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HER Number:MDV73841
Name:Umberleigh Barton, Atherinton


Fine group of traditional agricultural buildings representing several phases of farming activity over a period of at least 250 years. The oldest buildings probably date back to the late 17th and early 18th centuries.


Grid Reference:SS 594 245
Map Sheet:SS52SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAtherington
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishATHERINGTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMSTEAD (Post Medieval to XX - 1540 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Cresswell, B. F., 1938, Umberleigh Chapel, 433 (Article in Serial). SDV336854.

Thorp, J., 1999, Observations During Repairs to Umberleigh House, Atherington, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV337785.

Watts, M., 2007, Archaeological Recording of Redundant Agricultural Buildings at Umberleigh Barton, Atherington, Devon, 1-5 (Report - Survey). SDV338893.

Fine group of traditional agricultural buildings at Umberleigh Barton represents several phases of farming activity over a period of at least 250 years. The buildings, which were used for grain storage and processing, and for livestock - predominantly cattle - reflect the system of convertible husbandry that was dominant in Devon. The buildings are of stone and cob; most originally had thatched roofs, now replaced by corrugated metal sheeting. The threshing Barn (B1) and shippon (B2) are the oldest surviving farm buildings, probably dating back to the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
Brief historical summary given. The first element of the place name Umberleigh is though to derive from a stream name. The second element, 'leah' is an Old English word for a forest, wood, glade or clearing, later a pasture or meadow. Its use is considered to be a good indicator of Anglo-Saxon woodland. There is a tradition that King Athelstan had a palace and chapel at Umberleigh. The manor of 'Umberlei' is recorded in Domesday Book. The descent of the Manor has been outlined by Cresswell and summarised by Keystone.
In 1793 Umberleigh Barton was advertised to let and described as 'a complete grazing farm'. And in 1815 it is described as containing 'every necessary farm building'.
At the time of the Tithe Map the estate was owned by the Bassetts and the Barton occupied by William Down who farmed 473 acres. The Tithe Map shows that the threshing barn (B1), shippon (B2), linhay (B5) and animal shed (B7) were standing in 1840. The Tithe Map also indicates that the threshing barn was much longer at that time. A roundhouse for a horse gear is also indicated on the map. A smaller building to the east of the complex is also shown (B9). This was subsquently used as a threshing and machinery barn, with power taken from a waterwheel installed in an extension built in the late 19th century. This probably superseded the horse engine. In 1857 the Barton is described as 'land of very good quality, containing about 425 acres of arable, meadow, pasture and orchard.' The layout of the farm buildings in the later 19th century is shown on the 1888 Ordnance Survey map. By this time the threshing barn had been shortened and a lean-to and other buildings added. The yard between the shippon and linhay had been enclosed by an animal shed (B4). Its roof construction is similar to that of an implement shed (B8) with which it is probably contemporary. The space between the north side of the animal shed and a former garden wall to the north was roofed over in the 20th century to form an implement shed (B3) and other outbuildings were added to the existing buildings in the 1950s and 1960s.
See report and related monuments for further details. Other details: B1-B9 on figures and photos.

Child, P., 26/08/2003, Farm Water Wheel, Umberleigh Barton (Correspondence). SDV346752.

One of North Devon's most interesting traditional farmsteads, attached to a fine late medieval house with a 13th century chapel and extensive and interesting traditional farm buildings, including a 17th century corn barn.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336854Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1938. Umberleigh Chapel. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 70. A5 Hardback. 433.
SDV337785Report - Watching Brief: Thorp, J.. 1999. Observations During Repairs to Umberleigh House, Atherington, Devon. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. K600. A4 Stapled + Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV338893Report - Survey: Watts, M.. 2007. Archaeological Recording of Redundant Agricultural Buildings at Umberleigh Barton, Atherington, Devon. 163/2007. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1-5.
SDV346752Correspondence: Child, P.. 26/08/2003. Farm Water Wheel, Umberleigh Barton. Countryside Stewardship Advice Letter. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV73837Parent of: Animal shed, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV73842Parent of: Bienz, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV73838Parent of: Cattle shed, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV73840Parent of: Cattle shed, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV73832Parent of: Horse Engine House, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV73836Parent of: Implement shed, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV73839Parent of: Linhay, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV73833Parent of: Shippon, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV73834Parent of: Single storey lean-to, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV35681Parent of: Threshing Barn, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Building)
MDV73835Parent of: Trap shed, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV65870Parent of: Waterwheel, Umberleigh Barton, Atherington (Monument)
MDV19694Related to: Deerpark, Atherington (Monument)
MDV12461Related to: Umberleigh House, Atherington (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4259 - Umberleigh Barton, Atherington

Date Last Edited:Aug 3 2007 10:53AM