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Description: Holwell Farmhouse
Date Listed: 19 February 1990
English Heritage Building ID: 100806
OS Grid Reference: SX6939841479
OS Grid Coordinates: 269398, 41479
Latitude/Longitude: 50.2588, -3.8335
Explore more of the area around South Milton, Devon at Explore Britain.
SX 64 SE
4/109 Holwell Farmhouse
Farmhouse. Circa early C17 extended and probably remodelled in early C18,
modernised in earlier C20. Slatestone rubble walls. Slate roof gabled to left
end and hipped to right. Brick stack at left and right-hand ends and at end of
left-hand rear wing.
Plan: originally 3-room-and-through-passage plan but the lower end was truncated
probably earlier this century and the passage became a leanto. Hall stack backs
onto passage and in front is a hall bay; inner room stack may be an insertion. In
the early C18 a wing was added behind the hall consisting of a staircase with
parlour adjoining it on ground floor and good quality chamber above. At the
higher end is another rear wing also probably of the C18 built as a dairy. The
rear of the hall was partitioned into a passage either when the stairwing was
added or subsequently.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 2-window front, 3 windows below with
projecting hall bay at centre. To right on each floor is a mid - later C20
casement without glazing bars. The 2-storey hall bay has a hipped roof with early
C20 4-pane sash on 1st floor and early C19 16-pane hornless sash below which has a
stone hoodmould over. To the left the front wall continues in the same line as
the bay up to 1st floor level with a catslide roof extending down to it and it has
a similar 16-pane sash with dripcourse above. Projecting slightly forward to the
left is the porch with former passage in a leanto behind it. The porch has a
square rubble doorway at the front with chamfered sides. The original studded
plank door is behind it in an ovolo-moulded wooden doorframe. Small C20 brick
leanto built against right-hand end of house with plank door on inner face. At
the rear of the house are 2 parallel gabled rear wings.
Interior: has surprisingly good quality features of the early C18. In the rear
wing is an open-well C18 staircase which has an open string, turned balusters,
square panelled newels, a ramped handrail and dado panelling. Above these stairs
is a contemporary moulded rib plaster ceiling of simple design. Adjoining the
stairs in the wing on the ground floor is a room with complete C18 fielded
panelling incorporating a china cupboard with roundarched head and pilasters. The
room above this also has similar complete panelling with a bolection moulded
chimneypiece and coved plaster ceiling. The room over the hall has an C18 moulded
plaster cornice. The back stairs at the higher end of the house are probably of a
similar date and have splat balusters. The dairy wing has rough unstopped ceiling
beams. Only the roof over this range is visible and it has C18 or early C19 A-
frames with lapped and pegged collars.
This is a particularly interesting farmhouse because, unlike others in the area,
it did not undergo a major C18 rebuild or refronting, but simply a rear extension
and good quality internal refitting, with the C17 front largely unaltered. It was
evidently once a larger and more important house and has suffered somewhat of a
decline, but the quality of its internal fittings belies its modest external
Listing NGR: SX6939841479
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.