Cresson Hayes is made of granite with a slate roof and large chimney stacks, dating back to the early sixteenth century, though the plan of the house is medieval in style.
Upstairs is much altered, though there are still some original features such as windows with moulded granite surrounds, and wooden roof beams. Downstairs there is still much evidence of the building’s original stonework, mouldings and structure. The sitting room has a sixteenth century beam painting of scrolls and foliage, and a mullioned window of ecclesiastical design. The parlour has carved details on its beams and joists, and both rooms have large granite fireplaces with stoves.
The style of its windows, mouldings and other carved detail on its ceiling-beams suggest that the house was of higher status than a farmhouse.
According to early records, it was known as Christian Hayes, and locally the house has always been referred to as the Monk’s House. This, along with some of its architectural features, supports the idea of a building with ecclesiastical origins.
It is said that Cresson Hayes was the home of the Reverend Lyde, the vicar of nearby Widecombe at the time the church was struck by lightning in October 1638. The building was subsequently put to more commercial uses, and there are signs of its occupancy by a blacksmith and a carpenter.