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HER Number:MDV79845
Name:Higher Ley Farmhouse, North Molton


Farmhouse of stone and cob under a modern asbestos slate roof. Probably originally built circa 1500. Three room and cross passage plan. Altered in the early to mid 17th century including the insertion of a first floor. Partially rebuilt and extended in the late 18th, early 19th century. Adjoining 18th century barn and probably early 19th century shippon.


Grid Reference:SS 759 287
Map Sheet:SS72NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNorth Molton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH MOLTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 398759

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XVI to XX - 1501 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

Green, T. + Humphreys, C. + Wapshott, E., 2011, Barns at Higher Ley Farm, North Molton, Devon. Results of a Desk-Based Assessment & Historic Building Recording (Report - Survey). SDV347094.

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

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

Higher Ley farmhouse and barn and shippon adjoining east. House probably of circa 1500, altered in the early to mid 17th century, with probably late 18th or early 19th century partial rebuilding and addition. Minor probably late 19th century alterations. Adjoining 18th century barn and shippon. House with coursed stone rubble to ground floor and rendered cob to first floor, partly rebuilt and extended in coursed stone rubble. Projecting square bay with dressed-sandstone ground floor and rendered cob first floor. Rendered left-hand gable end and rear. Gable-ended 20th century asbestos-slate roof. Stone square stacks with weatherings and 20th century red-brick top stages. Barn with rendered cob on high coursed stone rubble plinth and gable-ended corrugated-iron roof. Shippon with uncoursed- stone rubble ground floor, corrugated-iron clad loft above and gable-ended corrugated-iron roof.
Plan and development: Three-room and cross-passage plan, facing south (ground falls to right). Probably late Medieval open hall house, formerly consisting of hall (present kitchen) with projecting square bay to front, cross passage and service room to right and inner room to left. Probably formerly open to the roof (probably continuoulsy from end to end with rooms divided by low partitions). 17th century alterations included the insertion of the first floor, the insertion of the axial stack in the hall backing onto the cross passage and the insertion of the axial end stack to the inner room. Staircase inserted at the rear of the cross passage, probably also in the 17th century. The projecting bay probably dates from the 17th century phase of the house. Probably late 18th or early 19th century one-roomed addition at the left-hand end, (see straight joint to rear). The front wall of the inner-room section was probably also rebuilt at the same time (note continuous masonry to the front wall, left of projecting bay). Eaves raised at some time (see cob below eaves), probably in the 18th century. Former cross-passage entrance blocked, probably in the late 19th century (see red brick head to window inserted in opening). Door inserted in right-hand room probably at the same time, but possibly earlier. 18th century barn and probably early 19th century shippon added at right-hand end of house (see straight joints). Two-storey house and shippon of one-storey and loft.
Exterior: Asymmetrically-fenestrated front, 5 windows to first floor and 3 to ground floor; mainly 19th century two-light wooden casements with wooden lintels, except for left- hand ground-floor window with red brick flat-arched head and 19th century window inserted in former cross-passage doorway (see straight joints beneath) with red brick segmental- arched head. Projecting square bay to hall has a hollow-chamfered plinth and small ground-floor squint in right-hand return, with deep splayed reveals. Name inscribed on front wall of bay, at cill level: "W. SLADER". Inserted 19th century door to far right with wooden lintel. Small-paned ground-floor casement to bay. 19th century half-glazed door between first and second windows from left, with red brick flat-arched head, probably formerly a window. 20th century lean-to porch. Evidence at rear of former left-hand end stack (see area of roughly dressed masonry to right of straight joint). Adjoining barn has pair of boarded doors to centre with wooden lintel. Shippon to far right with boarded loft door to left, ground-floor 19th century two-light wooden casement off- centre to right and 2 ground-floor boarded doors.
Interior of house: Former hall (present kitchen) has 17th century deep-chamfered spine beams and wall beams with runout stops, and moulded (beaded) joists between. Ground-floor bay with plastered soffit. Fine 17th century bench along left-hand wall (running into bay) consisting of panelled back with moulded muntins running up to shaped ends, and elaborate bench-end to right consisting of 2 tiers of shaped projections. Cross passage with matchboarded dado and old door at foot of stair to rear. Former inner room to left with probably early 19th century brick segmental-arched fireplace. Old floorboards. First-floor rooms and roofspace not inspected at time of survey (September 1987) but cruck truss (probably jointed) at left-hand end of hall noted. Barn has 4-bay roof with trusses consisting of principal rafters and collars, and 2 pairs of purlins. House formerly built into bank at rear, later excavated. No access to first-floor rooms and roof-space at time of survey. Date listed: 24th November 1988.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #106646 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347094Report - Survey: Green, T. + Humphreys, C. + Wapshott, E.. 2011. Barns at Higher Ley Farm, North Molton, Devon. Results of a Desk-Based Assessment & Historic Building Recording. Southwest Archaeology Report. 110113. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV15566Part of: Higher Ley Farmstead, North Molton (Monument)
MDV79841Related to: Shippons at Higher Ley Farm, North Molton (Building)
MDV79839Related to: Threshing Barn at Higher Ley Farm, North Molton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 27 2011 1:06PM