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HER Number:MDV114104
Name:The Ring O' Bells, Chagford

Summary

An inn is thought to have existed on this site since the 16th century at least. Known as a Ring O' Bells from at least the 19th century. Functioned as Collins Butchers in the 1950s. Destroyed by fire twice and rebuilt.

Location

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

  • INN (XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1599 AD (Between))
  • STANNARY COURT (XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1599 AD (Between))
  • BUTCHERS SHOP (Mid 20th Century - 1950 AD to 1959 AD? (Between))

Full description

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

The Tithe Map records the Ring O' Bells as portion 46 and depicts an L-shaped building fronting onto the street with a range of buildings behind.

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

The late 19th century depicts the Inn, presumably after rebuilding / renovation; after the 1861 fire.

Quick, T., 1992, Dartmoor Inns, 89-91 (Monograph). SDV359976.

The Ring O' Bells dates from the 16th century and was an ale house tied to the church, although it's possible there was an inn on this site since 1177, providing shelter for pilgrims who visited an old Christian shrine in the vicinity. Records show the Ring O' Bells was suppling ale to the church well into the 19th century. Inn was completely rebuilt in 1861 after being destroyed by a fire in 1860.
Inn has served a number of purposes, including acting as a holding prison for those being transported to the assizes at Okehampton. In the 16th century, the front upstairs room was used as a Stannary Court room and courts were also held here when required by the Crownery Court if a sudden death had occurred in the parish. The Crowner, fetched from Black Torrington and 12 jurymen would determine whether the death was a suicide and if so, the body would be buried at a crossroad outside the parish.
The room at the back upstairs was at one time used as a mortuary. At the rear of the inn (between 1889-1930) there was a butcher's shop in a converted barn (since demolished).
Inn was completely refurbished in 1976 with wood panelling on the walls of the main bar. Said to be haunted.

Rice, I., 2002, The Book of Chagford. A Town Apart, 19, 105, 113, 114, 116 (Monograph). SDV356605.

The Ring O' Bells Inn is recorded to have suffered a fire in 1861. An image of The Square sometime after 1952 shows that the Ring of Bells was not functioning as an inn at this time; premises operated as a butcher's shop ('Collins') as much as a pub until well into the 1950s. The animals were slaughtered in the yard behind the inn.

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 (Report - Survey). SDV359376.

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

The modern mapping shows the inn and modern building behind.

2016, The Ring O' Bells, Chagford, Accessed 22/01/2016 (Website). SDV359380.

The Exeter archives reveal that there has been an Inn on the site of the Ring O’ Bells since well before the sixteenth century although it was much smaller than it is today and has twice in it’s history been destroyed by fire.
Now, the Ring O’ Bells encompasses the whole site although in years past the ground floor was occupied by a Butcher and the beasts were slaughtered in the barn which used to stand in the rear courtyard. Not so many years ago the stone barn was demolished and now there is a pretty walled courtyard garden to the rear of the building instead.

Hughes, S., 2019, 46-48 The Square, Chagford, Devon Phases 2 and 3 results of archaeological monitoring and recording (Report - Watching Brief). SDV363751.

Monitored groundworks comprised the excavation of a service trench in Phase 2 and the excavation of a footing pit and a further service trench in Phase 3. No archaeological features or deposits were exposed during the Phase 2 and 3 works.

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. 19, 105, 113, 114, 116.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #73437 ]
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.
SDV359380Website: 2016. The Ring O' Bells, Chagford. www.ringobellschagford.co.uk. Website. Accessed 22/01/2016.
SDV359976Monograph: Quick, T.. 1992. Dartmoor Inns. Dartmoor Inns. Paperback Volume. 89-91.

Associated Monuments

MDV114217Related to: 42 the Square, Chagford (Building)
MDV114103Related to: Barn behind The Ring of Bells, Chagford (Building)
MDV114107Related to: Stannary Court, Chagford (Building)
MDV114124Related to: The Royal Oak, The Square, Chagford (Building)
MDV114079Related to: Webbers and Son, Chagford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Jul 20 2020 11:26AM