Subject:Great Hackworthy, Tedburn St Mary

NGR:SX 8040 9310

Hackworthy was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the name seems to record the Wordig, or farm enclosure belonging to Hacca (a Saxon personal name).  Worthy names are often associated with farm sites on marginal land and it is thought that these were ‘pioneer’ settlements on previously waste ground.  Great Hackworthy is considered to have been the site of the Domesday Manor, the smaller farm of Little Hackworthy, a short distance away to the west being a later development.  The manor seems to have continued to be of importance during the medieval period, as a private chapel was recorded there in the C15, though no trace of it appears to survive in the present buildings, which are largely of C16-C18 date.

Description:

Great Hackworthy Farm lies at the bottom of a shallow valley, whose stream flows into the Dillybridge Brook a short distance to the north.
A variety of 17th  to 19th century cob and stone farm buildings are spread across the valley floor, while the C15-C17 rubble & cob farmhouse is terraced into the hillside slightly above them to the north-east.  This has a three room and cross-passage plan, possibly originally facing north to the lane, although it has faced south since at least the C19.  Two additional wings to the north flank a small courtyard.

Dating:

1C15-C16

Three room and cross-passage plan, with narrow inner room.
Smoke blackened common rafters, probably from this period, re-used in nearby early C18 cider poundhouse roof, may imply an early C18 rebuild in the house, though no evidence seen.  Lower end of house may have been longer, making it just possibly the shippon of a longhouse.

2Late C16-early C17

Major rebuild, with large carved granite fireplace in hall, floored over with chamfered oak beams.  Roof structure above raised and rebuilt, with lightly smoke-stained timbers.  Upper floor partition probably of this date, containing contemporary door.  Kitchen wing added to north side at east end, has substantial ceiling beams, a surviving windowframe and a rare cob & wattle chimney-breast, rising the full height of the building. 

3Early-mid C17

Cob stair turret added to north side of hall, with chamfered oak window frame.  Ovolo moulded door frame at north end of cross-passage.
North-west wing may date to this period, with thick cob walls.

4Mid-C19

West end of main range, including cross-passage heavily remodelled, with west end wall and southern part of north-west wing rebuilt.
A wide access passage connected inner court from farmyard.
Internal details all replaced, with mouldings suggestive of 1840s-60s. Roofs above lower end and north-west wing replaced, with large kingpost and tiebeam trusses.  Flight of stairs inserted into cross-passage and Period 3 stair turret blocked off.  New stair in kitchen wing.

5Late C19

Single storey brick range containing wash house and coal cellar built across north side of inner court.

Outbuildings:

Large cob threshing barn on north-south axis to north-west of house.  This has projecting door cheeks as elsewhere on the Estate, suggesting a late C17-early C18 date.  Much of the building has fallen down.
Two other cob buildings appear to be of the same date: a small shippon with hayloft above at the north-west corner of the farmyard, and a detached cider pound house to the south-west, with re-used smoke blackened rafters from medieval open hall house.  Crusher and press survive incompletely within the building; timber horse engine house to north.

Other buildings forming west side of farmyard of stone rubble with brick dressings and include open-fronted two-storey linhay and a stable block, both of mid-C19 date.



Conclusions:

Evidence for several periods of construction survive at Great Hackworthy showing its development from the C15 to the C19.  Survival of timber elements such as window and door frames is good, while the presence of a rare type of kitchen chimney makes the site important from a regional perspective.

Robert Waterhouse, BA, AIFA; Archaeologist & Architectural Historian


Great Hackworthy