HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV8538
Name:Downton Farmhouse, Dittisham


Farmhouse dating to the early 17th century which was extensively remodelled in the 18th century. It has a fine moulded plaster ceiling and fireplace.


Grid Reference:SX 853 532
Map Sheet:SX85SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDittisham
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishDITTISHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX85SE/18
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX85SE2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV173031.

Doe/hhr:totnes rd/(1970)112.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV24.

Downton, was once an important barton. The house surrounds a small rear court from which, through an old doorway with a massive nail-headed door, the kitchen, with enormous oaken ceiling beams, is reached. On the far side of the rear court are the remains of the 'great chamber' with a good moulded plaster ceiling and the remains of an interesting moulded plaster overmantel. This room until recently contained an inner wooden panelled porch, unusual in the south-west.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV173029.

French, k. + c. /tda/89(1957)129 pl.12d/devonshire plasterwork.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Marked as 'Downton Remains of a Barton'.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX85SE2 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV173030.

Downton. Remains of a barton.
Site visit 2nd December 1952. The original walls are approximately 1.0 metres thick, in fairly good condition, and extend to roof level generally. In the north end of the building is a fine moulded ceiling and fireplace and evidence of a small music gallery. The original oak door and stone floors still exist.
Downton was Douneton in 1482 (Place Names of Devon, Vol. 1, p323).
Downton farmhouse is 17th century, of L-shaped plan, rubble built with slated roofs. There is a good moulded plaster ceiling in the parlour (DoE (HHR) Totnes RD, March 1970, 12.

Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

Large broadly rectangular building shown.

Historic England, 2018, National Heritage List for England, 1108287 (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

Downton Barton including backyard wall adjoining west.
Farmhouse. Circa early C17 with early and late C18 alterations. Rendered stone rubble, the east and south fronts were formerly slate hung on the first floor. Rendered gable end, axial and lateral stacks.
Plan: The early C17 house had a three-room and through passage plan, the lower end to the left (south), the hall has a large lateral stack at the back and there is a great parlour at the higher right hand end heated from a gable end stack; there was also a stair tower at the back behind the parlour and hall. The large kitchen wing, with a gable end stack, behind the lower end may be part of the original house or a circa early C18 addition with an integral dairy outshut on it sinner side. This would have been part of the extensive early C18 remodelling of the house which included building a staircase behind the lower end of the hall. Later in the C18 the space between the two rear stair towers was filled in to provide a landing linking the two stairs. The house was also refenestrated probably in the late C18 and inspite of recent external alterations the exterior form of the house is largely C18. The wall around the small back yard is probably also C18.
Exterior: Two storeys. Asymmetrical four-window east front. C20 two-light sashes replace the former two-light twelve-pane sashes, the ground floor right hand window is a late C20 three-light casement. Doorway to the left of centre has a circa early C19 door with four panels land three glazed top panels; late C20 wooden canopy above. Over the ground floor at first floor level a slate pentice with a plastered coved soffit. The pentice has been replaced on the left hand (south) return which has a asymmetrical three-window front of two late C20 three-light casements on the ground floor and three circa late C19 or early C20 two-light casements with glazing bars on the first floor. The rear west elevation has a gabled stair tower to the left of centre, a lean-to addition in the angle to the right behind the halls rear lateral stack which rises from a gable; to the right of the back the large gable-ended rear wing with a catslide roof carried down over an outshut on its inner left hand side. This forms the south aisle of the back yard which is enclosed on the west (rear) side by a high rendered wall with doorway from the road; the doorway projects with a gable over and has a dressed slate round arch. Inside the back yard the back doorway into the outshut has a chamfered timber doorframe with mason's mitres and to the right a C20 three-light casement with glazing bars. The back yard is paved with slates and is now covered with a corrugated iron roof. There is a C19 cast-iron pump and granite trough.
Interior: The great parlour has a fireplace with shaped slate corbels land a fine early C17 moulded plaster overmantel with an achievement of arms flanked by pilasters. The ceiling beams of the parlour cut through the top of the overmantel therefore the moulded plaster ceiling which has a collapsed, must have been later. Heavy stud partition between hall and parlour. The hall has early C18 fielded panel window shutters and door to passage and a C20 fireplace. The lower end room has no features. Ovolo moulded doorframe with a scratch-moulded plank door into the kitchen. The kitchen has a high ceiling with unchamfered beams and a large kitchen fireplace with a later simple wooden chimneypiece and now blocked by a C20 range; C18 panelled doors to cupboard to side of the fireplace. Early C18 dog-leg staircase behind hall stack with moulded string turned balusters, square newels and heavy handrail. The stair tower behind the parlour and hall has rounded internal walls and contains the remains of a later circa lat C18 dog-leg staircase with diagonally crossed balusters and square newels. C18 panelled doors on the ground and first floors, some are early C18 two-panel doors.
Date first listed: 11th November 1952
This entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 13 December 2018.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV173029Migrated Record:
SDV173030Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX85SE2. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV173031Migrated Record:
SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #114664 ]
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1108287.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 21 2018 3:52PM