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© Mr Robin Drayton

IoE Number: 96572
Location: THORNE,
  CLANNABOROUGH, MID DEVON, DEVON
Photographer: Mr Robin Drayton
Date Photographed: 25 May 2005
Date listed: 20 November 1986
Date of last amendment: 20 November 1986
Grade II*

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CLANNABOROUGHSS 70 SW2/59Thorne-GVII*

CLANNABOROUGH SS 70 SW 2/59 Thorne - GV II* Farmhouse. Late C14-early C15 with late C16 and C17 improvements, altered circa 1860 and modernised circa 1970. Mostly plastered cob on rubble footings but C19 work is rubble with brick dressings, partly plastered and partly exposed; stone rubble and cob stacks topped with C19 and C20 brick; thatch roof and reused interlocking tile on outshots. L-shaped building. Unusually wide main block facing north now has an unconventional 3-room-and-cross-passage plan with a parlour at the right (west) end, on lower side of present passage. Passage leads to C17 kitchen wing projecting at right angles to rear of parlour. Small inner room at left (east) end of main block has dairy block of circa 1860 projecting in front of it. Kitchen and parlour have end stacks, the latter projecting, and hall has rear lateral stack. C19 and C20 outshots on inner side of kitchen wing. 2 storeys. Irregular 3-window front with fourth in gable end of dairy comprising a variety of late C19 and C20 casement with glazing bars. First floor half dormers on main block. The thatch lifts over the largest on right end and others have thatch gables over. Front passage doorway has circa 1970 plank door and contemporary porch with monopitch tile roof. Main roof is gable-ended to right where parlour stack has an unusually stocky chimney shaft of early C19 brick. It is half-hipped to left where end wall is exposed rubble with brick heads over C19 and C20 replacement casements. This end probably built circa 1860, a date said to have been found scribbled on the under plaster of the dairy wall during renovation. Rear elevation and kitchen wing have mostly C20 replacement fenestration. Good interior of house with long and complex structural history. The roof and outer walls of the main block are late C14-early C15. 4 bays survive. The building probably once continued at least 1 bay further east. The trusses employ oak timbers of massive scantling. They are an unusual type of jointed cruck in which the principals are scarfed to the posts and held together by face pegs and buried slip tenons. The posts rest on templates just below first floor level; one is partly exposed alongside the hall fireplace. Each truss has a cranked collar, arch-braces and a large yoke carrying a square-set ridge (Alcock's Type H apex). They take 2 sets of diagonally-set butt purlins and each bay includes a single pair of windbraces, some of which are now missing. A distinctive feature of the roof is effect created by leaving the many pegs projecting and untrimmed. At the west (parlour) end the ridge is supported in the gable by a large vertical post. The surviving central truss arch-bracing carries a roll moulding, the others are chamfered. Most of the common rafter couples also survive intact. The roof is thoroughly smoke-blackened from end to end indicating that the medieval house was open to the roof, divided by low partitions and heated by an open hearth. The western truss, over present passage-parlour partition is filled with probably C16 wattle-and-daub and sooted only on the hall side. This was then the upper end and the owner remembers uncovering a large arch in the front cob wall next to the dairy during re-plastering which may site the original through passage. The parlour has a late C16 volcanic ashlar fireplace with ovolo-moulded jambs and unusual pyramid stops. The rear wall (now stairs) includes a blocked presumably late C16 oak 4-light oak window with chamfered mullions. The axial parlour beam is a C20 replacement. The process of dating the development of the hall is difficult since the carpentry displays little detail. The rubble fireplace in the hall has a replacement lintel. Hall and present passage are floored by massive axial roughly- finished axial beam. Some reset C17 oak small field panel wainscotting along front wall. Small eastern room includes a large timber-framed newel stair rising around the post supporting the hall beam. The rear kitchen wing was rebuilt in late C17 but early C17 features near main house including a framed oak gable on top of the rear wall of main block and a side-pegged jointed cruck. All other features are late C17. Kitchen has soffit- chamfered and straight cut stopped crossbeam. Rubble fireplace in partly cob stack uses beam right across end wall as lintel. Brick-lined oven to right. The alcove to left may be a smoking chamber entered from outside. Roof truss in front of chimney breast is late C17 A-frame with pegged lap-jointed collar. Thorne is attractive from the outside but its appearance gives no hint of the age of the building. It includes a rare and relatively complete medieval domestic roof which is similar in construction with those at Rudge Farmhouse, Morchard Bishop and Bury Barton, Lapford.

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