Baccamore
Subject:Baccamore Farmhouse, Sparkwell

NGR:SX 5845 5835

Baccamore was mentioned in Domesday Book and was a manor within the large later parish of Plympton St Mary.  The placename appears to record the moorland belonging to Bacca (an Anglo-Saxon personal name).
The manor seems to have been of local importance by the later C16, when the current building was erected, but it did not develop further until the 1820s.
Two remodellings of the 1820s and 1843, probably also including new farm buildings, raised its status again to that of a gentleman farmer's residence, but it declined again in the C20, ceasing to be a farmhouse by the 1960s.  Since then, most of its outbuildings have become ruinous and the eastern part of the house has been lost.

Description:

House is aligned east-west on gentle south-facing slope, with lane along north side, gardens and large oval pond to south.  Unusual variant of two room and cross-passage plan with no door to north end of passage and 2½ storeys.  Additional wings to south-west and north-east.  Large C19 range added along south side, creating double-pile plan.  Carved granite window frame with arched head to large ground floor parlour at west end and probably to chamber above, smaller plain frame to north wall of cross-passage.  Remains of finely built C17 kitchen to east with granite slab floor, carved granite fireplace & newel stair with oak door frames.

Dating:

1Mid-late C16

A fully floored two room and cross-passage house was new-built, possibly replacing an earlier building, part of which may have survived to the east.  The south-west wing could be earlier, as it seems to have functioned as a separate chamber-wing, with an external first floor access door.

2Late C16-early C17.

Kitchen added to east, possibly on site of earlier building, as it is on a slightly different alignment.

1820s?

Two room addition to south with new entrance porch on granite columns.

41843.

Additional parlour extension to east of Period 3 building.  Documented by deeds of the house.

Conclusions:

Baccamore is a most interesting house, with an unusual layout and a number of high quality architectural features.  Unfortunately, parts of it are difficult to interpret, due to alterations and the demolition of several buildings.

Robert Waterhouse, BA, AIFA; Archaeologist & Architectural Historian