Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Forge Cottages, Branscombe, Devon

Originally listed as Margels Bridge Cottages, and probably consisting of four cottages, this lovely Grade II listed building now comprises two cottages; Forge Cottage and No 1 Forge Cottages. Forge Cottage is now owned by the National Trust and is let out as a holiday home.

I noticed it when some friends and myself went to the Branscombe Autumn Fayre at the end of September 2015, and I managed to sneak out for a few minutes to take some photos of the Forge that's on the opposite side of the lane. Then the next day we decided to come back to Branscombe to have a look at the Mill and other places and I took some photos of Forge Cottages on the way. It's a pity I didn't take some on the Saturday of that weekend during the fayre, as it was a gloriously sunny day, but on the Sunday it was overcast with white cloud cover, as can be seen on my photos. Doh!

Built with plastered stone rubble and possibly some cob in the late 17th or early 18th century, it was later renovated in the early 1970s, and the stone & rubble chimney stacks were topped with brick in the 19th or early 20th century. An axial chimney stack serves both cottages in a central parting wall with back-to-back fireplaces. Each cottage comprise a two room plan with two storeys throughout. The frontage includes two upper storey windows and three ground floor windows plus a door for each cottage. It is thought that the central ground floor windows conceal where a further two doors entered the other two cottages of the original four, and an occupant from the 1970s recalled knocking through a partition wall to make two into one, which seems to confirm it.

A gable ended roof, with it's iconic thatching, No 1 also has a one room plan extension to the rear. Although the interiors were thoroughly refurbished circa 1970, much of the original carpentry detail was retained including the ceiling beams, and the exposed bases of the roof scantling suggests that late 17th or early 18th century A-frame trusses were used. The rubble fireplaces have chamfered oak lintels.

On the opposite side of a footpath running by No1 is this old outbuilding. I don't know if it's connected to the cottage at all, but I took a photo of it anyway. So annoyed at myself for not taking it on the sunshiney day before, as it looked gorgeous then, but rather drab on the photo taken the next day.

I only took these five photos, and consisting solely of No 1, as we walked past on the footpath to the Old Bakery and Manor Mill, also owned by the National Trust. I'll make another visit for more photos as soon as I can. The footpath leads through an orchard to The Old Bakery, as seen in the photo below. 

After the orchard is this lovely funky bridge across a stream into meadows, which took us to Manor Mill. 

The Forge here

The Old Bakery  here  

Manor Mill  here

Forge Cottages photos can also be seen in the Photo Gallery album. The orchard photo is in the The Old Bakery album and the funky bridge in the Manor Mill one.

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