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HER Number:MDV114079
Name:Webbers and Son, Chagford


Webber's was established in 1891 and the property includes parts of two separate early houses, which may have dated to the 16th or 17th century. Both were extensively rebuilt in the 19th and 20th centuries. Buildings to the rear initially had an agricultural function, but were later adapted for domestic use. Application to divide business into a range of retail units and accommodation in 2015.


Grid Reference:SX 700 875
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HARDWARE SHOP (XIX - 1898 AD to 1899 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

The Tithe Map shows that at this time there were two separate plots on this site; 98 and 46; the north-western part of Webber's formed part of the tenement identified as 98 (now Bowdens). The south-eastern side of Webber's today occupies half of a separate tenement: 46, which is described in the apportionment as the Ring of Bells Inn and cottages.

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

The late 19th century historic map depicts the layout of the buildings.

Rice, I., 2002, The Book of Chagford. A Town Apart, 4, 100, 104, 114, 117 (Monograph). SDV356605.

Webber's, the family ironmongery, glass and china retailing business started in 1891.

Parker, R., 2015, Historic Building Survey of Webber's Hardware Stores, The Square, Chagford (Report - Survey). SDV359376.

Parker, R., 2015, Historic Building Survey of Webber's Hardware Stores, The Square, Chagford, 3-24, plans included (Report - Survey). SDV359376.

Application to divide business into a range of retail units and accommodation in 2015 prompted survey.
The Tithe Map shows this south-western side of The Square in Chagford to be typified by broader and shorter plots with wide frontages towards the street; i.e.: not narrow medieval burgage plots. The narrow strips visible today in the area of Webber's Stores result from 19th century subdivision of larger tenements into smaller units; this building straddles the boundaries of two much larger plots shown on the tithe map and may have developed historically as two independent properties. In this case the ancient tenements appear to have been progressively subdivided, creating a confusing pattern of the townscape.
Webber's may have had a projecting front porch or structure (as shown on the tithe map), but missing on more recent mapping, indicating the current frontage of the shop may be the result of relatively recent modernisations. The late 19th century historic map gives a fairly reliable depiction of the layout of the buildings at this time. The Chagford census of 1901 records Gideon Webber for the first time as ironmonger and harness maker, based next to Bowdens. Webber's family ironmongery is known to have started in 1891 and Gideon is said to have rebuilt one of the buildings in the late 19th century; probably Barn 1 at the rear of the property, to serve as a public hall.
The façade of this entire row of buildings seems to have been rebuilt in the mid 19th century as a long, low frontage, concealing the old tenement divisions. However, is clear that the Ring of Bells Inn and the south-eastern section of Webber's originated as a single structure.
The premises have been much rebuilt over the years but enough survives to show that both halves of the building were originally large three-room-and-cross-passage houses, parts of which are now included in neighbouring properties. Possible medieval or early post-medieval origin for the front ranges, much rebuilt in the late 18th or early 19th centuries. The middle and rear ranges of the premises include buildings which were initially agricultural but have been converted to residential / shop use over the 19th and 20th centuries as the commercial pressure on the street frontage forced the domestic accommodation out of the front ranges and into the first floor and rear wings.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Today, Webber's occupies 46 The Square, Chagford and the modern map shows the extent of the middle and rear ranges, including the barns lies die behind the Ring of Bells Inn.

Visit Chagford, 2016, Visit Chagford website (Website). SDV359375.

Victorian saddlery and ironmongery shop established in 1898 by Gideon Webber who had the slogan "You can always get it at Webbers".
The purchase of next door shops in 1943 extended the property. However, requisition by the army during WW2 delayed its full potential until the mid 1950s when a major modernisation programme took place.

Richards, A. F., 2016, Webber's Hardware Stores, Chagford (Personal Comment). SDV359377.

Detailed plans included in Parker's 2015 report showing the development of the premises; these have been used to help digitise the building on the mapping.

Brown, A., 2018, 46-48 The Square, Chagford, Devon Phase 1 area results of archaeological monitoring and recording (Report - Watching Brief). SDV363750.

The groundworks exposed a series of largely made ground layers associated with modern surfaces. Based on the historical development of the site, prior to the mid 20th century, the undated probable soakaway pit and stone drain features exposed in Trial Pits 1 and 4 would have been external to Barn 1. These were therefore likely to have been associated with water management within yard areas and were of probable 19th century or later date.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV356605Monograph: Rice, I.. 2002. The Book of Chagford. A Town Apart. The Book of Chagford. Hardback Volume. 4, 100, 104, 114, 117.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #73411 ]
SDV359375Website: Visit Chagford. 2016. Visit Chagford website. http://www.visitchagford.com. Website.
SDV359376Report - Survey: Parker, R.. 2015. Historic Building Survey of Webber's Hardware Stores, The Square, Chagford. Richard Parker Report. 2015.01. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 3-24, plans included.
SDV359377Personal Comment: Richards, A. F.. 2016. Webber's Hardware Stores, Chagford. Not Applicable.

Associated Monuments

MDV114103Related to: Barn behind The Ring of Bells, Chagford (Building)
MDV114106Related to: James Bowden and Son, Chagford (Building)
MDV114104Related to: The Ring O' Bells, Chagford (Building)
MDV114098Related to: The Vulcan Ironworks, Chagford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6909 - Historic Building Survey of Webbers Hardware Stores, The Square, Chagford (Ref: 2015.01)
  • EDV8302 - Monitoring and recording at 46-48 The Square (Ref: ACD1543)
  • EDV8303 - Monitoring and recording at 46-48 The Square (Ref: ACD1543)
  • EDV8304 - Monitoring and recording at 46-48 The Square (Ref: ACD1543)

Date Last Edited:Jul 20 2020 11:38AM