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Blegberry

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Blegbury

In the civil parish of Hartland.
In the historic county of Devonshire.
Modern Authority of Devon.
1974 county of Devon.
Medieval County of Devon.

OS Map Grid Reference: SS23152622
Latitude 51.00803° Longitude -4.52230°

Blegberry has been described as a probable Bastle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.

Description

Blegberry is a farmhouse with Civil War loopholes cut into the fabric of the wall. These loops may actually be from 1606 and represent a defence against pirates and, if so, this makes this a defensible building of the same date as northern bastles, although of a somewhat different form and at the higher end of the social scale for such defensible buildings.

Farmhouse. Early C17 possibly 1627, considerably extended throughout later C17 - early C19. Stone rubble walls. Gable-ended slate roof. 5 stone rubble stacks with dripcourses and tapering caps - axial and gable-end. Rendered brick stack to gable end of rear wing. Plan: complex development of plan the original form of which is not entirely clear. What appears to be the original longer, range runs north-south and was probably of 3-room plan (although somewhat altered now). There is no evidence of a passage but the doorway into this range opens into a small lobby in front of an axial stack (with a dated overmantle of 1627 on the first floor) serving 2 rooms; it is not certain however, that this is the original entrance. In a rectangular projection behind the right-hand room is a winder staircase. A long wing projects to the west of the house with a stack dated 1634 on the outside - this may be deceptive though since the stone could be re-used. A definite date cannot be described to this range but it may also be C17. Further additions were made to the house at the right-hand end and at the rear in the form of a small wing during probably the C18 and early C19. The house underwent further remodelling in Victorian times. A description of the plan of this house cannot omit mention of the defensive courtyard wall to its south and west (q.v) which itself is dated 1606. The discrepancy in dates between house and courtyard wall may not be of great significance since an overmantel could easily be added and in fact an illustration of a plaster ceiling in the house now destroyed (Chope, facing p.182) is more suggestive of a date around 1600. ... The Atkyns were one of the more important Hartland families and there were 2 consecutive Williams whose dates were 1578-1608 and 1599-1662. The first was responsible for the courtyard walls and the second William for the plasterwork in the house following his marriage to Margery Cliverdon of Titchberry in 1623. He is also reputed to be responsible for building or rebuilding Marsland Manor in Morwenstow parish. (Listed Building Report)
Comments

For several reasons, mainly 'castle' field names in the area, this has been suggested as a possible location of the lost Hartland castle, a house of the Dinham family granted a licence to crenellate in 1201.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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