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Dairy Cottage at Langford Fivehead, Fivehead

Description: Dairy Cottage at Langford Fivehead

Grade: II
Date Listed: 24 June 2011
English Heritage Building ID: 1401220

OS Grid Reference: ST3587822970
OS Grid Coordinates: 335879, 122969
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0025, -2.9152

Locality: Fivehead
Local Authority: South Somerset District Council
County: Somerset
Country: England
Postcode: TA3 6PH

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Listing Text


Cottage, possibly a former detached kitchen. It probably dates from the C16 and was raised and remodelled in circa 1600; with some C19 alterations and an early-C20 addition.

Reason for Listing

Dairy Cottage at Langford Fivehead is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it is a high-quality vernacular building probably dating originally from the C16 with alterations of c.1600, and an extension in the early C20
* Intactness: it retains a large proportion of C17 fabric, including decorative ceiling beams, ovolo-moulded mullioned windows and roof structure
* Development: the evolution of the building is clearly reflected in the fabric through distinct phases
* Period features: the property retains a good proportion of historic fixtures and fittings for a building of this early date.
* Group Value: it has strong group value with the Grade II* former manor house


There are C13 documentary references to a house at Lower Swell, being first recorded in 1255 as Langford Fyfehed, although little is known about the original manor house. The present house has a double E plan. It has a C15 core and was extended in the C16 and early C17, at which time the original part of the house was refashioned. In 1518 the manor house was bequeathed to the Dean and Canons of Exeter Cathedral who owned it, except for a period of time following the Civil War in the mid-C17, until about 1860. It appears to have been occupied by a succession of tenants during the Cathedral's ownership. During the latter part of the C19 Langford Farm, as it was then known, was left to deteriorate and parts are understood to have become uninhabitable. In 1904 the estate was sold to the Matterson family who commissioned London architect Rupert Austin to extensively renovate the house.

A mid-C16 document mentions the Steward's or 'dairy' house and is believed to refer to DAIRY COTTAGE which is situated immediately to the east of the former manor house. It may have originally been a detached kitchen which was altered in c.1600, and subsequently used for ancillary purposes such as corn drying and curing. During the later C19 it appears to have provided domestic accommodation.


Cottage, possibly a former detached kitchen. It probably dates from the C16 and was raised and remodelled in c.1600; with some C19 alterations and an early-C20 addition.

MATERIALS: it is built of coursed local stone rubble with Hamstone dressings, under a slate roof. There is an ashlar stack to the south gable end and an off-centre ridge stack of brick. The windows are a mix of stone mullions and timber casements (several are modern replacements); all with leaded lights.

PLAN: the building has an L-shaped plan. It comprises the original three-window range and an early-C20 wing that either replaced, or is a substantial remodelling of, an earlier structure. Variations in the stonework to all four elevations of the main range suggest that the walls above first-floor sill level were raised in c.1600.

EXTERIOR: the east elevation has an irregular arrangement of windows and a central doorway with a timber lintel and late-C20 plank and batten door. Directly above is evidence of a further doorway, which has been infilled. The north return has mullioned windows to the ground and attic floors and three single-light windows that are later insertions. The west elevation has an off-centre entrance door with raised and fielded panels with flush panels to the lower part. There is a two-light mullioned window immediately to the right of the door and two four-light timber casements to the left, one with a stone hood mould. There are three mullioned windows to the first floor. The windows to the south return are timber replacements under stone hoods. The south elevation of the early-C20 addition has full-height glazing to the ground floor and a jettied upper floor that is clad in weatherboarding. Its north elevation has a timber door and two casement windows to the ground floor, above which is a four-light casement that is set high to the eaves.

INTERIOR: the earliest part of the cottage has a three-room plan, though it is unclear whether this is the result of the early-C17 remodelling. The right-hand (south) room is dominated by a large inglenook with a timber bressumer that is supported on stone jambs. The fireplace is flanked by a smoking chamber and a corn-drying kiln for which there is further evidence at first and attic levels. The lower part of the kiln was modified, probably in the C19, to create a bread oven. The fireplace in the central room is a C20 insertion, as is the staircase. The flat-chamfered ceiling beams to the ground floor have step and run-out stops; in contrast, one of the first-floor beams is deeply chamfered with an angled, straight-cut stop. The roof comprises early-C17 collared trusses with tie beams and a single row of butt purlins.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.