Torridge Council and many locals are celebrating the listing of “Brackenside House” near Bucks Cross on the National Heritage Register at Grade II by Historic England. The house which had lain dormant for some time only went on the market in 2016 for the first time in 40 years and was sold at auction. The building which had been untouched since the post-war period was championed as a fine example of a traditional English small country house in a very unaltered state.
The new owners, who operate an adjoining holiday park, had applied for the house to be demolished, but planning officers at Torridge stepped in to save the structure for future generations. The planning authority applied a seldom-used process of serving a Building Preservation Notice, which effectively gives the building “listed” status until Historic England were able to assess the heritage merit of the structure.
The original house is believed to have been built in the 1820s and was later remodelled and added to in the 1850s. Many original features remain including the original owners’ coat of arms in plasterwork, a gothic porch, 19th Century doors, windows, shutters, chimney pieces and grand central staircase. The House was at one time the vicarage to the local Church of St Anne, which is also listed, an association which in the view of the assessor carried further weight for listing. The former stable and coach house also form part of the listed grouping.
Councillor Pete Watson – Lead Member for Planning said:
“The likelihood of finding unique and significant properties that have remained essentially untouched and survive like a time capsule diminishes which each year that passes. When we do find such properties it is fortunate that we have a team at Torridge that are able to support local enthusiasm to protecting such finds. It is very satisfying to see the outcome that in this case will protect this building for many years to come and allow future generations to be able to enjoy its unique features.”