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HER Number:MDV83572
Name:Priesthall, Priest Hill, Kentisbeare


Late 14th or early 15th century house, possibly priest's house during medieval period, and may have been used as a poor house.


Grid Reference:ST 067 081
Map Sheet:ST00NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishKentisbeare
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishKENTISBEARE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 95764

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (Built, XIV to XV - 1301 AD to 1500 AD (Between))

Full description

Copeland, G. W., 1964, Proceedings at the 102nd Annual Meeting, 24 (Article in Serial). SDV57390.

Visited 11th June 1964. Recently restored. Late 14th or early 15th century house. Not a church house, though it may have been at one time a priest's dwelling or used as a poor house. It has an open hall in which an early wooden window with cusped heads to the lights has been skillfully preserved.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Priesthall (formerly listed as Old Priests House). Detached house; it was the medieval rectory but already divided into five cottages at the time the 1681 terrier was drawn up. Roughcast cob and rubble; some dressed sandstone; gable-end thatched roof.
Plan: three room through-passage plan house, the service end to the right of the passage. Alcock and Laithwaite deduced that the original house was single-storeyed. The service end first floor is jettied into the hall; and the inserted hall first floor has been removed returning it to its original form. The small room above the passage now forms a gallery. The inner room, still of two storeys, is served by a rear newel stair. Service end heated by internal end stack, hall by front lateral external stone stack; inner room and chamber above served by external end stack.
Exterior Front: Doorway to passage with ogee-headed wooden arch (a comparative rarity in Devon), the door itself with rails, spear-headed strap hinges, and studded. Four-light timber window to inner room, the lights each with depressed head, and probably 15th century. Two-light casmement window to chamfer above. Twentieth century three-light window to hall. Small diagonally-set window to service end. Rear: two first floor windows, one under eyebrow eave. Hall window is the original, 15th century, four-lights each trefoil headed with top lights; a later three-light casement has been fixed over the medieval window to afford it protection.
Interior: those features noted by Alcock and Laithwaite survive and are discussed more fully in their article, cited below. (1) Three plank and muntin screens, two to screens passage, the first between hall and inner room; (2) service end framed partition; (3) fireplaces; that to the hall with roll moulded surround; that to the service end with chamfered lintel; inner room fireplace with stone roll moulded surround, that to the chamber above with chamfered wooden lintel and chamfered stone jambs; (4) one jointed cruck truss at lower end of passage.
References: N.W. Alcock and M. Laithwaite, 'Medieval Houses in Devon and their Modernisation', Medieval Archiaeology, 17, (1973), 112-14; W.A. Pantin, 'Medieval Priests' Houses in South-West England', Medieval Archaeology, 3 (1957), 127-9; E.S. Chalk, Kentisbeare and Blackborough, Devonshire Association Parachial Histories, no. 3.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV57390Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1964. Proceedings at the 102nd Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 96. A5 Paperback. 24.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 25 2012 12:31PM