MDE21342 - Watersmeet House (Building)
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Type and Period (1)
Hunting and fishing lodge, now shop and restaurant. Built c. 1832 for the Revd. Walter Stevenson Halliday. Probably enlarged circa 1850. Uncoursed stone rubble with large irregular quoins. Gable-ended slate roofs, pyramidal over octagon, with wooden finial. Possibly formerly thatched. Plan: L-plan facing south-west. Central elongated octagon projecting to front as canted bay, with flanking wings, and rear wing with probably later L-shaped wing in angle to north-west. Lean-to loggia, returning to sides. 2 storeys. A cottage orne. Exterior: plinth, and overhanging eaves with pierced barge boards. South-west front: rendered ridge stack off-centre to right and rendered stack in valley to right. 1:3:1 bays, the centre 3 windows in a 2-storey canted bay with a steep hipped roof, first-floor 2-light small-paned wooden casements with margin lights, stone flat ashes and small gables above. Ground-floor small-paned French casements with margin lights and stone flat arches. Loggia with cobbled terrace, rustic wooden posts with straight braces, and lean-to slate roof, glazed to centre. Right-hand gable-end with 2-light wooden margin-light casement to each floor. Left- hand gable-end with first-floor wooden casement of 2 Tudor-gothic lights with Y- tracery and returned wooden hoodmould; small-paned half-glazed door beneath with 3 Tudor-Gothic lower panels, 3 Tudor Gothic upper lights, and boarded reveals. Inscription above door: "The spot was made by nature for herself: /The travellers know it not, and it will remain /Unknown to them; but it is beautiful: /And if a man should plant his cottage near, /Should sleep beneath the shelter of its trees, /And blend its waters with his daily meal, /He would so love it, that in his death-hour /Its image would survive among his thoughts." Rear wing with Gothic wooden casements and external lateral stone stack. Probably later L-shaped range in angle at rear with external stone end stack. Interior: complete fixtures and fittings of 1832 in the ground-floor front rooms; including moulded cornices and panelled shutters. Panelled doors (double to central octagonal room) have reeded architraves with square pateral at corners. Fireplace in octagonal room has reeded architrave with roundels at corners. Open-well cantilevered wooden staircase in circa 1850 rear wing, consisting of open string with cut brackets, turned balusters (2 per tread) and swept handrail, wreathed to foot newel. The Revd. W. S. Stevenson acquired the estate in 1829 and began his house, Glenthorne (q.v) soon afterwards. Watersmeet House is known from estate documents to have been occupied by 1832. He owned a copy of P.F. Robinson's Rural Architecture; or a Series of Designs for Ornamental Cottages of 1832 (still in the possesion of the Halliday family) and was much influenced by the designs which it illustrates. A print of Glenthorne, as it was in the early C19, is kept at Watersmeet House at the time of the survey (July 1987).  The building was visited in April 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. 
|Grid reference||Centred SS 7444 4864 (28m by 28m)|
|Civil Parish||COUNTISBURY, NORTH DEVON, DEVON|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (1)
Related Articles (2)
External Links (0)
- 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1549/3/38
- Devon SMR Monument ID: 41700
- Devon SMR: SS74NW/201
Record last edited
Feb 23 2021 4:37PM
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