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HER Number:MDV5639
Name:Beaford, The Old Parsonage


Late 15th- or early 16th century building with remains of circa 1500 smoke blackened roof.


Grid Reference:SS 550 156
Map Sheet:SS51NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBeaford
Ecclesiastical ParishBEAFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS51NE/10
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • VICARAGE (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

NMR, SS51NE18 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV2462.

Walker, D., Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV2457.

1679, Untitled Source (Record Office Collection). SDV2466.

Department of Environment, 1959, Torrington RD Provisional List, 2 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV118.

Rendered stone cottage with thatch roof. Small holding. Also known as Parsonage Farm.

Walker, D., 1978, House (Worksheet). SDV358588.

The Old Parsonage. Listed building, Grade 3. It is quite undistinguished from the outside with tiled roof and fairly modern windows, lots of cement and paint over the stone walls. Inside the wood screen, solar and hall are quite easy to distinguish despite modern additions. Fragments of 17th and 18th century gravel tempered pot have been found in the garden, also a bottle top dated 1650, and one worked flint. There is a well behind the rear house wall.

Hulland, C., 1978, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV2460.

Faces south on a slight W-E slope.
Materials. Cob on high stone plinth. W end mostly stone - some rebuilding?
Plan. Now 2 cell - hall/parlour and cross passage with kitchen in wing off NW corner. Outshut at E end appears to be replacement for an earlier room.1679 terrier, extract. "the house contains these particular rooms. One parlour, one hall one out kitching with earthen floor, 2 butteries, one parlour chamber and a study, two buttery chambers and one other chamber one kitching chamber, one malt house with two chambers over and one other room called by name of the school house with chamber over". Other details: Plan.

Hulland, C., 1978, Untitled Source (Unknown). SDV2465.

Present wing appears c18 (from collar afixing in its a framed roof) wall footing to the rear indicates an earlier and larger building than the present structure. Perhaps the necessity to replace the original roof over the hall (say first quarter of 17th c. ) coincided with these developments at the parlour end. In any case it left enough time for light smoking in the hall roof as found today before the hall itself was finally ceiled, say 1700.

Alcock, N. W., 1981, Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue, 109 (Report - non-specific). SDV342504.

Jointed cruck recorded at The Old Parsonage.

Hulland, C., 1982, List of Historic Houses (Un-published). SDV75440.

Department of Environment, 1989, Beaford, 1 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV321165.

