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HER Number:MDV79471
Name:Crabbs Cottage and Barn, Gittisham


House with possibly early 16th century origins, remodelled and perhaps extended in the late 16th century. Barn is probably an 18th century addition.


Grid Reference:SY 135 983
Map Sheet:SY19NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGittisham
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGITTISHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 87166

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (XVI to XVII - 1501 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

Beacham, P., 1980s, Broadhembury and Gittisham Project, 19/12 (Un-published). SDV348235.

Crabbs Cottage. Thatching repairs carried out in 1965-8 and 1971 as part of a project grant aided by Devon County Council.
Site visit 1983. Cobb or stone and cobb. Oldish thatch but in quite good condition with complete net covering.

Fisher, J., 1999, East Devon Conservation Area Appraisals: Gittisham, 6, 8 (Report - non-specific). SDV346641.

House with possibly early 16th century origins, remodelled and perhaps extended in the late 16th century with 1675 datestone on the front wall. Other details: Maps, photograph.

English Heritage, 2011, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV346128.

House. Possibly early 16th century origins, remodlled and perhaps extended in the circa late 16th century (datestone of 1675 on the front wall), late 20th century repairs. Whitewashed rendered cob and stone rubble; thatched roof, gabled at the left end, half-hipped at the end of the barn wing, most of the thatch replaced with slate to the rear of the ridge; left end stack and 2 axial stacks, all with modern brick shafts.
Plan: L plan. the main range faces west, a single depth range, 4 rooms wide with an outshut, the right end (south) room now incorporated into a barn wing which adjoins the house at right angles and projects to the front. In the present arrangement there is a small parlour with a stair cell behind at the left (north) end; the next room south is heated with a comparatively small stack butted against an incomplete plank and muntin screen on the south side of the room; then a large heated room with comparatively plain carpentry detail and, at the south end and now incorporated into the barn wing, an unheated room. There are no thick transverse walls in the house and both axial stacks are associated wih thin partitions. The present entrance is directly into the first room from the left but there may have been a through passage in the centre of the house, within the width of the room with plainer carpentry detail. Without access to the apex of the roof it is difficult to judge for certain whether there is a medieval open hall core to the house. However, this seems highly likely as a soot crust survives on the south side of a disused truss over the first room from the right (south), representing either the remains of a room with an open hearth or, alternatively a smoke bay, perhaps to a lower end kitchen. The axial stack in the next room to the north, probably the hall, appears to be secondary, perhaps replacing an earlier lateral stack, graffiti scratched on the north side screen includes a date of the 1540s. The stair cell, entered through an original doorway in the screen contains a probably 17th century dog-leg stair. The stair cell and front left (north) room may have been the original inner room. The barn is probably an 18th century addition.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 5 window front with a 20th century recessed 2-leaf front door to left of centre with a segmental arched doorway; datestone of 1575 over door; 2-and 3-light probably 20th century timber casements with glazing bars. The inner return of the barn has a 19th or 20th century door. The outer return of the barn has a full-height doorway and 3 windows, the end wall has a garage door.
Interior: The left hand front room has a chamfered axial beam, the room next right a chamfered step-stopped crossbeam and plank and muntin screens at both sides, the left hand screen has muntins chamfered and stopped and an original doorframe into the stair cell. The right hand screen is interrupted by the stack, although the head beam may be continuous; the finish is plainer than the north side screen. The next room right has 2 rough crossbeams and an open fireplace with a bread oven. A doorframe with cranked lintel on the rear wall leading into the outshut may be the original rear door of the passage. The right hand room (with external access only at present) is within the barn and open to the roof timbers. The stair, presumably a 17th or early 18th century insertion has plain newel posts and a handrail, no balusters.
Roof: Side-pegged jointed cruck construction. A closed truss rises above the left hand plank and muntin screen, the partition infill partly removed to create an axial passage along the rear wall of the first floor. A closed truss over the right hand room within the house has a soot crust on the exposed timbers and the purlin. In the extreme right hand room (in the barn) there is a framed partition behind the axial stack. A jointed cruck truss survives in the barn, one cruck foot only surviving, supported on a timber pad. The trusses in the barn wing are of an 18th century character.
An intriguing house with good interior features and an important roof structure, picturesquely sited. Group value with Curlditch and the pair of cottages to the west.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Unknown, Unknown, Crabbs Cottage, Gittisham (Ground Photograph). SDV356465.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV346128List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2011. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #106271 ]
SDV346641Report - non-specific: Fisher, J.. 1999. East Devon Conservation Area Appraisals: Gittisham. East Devon District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6, 8.
SDV348235Un-published: Beacham, P.. 1980s. Broadhembury and Gittisham Project. Devon County Council Conservation Section Collection. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. 19/12.
SDV356465Ground Photograph: Unknown. Unknown. Crabbs Cottage, Gittisham. Photograph (Paper).

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 4 2014 12:28PM