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HER Number:MDV114106
Name:James Bowden and Son, Chagford


Bowden's, next to Webber's started out in the mid-19th century as a smithy and gradually grew to become not only a substantial ironworks but a large general ironmongery business, specialising in the needs of agriculture. Adjoining properties were bought up over the later 20th century and combined into the extensive business that can be seen today.


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 - 1865 AD to 1899 AD (Between))

Full description

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

The Tithe Map shows the buildings that occupied this site were in plot 97. Two main structures fronting onto the road shown, they don’t extend far to the rear.

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

The late 19th century historic map shows major extension to the rear of the buildings fronting onto the road, creating a complex picture to the rear of Mill Street. At this time, the Vulcan Iron Works was being set up at the rear, with shed for fire engine adjacent, while the first small incarnation of Bowden's shop was just being established at the front.

Rice, I., 2002, The Book of Chagford. A Town Apart, 4, 20, 43, 71, 104, 117 (Monograph). SDV356605.

Bowden's, next to Webber's started out in the mid-19th century as a smithy and gradually grew to become not only a substantial ironworks but a large general ironmongery business, specialising in the needs of agriculture. The shop was originally situated in the smaller premises (now the shoe shop), to the left of the archway through to the Vulcan Ironworks and a range of further sheds and workshops.
The shop has a mock-Tudor frontage but likely to conceal remains of previous buildings behind.

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

The modern mapping shows the range of buildings today.

Visit Chagford, 2016, Visit Chagford website, Accessed 22/01/2016 (Website). SDV359375.

Bowden's now consists of two shops on three floors, but started out when James Bowden (1837 - 1921) came from Meavy in 1862 and bought the Forge in Mill Street. This became Vulcan Iron Works as it developed into making agricultural tools and machinery alongside the shoeing of horses.
James also bought Vulcan House, the front room of which became a very small shop selling chamber pots, hurricane lamps and candles. The shop changed hands in the later 20th century and was updated. At this time it was still small - where the shoe department is today. The Forge closed in 1956.
In 1970 the owners bought Bolt's House and Grocery shop, incorporating the shop into Bowden's, then extending into part of Vulcan House, linked by building over the passageway. Later in 1997 they extended the shop onto all floors as it appears today.

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, 20, 43, 71, 104, 117.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #73439 ]
SDV359375Website: Visit Chagford. 2016. Visit Chagford website. http://www.visitchagford.com. Website. Accessed 22/01/2016.

Associated Monuments

MDV131187Related to: 2 Mill Street, Chagford (Building)
MDV33143Related to: 3 Moorcroft Cottage and shop, Mill Street, Chagford (Building)
MDV114102Related to: Barns behind Webbers and Son, Chagford (Building)
MDV114098Related to: The Vulcan Ironworks, Chagford (Building)
MDV114079Related to: Webbers and Son, Chagford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8303 - Monitoring and recording at 46-48 The Square (Ref: ACD1543)

Date Last Edited:Aug 27 2021 11:03AM