Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

South Hams (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 79820 62668


DARTINGTON SX7862 - SX7962 DARTINGTON HALL 12/120 Dartington Hall 11.11.52


Medieval mansion in educational use. Built 1388-1399 by John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon and later Duke of Exeter; altered in 1560-1, C17 and 1740 and restored 1926-36 by William Weir for L K Elmhurst. Limestone and shale rubble with Beerstone dressings. Slate roofs with raised gable end verges. Large courtyard plan. Hall range on south side has porch to screens passage, 3-storey low east end with chambers above buttery and pantry and central axial passage to large detached kitchen. At high end of hall large fireplace and block of apartments partly rebuilt and (or) raised to 4 storeys in 1560-1. On west side of courtyard range of 10 pairs of lodgings and on east side remains of range which probably comprised 14 pairs of lodgings. On north side of courtyard the so-called 'gate-house' range (probably workshops and dormitory). At east end of north range large 14- bay barn (circa C15) with later engine house on north side. Hall range has battlements, 4 large pointed arch hall windows (C20 copies of C18) with buttresses between, entrance to left of centre with large 3-storey porch with moulded pointed arch, polygonal stair turret in left angle and bellcote (1737 bell). Rear (S) elevation of hall range has similar hall windows, high left end 4 storeys and projects and at low right end detached kitchen (now attached), square plan with high level lancets. West lodgings range, 2 storeys and attic, 18 window bays, mostly 1740 and C20 fenestration but some original 2-light stone mullion transom windows with shouldered head lights and 2-storey porches with 4 centred arches and stairs to chambers; 2 porches on right (N) largely unaltered but others lost stairs and centre porch missing; at rear of west range row of lateral stacks. North range centre porch missing; at rear of west range row of lateral stacks. North range has rough stone round archway and C20 windows and barn on east has steeply pitched roof and semi-polygonal engine house on outer north side. Surviving north end of east range has 2 gabled wings and lateral stack at back. Detached wall of former south courtyard has seven 4-centred arches and overlooks so-called 'tiltyard' (AM113) Interior: Hall porch has ribbed vault with Richard II's arms (1390). C20 hall roof by W Weir. Large fireplace unusually situated at high end of hall. Rebuilt screen with gallery above. 4 doorway in screens passage serving stairs to chambers, buttery and pantry and central axial passage to detached kitchen which has 2 enormous fireplaces and rebuilt roof by W Weir. Lower end chambers have some early C17 panelling, moulded plaster emblems and C20 roof, but with impression of original roof in end gable. High end apartment block remodelled circa 1740 but C16 roof survives; circa 1740 stairhall and staircase. South end of lodging range has corridor behind suite of C18 panelled rooms on first floor, large chamfered cross- beams below. 9 bays of roof at north end of lodgings survive, but restored, and closed-truss at centre. Drawing of contemporary galleon scratched on plaster of partition. "Gate-house" range has 6 bays of arched brace raised cruck trusses with king-posts and collar purlins, square-set clasped purlin and wind braces. Note: Although the north range is believed to be the earlier hall of the Fitzmartins there is evidence for it being contemporary, or nearly so, with Holands hall range, since the lower gable end wall of hall range has impression of a roof truss similar to that of north range. East and west lodging ranges were probably added circa 1393-1400, the east side of hall has remains of circa late C14 wall which seems to be semi-defensive and probably had private quarters for John Holland's family, but circa late C13 foundations were discovered during excavations (1962) which may be remains of the Fitzmartin's manor house. In 1740 Arthur Champernowne remodelled part of the interior of the apartments at the high end of the hall. Little alteration to the plan until early C19 when part of east range was demolished. The work carried out by the elmhurst's between 1926 and 1936 was largely restoration, including reconstruction of hall roof which had been dismantled in 1813, but the barn in the north range was converted into a theatre in 1933-8 by R Hening and Walter Gropius. Sources: 1. C Platt, excavation report Archaeological Journal CXIX, pp208- 224. 2. A Emery, Dartington Hall (1970) 3. A Emery, Dartington Hall, Devonshire, Archaeological Journal CXV, pp184-202 4. C Hussey, Country Life, Vols LXXIII, p548; LXXXIII, p590, CXLV, p178 and CXLV, p232. 5. V Bonham-Carter, Dartington Hall, 1925-56, a report in the Dartington archive.

Listing NGR: SX7999462650


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Bonham Carter, V, Dartington Hall 1925-56
Emery, A , Dartington Hall, (1970)
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 75, (), 548
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 75, (), 590
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 75, (), 178 232
'Archaeological Journal' in Archaeological Journal, (), 208-224
'Archaeological Journal' in Archaeological Journal, (), 184-202
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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Date: 08 Apr 2003
Reference: IOE01/10583/06
Rights: Copyright IoE Miss Annette Waugh. Source Historic England Archive
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