Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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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 44565 70790


TAVISTOCK HAMLETS SX 47 SW 5/144 - Morwell Barton 14.6.52 (formerly listed as Morewell Farmhouse) I House, built around courtyard and including gatehouse, secondary living accommodation and barn. Late C15 origin, house and gatehouse, early C16 alterations including formation of wings right and left to enclose courtyard. Early C17 alterations, probably when open hall floored and stacks built. Late C18 barn range rebuilt, probably early C19 re-roofing over original structure and through C19 considerable alterations to interior, late C20 alterations. Granite and slatestone rubble with granite and Hurdwick dressings, slate roofs with raised coped verges to house, with 3 ridge and gable end stacks in granite ashlar with cornices and shaped tops with roll- mouldings. Gable end stack to right rebuilt, originally constructed as dummy for symmetry. Courtyard plan, with gatehouse front to north west, front of house at outer side to south east. Wing to south west (right) and barn range to north east (left). Originally open-hall house of 3 room and through passage plan, little internal evidence remaining; gatehouse originally separate, connected to main house by wing possibly originally of 3 cells of accommodation, each with granite stair (now removed); barn wing completely rebuilt in late C18, may originally have been stabling or have contained separate chapel. 2-storey entrance porch set in angle to rear right in courtyard, probably of late C17. Remodelling created 2 rooms to each side of former passage, with lower end to right unheated, formerly dairy. House of 2 storeys, 5-window front, all windows in granite surrounds, hollow- chamfered, with C20 leaded lights, some windows entirely C19 and C20 replacements. Bay to left has 2-light windows with 4-centred arched heads with hood-moulds at ground and first floor, of C17 at first floor. Central bay has gable over, with large 3-light replacement window with 4-centred arched heads at ground floor, first floor has 3-light window with tall 4-centred arched lights, with trefoils in spandrels and hood-mould, above a blocked single 2-centred arched light with hood- mould. Bay to right has granite 4-centred arched doorway and 2-light 4-centred arched granite window above. Single storey outhouse projects to right, with internal access from lower end, has door with ventilation slits under eaves, gable end with reset late C15/early C16 single cusped granite light with hood-mould, blocked with ventilation slit inserted. Rear of outhouse has 4 open bays with square granite piers. End bay to right has at first floor a 2-light granite window with pointed arches, not chamfered, with hood-mould, blocked. At the upper end, remains of 2 relieving arches at ground floor, possibly original window openings to hall and inner room, arches in Hurdwick stone, also Hurdwick stone eaves cornice, granite quoins left and right, indicating originally separate building. The cornice may indicate alterations to the front of the building in the second phase, also carried round wings on inner courtyard side. Granite quoins at gable end to left indicate house range was originally separate building. Gable end to right has C19 door and window with granite lintels, loading door at first floor, probably put in when barn range was rebuilt at that side; above, at attic level, a single light with 4-centred arched lights. To rear, 2 bays to left, with 2-light windows at ground floor with pointed arched heads and hood-mould, not chamfered, probably of first phase of building; at first floor 2-light windows with 4-centred arched heads, hood-mould and relieving arch in Hurdwick stone, both with recessed spandrels; Hurdwick stone eaves cornices. 2-storey porch block set in angle to right, with granite quoins and raised coped verges, gable end to left; front has tall 4-centred arched granite doorway, roll- moulded with trefoils in spandrels and hood-mould, C19 lancet to right and 2-light 2- centred arched granite window; left gable end has 2-light C20 granite window with pointed arched lights at ground floor, single C20 hollow-chamfered light at first floor. South west wing of 2 storeys (now separate accommodation), appears to have been rebuilt at various stages on inner courtyard side of 6 bays; there are 3 blocked door openings, 2 with 4-centred arched heads and one to right with pointed arch, all hollow-chamfered; second from right a 2-light granite window with 2-centred arched heads at ground and first floor, with hood-moulds, a replacement at first floor, central bay has 2-light window with cusped heads and hood-mould at ground and first floor, hollow-chamfered mullions replaced, end bay to left has C20 replacement 2- light 4-centred arched window at ground and first floor with ventilation door below. Wall curved round inner corner to end right and corbelled out, at the site of former stair with trefoil-headed stair light at upper level, blocked, and