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HER Number:MDV80603
Name:Plovers Barron, Westleigh


Farmhouse of medieval origin with smoke-blackened truss of possibly 14th century date and early stud and panel screens.


Grid Reference:SS 471 284
Map Sheet:SS42NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWestleigh
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWESTLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 98877

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XIV to XVII - 1301 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

Child, P., 1996, Plovers Barron (Correspondence). SDV347746.

Visited 1996.
A typical traditional Devon farmhouse of three-room and cross-passage type. Although the List describes it as a two-room plan, the present kitchen could have formed the original inner room of the house, with the dining room fireplace being a later insertion and possibly replacing a less substantial internal wall. To have a fireplace in this position is very unusual in a house of this type, and it was probably preceded by one on the front elevation, of which a small fragment of lintel remains, as such lateral stacks are very typical of south-western houses. The stone arched lintel of the existing dining room fireplace looks late in type, and this alteration may have been made when the staircase was inserted at the other end of the room.
The roof truss over the lower side of the cross-passage is clearly smoke-blackened from the original open hearth. Virtually all the present features are therefore inserted into the original medieval structure. The possible exception to ths are the two stud and panel screens on either side of the passage, as it seems that such screens were used as symbolic divisions within an open hall. The screens are very unusual in their very deep chamfers, and they may be of considerable antiquity.
Perhaps most interesting of all is the nature of the apex arrangement for the smoke-blackened truss, as this consists of a block which surmounts the tops of the two rafters. Such apexes generally seem to occur in earlier houses in the Devon farmhouse tradition. The truss therefore might be as early as the 14th century.

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

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

Two cottages adjoining to north end of Lester House.
Two cottages, unoccupied at time of survey. Probably early 17th century. Unrendered stone rubble and some cob. Thatch roof with stone rubble stack at left gable end with drip. Axial stone rubble stack. Probably originally one house, 2 room plan with through-passage. The passage now blocked off to form lobby entry to left hand cottage. Outbuilding at right end, partially lofted, used as coal shed. 2 storeys. 4 window range. Nineteenth/20th century two light casements, 6 panes per light at each end, 4 panes per light to centre left, 2 panes per light to centre right. 8 paned sash to left and 16 paned sash to right of 2 small lean-to timber porches with corrugated roofs. Plank door at right end.
Interior: Left hand cottage has impressive wide chamfered cross ceiling beams, partially collapsed at time of survey (August 1985). Plank and muntin screen separating the 2 cottages, with unusually deep chamfered muntins virtually diamond shaped on section. Roofspace not inspected. A small timber splayed mullion window concealed to right of plank door by outbuilding at right end.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #107398 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347746Correspondence: Child, P.. 1996. Plovers Barron. Letter from Historic Environment Service. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jan 28 2015 9:52AM