The Somerset Records Office hold a Charter dated 1068 that mentions Barton (and nearby MaxMills).
The Somerset Vernacular Building Research Group examined the sixty oldest buildings in the Parish of Winscombe & Sandford and published a document ref ISBN 978-0 9523824-7-8.
Recently a guest specifically visited Home Farm as his mother who died in 1985 had documented her childhood in the years before her death. Dorothy, born in 1893, had spent time in Home Farm around the 1900’s and is buried in Winscombe cemetry.
What follows are extracted from the various notes and publications above, plus from copies of surveys dating back to 1792 (White’s Map). “
A brief history
With the experts looking at the various building methods and timbers the view is that Home Farm was originally built around 1450. It was a single storey house with what was probably a barn attached. The House was extended towards the road in the late 1400’s, and the roof raised and a second floor added around 250 years ago. The original Bakehouse cottage cannot be dated but was rebuilt around 230 years ago on the same site as the original building. Both the Bakehouse and Home Farm are Grade 2 listed.
The 1792 survey shows several outbuildings at that time which are where the Granary and Scrumpy cottages now stand.
‘Dorothy’ recalls in the early 1900’s that the Bakehouse was used as the kitchen and there was also a hay store (probably the cottage now called Hayloft), plus a cider barn (again probably where Scrumpy Cottage is placed).
The area of Winscombe (of which Barton is a part), was owned by the Bishop of Bath (who left King Richard 1 in Austria to return home), who then additionally took over Glastonbury diocese. This passed to the Dean of Wells in 1239, and subsequently the newly created Bath and Wells Bishop in 1245. Around this time St James Church in Winscombe was built. It was rebuilt in the 15th century and is now the only Grade 1 building in the parish. The local MP (John Penrose) lives in the old Rectory next door to the church which is around a mile from Home Farm.
There are some records of families who have owned and lived at Home Farm but none are of note.
Mainly operating as a farm for centuries, it fell into disuse with most of the land sold in the mid 20th century. Recovery of the buildings and land started in the 1980’s and the 5th cottage – Frys Barn – was completed on 2003. The original stones from this derelict barn are now the main retaining walls of the raised central gardens.
The survey by the Vernacular Society noted some specific items: –
The 17th century nailed front door with applied mouldings in a moulded frame.
17th century food cupboard.
16th century lintel over the primary fireplace.
A double shouldered stop on a first floor frame
A bar and roll stop on the 16th century fireplace jamb
18th century curing chamber in the former kitchen (now Bakehouse Cottage).
Trusses at each end of the current kitchen in Home Farm. cut from Elm and probably dating to the 16th Century
The fireback dates from the 17th century and has the initials RS, which are probably ‘Richard Sweet’ the owner who dies in 1726.
Cruck & Tie beam supporting an od ‘A’ beam in main bedroom.
Cross beamed ceiling in dining room with some original beams probably around 250 years old.