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OASIS ID:richardp1-513057
Title:Historic Building Assessment and Documentary History of Farm Buildings at Head Barton Farm, Chittlehamholt, Devon
Originator:Parker, R.W. + Browne, L.M.S.F.
Summary:Report describing the results of an assessment of the historic farm buildings at Head Barton Farm. Although the farm buildings at Head Barton may occupy an ancient site (it is first documented in 1272), the present buildings, as at many Devon farmsteads have been rebuilt in later centuries to reflect changing agricultural practices. There is no evidence of medieval fabric in the existing structures, though it is highly likely that buried remains of the medieval farmhouse and buildings survive and elements of the earlier structures may have been preserved within the existing walling of the later buildings. The close proximity of a possible prehistoric settlement or barrow cemetery immediately to the south of the farm buildings is clear evidence of the potential for archaeological remains relating to early occupation and exploitation of the site. Such remains might easily be exposed during re-servicing during the conversion of the buildings. The surviving early buildings were probably laid out to reflect the line of the road from Exeter to Barnstaple which appears to have passed directly through the site. The buildings preserve this layout today. Despite much later 19th century intervention, the footprint of the existing structures still reflects the footprint of the buildings shown on the 1845 Tithe Map, the earliest map to showing the layout of the farm buildings in any detail. The medieval buildings of the site are also likely to have followed this alignment. One major change in the layout of the site seems to have been the relocation of Head Mill from its original site on the Taw to its present site on the Mole just north-east of the farm buildings. This change may have been made in the late 18th century or perhaps the early 19th century possibly as a result of the improvement of the roads in the area and the reconstruction of Head Bridge on a new site below the site of the earlier bridge. The earliest fabric now identifiable in the buildings at Head Barton is probably the floor structure in the poundhouse, which incorporates substantial chamfered beams with large, square sectioned joisting and square cut stops. This fabric may date from the 16th or 17th century but has perhaps been reused here. It may have been derived from the demolished farmhouse, since the detail appears to be domestic rather than agricultural in character. The cider press, which survives intact, also seems to have been relocated here, perhaps during one of the later 19th century remodelling of the buildings. Much of the rest of the building, including the roof has been reconstructed in the late 19th century The principal survivors of the 18th or early 19th century farm buildings are the large western stable, parts of the threshing barn, and the two western linhays, Linhay II and Linhay III. The threshing barn, like the poundhouse, has lost its original roof and east wall, but the north and south walls and the west wall all appear to retain fabric of early date. The presence of sockets in the west external wall of the barn, which do not relate to the existing Linhay II show that the barn is the earliest of these two buildings and that there was formerly another structure to its west. The date of the barn cannot be easily established without evidence of its original roof but it is probably a late 18th century structure typical of its period, and would probably have had a steep roof with A frame trusses and fully hipped end gables prior to its extension in the 19th century. The barn may have been constructed against a yard wall, which survives running along the southern edge of the site, and which now forms part of the rear wall of linhays I and II. The wall seems to have been truncated at the construction of linhay III. Like the barn, the wall is not easily datable. It quite conceivably follows the line of a boundary earlier than any of the existing buildings. Linhay III is probably the most outstanding survivor of the early buildings on the site. The later 19th century buildings at Head Barton are of exceptionally high quality; attractive and well designed model farm buildings of the period. These include the granary building, Linhay I and the Trap House at its eastern end, and the exceptionally well preserved piggeries west of the modern farmhouse. These buildings are characteristic of the late 19th century with attractive architectural detailing, solidly built doors and partitions and distinctive ironwork for the door furniture, including strap hinges, latches and window catches. These buildings were probably constructed between 1880 and 1907 for the Hon. Mark Rolle. The farm buildings at Head Barton thus reflect around 200 years of investment in high quality and up to date farm buildings by the owners of the site, which it is hoped the current proposals will preserve and enhance for the future.
DOI (permanent link):https://doi.org/10.5284/1109734

Associated Monuments (11)

MDV134409Bridge Cross Church, Burrington (Building)
MDV67878Farm buildings circa 20m south-west of Head Barton Farmhouse, Chittlehamholt (Building)
MDV98194Farm buildings circa five metres west of Head Barton Farmhouse, Chittlehamholt. (Building)
MDV67876Head Barton Farmhouse, Chittlehamholt (Building)
MDV67877Head Barton, Chittlehamholt (Monument)
MDV1033Head Mill, Chittlehamholt (Building)
MDV53436Head Mill, Chittlehamholt (Monument)
MDV1046Holy Trinity Parish Church (Building)
MDV12047King's Nympton Deerpark (Monument)
MDV67874King's Nympton Park (Monument)
MDV12044Kingsnympton Park House (Building)