Your chance to buy cottage that formed 1600s monks’ meeting-place

The property has a long history stretching back to the 17th century.

By Chloe Shakesby   |   Property writer   |
Wednesday 6th July 2022 10:37 am
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church terrace
The house was once used as a meeting place for monks, later being converted into an almshouse. (Mansbridge Balment )

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This 17th century cottage was a meeting place for churchgoers and monks - and now it could be yours for £450,000.

The house on Church Terrace, Broadwoodwidger, was built in the mid-1600s and was owned by the church, which backs onto the property.

Local lore suggests that monks used to stop at the house on their journeys to the church, and it was also used as a meeting place until the late 1700s.

The Broadwoodwidger Local History Society records show that in June 1797, the church’s reverend, William Harris, and warden, William Eastcott, paid five shillings for the house to be converted to a house of industry, or church almshouses, splitting the house into three cottages and adding a fourth to the end.

church terrace
The house retains exposed timber beams and a period fireplace in the sitting room. (Mansbridge Balment )

Almshouses were accommodations provided for widows, the poor or the elderly, among others, who could not afford their own homes. Churches would set up spaces in their communities to help the most needy in their congregation.

Almshouses still exist today, with more than 2,600 in the UK.

Two of the cottages were later combined, presumably in the late 1900s, to create this Grade II-listed house, retaining many original features.

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The kitchen features a unique oven recess, as well as flagstone floors. (Mansbridge Balment )

Externally, the house displays stone rubble to the front and slate roof gables on either end, which was formerly thatched.

Inside, there are beams across the ceilings on the ground floor, flagstone flooring, a period fireplace and window seating.

The house is made up of a sitting room, a kitchen/dining room, a utility room with WC, three double bedrooms, one en-suite and one family bathroom.

church terrace
The gardens, which back onto the churchyard, contain a garage/workshop and a former piggery. (Mansbridge Balment )

The garden, which backs onto the churchyard, contains a stone outbuilding which is a former piggery.

The property is being marketed by Mansbridge Balment for £450,000.

church terrace
The house mixes traditional and modern for a rustic feel. (Mansbridge Balment )

Matryn Cox of Mansbridge Balment’s Okehampton branch said: “This attractive 17th century cottage of historical interest was once used as a stop-off for monks on their journey to the local parish church.

“The row of cottages has also, in the past, as a single building been a “ house of industry” providing shelter and work for the poor of the parish.

“Its elevated position offers outstanding views over the surrounding countryside while retaining a close connection to the church and village.”


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