MEM22316 - 40-42, High Street, Dulverton (Building)
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Type and Period (2)
The building was subject to a rapid survey in May 2011. This is an important building that may represent the remains of a large 16th or early 17th Century mansion or inn, arranged around a small rear courtyard flanked by projecting rear wings. It contained an unusually large number of heated rooms or chambers and there may have been additional buildings towards the rear of the site, perhaps forming service ranges, which are no longer present. The primary roof structure had substantial timber of large scantling supported by jointed crucks; any evidence of smoke staining is hidden as the timbers have been painted black. Further original architectural features and fittings may be hidden by later alterations and plaster or render. The house appears to have been refurbished in the late 17th or early 18th Century and it is suggested that the front wall of the property had to be rebuilt at some time, necessitating the removal and reinstatement of the roof. The building is arranged in three ranges, with the front range lying parallel to the street and two gabled ranges extending to the rear to surround a small courtyard, now infilled with a lean-to structure. It has four early chimney stacks, a large number for a vernacular house and implies either a wealthy owner or possibly the building's use as an inn. Their height suggests the property was formerly thatched and they may be of 16th or early 17th Century date. The property currently forms two dwellings, with the northeastern part of the house being inspected during the survey. Its southwestern room was originally the central room of the front range and may have been the 'hall' of the early house. It has a ceiling supported by a very large hollow-chamfered beam with run out stops and a fireplace in the southeastern wall served by a very tall and thin chimney stack. It is divided from the existing entrance passage by a timber screen; the passage may have been carved out from a room to the north, with the original entrance via a passage further to the southwest or directly into this large central room. There are further chamfered beams and early fireplaces in other ground floor rooms. The rooms on the first floor are much altered, with various 18th and 19th Century features and a post decorated with ogee mouldings truncated by a late 18th Century door frame. The central first floor room in the northeastern rear wing has a curiously constructed northeastern wall with a series of vertical posts in the thickness of the wall, suggesting a timber framed open gallery at first floor level linking the main building to a rear wing or service block (again suggesting an Inn). An early roof structure of 16th or 17th Century date has been dismantled and reassembled, badly, to provide new trusses, probably in the 18th or 19th Century. Principal rafters originally were suppointed by jointed crucks featuring deep sockets for very large rectangular trenched purlins and long sockets or housings for side-pegged cruck blades. Part of a plank-and-muntin screen has also been inverted and reused and many purlins also survive in other parts of the roof. The roof of the rear range is modern but overlies a late 17th or early 18th Century roof. 
- <1> SEM7639 Report: Parker, R.W.. 2011. Historic Building Surveys of Buildings at Dulverton, Somerset. 14-17.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 9141 2787 (22m by 19m)|
|Civil Parish||DULVERTON, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
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Record last edited
Apr 24 2013 3:49PM
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