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HER Number:MDV10060
Name:Obelisk in Mamhead Park


Obelisk erected in 1742 in Mamhead Park as a landmark for shipping


Grid Reference:SX 925 807
Map Sheet:SX98SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishMamhead
Ecclesiastical ParishMAMHEAD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX98SW/8
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 85957
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX98SW8

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • OBELISK (XVIII - 1742 AD to 1742 AD (Between))

Full description

Pearson, J. B., 1896, The representatives of the Borough of Ashburton, 224 (Article in Serial). SDV342700.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 202 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 431 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Balle's obelisk at Mamhead Point on the edge of the Haldon Hills, erected by Thomas Balle in 1743 "out of a regard to the safety of such as might use to sail out of the Port of Exeter or any others who might be driven on the coast".

Russell, P., 1955, Fire Beacons in Devon, 295 (Article in Serial). SDV336138.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX98SW8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV342701.

Balle's Obelisk erected circa 1742 on the possible site of a Fire Beacon.

Department of Environment, 1988, Mamhead, 86 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV337182.

Obelisk at Mamhead built as a landmark for shipping in 1742 by Thomas Balle, who owned the Mamhead Estate. Grey limestone, the plinth rusticated, the obelisk snecked ashlar limestone with a ball finial and copper weathervane. Plinth rectangular on plan with a low base moulding and hollow chamfered cornice below a convex base to the obelisk intself. Weathervane in the shape of a flaming arrow. No inscription. Dramatically-sited in the woodland above Mamhead House. Other details: LBS Number 85957.

Fincham-Powell, K. + Williams, T., 1995, Untitled Source, 7 (Monograph). SDV342698.

Obelisk erected by Thomas Ball in 1743 on the southern brink of Haldon overlooking the Exe estuary as a guide to sailors. There are rumours that an underground passage led from the obelisk to Mamhead Church and on to the house and was used by smugglers as a contraband route. Other details: Picture of Mamhead Obelisk.

English Heritage, 2003, Mamhead Park (Reg/Local list of Historic Parks and Gdns). SDV342702.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 431.
SDV336138Article in Serial: Russell, P.. 1955. Fire Beacons in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 87. A5 Hardback. 295.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 202.
SDV337182List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Mamhead. Historic Houses Register. Website. 86.
SDV342698Monograph: Fincham-Powell, K. + Williams, T.. 1995. Memories of Mamhead and Ashcombe. Photocopy. 7.
SDV342700Article in Serial: Pearson, J. B.. 1896. The representatives of the Borough of Ashburton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 87. A5 Hardback. 224.
SDV342701Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX98SW8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV342702Reg/Local list of Historic Parks and Gdns: English Heritage. 2003. Mamhead Park. Historic Parks and Gardens - Devon Register Review. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV10055Related to: Mamhead House (Building)
MDV10069Related to: Mamhead House (Monument)
MDV32495Related to: Mamhead Park (Park/Garden)
MDV75649Related to: Underground Passage in Mamhead Park (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Sep 26 2013 3:48PM