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HER Number:MDV490
Name:Southcott Barton, Westleigh


Well preserved example of an early 17th century barton. It retains a wealth of period detail including 16th century ornamental plasterwork, although unfortunately the plaster ceilings of the hall and parlour wing have been lost. Now a residential home.


Grid Reference:SS 468 275
Map Sheet:SS42NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWestleigh
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWESTLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS42NE/5
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD)

Full description

French, K. + French, C., 1957, Devonshire Plasterwork, 130, 131, 132 (Article in Serial). SDV4676.

Frieze of periods 1550-1650. Ceiling with enriched ribs of period two (1600-1650). Scrolled stems with unusually large rosettes. Overmantel with armorial bearings.

Department of Environment, 1960, Barnstaple RD, 52 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV337219.

Southcott Barton. A 16th to 17th century E-shaped building with a later west wing. 16th cent internal features described, including plaster ceiling of c.1610 and one with Stuart badges.

Department of Environment, 1986, Westleigh, 71-72 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV347395.

Spear, J., 1988, Westleigh Parish Church (Leaflet). SDV87527.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Southcott Barton. Barton, now residential home. C.1600. Rendered stone rubble and cob. Slate roofs with gable ends. Axial stone rubble stack with tapered cap. Rear lateral hall stack with off-sets and tapered cap. Stack at right gable end of main range with tapered cap, off-sets and projecting bread oven. Basically E-shaped on plan, the left-hand parlour wing extending also to rear housing principal staircase. Centre range with hall to left of through passage with 2-storey porch, service end to right, the front wing formerly used as apple loft above dairy, the latter now a kitchen with bedrooms over. 2 storeys with garret to parlour wing. 6-window range including wings and porch. 20-paned sash on each floor to gable end of left-hand wing. Inner faces has 20- paned sash over canted bay with French windows and margin glazing bars, surmounted by gabled dovecote. Main range has two 20-paned sashes over 2 tripartite sashes, 12 panes to centre with 8-paned sidelight sashes to left of porch and a 2-light casement, 6 panes per light on each floor to right. Porch has 20-paned sash over straight-headed doorway with dressed stone jambs. Small windows to each side of porch with deep splayed reveals, the windows containing stained glass inserted in C20 by the Fulford family depicting St Ambrose to left over initials AFC and 2 badges to right over date 1927 - 1971. Impressively massive C17 inner porch doorway, straight-headed with double ovolo moulded surround and ornate stops to the base of the jambs consisting of triple flutes above bar over bulbuos motif terminating in a scroll to the base. Massive original framed and ledged door with moulded cover strips forming 20 panels, old lock and latches. Gable end of service wing to right has 12-paned sashes on each floor. 3 small leantos to rear and a single storey gable ended dairy extension enclosing hall stack, the leanto to rear of through-passage has ovolo-with-hollow moulded surround to reset straight-headed doorway with 4 flutes above bar and keel-stopped durns. Original plank doors with cover strips forming 12 panels, the upper 3 panels glazed. Interior: very fine C17 features survive to the majority of rooms. Impressive plank and muntin screen between hall and through-passage, 10 planks wide, the muntins ovolo-moulded with bulbous stops to the base on each side. Each plank is carved with lozenge and scallop pattern at the top. Doorway has been reset from the centre towards the left side of the screen. Ovolo-moulded door surround with traingular prism stops to reset doorway to the returned wall of the leanto added to rest of the through-passage. Reused lintel to hall fireplace with dressed stone jambs. Fragment of plasterwork frieze decorated with running scrolled stems with fruit and foliage on front wall of hall. Ovolo-moulded door surround with scratched bar, bulb and scroll-stops to front parlour wing which has fireplace with dressed stone jambs, slates set on end to each side of the hearth and ovolo-moulded lintel with run out stops. Thin moulded plasterwork cornice to inner rom, now divided into bedrooms. C17 dog-leg staircase with original treads, moulded handrail and turned balusters and newels, the latter with acorn finials. Geometrical plasterwork ceiling to stair hall, with 4 heart-shapes around central pendant, with inner lozenges tipped with angle sprays to the intersections at the head of each heart-shape. All the doorways to the upstairs rooms have original doors with cover strips and door surrounds all differently moulded, that to small chamber to right at head of stairs has bar-ogee-scroll stop identical to Southcott House front doorway (q.v.). This chamber has plaster ceiling with 3 small foliated roundels (the 4th not surviving) around central slightly larger roundel. C17 staircase to garret with splat baluster and moulded handrail. The 2 principal chambers over the hall both have spectacular ornamental coved plasterwork ceilings enriched with double ribbed geometrical designs around central pendants. The smaller chamber has 2 large sprays at each end, frieze and fireplace overmantel with strapwork cartouche and anthropormorphic sun-head to the centre. Larger chamber has geometrical designs to each end with heads above and below and inside each lozenge to either side. Fireplace overmantel with strapwork cartouche and central roundel depicting mythical 2-headed bird and lions head. Ovolo-moulded lintel with scratched star shape and scroll stops. Small room over porch also has coved plasterwork ceiling decorated with central roundel encircled by 3 paterae, the 4th not surviving. Part of the plasterwork frieze to one of the chambers over the lower end with running scrolled foliage and fruit design. Ovolo-moulded fireplace lintel with scroll stops to the other chamber. Lower end kitchen fireplace with chamfered lintel with run-out stops has niche to right, probably originally a smoking chamber. C17 ledged door with cover strips to rear outshut. No access to roofspace over principal chambers, but 2 trusses over lower end and 3 over rear parlour wing respectively have typical C17 lap-jointed collars and threaded purlins and ridge purlin. Despite the loss of plasterwork ceilings to the hall and parlour wing, this is an excellently preserved example of an early C17 barton with an outstanding array of period detail surviving.

Cramp, C., 2015, North Devon Relief-Decorated Ceramics in the Household, 202, 213 (Article in Monograph). SDV365391.

A relief tile with stamp v(2)K34 was found in the only upper chamber fireplace seen by the writer. The tile is said to have been loosely placed in a hearth area, together with one other and two halves of the same design, close to a small cast-iron grate. Its surface is blackened, more probably from the use of hearth-blacking than from exposure to heat. The hearth had been reduced in size considerably and was fitted with a small Victorian grate.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SS42NE34 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV87525.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV337219List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1960. Barnstaple RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 52.
SDV347395List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1986. Westleigh. Historic Houses Register. A4 Bound. 71-72.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV365391Article in Monograph: Cramp, C.. 2015. North Devon Relief-Decorated Ceramics in the Household. West Country Households 1500-1700. Hardback Volume. 202, 213.
SDV4676Article in Serial: French, K. + French, C.. 1957. Devonshire Plasterwork. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 130, 131, 132.
SDV87525Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SS42NE34. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV87527Leaflet: Spear, J.. 1988. Westleigh Parish Church. Leaflet.

Associated Monuments

MDV105671Related to: Orchards at Southcott, Westleigh (Monument)
MDV23342Related to: Southcott House, Westleigh (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 30 2023 9:05AM