7 historic buildings in Devon you may not have visited (but should!)

When it comes to heritage roofing, Devon is a great place for businesses like us because we get to be involved in the upkeep and restoration of some of the best historic buildings in the country. Devon has a rich and colourful past, and has earned its place in the history books thanks to many of the significant structures in the area. So when it comes to the maintenance of these buildings, whether it’s upkeep, brickwork repair or heritage roofing, Devon contractors don’t take the work lightly. We make a special effort to preserve these momentous buildings! If you’re eager to see some examples of historic buildings in Devon, why not check out these?

1. Branscombe

It’s believed Branscombe Forge was built in 1580. It’s famously known as (possibly) the oldest thatched working forge in the county. Admire the stone walls, thatched roof and wooden entryways. It’s a National Trust site and the village itself is a well-known producer of the hand-made lace that contributed to Queen Victoria’s wedding dress. It’s an ideal place to visit if you are interested in an interactive history lesson, since the forge is still in operation today. Visitors will get to see the current blacksmith at work in the forge.

2. Clyston Mill

One of the South West’s only fully functional watermills, Clyston Mill is located on the Killerton estate – another National Trust site. Thanks to the efforts of the National Trust and the tenants occupying the mill today, it’s kept in working condition; grinding wheat grown on the estate to make bread. The building is a late 18th century structure with a slate roof, making it one of the finest examples of heritage roofing Devon is home to.

3. Tavistock Abbey

Also known as the Abbey of St. Mary and St. Rumon, the abbey has a long history and has been rebuilt many times after its destruction in 997 by Danish raiders. At the time of its construction it was one of the richest abbeys in the west of England. Now, only the ruins remain but the chapel still has its structure intact and it’s still possible to tour the area before it’s scheduled for further renovation.

4. St Catherine’s Almshouses & Canon’s House

Located on Catherine Street, this impressive structure boasts the remains of a 15th century almshouse, a 13th century canonry, a 4th century Roman dwelling and a 1st century Roman watchtower. After the Second World War most of the structure was torn down and today only the chapel is left standing. Modern glass panes protect the opening and it’s possible to see carvings done on the walls by the original dwellers of the almshouses, dating back to 1772.

5. Old Shute House

Today owned by the National Trust, Old Shute House encompasses the remnants of a medieval and Tudor-style manor house. Built around 1380, it’s one of the most important non-fortified manor houses still standing in the country, and is a popular tourist attraction due to its great hall.

6. Clovelly Court

Clovelly Court house is unfortunately not open to the public as the Hamlyn-Fane family still have possession of the house. However, the gardens, church and parts of the estate allow tourists free-reign. You can peek through the dense woods to catch a glimpse of the gothic style manor as well.

7. The House that Moved

“The House that Moved” is a timber-framed merchant’s house in excellent condition despite its history. It’s believed the house was built around 1450. For centuries, it stood on the corner of Frog Street and Edmund Street and when the city council contemplated demolishing it, pressure was put upon the council to move it instead. The house was shifted roughly 200 feet, from one street to the other, in order to preserve it. Over the years, it has housed a gem trader, an antiques trader and more recently a wedding dress-maker and is a must-see in Exeter!

If you own a heritage property and want to ensure your home withstands the test of time too, you need the best heritage roofing Devon has to offer, so get in touch with Exeter Roofing today!

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