MSO10750 - Clematis Cottage and Postmans Cottage, Selworthy Green (Building)


A medieval open hall farmhouse was altered in the late 16th and 17th Centuries. A semi-detached house was added to the west end in 1828, built from the rubble robbed from outbuildings demolished from three farms.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

Shown on Ordnance Survey map as Lorna Doone and Clematis Cottage. Semi-detached cottages, now cottage and shop. Probably 17th Century in date and enlarged in the mid 19th Century.Thatched roofs hipped to left, two cell plan, tone, Render, roughcast and pebbledash walls . (Photograph in NMR). [1] Lorna Doone (Postman's Cottage) was built in the 16th or 17th Century. The lower room was probably removed in 1828 when Clematis Cottage was built. The front porch was added in the 1920's or 1930's. Clematis Cottage was built in 1828 when three farms were demolished to create the estate cottages around Selworthy Green. The detached privy is thatched and included in the listing. [3] Clematis Cottage was one of the new buildings constructed by Sir Thomas Dyke Acland. It is thatched and limewashed with a round chimney, leaded lights (diamond patterning on windows) and plank doors. The bedroom was divided in the late 19th Century to create two rooms, the partiton cuts into the bay window. The cottage is built butting onto the older structure of Lorna Doone Cottage. [4] Originally a medieval open hall farmhouse, only the high end and the cross passage survive from the three roomed house. Postman's Cottage [Lorna Doone Cottage] has a plank and muntin (stile within the frame of a door) screen, two smoked blackened trusses and a possible jetty screen. The house also contains late 16th and 17th century additions. The building is rubble stone, limeswashed with a black tar band. [5] The building was visited in May 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. [6] The group of six cottages around Selworthy Green (a delightful informally designed communal garden) was a layout planned by Sir Thomas Dyke Acland (10th baronet) in the early 19th Century for estate pensioners. The concept, and cottage ornee detail around the settlement, may have been inspired by John Nash's Blaise Hamlet (built 1809 for John S Harford of Blaise Castle). At the top of The Green is a linked pair. To the left, Clematis Cottage, one and a half storeys is the second thatched cottage ornee built around 1829, and now incorporates a National Trust shop. Isabel Richardson comments that these vernacular revival cottages, although echoing Blaise Hamlet to an extent, have created a lighter result, which sits in the countryside very happily. The adjoining cottage, Lorna Doone [Postman's Cottage], is what remains of a former medieval open hall house, probably dating from the 15th Century. The jointed-cruck construction has smoke-blackening to some roof timbers. It is truncated with only the higher end of the former open Hall and adjoining parlour. Although the cross-passage survives, the lower room has been demolished, possibly when the adjoining cottage was added. The ceiling and front lateral stack were added in the late 16th Century. [7] The eastern end of the building is labelled "Postmans Cottage" and the western end "Clematis" on the 2020 MasterMap data. It is subdivided accordingly. [8] A collection of images of the site are held by the Historic England Archive. [9-11] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [12] The building is discussed in the 2017 Conservation Area Appraisal for Selworthy. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Index: 2/1/1986. Thirty-fifth List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, District of West Somerset (Somerset)/Exmoor National Park.
  • <2> Report: Richardson, I.. 2001. Holnicote Estate Archaeological Survey: Part 1. National Trust, The. Fig. 12 & P. 9.
  • <3> Report: Richardson, I.. 2001. Holnicote Estate Archaeological Survey: Part 2. P. 22-23.
  • <4> Report: National Trust. 1994. Vernacular Building Survey: Clematis Cottage (National Trust Shop), Selworthy.
  • <5> Report: National Trust. 1994. Vernacular Building Survey: Postman's Cottage, Selworthy.
  • <6> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <7> Report: Fisher, J.. 2004. Selworthy: Conservation Area Character Appraisal. 7, 8, 10, 11, 13-14.
  • <8>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #38375 ]
  • <9> Photograph: Williams, P.. 2004. Job: Selworthy Estate Village. Colour. Negative.
  • <10> Photograph: Vowles, A.. 1900-1925. View looking past Periwinkle Cottage to Clematis Cottage, taken from the south-west. B/W. Postcard.
  • <11> Photograph: Williams, P. and Kendall, D.. 2003-2005. Volume: England's Landscapes. Unknown. Digital.
  • <12> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1509396, Updated 16 May 2022.
  • <13> Report: Pratt, N.. 2017. Selworthy Conservation Area: appraisal document. Exmoor National Park Authority. p 7, 9, 10, 18, 53, Figures 13, 15, 30, 32.

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1076/26/117/1
  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1076/26/117/2
  • Local Heritage List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NW227
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NBR Index Number: 110930
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1509396
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31247



Grid reference Centred SS 9193 4685 (20m by 13m) MasterMap
Map sheet SS94NW

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Record last edited

Nov 3 2022 2:34PM


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