blocked lancet. Wing is continued at right angles to form junction with gatehouse, with hollow- chamfered 4-centred arched granite doorway with C20 window inserted and Tudor-arched light with recessed spandrels and hood-mould; stone work alters at junction with gatehouse. The wing has 3 ashlar ridge stacks heating each cell, and Hurdwick stone eaves cornice along whole side. Outer side of south west wing has all replacement granite windows, four 2-light windows at first floor, alternating 2-centred and 4- centred heads, ground floor has 4 doors, hollow-chamfered, with 4-centred arched heads, windows as at first floor in same bays. Gable end (to north west) has former opening at ground floor, 3-light granite window at first floor with 4-centred arched heads and hood mould; bay to left of gable end (forming junction with gatehouse) has 2-light 4-centred arched window at ground and first floor, C20 at ground floor and original at first floor, Hurdwick stone eaves cornice. North east barn range at inner courtyard side shows rebuilding to right, 2 stepped joints and uneven junction with house, possibly former chapel. To right, a pointed arched doorway, roll and hollow-moulded, with hood-mould, and blocked 2-light cusped window above with rebuilt jambs. To left, barn inserted, with 2 sets of 3 ventilation slits and small rectangular openings under eaves, quoins to left. 2 bays connecting barn to gatehouse have single 2-centred arched light at first floor. Interior of these 2 bays, separate from barn, with remains of a cambered granite door head at upper level, stair removed, 2-bay C20 roof. Outer side of barn range has single storey C19 shed attached to right with 3 doors at eaves height and ventilation slits, shed range terminating in 2-storey later C19 stabling with central segmental- headed door, door and ventilation slit to right and 4 windows under eaves; attached to rear of this building, a hexagonal round-house with granite piers infilled with concrete, plate roof, gable end of building has rebuilt cart entry with ventilation slit right and left. The single storey shed partially conceals remains of wide 4- centred arched Hurdwick stone gateway, of first phase of building of this wing; to left a C20 cart entry to barn and 3 C19 doors with cambered heads, one blocked, ventilation slits, loading door and single light under eaves to end left. Gable end of barn has 3-light granite 4-centred arched window, blocked with ventilation slits set behind; bay connecting barn to gatehouse also rebuilt, with 2-light window with 4-centred arched lights, also blocked with ventilation slits inserted. Gatehouse of 2 storeys, with polygonal stair turret right and left, each with first floor string course and embattled crocketted pinnacles, small lancet to left of central wide 2-centred arched gateway, roll and hollow-moulded, with quatrefoils in spandrels and hood-mould with square carved stops, repaired studded doors with strap hinges; 3-light window above with 4-centred arched lights, blocked with ventilation slits, gable over with raised coped verges and finial. Courtyard side of gatehouse has similar opening, with plain outer and chamfered inner order to arch, single chamfered trefoil-headed light above, blocked, with 6-pane light inserted, gable over, and 2 ashlar stacks heating rooms at first floor. Interior of gatehouse has 2 quadripartite vaults in Hurdwick stone, springing from ribbed granite shaft on moulded base at each corner, hollow-chamfered ribs with central corbels, shields at intersections along principal rib and at outer sides. Hollow-chamfered 4-centred arched door to front right and left, blocked to right, leading to granite winder stair. Chamber at first floor has chamfered granite fireplace with oven to rear, garderobe shaft with 4-centred arched wooden doorframe, blocked doorway to south west wing and pointed arched doorway at top of stair. C20 roof, shape of partition wall indicated former arched-brace roof. Interior of house. This is much altered, fireplace at gable end, possibly former inner room, is in granite, roll-moulded with cambered head and recessed spandrels. Fireplace beneath ridge stack also roll-moulded and hollow-chamfered with flat head, probably heating original lower end room. Room at far lower end, formerly dairy, has 4-centred arched hollow-chamfered granite doorway. In roof, 3 bays only remain of early date over former hall, trusses with chamfered arched-braces, chamfered and cambered collars, remains of brattished wall-plate, 3 rows of purlins, some chamfered, halved principals. Preserved in house, further remains of wall-plate with fine carved foliage. Morwell Barton was the country residence of the Abbots of Tavistock. The Abbot received a license for a chapel in 1391, and the core of the building may date from this time. (Sources: Pevsner, N.: Buildings of England: South Devon 1952).

Listing NGR: SX4456770783


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: South Devon, (1952)


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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