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HER Number:MDV6954
Name:West Wyke Farmhouse, South Tawton


West Wyke farmhouse in South Tawton is a former Medieval manor house and also known as West Week


Grid Reference:SX 656 925
Map Sheet:SX69SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSouth Tawton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH TAWTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX69SE/14
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 94967

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (XV to Post Medieval - 1500 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'West Week Remains of a Mansion' shown on 19th century map.

Thornton, W. H., 1897, Some Reminiscences of the Wykes, 179 (Article in Serial). SDV348220.

Medieval house of West Wyke was sold in 1550 to the Battishall family who built the old part of the present house. House has an ancient gateway and bears dates from 1546 to 1562.

Lega-Weekes, E., 1901, The Neighbours of North Wyke: Part 1, 399-468 (Article in Serial). SDV347144.

Falcon, T. A., 1904-1905, Some Dartmoor Farmhouses, 252-3 (Article in Serial). SDV337006.

Circa 2 kilometres south-east of the church is an interesting farmhouse, declined from its early Tudor style. It was sold about 1550 by Wyke to the Battishill family whose arms surmount the embattled granite gateway dated 1656. Near one of the windows of the house is the date 1585.

Reichel, O. J., 1904-1905, Wicha and Alrichestona (Article in Serial). SDV348224.

Whale, T. W., 1904-1905, Wicha and Alrichestona, 123 and 201-4 (Article in Serial). SDV348225.

West Week was included in the Manor of Wicha or Week at the time of Domesday.

Lega-Weekes, E., 1904-1905, Wicha and Alrichestona, 204-6 (Article in Serial). SDV348223.

Parvis with aumbry in wall and small window communicating with adjoining bedroom was probably used as an oratory. Three machicolated towers.

Lega-Weekes, E., 1907, The Churchwardens' Accounts of South Tawton. Introduction (continued), 305 (Article in Serial). SDV348222.

Reputed chapel at West Week.

Ordnance Survey, 1952 - 1974, SX69SE14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV348226.

Remains of a mansion at West Week. The house, also known as West Wyke is 16th cantury with many later alterations. It has a fine proch with mullioned windows and granite doorframes, granite stacks and a datestone of 1585. Most of the windows have been refashioned and the west wall is rendered. A gateway dated 1656 in the garden may not be in situ. The oldest visible stonework is on the east face. The wall includes stones with embossed designs and the date 1585. North of the porch and including the porch wall appears to have been refaced although the interior of the thick wall still consists of typical loose rubble filling. The interior is visible due to alterations in the kitchen including a huge granite lintel over the fireplace. The house has dripstone corbels of granite and mullioned windows.

Department of Environment, 1988, South Tawton, 126-7 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV336452.

West Week farmhouse, former Dartmoor longhouse. Early 16th century with major later 16th and 17th century improvements, one of them associated with a datestone of 1585, shippon renovated in the early 20th century, the rest modernized in 1986.

Thorp, J. R. L., 2005, The Garden Walls at West Wyke, South Tawton (Report - Survey). SDV348228.

West Wyke is a high quality 16th and 17th century former Dartmoor longhouse. The house is built on a roughly north-south axis down a gentle slope and faces east. The main block has a four room plan and cross passage. A two storey kitchen wing projects at right angles and has a large fireplace in a gable end stack. The wide cross passage is at the southern end of the hall and contains a 20th century staircase. The front doorway to the passage lies behind a gabled two-storey porch. The smoke blackened cruck truss over the cross passage indicates the Medieval origins in the late 14th or 15th century but the present house dates to the 16th and 17th century.

