33 – Penrose Cottage

Ruth West outside her grandmother’s home in 1934
A meeting in the British Legion hut

This Grade 2 listed building dates from the early 1500s. Initially single storied, the roof would have been smoke blackened from the fire sited on the floor of the open hall. It was later divided into two rooms. The upper floors were inserted in the late C16th, when a fireplace was also installed. It stands beside the stream called the Wash Brook (now culverted) and is built of dressed course rubble with one and a half stories under a thatched roof. In the mid 1800s Sarah Gilliam, a widow of a farm labourer, lived here and won a prize for raising the largest family in Butleigh without financial help from the Parish. The British Legion had a hut here in the 1950s when there were dances and social evenings. Mrs West lived here in the 1920s with a large cat. She had one of the first crystal radio sets and was also known for starching white collars for 6d each. Mr Conway, the organist lodged with her in 1950s/60s.