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 80226 60502


1. 5180 GUILDHALL YARD -------------- The Guildhall SX 8060 NW 1/44 SX 8060 SW 1/44 7.1.52.


2. Circa 1553, reconstructed in 1624 (wall tablet)and extensively altered in 1829. On the site of the Benedictine Priory of St Mary founded by Judhael in 1086. After the Dissolution in 1536 the greater part of the priory church of St Mary was adapted for use as the parish church (qv), and the convential buildings, on the north side, were granted to Walter Smythe and, in 1553, to the Town Council who incorporated them in the new Guildhall buildings. The Courtroom appears to be on the site of the monastic refectory and retains some of the original window openings, the main refectory entrance to Guildhall Yard (formerly the site of the cloister) and an internal doorway to the site of the monastic kitchen at the west end, later the prison. At the east end a building with a vaulted undercroft (possibly the Prior's lodging) formed the nucleus of the Grammar School also established in 1553 (see Nos 5 and 5A Guildhall Yard). 2 storeys. 2 windows. Welsh slate roof with gabled belfry, and lantern with pyramidal roof over Council Chamber. Medieval, Devonian limestone rubble walls dressed and patched with New Red sandstone. Traces of blocked medieval windows. Cl9 traceried windows in Perpendicular style in old openings. Original wooden C15 doorway at west end with timber lintol and moulded, 4 centred arched head; plank and batten door, iron pegs and moulded cover strips. Later doorway inserted at east end with 4-centred arched head and chamfered reveals. The loggia in front of the Guildhall constructed circa 1897 with granite columns taken from the Exchange built in 1616, later a market, and pulled down in 1878. In the pavement beneath the canopy are the initials "L.A. 1615" worked into the cobble sett and referring to Lawrence Adams, mayor. Interior 2 bay courtroom still retaining some C16 linenfold panelling (graffiti dated 1633). C19 deal panelling and seats with turned balusters to gallery at west end. Courtroom with Royal Coat of Arms, in plaster with date 1553. Magistrates chair with fine carved canopy reputedly of 1624 with arms of Totnes. 1st floor Council Chamber at west end with similar canopied seat and decorated plaster frieze and overmntel, the latter of 1624. Belay Council Chamber, original wainscotted prison cell ("dark house" approached bY 5 centred arched doorway with chamfered reveals. Cell with barred windows and original plank and batten prison doors with iron pegs. Further cells at west end now form part of the boiler house beneath the Guildhall cottage (qv). Remained a prison until 1893. (M Laithwaite).

Listing NGR: SX8022660501


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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: 06 Jul 2006
Reference: IOE01/15693/17
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Chester. Source Historic England Archive
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