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HER Number:MDV10565
Name:Duke's Almshouses


Almshouses, formerly a probable 16th century manor house, built by richard duke in the time of henry viii.


Grid Reference:SY 080 851
Map Sheet:SY08NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishOtterton
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOTTERTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY08NE/41
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Cherry, B., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV109648.

1696 e front added to the older house (cherry).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116603.

Almshouses, formerly a probable 16th century manor house, built by richard duke in the time of henry viii.

SEE OLIVER, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116609.

Apparently the residence of the dukes from at least 1540. Pole (1561-1635) wrote that richard duke, purchaser of otterton manor, 'builded a fayre house in this place upon an ascent over the river otter which driveth his milles underneath the house' (see oliver).

NMR, CITING OS, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV116611.

Vis=30/8/1898 (os) as described. Now nos.1-4 st michael's close, not "the priory" (nmr, citing os).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116612.

Oliver, g. /monasticon diocesis exoniensis/(1846)248-249.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116613.

Pole, w. /recollections/(1877)151.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116614.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116615.

Cherry, b. + pevsner, n. /the buildings of england:devon/(1989)615.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116616.

Cherry, b. /pdas/46(1988)104/the devon country house in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116617.

Polwhele, r. /a history of devonshire/3(1806)231.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116618.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116619.

Des=laithwaite, j. M. W. /drhs/(1986)/in pf.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116620.

Des=grimaldi, rev. E. C. /(1928)/some notes on the history of otterton/in dro/2423a add 4/pz2.

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

Vis=19/11/1953(os) a well-preserved, well-proportioned building of the 16th century stands in a position suggestive of a manor house. The arms of the duke family are over the porch. It is now converted into almshouses.

POLE, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV284570.

Vis=estimated -/-/1876(pole) in about 1846 part of the house was still visible near the church.

Department of Environment, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV326786.

Vis=est=-/-/1986 (doe) 1-4 st. Michaels close. Almshouses, former manor house built on monastic site. Formerly listed as the priory. Early or mid c16, some c18 inprovements radically altered late c19 and circa 1970. Cottage almshouses adjoin to n and s. C16 2- and 3-light windows, possible c18 mullioned windows. Local tradition of a blocked cellar under the s end. See doe list for full details (doe).

LAITHWAITE, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV8052.

The building has been considerably altered, except in the roofspace + cellar. The left-hand side has round arched windows, probably mid-16c, in n gable, the lower one with 2 tiers of lights and clearly designed for a hall rising through 2 storeys. The roof at this end is arch-braced and designed to be seen from below, but the timbers show no sign of smoke-blackening. In the cellar beneath this end is the bottom of what appears to be a garderobe shaft serving the ground floor. None of this is likely to pre-date the 16c, and certainly not pre-1414 dissolution of otterton priory. More interesting is polwhele's statement that the house was built in the form of a quadrangle, and that the enclosure was still known as "the nun's-court". This may suggest a converted cloister, which must have been on the e (rear) side, on ground now occupied by allotments, since the ground falls away sharply to w. Grimadli refers to evidence of former walls on this site (which he describes as gardens), extending s to the school playground, and suggests that they may have enclosed the 'monastery grounds' (laithwaite).

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon (Monograph). SDV325629.

Remains of the house of the duke family. Two storey porch with arched doorway; coat of arms above. The house was once larger. Sale description quoted by polwhele refers to buildings around a quadrangle called the nuns' court and to an e front of 1696 (cherry + pevsner).

Exeter Archaeology, 2003-2004, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey, Site No. 2024 (Archive - Survey). SDV351568.

Almshouses. Believed to be 16th century former manor house built on site of priory. Formerly called The Priory. Possibly part of converted cloister. Listed Grade II.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV109648Migrated Record: Cherry, B..
SDV116603Migrated Record:
SDV116609Migrated Record: SEE OLIVER.
SDV116611Report - Survey: NMR, CITING OS.
SDV116612Migrated Record:
SDV116613Migrated Record:
SDV116614Migrated Record:
SDV116615Migrated Record:
SDV116616Migrated Record:
SDV116617Migrated Record:
SDV116618Migrated Record:
SDV116619Migrated Record:
SDV116620Migrated Record:
SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV284570Migrated Record: POLE.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume.
SDV326786Report - Survey: Department of Environment.
SDV351568Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003-2004. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. Site No. 2024.
SDV8052Migrated Record: LAITHWAITE.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 19 2016 2:20PM