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Latitude: 50.6654 / 50°39'55"N
Longitude: -3.6764 / 3°40'34"W
OS Eastings: 281622
OS Northings: 86423
OS Grid: SX816864
Mapcode National: GBR QM.BH5T
Mapcode Global: FRA 3759.ZH6
Entry Name: Bridford Barton
Listing Date: 9 March 1988
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1318200
English Heritage Legacy ID: 85567
Location: Bridford, Teignbridge, Devon, EX6
Civil Parish: Bridford
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Bridford St Thomas a Becket
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SX 88 till
2/46 Bridford Barton
Farmhouse. Circa early/mid C14 origins with a probably early C15 rear wing, the
C14 block partly re-roofed in the early C16. Remodelling in the circa early C17,
C20 alterations. Whitewashed rendered stone and cob ; thatched roof, gabled at
ends ; axial stack with granite shaft heating early C17 hall, axial stack to right
of centre with brick shaft, probably C20 left end stack.
Plan: Overall U plan with a 3 room and cross passage main block, facing east, with
short rear left and rear right wings. The house originated as a grand and
exceptionally early medieval open hall, probably of 2 cells, with a roof
construction that is of base cruck design: 2 bays of this survive with 2
intermediate ties. The surviving left end truss is a spere truss with aisle posts,
presumably marking a division in the original house, to the left of this truss the
early roof has been replaced by a conventional early C16 jointed cruck truss. The
rear left wing, also with an unusually early smoke-blackened roof, probably had an
independent open hearth. When the building was floored, in the circa early C17, a
hall stack was inserted, backing on to the cross passage ; with a heated inner
room, at the right end. The range was subsequently extended to the right by an
outbuilding and a barn was added at the rear right ; the outbuilding and barn have
been absorbed into the house. Late C20 single-storey addition between the rear
Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 6 window front. Entrance to cross passage to
left of centre with a C20 thatched porch on posts with plank and stud front door.
2- and 3-light C19 and C20 timber casements and sashes with glazing bars with a
late C20 bow to the left of the porch and a 2-light timber mullioned window of
circa 1700 with timber stanchions, first floor window from left.
Interior: The major interest of the house lies in the outstanding roofs but the
ground floor is also of interest although modernized in the late C20. The granite
ashlar back of the hall stack with a hollow-chamfered cornice is exposed in the
passage which has chamfered stopped joists. One of the aisle posts of the C14
spere truss is exposed but buried in the lower end partition of the passage. The
early C17 hall has a chamfered stopped crossbeam and an open fireplace with a
granite lintel and monolithic granite jambs, the left hand jamb altered or replaced
to provide an opening into a recess, probably a smoking chamber subsequently
altered to a bread oven. The inner room has a chamfered stopped crossbeam and
blocked fireplace ; the lower end room has rough exposed crossbeams and joists and
now extends into the rear left wing.
Roof: Remarkable. The C14 roof is a base cruck construction with massive arcade
plates (no purlins) into which the common rafters are notched. The main truss is
a face-pegged base cruck with straight (rather than arched) braces below the collar
and straight wind braces. There are intermediate ties between the main trusses.
The spere truss, more clearly visible in the roofspace than the main truss, has
massive aisle posts (one is visible in the cross passage, descending virtually to
ground level about 4 foot away from the front wall of the house). There is
evidence that the spere truss was infilled between the straight braces although the
infill may be secondary. The roof formerly extended further to the left where it
has been replaced in the circa early C16 by a conventional side-pegged jointed
cruck truss over the lower end. The upper tier of the C14 roof consists of common
rafter couples with lap-jointed collars. The construction of the roof, with no
crown post to give longitudinal bracing to the upper tier, has caused racking of
some of the common rafters and the joints of some of the main timbers have parted,
revealing secret dovetails of a very early character; the ties are splayed and
tabled into the arcade plates. Smoke-blackened battens and thatch survive
throughout with an odd arrangement of longitudinal pieces, with some disused
mortises, in corresponding positions each side (near the later stack) set across 2
common rafter bays just below collar level, indicating some special arrangement of
unknown function. The rear left wing also retains an unusual but probably later
medieval roof of an extremely rare design in Devon. 3 arched brace trusses of
slender scantling with claspled diagonally-set purlins and a clasped square set
ridge above a yoke ; lap joints of an early character. The battens and thatch
are post-medieval but the other timbers are smoke-blackened. A comparable roof in
Ashburton, Devon, was recorded by Michael Laithwaite prior to demolition in 1970
but no other examples are known in the County.
A multi-phase medieval house with an outstanding survival in the C14 roof. The
character of the roof construction suggests that this could be the earliest roof in
Interpretation of roof by John Thorp.
Laithwaite, M. "Two medieval houses in Ashburton", Proceedings of the Devon
Archaelogical Association, 29 (1971) pp.181-194.
Listing NGR: SX8162086423
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