MDE21850 - Kipscombe Farm, Countisbury (Building)


Documentary evidence first mentions Kipscombe in 1249 as 'Kyppescumb'. The farmstead is shown on historic mapping and comprises a farmhouse with attached barn and shippon and a separate bank barn.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Kipscombe was mentioned as 'Kyppescumb' in 1249, 'Kybbescomb' in 1330 & 'Kyppyscombe' in 1492. [1] Kipscombe is situated at the head of a combe and its site offers shelter, access to water, wood fuel from the combe, the use of relatively sheltered land either side of the combe and close proximity to open moorland and summer pastures, as well as potential access to the beach and fishing. The settlement may be pre Conquest in date but the first documentary evidence for the settlement was in 1249 when it was spelt 'Kyppescumb'; it was then called 'Kybbescomb(e) in 1330 and Kyppyscombe by 1492. The name may be derived from the Old English personal name Cyppi or Cybbi. The 1804 Ordnance Surveyors draft map [3] labels the site Kipscot. The farmstead and fields have probably undergone many changes, phases and patterns of use but there are only a few possible indications of the early history of the site. Some of this evidence might speculatively suggest more than a single tenement at Kipscombe. An earlier arrangement may have been two or three cottages around a communal area (one area labelled on the Tithe Map is named The Green and this may have been displaced from this communal area) and the pattern of closes around the site also support this. There is also evidence of more than one family residing in the farmstead at the same time. The Tithe Map shows the farmhouse and cottage arranged around a small enclosed courtyard. A separate barn is shown to the west, aligned north to south and another smaller building to the east [4]. By the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map was surveyed, the northern part of the farmhouse seems to have been removed but it had been extended to the south and a small partially open courtyard remained. The old barn to the west had been removed and a new six bay barn over a shippon added to the north end of the farmhouse. The small barn to the east was enlarged or rebuilt as the present bank barn. Minor changes had also occurred to the entrance to the yard and a garden was created on the west side of the house [5]. [2-5] The site was visited in January 1997. A separate barn to the back of the house was noted to form a little side yard open on two sides and had a slate roof. It was in the process of being converted at the time. [6] The GIS mapping for the Monument has been based on the historic mapping available to the HER. [4,5,7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Monograph: Gover, J.E.B., Mawer, A. and Stenton, F.M.. 1931. The Place-Names of Devon: Part One. VIII. 31.
  • <2> Report: Berry, N.. 2004. Archaeological and Historic Landscape Survey of Kipscombe Farm, Countisbury, Devon. 6-8.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1804. 1 Inch Ordnance Surveyors draft map - Barnstaple, Devon. 1:63,360. Pen and Ink.
  • <4> Map: <1841. Countisbury Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1888.
  • <6> Report: Schofield, J.. 1997. Exmoor Farmsteads: An evaluation of old steadings within Exmoor National Park. Farm reference 103.
  • <7> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Catherine Dove, 4 December 2014.



Grid reference Centred SS 7597 4963 (169m by 132m) Historic mapping
Map sheet SS74NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 71646
  • Exmoor Farmsteads Survey 1996-1997 (3): 103

Record last edited

Jun 14 2021 1:39PM


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