Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
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)
South Tawton
National Grid Reference:



1/176 Wood House

28.1.87 GV II*

Large country house. 1899 - 1905, on site of older house. Thomas Mawson prepared the first ground plan of the house and its relation to the terraces and garden scheme. The designed garden was laid out by the Lakeland Nurseries firm under Robert Mawson, Thomas' brother. The house architect was Dan Gibson, the client was William Lethbridge. The hall is coursed blocks of granite ashlar, the rest is roughcast stone rubble or brick; granite ashlar detail; stone rubble or brick stacks some with rectangular chimneyshafts of granite ashlar, others circular of roughcast brick and a couple replaced with C20 concrete blocks; slate roof. Plan: basically an H-shaped house. Main garden front faces south-east. Central full height hall (articulated like a medieval hall and maybe on the site of the original) with main stair behind. It is set between 2 crosswings which project front and back each end. Both the front rooms are large parlours heated by projecting outer lateral stacks. The right (north-eastern) one is probably the dining room since the rear part of this wing contains the kitchen and service rooms with servant accommodation over. The entrance hall is in the middle of the left (south-western) wing with the library behind. More service rooms to rear. Both rear blocks return a short distance- inwards and nearly enclose the rear courtyard. A gatehouse projects south-westwards from the rear end of that wing. Most of the rooms are heated by a series of prominent lateral and axial stacks. Most is 2 storeys with some attic servant accommodation. Restrained Arts and Crafts style in Tudor style with some Voyseyesque touches. Exterior: symmetrical 1:3:1 window section to the garden front. The recessed hall section of granite has full height windows with a continuous hoodmould and across the top an open parapet of granite balusters like those used around the front garden terrace. The gabled fronts of the wings contain large mullion-and-transom windows with hoodmoulds. Inner sides of the wings have small twin-gabled bays facing each other across the paved courtyard. Nearly all the windows have barely-moulded granite mullions, the larger ones transomed. Only a few have hoodmoulds, the rest functional slate dripstones. Some of the rear windows are timber. All contain rectangular panes of leaded glass: The entrance front has an irregular 1:2:1:2 window front. Gabled porch has a Tudor outer arch with ovolo-moulded surround and urn stops. The gatehouse wing contains a large round arch to the carriageway, is gabled above, and flanked by massive projecting stacks with circular chimney shafts. The chimneyshaft on the entrance front was originally the same. The rear elevation is continued in the same style and includes a 2-storey gabled bay window. The service courtyard is shielded by woodsheds projecting out at right angles, the back wall of which contains 2 round-headed granite niches. Rear and service sections are more irregular and enlived by a series of gabled cross roofs. Style thoughout plain relieved only by the prettily decorated lead gutters and down pipes. Interior: is largely original. The hall is enclosed on 3 sides with bold exposed timbering with an open (now glazed) gallery looking down from the stair landing. The staircase rises round a solid framed wall in C16 style. The main rooms in the wings have C17 style small field oak panelling and Tudor style fireplaces and chimneypieces. The ornamental plasterwork of the ceilings is particularly worthy of note. Jacobean vernacular in style. No two rooms are quite the same. The rear rooms are more Arts and Crafts in style. The original detail extends to the door fittings and Art Nouveau light fittings etc. Wood House is a good, if unremarkable, Arts and Crafts Movement house. Its importance however is as part of Mawson's formal landscaped scheme which is mostly intact. Their interaction give the house its special character. It is a house planted in a garden rather than a garden planted around a house. Mawson's architectural features of the garden are also listed. Mawson himself saw Wood as one of his major achievements. It is also one of the rare examples of his work in Southern England. Source. T. H. Mawson The Arts and Craft of Garden Making includes copious notes and illustrations of Wood. Correspondence with Bridget Cherry and Harriet Jordan, who is researching Mawson's works.

Listing NGR: SX6549896019


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

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Books and journals
Mawson, T H, The Art and Craft of Garden Making, (1907)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 11 Devon,


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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