A Description of Shapcott Manor By The Present Owners – Mr. & Mrs. Allen
Shapcott Barton is an ancient farmstead and manor house which has been awarded a
Grade Two Star listing by the Department of the Environment.
The manor itself has an unusually leafy outlook. Rather than viewing its own yard
and buildings, it looks down a long stretch of lawn to trees in the shallow valley,
facing south. W.G Hoskins, in his book “Devon”, says “Shapcott Barton is mainly Elizabethan,
but Medieval in parts”.
It is largely a single phase house with later restorations and slight modifications.
It is a fine roughly coursed stone house under a slate roof, which is gable ended
to the right and half hipped to the left. The house has three adjoining gable wings
at the back to contain service rooms.
The entrance door, within the front porch, has a moulded surround with very weathered
ram’s horn stops. Above the entrance porch is a small chamber (possibly a priest
hole) in which human remains were found. Their origin remains a mystery.
Several of the doors in the house are very impressive with fine foliated stops, some
with many panels divided by studded cover strips.
Inside, the hall ceiling is divided into 24 panels by superb, elaborate plaster mouldings
depicting moths around a flame
A large dressed stone fireplace with bread oven, stands on the rear wall
and a large, handsome plank and muntin screen divides this room from the inner parlour.
The dining room has another wonderful dressed stone fireplace with double herringbone
The front windows, which face south are unusually large and let in much light - unusual
in a house of this age. The shutters remain on the windows of the parlour, and the
old dias seat follows the wall beneath the window in the hall room.
Upstairs Shapcott Barton has eight bedrooms, some with dressed stone fireplaces,
and two bathrooms. There is a beautiful plaster frieze depicting winged horses in
one of the upstairs rooms.
Since the end of 1998 all the timbers in the house have been cleaned using soft
brush attachments on industrial vacuum
cleaners, to preserve the delicate plaster work in the old dining hall. 80 bags of
rubbish were removed from between the joists above the dining hall ceiling alone.
Wood treatments, repairs, re-plastering in the West wing, redecoration, much re-plumbing
and rewiring and general conservation work has been undertaken to help conserve this
lovely old house.
In April 2000 Medieval wall paintings were discovered under paint in the entrance
hall. English Heritage have seen them. These panels need to be properly conserved
- but we do not know how this is going to happen.
We bought the property in 1998 and live here with our two sons.
The land is farmed by a tenant farmer who also utilises the modern farm buildings.
Anita Dawn Allen and William Richard Arthur Allen
Note - LISTED BUILDINGS - ENGLISH HERITAGE
Buildings can be listed because of age, rarity, architectural merit, and method of
construction. Occasionally a building is selected because it has played a part in
the life of a famous person or has been the scene of an important event. An interesting
group of buildings – such as a model village or square – may also be listed. The
older a building is, the more likely it is to be listed. All buildings before 1700
which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most of
those built between 1700 and 1840.
Grade I Of exceptional interest
Grade II* Particularly important building of more than one special interest.
Grade II Of special interest – warranting every effort to preserve them.