MSO12045 - No 4, The Ball, Dunster (Building)


The house dates to the late 16th or early 17th Century, including chamfered ceiling beams and a fireplace with bread oven, but was subject to renovation and extension in the late 19th Century.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Early 19th century with later alterations. Random rubble red sandstone, plaintile roof, brick end chimney stacks. Two storeys. Two gabled semi-dormers with barge boards and mock timbering. Two 2-light wood casement windows below eaves. Tiled angled bay windows. Doorway with gabled hood on wooden brackets, ribbed door. Included for group value. [1] English Heritage Listed Building Number: 264635. First Listed on 04/08/1983. [2] The building is included within Dunster's Conservation Area. [3] 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. [4] Internal fabric including fireplace and beams indicate 17th century date. [5] The building is shown on 2018 MasterMap data but is unlabelled. [6] A historic building assessment was undertaken at No. 4, The Ball in July 2016. The building was noted to be an end terrace cottage with a 19th Century outwards appearance; however, internal inspection revealed earlier fabric such as two 17th Century beams and a large fireplace with integral bread oven in the eastern reveal. The Tithe Apportionment lists the owner of the property as Sir Thomas Dyke Acland and occupied by James Staddon, a farmer, who may not have lived there himself. The house underwent rebuilding or extension to the rear between 1887 and 1902. The southern elevation is of local sandstone rubble but without well formed quoin stones, suggesting the facework was originally rendered. It is possible that all of the windows were cut into the existing masonry and appear to date to the late 19th or early 20th Century. The listing description dates the house to the early 19th Century but there does not appear to be evidence for this. The facework masonry may date to the 17th Century house. The interior includes two beams with chamfers and scroll stops and the fireplace includes a bread oven with a corbelled outer opening, arched inner opening and a shallow dome, but the fireplace also features a scroll stopped chamfered beam, which displays multiple rush light burn marks on its outer face. These features are of late 16th or early 17th Century date but it is thought that most of the remainder of the house dates to renovations in the late 19th Century, although there may be some other survivals, particularly fabric in the side/party walls. A programme of archaeological observation and recording work was undertaken in spring 2018. This monitored the alterations to a late 19th Century internal brick wall dividing the hallway and living area of the house from the former study, and its replacement by a new timber partition in the location of an historic one. [7,8] The building is mentioned in the 2018 Conservation Area Appraisal for Dunster. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Index: 4/8/1983. Twenty-fifth List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. District of West Somerset (Somerset).
  • <2> Unassigned: Webster CJ, Historic Environment Record. 2005. Staff Comments, Somerset County Council.
  • <3> Report: Fisher, J.. 2002. Dunster Conservation Area Character Appraisal. Exmoor National Park Authority. p21.
  • <4> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <5> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Shirley Blaylock, 14 June 2016.
  • <6>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap. [Mapped feature: #39110 ]
  • <7> Report: Blaylock, S.. 2016. Rapid historic building assessment and recording at Priory Gate, No. 4 The Ball, Dunster, Somerset.
  • <8> Report: Blaylock, S.. 2018. Historic building assessment and recording at Priory Gate, No. 4 The Ball, Dunster, Somerset, 2016-2018. Stuart Blaylock.
  • <9> Report: Pratt, N. and Thurlow, T.. 2018. Dunster Conservation Area: appraisal document. Exmoor National Park Authority. p 11, 23, 94, Figures 6, 18.

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 26/4/4
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34903



Grid reference Centred SS 9915 4389 (10m by 11m) MasterMap
Map sheet SS94SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Sep 5 2022 2:32PM


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