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HER Number:MDV7285
Name:Keynedon Farmhouse, Sherford


Former manor house with 13th or early 14th century origins. Extensively remodelled in 15th and 16th centuries.


Grid Reference:SX 774 432
Map Sheet:SX74SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishFrogmore and Sherford
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSHERFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX74SE/10
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 100763

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Early Medieval to XIX - 1066 AD to 1900 AD (Between))
  • MANOR HOUSE (Built, XIII - 1201 AD to 1300 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX74SE3 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV349314.

Keynedon or Kennedon farm, remains of a mansion. Visited 19th December 1961. The farmhouse contains many modern windows, but there are still a number of Tudor type and the moulded doorways are retained. Both the farmhouse and the earlier range to the west are unusually good local examples. It was originally an early 15th century quadrangular house with three gateways, a tower of one standing until about a century ago. The thickness of the walls of the present porch suggest they are the remains of an original tower.

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 440 (Monograph). SDV323771.

Reichel, O. J., 1911, The Early History of the Hundred of Colridge, 192,196,201,203,211 (Article in Serial). SDV155641.

Keynedon Barton is the site of the Domesday manor of Chenighedona. Also mentioned in 'Testa de Nevil'. Some early descents given.

F. E. R., 1930-1931, Kennedon Farm, Sherford, 337 (Article in Serial). SDV349315.

Present house largely modernised but stone porch over front door may have been the square tower described by Lysons.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 258 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 475 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Seymour, D. J., 1955 - 1958, The Smaller Manor Houses of Medieval Devon, 12 (Article in Serial). SDV6523.

Elizabethan house with older house behind. Probably one of the earliest houses in Devon.

Department of Environment, 1960, Kingsbridge RD, 28 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV323346.

Present house built in 15th century. Rubble with slate roofs. Much altered, being mainly Tudor and later. Large open porch. Wood newel stair. Two outbuildings - 'chapel' and gatehouse - also listed.

Copeland, G. W., 1965, Proceedings at the 103rd Annual Meeting, 31 (Article in Serial). SDV145408.

Keynedon has a remarkable porch, with its long flight of stone steps to the inner doorway flanked by lateral doorways of the 15th century. There are the remains of an older house at the rear, dating from the mid 13th century. A fragment of a tall surrounding wall remains in which were three gateways. A small stone window in a wing of the house has unusual tracery.

Waterhouse, R. E., 1993, The Hamlet of Preston, Devon: Buildings Within a Landscape (Undergraduate Dissertation). SDV161016.

Large three-room cross-passage house of 'closed' hall type. Slate ashlar throughout. Bought in 1424 by John Halse, and quickly became high status, with mock-fortified outer court and service range at rear. House eventually became used for formal occasions only, with domestic accommodation within service range. Service end now three-storeys with cellar, 17th century panelled parlour on ground floor and remains of solar on first floor. Roof over indicates high status accommodation existed at low end from 15th century, as it is a six-bay arch-braced structure. Cross passage opens onto an originally two-storey porch, with steps down to outer court. Small hall. Two symmetrical doorways pierce stone wall between it and drawing room. This was completely rebuilt in the 16th century, probably as a banqueting hall, as it is large, well-lit and has substantial fireplace with no subsidiary ovens.

Waterhouse, R., 1998, Smoking Chambers in Devon, Part 2, 6 (Article in Serial). SDV348115.

Smoking chamber dated to the first half of 17th century. Most probably a brewing vat, it may have had a large metal vessel above. Located in single storey lean-to on 15th/16th century service range. Described as nusual.

Waterhouse, R. E., 2000, Keynedon Barton, Sherford, Kingsbridge, 127-200 (Article in Serial). SDV336355.

The present farmhouse and adjacent farm buildings at Keynedon have origins in the 13th or early 14th century, when the site was occupied by a manor house, comprising a hall with cross-wing at its lower, southern end, as well as a detached chamber block in front and probable service buildings to the rear. In the early 15th century a new range containing a first floor chapel was built out at right angles from the north end of the house, incorporating part of the former chamber block. Extensive developments took place in the mid to late 15th century, and at the beginning of the 16th century the southern part of the house was entirely rebuilt. In the late 16th century a tall crenellated tower-like porch was built to cover the front door. Subsequent developments during the 18th to 20th centuries portray a decline in the status of the house, associated with tenant occupation. See article for full details.

Waterhouse, R., 2004, Keynedon Barton (Un-published). SDV345784.