Parsonage, now house. Late c15 or early c16, possibly altered in the mid to late c16, and altered and probably enlarged in the early to mid c17. Further alterations probably of the late c17 or early c18. Uncoursed stone rubble to ground floor and rendered cob to first floor. Rendered to rear. C20 concrete tile roof (formerly thatched) gable ended to left and hipped to right. Stone lateral stack to rear, rendered stone end stack to left and rendered brick end stack to right.
Plan and development: the present plan consists of hall with external lateral stack to rear, through passage to right and former parlour to left with small one roomed wing at rear of right hand end (present kitchen). The lower right hand service end has been demolished. House faces S and ground falls to right. The c.1500 house probably consisted of hall, passage and parlour, either open to the roof from end to end or with an unheated ceiled solar above the parlour. Remains of probable jointed cruck trusses and some reused smoke blackened timbers in the roof probably date from this phase. The solar over the parlour is possibly an insertion (perhaps mid c16) and projected into the open hall. If the solar was inserted it was probably re-roofed and sealed off from the hall (which remained open) at the same time. Stair turret in left hand rear corner of parlour probably added at this time too. The integral end stack at the parlour end was probably added at a later date, either in the late c17 or early c18, unless the parlour fireplace was later rebuilt. There were probably formerly service rooms below the through passage (right hand end) which have since been demolished. There is no evidence of this in the end wall of the house but this could be the result of later rebuilding. A 1679 terrier refers to "two buttery chambers" which were probably at the lower end. A one storey lean-to outshut was added to the right hand end probably in the c18 or c19. The "out kitching with earthen floor" referred to in 1679 probably refers to a separate building now demolished. The external lateral stack at the rear of the hall was probably added in the early c17 and the chamber over the passage was possibly also enclosed at the same time. The c17 alterations also appear to have included the rebuilding of the roof over the hall and passage, probably replacing a smoke blackened roof of c.1500. The first floor appears to have been inserted in the hall in the late c17 or early c18. The short wing at rear of the parlour was probably added at the same time. However, the 1679 terrier refers to a "school house with chamber over" and it is possible that the rear wing was either the former school room (perhaps reduced in the c18) or a c18 rebuilding of it. The hall was reduced in width (at probably quite a late date) by the removal of the partition to a position underneath the moulded bressumer of the former jetted solar. The house poses some problems. If the parlour end was floored from the outset the internal jetty into the hall is unusual as it is a feature usually associated with inserted floors. Also, if the solar is not an insertion it is possible that the roof over it is also of c.1500 and not a later c16 rebuilding. The use of raised and jointed crucks in the same building is not uncommon. Two storeys with one storey outshut.
Exterior: three first floor late c19 3 light wooden casements, ground floor late c19 3 light wooden casement to left with wrought iron diamond section bars inside and central late c19 or early c20 2 light wooden casement (lighting hall). Doorway to right with c20 six panelled door (top 4 panels glazed). Right hand part of s front projects slightly (possibly the result of later partial re-building). Tall later raking buttress between centre and left hand windows. Outshut to right has c19 or c20 2 light wooden casement to right. Stair turret in left hand gable end has small c19 2 light wooden casement. Large stack to rear of hall has chamfered offsets and tall tapered shaft, weatherings and string course. Former bread oven to right of stack, since rebuilt. Probably late c17 ground floor small 2 light wooden rear window to parlour. Blocked first floor openings in wall to right of rear stack (possibly evidence of former larger rear wind). Two ground floor probably c18 small 2 light wooden windows in rear wall of rear wing.
Interior: fine c16 plank and muntin oak screen with roll moulded muntins, chamfered head beam with stepped runout stops and 2 doorways, the left hand one has an old boarded door with wrought iron strap hinges and right hand one is blocked. Some old graffiti on screen, including the date, 1666. Large probably early c17 fireplace to rear of hall with ovolo-moulded granite jambs with lintel with cambered top and stone relieving arch above. Hall has roughly chamfered cross beam and moulded half beam along left hand wall, probably former bressumer of internal jetty (solar at upper end probably inserted). Left hand ground floor room (parlour) has c16 cross beam to right, probably in line with the former partition between parlour and hall. Large joists spanning between this beam and further chamfered half beam against left hand wall. Probably late c17 fireplace to left with splayed stone jambs and brick flat arch. Ground floor room in rear wing (present kitchen) has reused timbers as ceiling joists. Old winder stair in stair turret to left of parlour.
Features. Cross passage. No original doors off it. Unusual style of s/panel. Screen on hall side. Face of studs have:- step, concave, ovolo and 3/4 round central moulding. No stops on studs but the screen headbeam has delicate step stops. Originally two doors in screen, one to hall, the other to stairs for solar over passage. Date 1656 scratched on a panel probably misleading. The screen appears to be original and is probably c.1500. Hall. Lightly moulded transverse beam slightly e of centre. No stops. Beam between hall and parlour has bold straight cut stops. Set 12 joists. N wall has large cracked granite lintel and sides of granite blocks. A bread oven off NW corner. Ruined but appears to have been a cloam oven. Modern staircase off NE corner of room but serving same first floor access as original staircase via screen doorway. Parlour, so called in 1679 terrier. Has unused gable end, room probably originally unheated. W end wall beam and transverse half beam quite near hall/parlour partition appear 17th century in type. Set of 11 joists all terminate at the half beam leaving a curious space to hall partition. Possibly one of the butteries referred to, staircase in turret n of parlour. Small mullioned window in NE corner of room appears 18th century.
Wing. Set of 7 plain joists. Two N wall window frames, 18th century.
Outshut. Has a small f/p with the stack penetrating the hipped E end of the main building, also beam/joist holes in end wall of house so clearly a chambered room here originally. Could have been the "out kitching" with chamber or, equally one of the chambered butteries, especially if the out "kitching" was a separate building.
Roof. Hipped E end, gabled W end. Interesting roof because of what at first appears to be a contradiction ie clean roof timbers over the parlour are older than the lightly smoked timbers over the hall. Over the parlour two pairs of j/c's (elbows obscured) type E Apex with cranked collars, threaded purlins. Over the hall the present trusses are "a" framed in smaller scantling than over parlour and with purlins on back of principals. Some of these timbers show signs of light smoking. Presence of one exposed residual wall post section of an earlier over hall truss confirms present hall roof to be a replacement. There would have been another over hall truss giving an original 4 truss cover for hall and parlour. Truss no 2. From the w has a plaster partition at collar/apex level, sooted on hall side only Ie original and accounting for clean timbers over the parlour. Hall not enclosed at e, end as one or two timbers appear smoked dating/development.15th century, the earliest trusses (over parlour) early 16th century. Open hall structure. Hall was served by a solar over the cross passage. Solar would have been ceiled.17th c. Ceiling and chambering of parlour.(wide original planks still survive under modern chamber flooring) insertion of staircase off its NW corner and construction of gable end stack. Also wing constructed N of parlour.
Roof: remains of c.1500 smoke blackened roof, including truncated jointed cruck in rear wall of hall to right of stack and some re-used blackened chamfered purlins in left hand bay of roof over hall, c17 two bay hall roof with 2 trusses consisting of principal rafters pegged at apices and halved lapped collars and ridge piece. Short bay to right over passage with hip principal. c.1500 or mid c16 2 bay roof over parlour end has 2 unblackened raised cruck trusses with mortice and tenoned apices, mortice and tenoned cambered collars, pairs of threaded purlins and diagonally set ridge piece. Left hand truss has a scotch at the foot. Lath and plaster partition between second and third bay from left, unblackened on the parlour (left hand) side but with evidence of smoke blackening on the hall side.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 160 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV118List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1959. Torrington RD Provisional List. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 2.
SDV2457Worksheet: Walker, D..
SDV2460Report - Survey: Hulland, C.. 1978. Survey Report.
SDV2462National Monuments Record Database: NMR. SS51NE18.
SDV2465Unknown: Hulland, C.. 1978. Report on The Old Parsonage.
SDV2466Record Office Collection: 1679. Terrier.
SDV321165List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1989. Beaford. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 1.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 160.
SDV342504Report - non-specific: Alcock, N. W.. 1981. Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. 42. Photocopy. 109.
SDV358588Worksheet: Walker, D.. 1978. House. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV75440Un-published: Hulland, C.. 1982. List of Historic Houses. List of Historic Houses. Unknown.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 16 2015 2:40PM