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HER Number:MDV82145
Name:Highley Farmhouse, Upottery


An early 16th century farmhouse with major later 16th century and 17th century improvements, and a late 18th century kitchen block.


Grid Reference:ST 221 096
Map Sheet:ST20NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishUpottery
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishUPOTTERY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XVI to XVIII - 1501 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Clements, H. A., 1994, Survey of Farmsteads in the Devon Part of the Blackdown Hills (Report - Survey). SDV344050.

Devon and Somerset County Councils, 2000-2002, Historic Farmsteads Database, BH193H (Machine readable data file). SDV349681.

An L-shaped house with an early 16th century main block and an 18th century kitchen block projecting at right angles to it. Cob, rubble stone; rendered walls. Cob on rubble footings. Slate roof. Formerly thatch.

Thorp, J., 2003, Highley Farm, BH193004 (Ground Photograph). SDV354373.

Thorp, J., 2003, Highley Farm, BH193007, BH193021-BH193022 (Un-published). SDV354374.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Highley Farmhouse including front - garden walls.

Early 16th century with major later 16th century and 17th century improvements, late 18th century kitchen block. Plastered cob on local stone rubble footings; stone rubble stacks topped with 19th century and 20th century brick; slate roof, formerly thatch. Plan and development: L-plan building. The main block faces south-south-east, say south, and it has a 3-room-and-through-passage plan. At the right (east) end there is an unheated inner room, the former dairy. Next to it is the hall which has an axial stack backing onto the passage. At the left (west) end is a room with a gable-end stack. Until the late 18th century this was a kitchen but it has been a parlour since and a late 18th century 1-room plan kitchen block projects at right angles to rear of the right (dairy) end. The main block is the historic core of the house. It’s original early 16th century roof remains and is smoke-blackened proving that the original house was open to the roof from end to end, divided by low partitions and heated by an open hearth fire. In the mid-16th century the inner room (dairy) were floored over whilst the open hearth fire was still in use. The hall stack was inserted in the mid - late 16th century. If the passage and service end (the former kitchen) was floored over in the mid - late 16th century as might be expected it was rebuilt in the early - mid 17th century when the service end room became a kitchen. The hall was floored over in the same early - mid 17th century refurbishment. The present kitchen block was added in the late 18th century. The farmhouse is 2 storeys with secondary outshots across the back of the main block.

Exterior: irregular 4-window front of 20th century timber casements without glazing bars. The ground floor centre (hall) window has a large segmental arch over. The passage front doorway is left of centre and contains a 19th century plank door behind a 20th century slate- roofed porch. The main roof is half-hipped to right and gable-ended to right. Good interior: although a good deal of the historic fabric is covered by 19th century and 20th century plaster. For instance there is on the lower (former kitchen) side of the passage an oak plank-and-muntin screen behind the plasterboard. The farmer reports that it has wide planks and muntins and it may be an original low partition screen. The hall, passage and service end (former kitchen) have similar early - mid 17th century crossbeams; they are chamfered with bar run-out stops (the bars have been hacked off the hall crossbeam). The former kitchen fireplace (also early -mid17th century) is open but its cheeks and pentan (back) are papered over. It has a plain chamfered oak lintel and a blocked oven is suspected in the right cheek. A cupboard to left is thought to be a former walk-in curing chamber. There is an old winder stair rising from the rear of the passage on the hall side. The hall fireplace is blocked but its large size is evident and its panelled Beers tone cheeks can be seen in cupboards either side of the present grate. Above the fireplace is an early - mid 17th century frieze of ornamental plasterwork featuring a repeated motif of winged creatures. At the upper (dairy) end of the hall there is an oak plank-and-muntin screen but it is only exposed at the back in the former dairy where the muntins are unchamfered. The crossbeam in the dairy is far from straight and roughly chamfered. The main block roof is carried on a series of probably side-pegged jointed crucks (the bases of the trusses are papered over). They are original and all are smoke- blackened from the open hearth fire. The truss over the hall/dairy partition was closed in the mid-16th century whilst the open hearth was still being used and its infill is sooted on the hall side only. The late 18th century rear block has plain pine crossbeams and the kitchen fireplace here is blocked. The roof is carried on A-frame trusses with staggered purlins tusk-tenoned through the principals and with plate yokes. The front garden is enclosed by a probably 19th century low stone and flint rubble wall. Highley is an interesting multi-phase Devon farmhouse.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV344050Report - Survey: Clements, H. A.. 1994. Survey of Farmsteads in the Devon Part of the Blackdown Hills. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV349681Machine readable data file: Devon and Somerset County Councils. 2000-2002. Historic Farmsteads Database. BH193H.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #108212 ]
SDV354373Ground Photograph: Thorp, J.. 2003. Highley Farm. Blackdown Hills Historic Farmstead Survey. Digital. BH193004.
SDV354374Un-published: Thorp, J.. 2003. Highley Farm. Blackdown Hills Historic Farmstead Survey. Digital. BH193007, BH193021-BH193022.

Associated Monuments

MDV105379Part of: Highley Farm, Upottery (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4655 - Survey of Farmsteads in the Blackdown Hills

Date Last Edited:Apr 24 2015 11:17AM