Illustrated historical development of Keynedon Barton from circa 1300-1623. Also details of the dairy house of circa 1600-1623 which had a possible secondary function as a pleasure house.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Keynedon Farmhouse including secondary range immediately to the West. ( Formerly seperately listed. ) 26.1.67 (Secondary Range only) 25.10.51 (Keynedon only)
Farmhouse, 15th century remodelled apparently in early 16th century and with some 17th century work. Much of the walls are constructed of coursed and dressed slate stone rubble, also with some more random rubble. Slate roofs. Several early stone chimney stacks including a very large stepped stack at the south end of the front range.
Plan: Lack of access prevents a full interpretation of the plan, but a general outline can be given. The house is built around a narrow courtyard in two main ranges and with a larger walled forecourt at the front (qv). The front range has a 17th century porch in front of a wide through passage. To the right of this passage, at the north end, are the kitchen and service rooms. Above them is a range of chambers reached only from a newel stair at this end of the house. To the left of the passage is a room which was probably the original hall, set on a cellar, which became a parlour in the 17th century. At the opposite side of a narrow courtyard to the West is a long service range incorporating a bakehouse and brewhouse and with chambers above.
Exterior: two storey asymmetrical front of mainly 20th century casement windows. To the left of centre is a large single storey 17th century porch with rubble arch at the front and re-using two 15th century two centred arched doorways on either side. The ground drops at the left-hand end of the house and the porch is reached by a short flight of stone steps. There is a basement underneath the left-hand end of the house with a window with iron stanchion bars. On the northern, right-hand end wall of this range is a four-light 16th century granite mullion window. On the rear elevation of this range a modern flue towards the northern end partially blocks a similar two-light 16th century window. The rear doorway has a granite segmental arched doorframe with carved spandrels. This abuts a newel stair projection with a dovecote in the top. The parallel rear courtyard range has a series of 15th or 16th century windows with shouldered heads and iron stanchion bars. Round-arched chamfered doorway with a draw bar to the door. On the west of this range is a small garderobe projection. Lower 16th century addition at the south end has a granite arched doorway and small blocked lights in the gable.
Interior: Room to left of passage has good panelling of circa 1630 and a Gibbs type chimney piece of circa 1730. The kitchen at the right-hand end of this range may have a series of moulded timbers and there is a good arched doorway in a room to the south of it. In the rear range the bakehouse has a massive open fireplace with stone oven. There is an old wooden doorframe in the north wall and two similar doorframes with segmental heads above. A second room to the north on the first floor has a small oak framed door, rebated in the inner side, which leads to a garderobe. This is one of the earliest farmhouses in this part of Devon and a very unusual survival of a medieval courtyard plan house, still retaining much of its early layout and features. Access to it was very limited at the time of survey and most of the information on it has been taken from the notes of Dr. E.A. Gee, who visited the house in 1980.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV145408Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1965. Proceedings at the 103rd Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 97. A5 Hardback. 31.
SDV155641Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1911. The Early History of the Hundred of Colridge. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 43. A5 Hardback. 192,196,201,203,211.
SDV161016Undergraduate Dissertation: Waterhouse, R. E.. 1993. The Hamlet of Preston, Devon: Buildings Within a Landscape. University of Bournemouth Dissertation. Manuscript + Digital.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 475.
SDV323346List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1960. Kingsbridge RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 28.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 440.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 258.
SDV336355Article in Serial: Waterhouse, R. E.. 2000. Keynedon Barton, Sherford, Kingsbridge. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 58. A5 Paperback. 127-200.
SDV345784Un-published: Waterhouse, R.. 2004. Keynedon Barton. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV348115Article in Serial: Waterhouse, R.. 1998. Smoking Chambers in Devon, Part 2. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 16. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6.
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV349314Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX74SE3. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV349315Article in Serial: F. E. R.. 1930-1931. Kennedon Farm, Sherford. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 16. Unknown. 337.
SDV6523Article in Serial: Seymour, D. J.. 1955 - 1958. The Smaller Manor Houses of Medieval Devon. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 12. Unknown. 12.

Associated Monuments

MDV7286Parent of: Chapel, Keynedon Barton (Building)
MDV90591Part of: Keynedon Barton (Monument)
MDV67449Related to: Fishponds, Keynedon (Monument)
MDV67448Related to: Garden east of Keynedon (Monument)
MDV51016Related to: Medieval Settlement west of Keynedon (Monument)
MDV18999Related to: Remains of Gatehouse, Keynedon Barton (Building)
MDV44229Related to: Square two storey building, Keynedon Barton, Sherford (Monument)
MDV67445Related to: The Cottage, Keynedon Barton (Monument)
MDV18998Related to: West Range, Keynedon Barton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jul 25 2019 10:57AM