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HER Number:MDV10322
Name:The Chanter's House, Ottery St Mary


The old walls of Chanters House are enclosed within the modern brick external walls


Grid Reference:SY 097 956
Map Sheet:SY09NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishOttery St. Mary
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOTTERY ST.MARY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY09NE/9
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 397356
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum Accession Number: 166/2008

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANSION HOUSE (Early Medieval to XXI - 1066 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

NMR, SY09NE25 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV339337.

Maton, G., 1794-1796, Observations on Western Counties of England (Unknown). SDV339338.

Coleridge, Lord, 1905, Untitled Source, 75, 80 (Monograph). SDV339335.

In 1849 part of the house was pulled down and rebuilt, and in 1880 it was again removed and two wings added. In the course of demolition the original entrance hall beams were discovered and preserved in the roof of an added porch.

Dalton, J. N., 1917, Untitled Source, 77 (Monograph). SDV102603.

Unknown, 1918, Early Tours in Devon and Cornwall, 234 (Article in Serial). SDV339340.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 223 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SY09NE8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV336572.

The Chanter's House; incorporates part of medieval college buildings. The old walls of Chanters House are enclosed within the modern brick external walls. Other details: Plan.

Department of Environment, 1974, Ottery St Mary UD, 5 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV102862.

Little trace of antiquity though remains of some walls and beams of the Precentor's House. Dates from the days of the college but little trace of antiquity remains, mainly enclosed by large brick outer additions by Butterfield including a third storey, extending also above the 18th century. Two storey, 5 window portion facing south, with central doric porch with tall columns and radial bar fanlight to entrance and glazing bars to windows. The 17th century centre is the former Heath's Court, with dining room used as convention room by Cromwell in 1645. Fairfax stayed at the house from October to December in that year. Some of the walls of the old Precentor's House and painted beams remain. Still the home of the Coleridges, one of whom was Lord Chief Justice.

Impett, R. M., 1975, Ottery St Mary (Ground Photograph). SDV339344.

Delderfield, E., 1977, Scrapbook 2, 6 (Article in Serial). SDV77.

The lease of the Chanter's House was given to Sir John Courtenay in 1561. It later became the property of the Duke Coleridges and has remained so. Cromwell's men occupied the house in 1645, and there is a plaque in the dining room commemorating the convention which he called to obtain money for the war from the people of Ottery St. Mary. Five rooms of the original house remain, and there are also some medieval beams. In the hall is a superb chimney piece, originally from the warden's house, in which now demolished. The staircase timber came from the spire of the church, taken down 1908, and carved into the balustrade. The drawing room has a fine vaulted and decorated ceiling. The outer hall has the Coat of Arms of Gladstone. In the late 19th century the house was rebuilt into a mansion - added forecourt and entrance; and a library wing, which was furnished in elm with a gallery along one length. Two carved marble fire- places. Remaining rooms of the original building include the little parlour, great parlour, and the corridor and garden entrance between them, with two bedchambers and a small room above them. The three foot thickness of their walls dates them at c.1340. Original cellars still exist (wine, ale, beer). There is also a secret passage which runs beneath the library and comes out in the garden. Other details: Photograph.

Unknown, 1977, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV322707.

Department of Environment, 1986, Ottery St Mary (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV339341.

Chanter's house upgraded to Grade II*. Other details: Fourth Amendment.

Exeter Archaeology, 1998, Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Supermarket Development at Hind Street, Ottery St Mary, 2 + 5 (Report - Assessment). SDV336582.

Southwest Archaeology, 2009, The Chanter's House Ottery, St Mary, Devon: Results of Archaeological Monitoring and Evaluation, 2008, 4-6 (Report - Evaluation). SDV345076.

The renovation and development of The Chanter's House necessitated the excavation of two additional service trenches. The only feature of archaeological note in trench 1 was the base of a brick wall, 0.2-0.3 metres wide, trending east to west across it to the west of the steps leading to St Mary's Church. It comprised a single course of brick with some stone set into a bed of mortar resting on the natural subsoil. It is probable this can be associated with the garden wall shown on 19th century maps. Only a single sherd of modern pottery and a clay pipe stem were recovered from the overburden. In trench 2 the foundations of a 0.4 metre wide wall or possible service trench were encountered, possibly a protective structure for a pipe running between two drainage cisterns. Other details: Figure 4-6, Plates 1-2.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV102603Monograph: Dalton, J. N.. 1917. The Collegiate Church of Ottery St Mary. Unknown. 77.
SDV102862List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1974. Ottery St Mary UD. Historic Houses Register. Comb Bound. 5.
SDV322707Article in Serial: Unknown. 1977. Express & Echo. Unknown.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 223.
SDV336572Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SY09NE8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV336582Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 1998. Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Supermarket Development at Hind Street, Ottery St Mary. Exeter Archaeology Report. 98.13. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2 + 5.
SDV339335Monograph: Coleridge, Lord. 1905. The Story of a Devonshire House. Unknown. 75, 80.
SDV339337National Monuments Record Database: NMR. SY09NE25. NMR Index. Card Index.
SDV339338Unknown: Maton, G.. 1794-1796. Observations on Western Counties of England. Unknown.
SDV339340Article in Serial: Unknown. 1918. Early Tours in Devon and Cornwall. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 9.II. Unknown. 234.
SDV339341List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1986. Ottery St Mary. Historic Houses Register. Unknown.
SDV339344Ground Photograph: Impett, R. M.. 1975. Ottery St Mary. Impett Slide Collection. Slide.
SDV345076Report - Evaluation: Southwest Archaeology. 2009. The Chanter's House Ottery, St Mary, Devon: Results of Archaeological Monitoring and Evaluation, 2008. Southwest Archaeology Report. 090924. A4 stapled + Digital. 4-6.
SDV77Article in Serial: Delderfield, E.. 1977. Scrapbook 2. Newspaper/Magazine Cuttin. 6.

Associated Monuments

MDV10323Parent of: Shield at Chanter's House, Ottery St Mary (Monument)
MDV19993Related to: College associated with Collegiate Church, Ottery St. Mary (Monument)
MDV78313Related to: Former Field Boundary at The Chanter's House (Monument)
MDV10355Related to: Ottery St Mary, College, Warden's House (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4868 - Watching Brief on Service Trenches at The Chanter's House, Ottery St Mary, Devon
  • EDV4873 - Evaluation of Line of Proposed Driveway at The Chanter's House, Ottery St Mary, Devon

Date Last Edited:Sep 10 2010 12:00PM