7 SEPTEMBER 1951, Page 18


ONE last brief memory of East Devon. Up in the hills above Colyton on the Coly, an affluent of the Axe; a tilted village in pastel shades with the solidest weathervane of a Cock I have ever seen and where the sign- posts to the confusion of travellers are hypnotised by the mystic n of " 3 miles "—up in the hills stands a deserted little manor, e Barton. I knew nothing of its history beyond the fact that it be • a farm in the 18th century. But that history can be fascinatin deciphered from its windows. Hardly can there be in England ove small area of surface so many, different types registering different ages —pairs of lancets and narrow trefoil-headed windows of the Middle Ages, square-headed ones with dripstones, mullions and transoms denot- ing transition to the Tudor fashion, deeply moulded single and imposing ones of the Queen Anne period. There the series stops and the bow- windowed Georgian mansion in the park shows why. The little battle- mented manor with its stepped, buttresses and angle-gargoyles became old-fashioned, and the farmer walkedin, to desert it in our pinched era for the gatehouse. Through those windows we can read a modest self-sufficiency, an access of plenty, an overplus of power that disdained the past, a relapse into utility and at the end dereliction and Nature undoing the long labours of man.

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