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Description: 31, High Street
Date Listed: 29 August 1984
English Heritage Building ID: 261561
OS Grid Reference: ST6823734839
OS Grid Coordinates: 368237, 134839
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1120, -2.4551
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280/8/88 HIGH STREET
29-AUG-84 (North side)
House. Circa late C13; reconstructed 1453/4; partly rebuilt circa C16/17 and remodelled C18. Timber-framed, largely rebuilt in stone rubble, partly rendered. Pantile roof with gabled cros-wing on left. Stone axial stack with tall brick shaft.
PLAN: Hall and through-passage on right [NE] with cross-wing on left [SW]. The beam in the cellar of the cross-wing has been tree-ring dated 1272-1318, but the cross-wing above was reconstructed in the mid C15 [1453/5 tree-ring date]. The hall and through-passage range was rebuilt circa C16/17 as 2 storeys with a stair turret at the rear of the hall and the whole house was remodelled in the C18 when an axial partition was inserted into the hall forming a hall at the back and parlour or kitchen at the front. It is uncertain whether the house originally extended to the north on the other side of the through-passage or whether the through-passage lead to a service range at the back. In the late C19 a single-storey extension was built behind the cross-wing.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys. 3-bay south east front with slightly projecting gabled cross-wing to left with 9-pane sashes on ground floor and canted oriel above with sash and cornice continued over small flanking 4-pane sahes. Main range to right has 2-light casement with glazing bars on ground floor and wide through-passage doorway on right with panelled double-doors. Carved stone corbel head above doorway, probably from the demolished Bruton Abbey. Rear [north west], projecting stair turret on left, small gable on right above late C19 flat roof single-story extension; various small casements, sashes and glazed door to left of centre.
INTERIOR: C18 and C19 joinery including panelled doors and dado in hall at back. Former hall has deeply chamfered cross-beams with stops and an exposed unchamfered beam at the high end associated with the timber-framed cross-wing; fireplace in the stack backing onto the through-passage with Victorian fireplace flanked by cupboards with panelled doors. Newel stairs in stair turret at rear of hall. Hall chamber has exposed timber-frame wall of cross-wing with tension-braces and traces of smoke-blackening from open-hearth fire of former open hall. Cross-wing has some exposed timber-framing on the first floor, including wall-framing with curved tension-braces and chamfered jowled post on SW side and a coved ceiling in the front chamber. the 3-bay roof of the former hall has collar-trusses with cranked collars, wind-braces, curved tenoned or threaded purlins, diagonal ridgepiece and re-set common-rafters; possible traces of smoke-blackening. 2-bay cross-wing roof [tree-ring dated 1453/4] truncated north west bay, chamfered arch-braced trusses, straight collars with raking struts above, the principals jowled at the top to form ogee pointed apex; common-rafter couples possibly re-set. Cellar of cross-wing has large chamfered cross-beam [tree-ring dated 1272-1318] supported at NE end on massive chamfered curved brace rising from floor and mortice-and-tenoned into the soffit of the beam, the SW end of the beam with scarf joint [splayed and tabled with under-squinted abutments, secured by folding wedges and eight face-pegs], the brace missing and supported on a pier, mortices for floor joists that are re-set above; stone winder stairs to ground floor.
An interesting town house of late C13 origins.
SOURCES:  Somerset and South Avon Vernacular Buildings Research Group report 1994/5.  Somerset Dendrochronology Project 1996/7.  Penoyre, J and J, Some Bruton Town Houses, Somerset Archaeology and Natural History 1996, pp 127 and 128.
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.