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.

North Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


TAWSTOCK SS 52 NE 4/93 St Michael's School, Tawstock - Court 25.2.65 GV II

Country house, used as school since 1940. 1787, remodelled at rear in 1885. Stuccoed stone rubble. Hipped slate roofs concealed by parapet. Overall 4-sided rear courtyard plan. The garden (east front) has 2 principal rooms to each side of wide entrance hall with rear passage which has staircases and entrances at each end. Left-hand (south) rear wing contains library, right hand (north) rear wing the service rooms. Gatehouse to rear (west) wing. Principally Gothick style, the 1885 additions to rear in late medieval gothic style. South front: 2 storeys. 9 bays, symmetrical with polygonal corner turrets. Embattled parapet. Plat-band. 3 centre bays break forward slightly with pediment. In each face of the towers and in the pediment is a blind quatrefoil panel. Central single storey gabled porch with embattled parapet and diagonal buttresses. Tall lancet window to each side wall, and large 2 centred arched doorway to front with a 4-centred sub-arch and cartouche to the tympanum. All Gothick fenestration with pointed arched windows and sashes with intersecting glazing bars. Decorative rainwater heads to each side of porch and pediment with ornamental cresting and armorial shields. Left (south) side: 8 bays including tower-like rectangular wing to right hand end which is a westward continuation of the polygonal corner turret and a rectangular tower-projection at left end, both rising above the 5 central bays, the middle bay of which has a 2 storey canted bay window. Embattled parapet and plat-band. Except for the bay windows, the windows are 2 light Gothick casements with Y bars above sashes, those at left end with intersecting glazing bars. The tower wing at the right-hand end has a large mullioned window of 5 depressed headed lights with 5 transomes above a battlemented 2-centred arched doorway with trefoil-headed sub-arch and diagonal buttresses. Right (north) side has similar tower to those on east side with Gothick fenestration at right hand end of 3 bay range, the left hand bay with added late C19 canted bay entrance front rising to 2 storeys with 3 light transomed mullion window with rubbed brick surround, some of the panes with armorial glass above ogee-headed doorway (now blocked) with rubbed brick panelling above. The remainder of the north wing extending westwards beyond the tower concealed by C20 extension. West side has rear late C19 courtyard entrance resembling fortified brick gatehouse with diagonal buttresses and multiple moulded semi-circular arched gateway with mock portcullis surmounted by rubbed brick cartouche bearing date 1885. Reset stone cartouche on inner face with achievement. Inner courtyard walls entirely rebuilt in 1885 with rubbed brick surrounds to the 3-light mullioned transomed windows. Interior Interior largely altered in late C19 and again in mid C20. Late C19 panelled entrance hall with massive chimneypiece reusing some C17 panelling. Anthemion frieze to partitioned principal room to left. Staircase at left end of rear passage with moulded handrail and barley sugar balusters and newels with acorn finials. Staircase at right end, believed to be designed by Sir John Soane, lit by elliptical dome with Greek key motif around the drum and Ionic-style pillars to the balustrade at head of stairs. Library fittings principally intact with geometrical patterned ceiling, fluted Ionic columns dividing the bookcases, and false book spines to rear of doorway. Octagonal ground floor room to north-east tower has some replaced earlier panelling on walls and chimneypiece with some reused Renaissance panels. Tawstock Court was the seat of the Bourchier Wrey family. The Elizabethan house, of which only the gatehouse now survives (q.v.) was destroyed by fire in 1787.

Listing NGR: SS5580329910


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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: 16 Nov 2002
Reference: IOE01/08613/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Ann Allen. Source Historic England Archive
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