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HER Number:MDV10083
Name:Winslade House, Clyst St Mary


Substantial mansion now used as offices. Built by Edward Cotsford, High Sheriff of Devon, circa 1800, architect unknown. Used as a Roman Catholic boys school in the mid 20th century.


Grid Reference:SX 978 903
Map Sheet:SX99SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishClyst St. Mary
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCLYST ST.MARY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX99SE/5/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))
  • SCHOOL (XX - 1901 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV130120.

Lysons, d. + s. /magna britannia/6(1822)121.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV130121.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV24.

St mary's school in winslade house on the site of clyst house. It was built in the 18th century over 16th century cellars. There is an underground passage from the cellars to the lane (os). Vis=1/1/1954(os) no further information (os).

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'Winslade House on Site of Clyst House' shown. Map object based on this source.

Ordnance Survey, 1953 - 1969, Ordnance Survey Six Inch Map (Cartographic). SDV340358.

'St Mary's School (RC for boys) shown.

Clark, J., 2013, Winslade Park (Un-published). SDV358360.

A late eighteenth century mansion built for an East India merchant. White (1850) noted that it was ‘a large stone mansion, on an eminence, with tasteful grounds, is the seat of Henry Porter, Esq., and has been greatly improved during the last seven years, at the cost of about £10,000. It has three beautiful terraces in front, and was formerly the seat of the Spicer and Porcher families.’

Ordnance Survey, 2015, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV357601.

Map object based on this source.

Historic England, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV358087.

Substantial mansion now used as offices. Built by Edward Cotsford, High Sheriff of Devon (d.1810), circa 1800, architect unknown. This plain house was embellished with architraves and pediments, and a N portico added at some point after 1862, when the original W portico was converted to receive an extension to the ballroom (lithograph of 1862 in DRO., 62/9/2 Box 3/21). Warm orange sandstone-based rendering; slate hipped roof. Rectangular plan, the rooms arranged around a central open hall rising through all 3 floors which are served by galleries leading off the stairs that occupy the centre portion of the east range. 3 storeys and basement. The building is now the centrepiece of the extensive London and Manchester Assurance Company HQ by Powell Moya and Partners which won the RIBA Architecture Award for the South West Region in 1979. Exterior: 2 large axial stacks to both west and east roofs; plain parapet replaces a balustrade (visible in a photograph of 1949); a balustrade at ground-floor level runs around all except the east side of the house, enclosing stone-faced basement area that allows natural light access to the basement; projections over basement area carried on rusticated stone arched bridges. Rusticated pilaster quoins to all angles. 4-pane horned sash windows throughout. North entrance front: symmetrical, 5 bays, central portico occupies one bay with coupled Doric columns set on panelled plinth; entablature with triglyphs and panelled parapet; pilasters flank double doors with margin windows and fanlight; ground-floor outer windows under pediments on console brackets, the architrave with central patera; inner windows similar but with a panel above the cornice rather than a pediment. 1st floor windows with moulded surrounds and floating cornices; 2nd floor windows with plain surrounds. West front: symmetrical, 6 bays, the central 2 bays occupied by the original portico which was converted in the later C19 into a projecting ballroom (now a conference room), single storeyed; the pediment of the side windows, and the segmental pediment of the west door contained within the parapet; steps to door which is flanked by sash windows; the parapet itself surmounted by elaborate cast iron railings. Ground floor windows all under pediments, otherwise treated as N. South front: symmetrical 5 bays, windows treated as to west; central wide doorway with pilasters and segmental pediment; the surrounding balustrade returns to form stepped bridge to this entrance. Rear: asymmetrical, 6 bays; 1st storey windows with pediments; stairwell windows (4 tiers) break the line of the 3 storeys. Late 1970s bridge at first floor level links the house with the new office complex. Interior: central hall well: an impressive room lit by glazed dome; all doors panelled with moulded surrounds. Ground floor with round-headed arched entrances with panelled pilasters and capitals. 1st floor gallery supported by Ionic columns, dentilled cornice with Vitruvian scroll motif; upper gallery supported by fluted columns,the capitals with anthemion motifs, the cornice with Greek key frieze; top tier of square-section fluted columns. Cornice soffits all decorated; gallery balustrades with turned balusters. Coved ceiling below glazed dome with paterae and husked festoons. A surprising feature of this well-managed interior is that the east-side corner columns in fact stand a little to one side of the corner; there is a possibility that the basement is C16 (although nothing early is now visible) and that the odd arrangement described is a response to a particular technical difficulty presented by the basement construction. Openwell cantilever stair probably post 1862, with cast iron balusters which alternate, 3 with spiral twist centre to one tread, a single double-scroll to the next; scroll motif to each stair end. Stair landings lit by 2 windows, some round-headed, with fluted architrave; galleries entered through depressed arches. Coved ceiling with festoons, the central panel with ribbed and fluted oval centrepiece and attendant festoons. 2 other notable plaster ceilings: (1) south-west room of unusual design, central octagon with concave sides set in an imbricated panel with corner fans; 2 rectangular panels at each end of the ceiling contain a long central rod with undulate foliate band and bucranium. Modillion cornice. (2) north entrance hall with large panels of varied design each with heavy modillion cornices.

University College London, 2016, Legacies of British Slave Ownership, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/8022 (Website). SDV361234.

Henry Porter of Winslade House, Clyst St Mary, awarded £35960 in compensation for the Enmore estate (709 enslaved persons) in British Guiana in 1835.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV130120Migrated Record:
SDV130121Migrated Record:
SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. OSA. Card Index.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV340358Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1953 - 1969. Ordnance Survey Six Inch Map. National Grid A edition imperial. Map (Digital).
SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV358087National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV358360Un-published: Clark, J.. 2013. Winslade Park. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. Digital.
SDV361234Website: University College London. 2016. Legacies of British Slave Ownership. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/. Website. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/8022.

Associated Monuments

MDV54856Related to: Winslade Park and Gardens (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 12 2021 3:27PM