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (XIV - 1326 AD? to 1350 AD (Between)) + Sci.Date
  • VICARAGE (XV to XX - 1500 AD to 1929 AD (Between))

Full description

2002, Tree ring date lists 2002 (Article in Serial). SDV361610.

Tree ring dates noted (citing A. J. Arnold and R. E. Howard, Uphill, Mapstonehill, Lustleigh, Devon: tree-ring analysis of timbers, EH Res Dep Rep Ser 77/2009. 34 pp).

Brown, S., 2006, Watching Brief at The Great Hall, Mapstone Hill, Lustleigh (Report - Watching Brief). SDV347817.

The Great Hall is one of three properties that occupy the former manor house/rectory at Mapstone Hill, Lustleigh. The house was originally divided up in the 1950s. Great hall comprises the ground-floor hall, the eastern end of the first floor solar, parts of the 19th century wing additions including the porch and some of the outbuildings.
The works included limited interventions to the standing fabric and lifting the wooden floor of the great hall and laying a concrete base. A small trench was opened up in the hall to identify and stratified floor deposits. The property would clearly benefit from a measured survey, including floor plans and drawings of the roof trusses. Previous renovations at the house have shown that when render or plaster is rermoved, former architectural features can be revealed.

Arnold, A. + Howard, R., 2009, Uphill, Mapstonehill, Lustleigh, Devon (Report - Scientific). SDV359211.

Dendrochronological analysis undertaken on samples taken from the Solar roof and part of the floor structure at Uphill. A site sequence of 108 rings, contains six samples from the Solar roof and spans the period AD1187-1294. Interpretation of the heartwood/sapwood boundary ring date of four samples suggest these timbers were felled in AD 1301-26. The other two dated samples have terminus post quem felling dates which do not preclude these from also having been felled at this time. The sample taken from the floor structure is undated.
Assessment of the timbers of The Great Hall roof was also undertaken and these were thought suitable for potential tree-ring dating in the future.

