This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.


List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1231185



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


District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Morwenstow

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 26-Sep-1951

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 64892

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



3/81 Tonacombe Manor 26.9.51


Manor house. Early C16 core, late C16 refurbishing, circa early C18 additions, C20 addition. Stone rubble with slate roofs with gable ends, polyphant and granite dressings, chimneys of local brick, some repaired with C19 or C20 brick. Complex development. The early C16 plan may have been a double courtyard plan with main range of 3 rooms and through passage with unheated room at lower end and open hall and heated parlour at higher end, hall heated by rear lateral stack, parlour by rear lateral stack. Some evidence of kitchen wing to rear of unheated lower end room. Second smaller parlour with solar above formerly reached by newel stair to rear of large parlour. A rear range, demolished in the C19, is said to have had heated rooms and may have been a service range, possibly contemporary with the main range. Parallel to the front of the main range is a narrow 2-storey south range with gatehouse, porter's lodge and service rooms, forming a narrow south courtyard at the front of the main range. This south range probably contemporary with the main range. Late C16 refurbishment of the interior. 2 parlours were added to the rear right of the main range, probably in the early C18, re-using some granite dressings from the earlier build. Walls surrounding the house on all sides, and forming a pleasaunce to the east; a carriageway to the south known as "the street", and a lower courtyard to the west are likely to be of C17 or earlier origins, although renovated in the C18 and C19, the C18 renovation probably incorporating materials from Stowe, dismantled circa 1739. In the C18 the kitchen wing was remodelled as part of a separate building to the rear left. C20 addition to the rear of the small parlour wing has roof with hipped end. Outer walls and gatehouse range give Tonacombe Manor a fortified appearance. Gatehouse range entered through chamfered elliptical arched granite doorway with door of studded moulded cover strips with wicket inserted. Gatehouse chamber entered from south courtyard up flight of stone steps in lean-to projection with massive granite monolith used as jamb. Asymmetrical south front of main range is 2 storeys to left of front door, open hall to right. Off-centre chamfered arched doorway on front at left under slated canopy carried on carved granite corbels and granite lintel, corbels carved with heads. 3-light stone mullioned window to left of door, first floor windows to left of door, one 3-light stone mullioned window under moulded lintel, one similar 2-light window. 2 hall windows, each a 3-light granite mullioned window with hollow-chamfered arched lights. Leaded panes C19 pattern throughout. East front of house, facing pleasaunce has enlarged circa early C20 3- light mullioned windows to east gable end of main range under concrete lintels. Gabled circa early C18 stair projection has circa early C19 8-pane sash. Stone mullioned windows to parlour wing. Interior. Open hall with gallery at west end has 5 bays of moulded arched brace trusses with slightly cambered collars and 2 tiers of threaded purlins. Trusses reinforced with metal ties. Moulded square-headed stone fireplace probably with chimneypiece missing. Screens gallery formerly reached by newel stair, now has timber stair. Partition wall of screens passage has heavily-moulded verticals. East end of hall has 1578 wainscot panelling terminating in frieze below a moulded cornice, frieze divisions formed by fluted pilasters. Panelling brought from bedroom beyond the gallery in the mid C19 when the gallery was opened up. Early C18 moulded timber pediment above doorway into parlour. Parlour has massive moulded cross beams and moulded joists of the early C16; walls panelled throughout with late C16 panelling of similar design to bedroom overlooking pleasaunce. Parlour frieze contains armorial bearings. Early C18 stair with turned balusters and moulded handrail in stair projection. Bedroom above the small parlour has canted ceiling and is also panelled throughout with late C16 panelling and retains sleeping recess and contemporary cupboards. Bedroom over lower end of main range has first quality panelling and a date of 1578. Contemporary panelled bed recess and applewood inlay to cupboard doors. 2 roof trusses over lower end of main range, westernmost arched brace without mouldings, easternmost without braces has cambered collar. Roofspace over east end of gatehouse range has collar rafter roof, collars mortised into principals, trenched purlins. "Blue Parlour" to the north of the main range has sash windows and bolection-moulded panelling. Tonacombe Manor is an outstanding late medieval manor house preserving its open hall and many other features intact. It has remained in the hands of one family since the early C16. The main build of the present house may date from the marriage between Thomasin Jourden of Tonacombe and John Kempthorne in the early C16. Tonacombe Manor passed through the female line to the Waddons in the mid C17, and the Martyns in the late C18. Dennis Waddon (1697-1764) was land agent to the Grenville lands in Cornwall from about 1739, during the period just after Stowe, the Grenville house in Kilkhampton parish, was dismantled. It seems possible that materials from Stowe were used at Tonacombe. The house is very unaltered since Christopher Hussey's article of 1933. Country Life, Nov 11th, 1933, pp.500-506. Source for family history, Mr W H Waddon-Martyn.

Listing NGR: SS2092014503

Selected Sources

Books and journals
'Country Life' in 11 November, (1933), 500-506

National Grid Reference: SS 20925 14506


© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1231185 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 26-Sep-2017 at 01:59:50.

End of official listing