MSO10787 - The Royal Oak Inn, Winsford (Building)


A 16th or 17th Century farmhouse that later became an inn and is now a hotel. It may have originated as a three cell and cross passage house with a cross-wing extension but has been much altered and enlarged since the 19th Century.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Farmhouse and inn, now hotel. C16-C17, subsequently enlarged C18 and C19. Rendered over rubble, thatched roof, hipped to right and on cross wing, roughcast stack left gable end, rendered to right of crosswing and rendered brick between first and second bays right. Plan: much altered internally, possibly 3-cell and cross passage extended south-west beyond right stack with cross wing addition second bay left. One and a half storeys, irregular late C19 and C20 fenestration, first floor unlit to left of 2-storey cross wing 4- light casements with astragal glazing bays, four 2 and 3-light pointed arch dormer casements rising from below eaves to right, ground floor scallop tiled pentice to bay windows and porch, 4-light casement to cross wing, single storey addition, probably stairs in re-entrant angle, 3-light casement to left of C20 porch with catslide roof, thatched bay beyond and porch to C20 door, two C20 casements end right. Internally much altered, chamfered lintel to right hand stack fireplace. (Photograph in NMR). [1] English Heritage Listed Building Number: 265569. First Listed on 6 April 1959. [2] L-plan. Stone, Render walls. Gabled roof [3] The building was visited in March 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. [4] Of the most prominent secular buildings, The Royal Oak Inn has pride of place. Thatched and rendered, it was formerly a farmhouse before becoming an inn, and with annexes to the side and rear is now a hotel. The original building, probably three-cell and cross-passage, dates from the 16th-17th century, with a cross-wing extension at the second bay to the left. It has been much altered and enlarged since the 19th century and most of the distinctive fenestration, including timber casement windows, some with astragal glazing bars, is 19th-20th century. The projecting cross-wing, dormer window set in adjoining catslide extension, prominent swept eaves and gabled porch, all thatched, contribute to a frontage of exceptionally picturesque character. [5] The Royal Oak was a family Inn without outside help and had several famous landlords. It was the only licensed premises in the village. Visitors were always made welcome and given home produced fare. Prior to the sale of the Acland estate, the landlords were tenants. The property was acquired by the People's Refreshment Houses Association at the auction and enlarged the building in the early 1930s, firstly with the modern wing where the present dining room sits and then acquiring Winn Cottage after the Post Office moved as an annexe. Winn Cottage was sold as a private dwelling shortly before the PRHA sold the Royal Oak. The building has been subject to three potentially disastrous fires; in 1984, in the roof; in 1995, when there was major damage and the building was gutted; and in 2001, which was not as serious as 1995 but forcing the Inn's closure for several weeks at a time. [6] The Tithe Map for Winsford labels the Royal Oak Inn under land parcel 641. It was owned at this time by Sir Thomas Dyke Acland and occupied by Thomas Paul. [7] The Winsford Archive hold two historic images of The Royal Oak Inn, one of which was taken by Vowles. [8] The building was photographed in around 1910, and in the mid 1930s by Vowles. It was previously a small village public house before it began catering for holiday visitors after the stag hunting revival.

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <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> Unassigned: Webster CJ, Historic Environment Record. 2005. Staff Comments, Somerset County Council.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records.
  • <4> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <5> Report: Fisher, J.. 2005. Winsford: Village Character Appraisal. 7,9,10,13.
  • <6> Leaflet: Various. 2004. A Winsford Anthology. 16-17.
  • <7> Map: 1839. Winsford Tithe Map and Apportionment. Land parcel 641.
  • <8> Archive: Winsford History Society. Various. Winsford Archive.
  • <9> Monograph: Binding, H., Pearce, B. and Pugsley, S.. 2001. Exmoor Century: A century of change through fascinating historic and contemporary photographs of Exmoor. Exmoor Books. 149, 150.



Grid reference Centred SS 9057 3484 (44m by 26m) (MasterMap)
Map sheet SS93SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1076/19/155
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31288

Record last edited

Dec 15 2020 5:21PM


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