Shute, United Kingdom

Old Shute House (known as Shute Barton between about 1789 and the 20th century), located at Shute, near Colyton, Axminster, Devon, is the remnant of a mediaeval manor house with Tudor additions, today in the ownership of the National Trust. It was given a Grade I listing on 14 December 1955. It is one of the most important non-fortified manor houses of the Middle Ages still in existence. It was built about 1380 as a hall house and was greatly expanded in the late 16th century and partly demolished in 1785. The original 14th-century house survives, although much altered. This article is based on the work of Bridie (1955), which has however been superseded as the standard work of reference on the architectural history of the building by the unpublished Exeter Archaeology Report of 2008 produced for the National Trust. This report draws on new evidence gained from the recently discovered survey of 1559 made by Sir William Petre, which lists each main room of the then existing house together with its contents. From this evidence a conjectural ground plan of the house pre-1785 was recently produced by Roger Waterhouse.

The original 1380 building was a simple parallelogram measuring externally 36 feet by 46 feet, containing a single large room, a great hall, extending up to the roof, lit by four 12 foot pointed-arched gothic windows, two on each of the long sides. The original entry door survives in the middle of the northern façade, but the two 12 foot flanking windows were later filled in, although their outlines are still visible in the stonework. The fireplace was at the western end and the dais on which was situated the lord's table was at the opposite eastern end, beyond which was the screens-passage leading to the domestic outbuildings.


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