An interesting sideline to stalking dead people is researching the house in which your ancestors lived. This is particularly rewarding in situations where the house still exists, especially when the house goes on the market, as is currently the case with Langley Barton in Yarnscombe, Devon and Brightley Barton in Dolton, Devon.
In 1783, my gggg-grandfather George COOKE purchased Langley Barton for £1935 but did not take up residency until 1788. At the time Langley Barton was considered part of the parish of High Bickington. My ggg-grandfather, William COOKE, was born at Langley Barton in 1791 although he emigrated to Newfoundland in 1817. His older brother, Michael COOKE, inherited the property in 1821 and lived there until his death in 1866. Michael's son, George, then inherited Langley Barton, however, he sold the property in 1878 and retired to Bideford.
Langley Barton is a Grade II listed manor house believed to date from the early 17th century. The house was previously the home of the Pollard family and it is believed that the Pollards lived there from 1303 to 1732. The Pollard coat of arms are carved above the entrance and a concealed fireplace stone bears the initials RP (most likely Richard Pollard) and the date 1624. The house has a five bay south-facing front and retains numerous 17th century features including a staircase, panelled door and fireplace.
The property is currently listed at £799,500.
Brightly Barton in Dolton, Devon was the birthplace of my gg-grandmother, Elizabeth Tucker BUDD (1921), daughter of John BUDD and Elizabeth Southcombe TUCKER. It is not certain how long Brightly Barton was occupied by the BUDD family. In the 1842 Tithe Apportionments, John BUDD is shown as the occupier while Thomas OWEN is listed at the owner. John BUDD was at Brightly Barton at the time of the 1841 and 1851 Census but by the time of the 1861 Census was living elsewhere.
Brightly Barton is a Grade II listed farmhouse dating from the late 15th century but rebuilt with additions in the 17th century and 19th century. The house is of cob and stone and was thought to have been originally built as an open hall house with a central heath. It is currently listed at £965,000.