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

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

The Great Hall, and Oaknurre (formerly listed as The Old Manor House) Three houses, formerly a rectory. Some believe the building was originally the manor house. Late medieval; often regarded as 14th century, although it could be later. Restored, with considerable additions at the north-west and south-east ends, between 1833 and 1838 for Samuel Whiddon, curate of Lustleigh. The hall further restored in 1888. The medieval house appears to be comprised entirely within 'Uphill' and 'The Great Hall'.
Rendered exterior, probably mostly of stone, although some of the early 19th century chimneystacks are of brick. Slated roofs; a glebe terrier of 1727 said that the rectory house and its outbuildings were 'covered with reed'. The hall has a cluster of three early 19th century octagonal chimneys at north-east end and a plain rendered chimney at south-west end. Plan consists of a medieval T-shaped building containing an open hall two-storeyed cross-wing. Double range added on south-east side of cross-wing, partly overlapping it, and a single range added on north-west side; entrance-porch and stair hall inserted in south-east angle of medieval hall and cross-wing. Minor 20th century additions at north-west corner. Two storeys, except for open hall and single-storeyed 20th century additions; south-west section of double range has three storeys because of change in ground level. The south-east front has a lean-to entrance-porch with battlements and angle-buttress. Large glazed doorway having a pointed arch with hood-mould; the small-paned doors appear to be 20th century replacements, but the fanlight with small-paned Gothic tracery seems to be early 19th century. In left-hand wall a blind doorway with 4-centred arch and hood-mould. To left of porch is a moulded granite doorway, probably a late 19th century replacement, with 4-centred arch and cement hood-mould, the latter probably early 19th century; door has patterned Gothic glazing. To left of door is a moulded granite doorway, probably a late 19th century replacement, with 4-centred arch and cement hood- mould, the latter probably early 19th century; door has patterned Gothic glazing. To left of door is a late 19th century Gothic window, probably of Bath stone, with two ogee-headed lights under a straight head with hood-mould. The double range to right, which towers above the medieval hall, has well-preserved early 19th century Gothic detail, including mullioned-and-transomed windows with thin, straight hood-moulds, the lights having cusped heads and patterned leaded panes. The north-west front has four openings in hall range. The second opening from the right is a chamfered granite doorway with a round arch, probably of 16th century; door, deeply recessed, has 19th century Gothic glazing. Right-hand opening has a 20th century round-headed window without glazing-bars. Above it is a semi-dormer containing a 2-light medieval wooden window with trefoiled heads to the lights. Left of the doorway is a late 19th century Gothic window, probably of Bath stone. This is of two mullioned-and-transomed lights under a pointed arch, the upper parts of the lights trefoil-headed and with a quatrefoil light above them in the head of the arch. At the left-hand end is a 20th century round-arched window like that on the right. Flanking the doorway and at right-hand end of the front are buttresses that may be early. At the extreme right-hand end is a lead rainwater-head moulded with a cartouche having in its centre N H S 1769; rainwater pipe much later. To left of hall range the gable of cross-wing has an early 19th century Gothic wood window in each storey. Ground-storey window has 2-mullioned-and-transomed lights, the lower parts containing 6-paned casements, the upper parts with glazing-bars forming pointed arches. Second-storey window has pointed head, the lower part containing a 2-light casement with leaded panes, the upper part having glazing-bars forming 2 pointed arches. Behind the cross-wing the rear, right-hand gable of the double range has an early 19th century small-paned window with a pointed arch.
Interior, though remodelled in early 19th century, contains two of the most interesting medieval roofs in Devon. These have been restored (with great care) in 19th century, but retain much original work; the trusses, purlins and windbraces are exposed to view from the rooms below. The hall range is basically one large room with an open gallery at each end; the south-west gallery, which has an enclosed room below it, has 19th century Gothic wood detail, but the north-west gallery appears to be entirely 20th century. The north-east gable has a very large granite fireplace with hollow-moulded opening and splayed sides, the jambs and lintel each of a single piece of stone and the fireplace-back of ashlar; worn stops, one perhaps a diagonal-cut. The fireplace is probably a later insertion, since its chimney buries the feet of the cross-wing roof-trusses. In south-west gable is a curved recess, known to have formerly contained a winding staircase. The roof is of eight bays with gable-trusses, the trusses of two alternating designs. The two south-western trusses are 19th century replicas, one carved with date 1888. Both types of truss are side-pegged jointed crucks, but unusual in that the principal rafter is not cut back to take the curved foot. All have very large, hollow-moulded cusped arch-braces with struts rising to collar and principal rafter, the feet of the arch-braces resting alternately on a shaft with moulded cap and base or on a small, inverted 5-sided pyramid. Three tiers of purlins and one tier of curved windbraces; angled ridge-piece with triangular strengthening- piece beneath it. One type of truss reduces the width of its principal rafter just below the collar; the other does so just below the top tier of purlins. Lowest tier of purlins butts against the principal rafters and is chamfered with step- stops. Middle tier is double hollow-moulded on the underside with pyramid stops; it butts alternate trusses, but in the others is clasped to the principal rafter by one of the struts rising from the arch-brace. Third tier is chamfered with step-stops, alternately butting the trusses or clapsed to the principals by curved struts rising from the collar. Windbraces are chamfered and stopped, running from principal rafter to middle tier of purlins, the lowest tier of purlins being tenoned to them; only two windbraces could be examined closely, and of these one had a diagonal-cut stop and the other a pyramid-stop. Building work in 1984 exposed a wooden lintel in the south-east wall, across the fifth and sixth bays from the north-east, supported by tenoned arch-braces which probably spring from the feet of the adjoining trusses; this may have been the original entrance.
The cross-wing is divided between Uphill and The Great Hall, the roof and floor timbers being exposed on both sides. Ground storey has a square-section wood post in centre carrying a long, splayed wood bracket which is chamfered with convex stops; this in turn supports a chamfered longitudinal beam with stops that are simply vertical cuts. The bracket and beam appear to have been removed on the north-west side of the post. The roof is of three bays with gable-trusses and light intermediate trusses. The trusses (their feet concealed) have cusped hollow-moulded arch- braces rising from shafts with moulded caps. On the straight collars stand king-struts supporting triangular strengthening-pieces below the angled ridge-piece. Cusped braces rise from the struts to the ridge-piece, as if to imitate crown-posts. The intermediate trusses consist of a light collar tenoned to two common rafters and supported by cusped arch-braces; on the collars stand king-struts and cusped arch braces matching those on the main trusses. There is a single tier of butt purlins and two tiers of cusped, hollow-moulded wind- braces. The timbers carry an unusual and varied range of 35 carpenters' marks (none have so far been discovered on the hall roof). The nearest parallel to this roof at present known is at the former rectory (now Glebe Cottage), West Camel, Somerset. It may be worth noting that in 1403 Lustleigh Manor was acquired by the Wadham family of Ilminster. 'Imitation crown posts' are also known in Devon at Old Rectory, Cheriton Bishop and Clifford Barton, Drewsteignton. Of the early 19th century work, The Great Hall has the main staircase, a straight wooden flight with cut strings, shaped step-ends and slender shaped wood balusters; balustrade scrolled at foot.
Second storey south-west room of double range has gable window with 4-centred arch rising from shafts with moulded caps; Gothic panelled shutters. Third-storey room above has stone chimneypiece with 5-sided columns and a frieze carved with trefoil-headed panels. Interior of Oaknuve (Oaknurre?) not inspected, but the main staircase from The Great Hall is said to continue up to its north-east wall. Outbuildings: north-west of the house and now belonging to Uphill are the rectory barn and stable block. These are separately listed. Sources: Photographs of Old Manor and report on West Camel Rectory in National Monuments Record. Research on history of Old Manor by Mr Robinson of Uphill, using material in Devon Record Office (glebe terriers, tithe map, 1854 report by Lt.Col. William Harding) and Cecil Torr's "Small Talk at Wreyland". Information on Wadham family from Col. Pellew of Waye Farm. Carpenters' marks at Uphill recorded by Mr Robinson. Information on Cheriton Bishop and Drewsteignton houses from J R L Thorp. (Description 1986). Other details: LB UID: 84640.

Vernacular Architecture Group, 2017, Dendrochronology Database (Un-published). SDV360697.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #89798 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347817Report - Watching Brief: Brown, S.. 2006. Watching Brief at The Great Hall, Mapstone Hill, Lustleigh. Stewart Brown Associates Report. A4 Grip Bound.
SDV359211Report - Scientific: Arnold, A. + Howard, R.. 2009. Uphill, Mapstonehill, Lustleigh, Devon. English Heritage Research Department Report. 77-2009. A4 Bound.
SDV360697Un-published: Vernacular Architecture Group. 2017. Dendrochronology Database. Dendrochronology Database. Digital.
SDV361610Article in Serial: 2002. Tree ring date lists 2002. Vernacular Architecture. 33. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV38056Related to: Barn at Uphill, Lustleigh (Building)
MDV38055Related to: Stables, Uphill, Lustleigh (Building)
MDV77018Related to: The Old Manor House, Mapstone, Lustleigh (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5283 - Watching brief at the Great Hall, Lustleigh
  • EDV6842 - Tree-ring analysis on timbers from Uphill, Mapstone Hill (Ref: 77-2009)

Date Last Edited:Jul 26 2018 9:45AM