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

West Week farmhouse was Listed on 20th February 1952. A former Dartmoor longhouse built in the early 16th century with major later 16th and 17th century improvements, one of them associated with a datestone of 1585. The shippon was renovated in the early 20th century and the rest was modernised in 1986. Granite stone rubble, parts are coursed blocks of granite ashlar, rear is plastered and shippon end has cob wall tops; granite stacks with granite ashlar chimneyshafts; slate roof (formerly thatch) and corrugated iron roof to shippon.
Plan and development: the house is built down a gentle hillslope and faces east. The main block has a 4-room-and-through-passage longhouse plan. Uphill at the northern end is an inner room parlour with a gable-end stack and formerly had a winder stair alongside the stack to rear. A kitchen wing projects at right angles to rear. It has a gable-end stack and the chamber over formerly shared the stair from the parlour. The hall has a front projecting lateral stack with projecting window bay alongside. Wide passage now contains 20th century stair. Front two-storey porch, the upper room with a garderobe. Small unheated dairy below the passage. Downhill at the southern end is the shippon. It was enlarged in the 18th or 19th century with a wing projecting at right angles to rear. This whole shippon section was thoroughly refurbished and converted to a milking parlour in the early 20th century. Interpretation of the historic development of this house is difficult. The early 16th century house was basically the main block; it was open to the roof, divided by low partitions and heated by an open hearth fire. By the mid 17th century the house had been transformed essentially to what it is today; that is to say, the kitchen wing, porch and fireplaces had been added and all the rooms were floored. Nevertheless dating the building phases involved here is very problematic. For instance the insertion of the hall fireplace appears to be contemporary with the building of the hall bay, itself associated with the flooring of the hall. These processes are usually separated by several decades. There is however dating evidence in the carved initials of William and Jane Battishill; he died in 1615. (The same initials appear on the porch). The inner room parlour end has a datestone of 1585. this is very late for the initial flooring of the inner room but could date its rebuilding, and possible enlargement to the present parlour with heated chamber over. The kitchen block could be a late 16th century addition but is considered more likely to be early or mid 17th century in date. The shippon was thoroughly refurbished in the early 20th century and all of it is open to the roof. The house is two storeys.
Exterior: overall irregular 2:1:1:2 - window front. The 2-window section left of the porch is of 20th century casements with glazing bars. There is a 20th century cow door and a blocked third first floor opening was probably a hayloft loading hatch. The three first floor windows right of the porch are all 20th century casements with glazing bars although the centre one is flanked by labels carved with fourleaf motifs. The 1585 date plaque is set high in the wall at the right end. Inner room has a late 16th century 4-light granite-mullioned window with king mullion. Hall has a larger 3-light version and hoodmould with the labels inscribed and IB (the same over the 2-light porch window but here in reverse). Some of the late 16th century mullions are replaced and all contain 20th century diamond panes of leaded glass. Gabled porch has round-headed outer arch with chamfered surround. On the left side the garderobe shaft projects. On the right side a blocked ground floor window and tiny slit to first floor. Passage doorway contains a 20th century door. Both porch and right end gable have shaped kneelers and coping. Rear has 20th century casements with glazing bars and to rear of hall a 20th century rebuilt granite- mullioned window. Kitchen window has granite hoodmould and labels carved IB. Passage rear doorway contains 20th century door.
Interior: inside the back door are deep slots for a draw-bar. Small oak Tudor arch from passage to service end dairy. Hall has a large granite ashlar fireplace and a 4-panel intersecting beam ceiling of moulded beams. Parlour has a granite ashlar fireplace (smaller version in the chamber above) and soffit-chamfered crossbeam with step stops. Each of the main block room-sections, that is to say passage and dairy, hall and parlour have a different roof. The two-bay section over passage and dairy is the earliest and carried on a face-pegged jointed cruck with cambered collar and small triangular yoke (Alcock's apex Type L1). It is probably early 16th century. It is now open to the apex over the stair but it looks smoke-blackened from the original open hearth fire. A clean mid or late 16th century side-pegged jointed cruck over the passage hall partition was filled with oak close-studding in the late 16th or early 17th century. Unusually wide roof bay over the hall propped by an intermediate truss in the late 19th or early 20th century. The two-bay roof over the parlour is carried on a clean face-pegged jointed cruck truss, unusual for the late 16th century. The kitchen has a large unstopped soffit-chamfered and step-stopped oak lintel; it has an oven. Three-bay roof of uncollared true cruck trusses. Here dating is difficult. The roof trusses and crossbeam are of indeterminate date. The fireplace is late 16th or 17th century but the first floor doorway from the former parlour stairs could be early 16th century; an oak round- headed arch. Since this room is said to have a small window connecting through to the principal bed chamber and has a cupboard in the wall which could be interpreted as an aumbry Lega-Weekes suggests this upper room was a domestic chapel or oratory. If so it must be pre-Reformation. Despite the problems of dating and interpretation West Week is an important and attractive Dartmoor farmhouse. The farmhouse, along with its granite walls and gateway, granite crosses and farmbuildings form an exceptional group in a particularly good Dartmoor setting with open moorland behind. It is mentioned in Domesday as part of the manor of Whicha or Week. In 1550 it was sold by the Wykes to the Battishill Family. Other details: LBS Number 94967.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336452List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. South Tawton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 126-7.
SDV337006Article in Serial: Falcon, T. A.. 1904-1905. Some Dartmoor Farmhouses. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 252-3.
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347144Article in Serial: Lega-Weekes, E.. 1901. The Neighbours of North Wyke: Part 1. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 33. A5 Hardback. 399-468.
SDV348220Article in Serial: Thornton, W. H.. 1897. Some Reminiscences of the Wykes. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 29. Hardback Volume. 179.
SDV348222Article in Serial: Lega-Weekes, E.. 1907. The Churchwardens' Accounts of South Tawton. Introduction (continued). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 39. Hardback Volume. 305.
SDV348223Article in Serial: Lega-Weekes, E.. 1904-1905. Wicha and Alrichestona. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 204-6.
SDV348224Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1904-1905. Wicha and Alrichestona. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown.
SDV348225Article in Serial: Whale, T. W.. 1904-1905. Wicha and Alrichestona. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 123 and 201-4.
SDV348226Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey. 1952 - 1974. SX69SE14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV348228Report - Survey: Thorp, J. R. L.. 2005. The Garden Walls at West Wyke, South Tawton. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K700. A4 Spiral Bound.

Associated Monuments

MDV109791Part of: West Wyke farm, South Tawton (Monument)
MDV33548Related to: Barn south-east of West Wyke Farmhouse, South Tawton (Building)
MDV80848Related to: Garden Walls and Gateway at West Wyke Farmstead (Monument)
MDV33546Related to: Linhays adjoining south-west of West Week farmhouse, South Tawton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5622 - Survey of Garden Walls at West Wyke

Date Last Edited:Feb 13 2015 12:32PM