History in Structure

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Woodside Cottage

A Grade II Listed Building in Hemyock, Devon

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Latitude: 50.9438 / 50°56'37"N

Longitude: -3.2334 / 3°14'0"W

OS Eastings: 313442

OS Northings: 116762

OS Grid: ST134167

Mapcode National: GBR LV.NYF9

Mapcode Global: FRA 463M.43Z

Entry Name: Woodside Cottage

Listing Date: 21 November 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1404655

Location: Hemyock, Mid Devon, Devon, TA21

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon

Civil Parish: Hemyock

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Hemyock St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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The house now known as Woodside is a small C17 lobby-entry farmhouse.


PLAN: The original building has a rectangular footprint, with a C19 barn or shed attached to the west, and ruinous C19 outbuildings attached along the north elevation. Internally, the house has a lobby-entry plan, with a central stack serving two ground-floor rooms, one to west and the other to east.

MATERIALS: Constructed of chert rubble, the upper parts are of cob, possibly the result of the building having been raised by half a storey, though the cob may simply have been used to facilitate the bedding-in of the roof carpentry. The roof of the house was formerly thatched, and at the time of the inspection some thatch remained to the east end of the building, covered by corrugated iron sheeting which extends to shelter the attached western agricultural shed. The house's A-frame roof structure retains some historic pegged oak timbers but has been subject to considerable adaptation.

EXTERIOR: The south-facing two-storey building has a symmetrical two-window front with a central doorway. In 2010 this elevation was rebuilt, apart from a small section at the eastern end - including part of the eastern ground-floor window - which retains a lime render. The rebuilding followed very precisely the pattern which then existed, and the facing re-uses the original chert, though the cob top has not been reproduced; the wall is lined internally with concrete blocks. The doorway has a segmental-arched head. The ground-floor window openings formerly held three-light timber mullioned windows; the window openings had no frames at the time of the inspection. The blind west gable end stops short of the apex, indicating that the roof here, as at the east end, was once half-hipped. This wall is now obscured by the C19 agricultural shed, which has a tall opening to the south, flanked by broad buttresses of later construction. The west and north walls of the shed have largely disintegrated, and are now clad in corrugated iron sheeting. The north elevation of the house has a doorway towards the west end; the opening has a timber lintel, and has been reinforced with brick. Beside it to the west, a window opening with a timber lintel, and above this, a C20 window opening with a rough brick surround, now blocked. The east elevation contains a small ground-floor window, towards the rear of the building; this opening has been reduced in size. The central stack has been lost above roof level.

INTERIOR: The interior is dominated by the large central chimney stack. Any internal partitions which previously existed have been lost. In the C19, the southern section of the stack was re-built in brick to either side of the central wall, and the fireplaces were given brick cheeks. Each fireplace has a framed chamfered oak surround; the outer face of the lintel in the western room is decayed, but a chamfer is visible to the inside, suggesting that the timber has been re-used. The termination of the chimney stack leaves an alcove to the north of each fireplace: to west, this now contains a C19 cupboard; to east, the alcove houses a side oven, opening from the fireplace, and now lined with brick. This fireplace has been reduced in depth to contain a Victorian range. The remains of a winder stair, thought to date from the C19, occupies the north-west corner of this room, and rises above the side oven, probably replacing an earlier arrangement in the same position. Each room is spanned by an axial beam, resting on the fireplace lintel, placed to support the upper floor. These beams are chamfered, with scroll stops, consistent with a mid- to late-C17 date, which respect the fireplace openings. In the eastern room, the eastern end of the beam has been cut, removing any evidence of stops, whilst in the western room the mouldings of the beams have largely been destroyed by rot, though the shape of the stops can be identified at the eastern end. There is a small recess in the end wall of the eastern room. The ceiling remains over the eastern room, but has largely collapsed over the western room. The upper rooms were not inspected, but these were unheated and are understood to be without significant historic details, though the C19 boarded doors giving access to the rooms from the top of the staircase do survive.


The building now known as Woodside is thought to have originated as the dwelling house of a small farmstead. The house appears to date from the second half of the C17, though it is not possible to be precise about the phasing and development of the structure. It is thought possible that at some stage the roof may have been raised by half a storey, providing more spacious accommodation on the first floor. At some time between the production of the 1843 tithe map and the 1889 first edition OS map, an agricultural barn or shed was erected against the west elevation of the house; this partially survives. During the same period, service rooms or sheds - now ruinous - appeared against the rear wall. Two further structures were erected to the north-west; one, a former cartshed, still remains, though altered. By the early C21, the house had become seriously dilapidated, and in 2010 the south (front) elevation was largely rebuilt.

Reasons for Listing

* Historical: as a modest farmhouse of the second half of the C17, its lobby-entry plan-form being unusual in Devon
* Intactness: the principal phase of construction is clearly legible, the main elements and plan being essentially unchanged
* Internal features: besides the internal stack, the building retains framed chamfered oak fire-surrounds, and axial beams with scroll stops (clearest at the west end of the eastern room)
* Materials: the walls are constructed of local chert rubble, with cob wall-tops into which are set some surviving pegged oak timbers

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