This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.
SS4526 BRIDGELAND STREET 842-1/5/30 (North side) 08/11/49 No.12 Masonic Hall, caretaker's house at rear and garden walls at left and rear (Formerly Listed as: BRIDGELAND STREET (North side) No.12)
Part of a large house originally including No 11 (qv); now Masonic hall with caretaker's house at rear. 1692; front refaced and rear wing widened in C19. Solid rendered walls (probably brick underneath). Slate roofs; crested red ridge-tiles on front range. Rendered chimney at left end of ridge on front range; 2 more at rear. Plan: front range has through-passage at right-hand side; to left of it the staircase with a room beyond that; one room in rear wing with a range behind it, parallel to the street. There must have been at least 2 more rooms fronting the street (on the site of No 11) and it is quite possible that the house had a full courtyard plan like that at Nos 28 and 28A (qv); the rear range is not certainly original, but must date from at least the early or mid C18. 2 storeys, with garret at rear. 4-window front covered with rusticated render; raised band above ground storey. Moulded wooden eaves-cornice. Windows segmental-headed with moulded flush frames containing 6-paned sashes; sills supported by a small bracket at each end, the ground-storey sills with low decorated iron guards on top. Wide doorway flanked by plain-shafted Ionic columns supporting entablature with pulvinated frieze and modillioned cornice. Doorway itself is segmental-headed, but fitted into it is a square-headed moulded architrave and an 8-panelled door. In front of latter a low wooden dog- or child-gate with turned balusters; to left of doorcase an iron hook and ring, presumably for tying up dogs or horses. Rear wall of rear range (visible from Ropewalk) has segmental-headed, flush-framed windows containing 6 or 8-paned sashes; one in ground storey has early, thick, glazing-bars; modillioned eaves cornice. Left-hand garden wall, adjoining Lavington Chapel, is of old (probably late C17) red and yellow brick; rear wall fronting Ropewalk is similar, built on a high stone-rubble plinth. INTERIOR: at rear of through-passage a round arch with moulded imposts. Beyond it, to left, door to staircase; half-glazed with coloured glass, fanlight with Gothic glazing-bars. Open-well wooden staircase rising to second storey has closed, pulvino-moulded strings, stout turned balusters, square newels with flat moulded caps carrying ball-finials (the latter probably a later addition), broad flat moulded handrail. Ornate moulded ceiling with thick moulded ribs; round centre panel with guilloche decoration, flanked by 2 shaped panels, the whole enclosed in an oblong. Foliated boss in centre, modillioned cornice enriched with egg-and-dart round the wall-tops. Front and wing rooms in ground storey combined into a single dining-room. Front part has raised bolection-moulded panelling and foliated cornice; early C19 reeded door-frame with carved flowers in top corners. Second-storey rooms above similarly combined to form an imposing masonic temple with painted coved ceiling and columns. Rear section (in wing) has raised bolection-moulded architrave and moulded cornice. Front section has raised-and-fielded ovolo-moulded panelling in early or mid C18 style. Front room over through-passage has part of a box-cornice, apparently cut off when the house was divided. Some of the panelling in the house is clearly C19 or early C20 imitation, but the bulk of the bolection-moulded panelling is almost certainly original. Rear range not inspected, but ground-storey window has early or mid C18 shutters with raised-and-fielded ovolo-moulded panels. This is Bideford Bridge Trust property, built under a lease of 21.9.1693 to John Smith, merchant. A second lease of 20.5.1698 describes it as the house 'wherein the said John Smith now dwelleth and heretofore lately built by him'; it had a frontage of 80ft. By 1784, when it was called the Great House, it had already been divided into two houses, and by 1792 the eastern house (No 11) had been rebuilt. The freemasons have had their hall at No 12 since at least 1895. (Bideford Bridge Trust Survey: A1/10; Wilson's Bideford Almanack: 1895-: P.47).
Listing NGR: SS4539126851