Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 46788 86211



4/90 The Dower House - GV II*

House. Early to mid C16, alterations of 1664 and circa 1690. Stone rubble partly colourwashed and rendered, some cob. Slate roofs gabled at ends. 5 stacks, 2 with brick shafts, 1 rendered, 2 granite with moulded caps. The early C16 plan is puzzling. It may have been a west-facing 3 room and through passage plan with the hall stack backing on to the passage and a rear south wing with a great chamber with a roof with painted decoration. However, the hall stack is not aligned with the gable end of the main range and the possibility that the painted roof was an open hall associated with a stack should not be discounted. The south wing was extended or rebuilt to the west of the west wing, probably before 1664, forming a heated parlour wing which was extended to the north in 1664 by a second span heated by the non-aligned stack which has an adjoining stone newel stair. A rear north wing also appears to date from the late C17. In circa 1690 the south wing was entirely remodelled internally with a fine stair, canted plaster ceiling to the principal first floor room and panelling and a decorated plaster ceiling to the ground floor room. A gable on the south side suggests that there may have been a wing which no longer exists. In the late C19 Sabine Baring-Gould was responsible for some cosmetic alterations to the interior. 2 storeys. 1- + 2- + 1-window south front with irregular fenestration. Central shallow projection with asymmetrical gable contains late C17 stair. C19 entrance in front at left of projection under rectangular fanlight. A recess to the right raised about 1 metre above ground level may be a blocked doorway. Stair light is a 3-light casement, 5 panes per light. Above the C19 doorway is a 2- light granite hollow-chamfered mullioned window. To the left of the projection a ground floor 3-light granite hollow-chamfered mullioned window with leaded panes, similar first floor window. To the right of the projection a 4-light circa late C17 timber mullioned casement: 3-lights have 15-panes, 1-light has 8-panes. A 3-light first floor casement has 8 panes per light. Adjoining the south wing at the south is a small projection, formerly containing a stair. The west front of the west wing has 2-, 3- and 4-light mullioned windows with leaded panes. Projecting west gable end stack has set-offs. The entrance in the west front is an arched timber doorway with ogival head under a slated canopy. Interior 3 trusses of the C16 great chamber or open hall survive above the C17 first floor ceiling. The trusses are collar rafter with chamfered cambered collars mortised into the principals, the chamfers continuing on the principals and the arch picked out with red paint on the collars and principals. The principals appear to have curved feet. Diagonally set ridge and 3-tiers of trenched purlins, each purlin chamfered with a step runout stop. The lowest tier is painted red with a decoration of scrollwork. The trusses over the north end of the west wing have collars mortised and side-pegged into the principals and threaded purlins. Trusses over the north wing have collars halved and pegged to the principals, similar trusses to south west wings. 1 small collar rafter truss survives below the present ridge level above the C17 stair. The ground floor room of the south wing is panelled throughout with bolection-moulded panelling. Contemporary bolection-moulded fireplace surround intact. Decorated plaster ceiling has central oval motif enriched with foliage designs. The principal room above has a canted plaster ceiling with a moulded cornice carried round the principals on the south and north sides. A narrow C17 panelled door leads into the former stair turret. Fine softwood dogleg stair has heavy turned balusters, newels of square section, a flat moulded hand rail and contemporary dog gate. The south west wing has 1 panelled wall, some of the panelling C17, the rest extended in the C19, probably by Baring-Gould. The 1664 addition has a boxed-in chamfered cross beam; the C17 fireplace is partly blocked and a C19 panelled overmantel largely conceals a large chamfered granite lintel. A doorway to the left of the fireplace leads to a stone newel stair. The north end of the west wing has exposed ceiling beams and a partly blocked massive fireplace with a timber lintel carried on a moulded corbel to the left. The dower house was in the possession of the Monk family until the estate was purchased by the Goulds in 1620. Sabine Baring-Gould is reputed to have removed some of the fittings of local houses to Lew House (q.v. The Manor Hotel) and it is possible that panelling and overmantels at Lew House originate from the Dower House. An important survival of a decorated C16 roof in conjunction with an unusually complete C17 interior.

Listing NGR: SX4678886211


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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 23 Jul 2006
Reference: IOE01/13980/21
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David J. Rippon. Source Historic England Archive
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