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HER Number:MDV11727
Name:Moreton House, Bideford


Late 18th century rebuild, possibly retaining earlier fabric. Formerly called Daddon. Substantial alterations were undertaken in the early 20th century. Now part of Grenville College.


Grid Reference:SS 436 263
Map Sheet:SS42NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBideford
Ecclesiastical ParishBIDEFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS42NW/95
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANSION HOUSE (XVIII to XXI - 1701 AD to 2009 AD (Between))
  • PRIVATE SCHOOL (XX to XXI - 1957 AD to 2009 AD (Throughout))

Full description

Devon Gardens Trust, Moreton House (Worksheet). SDV336656.

Moreton House, now Grenville College Boys School. 1824 town house of Stucley faimily with cottage or lodge.

White, W., 1850/1968, White's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire (Monograph). SDV6497.

Daddon is the property of Lewis Wm. Buck, Esp., one of the parliamentary representatives of North Devon, who has a handsome seat called Moreton House, pleasantly situated in a spacious and well-wooded lawn, about a mile SW of the town.

Ordnance Survey, 1938, 19NW. Revision of 1932 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition (Cartographic). SDV335680.

'Moreton on site of Mansion' marked on 1938 6 inch Ordnance Survey map.

Department of Environment, 1949, Untitled Source (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV321653.

Moreton (now part of Grenville College). Formerly known as Daddon. Large house, now a school (Grenville Colege). c1821.
Solid rendered walls. Hipped slate roof. Rendered chimneys at front; yellow-brick ones at rear.
U-shaped plan: front range has entrance-hall with main staircase to rear, one room at either side and rear range parallel to front; infilled courtyard joins up with service-building to rear right, this having its own centre courtyard with ranges on all 4 sides.
House three-storeyed; service building one- and two-storeyed. Main front of house of eight-window range with eight-window return to left. Centre doorway with four-columned Doric porch, now glazed: four-panelled door, the top two panels now glazed; at either side a sash-window with glazing-bars (six over nine panes). Flanking the porch are two bow windows with pilasters supporting entablature; each has three sash-windows matching those in the porch, except that the lower sashes to left now have no glazing-bars. Upper-storey windows plain with barred sashes: six over six panes to second storey, three over six panes to third storey. Giant pilasters flank the whole front; above them an entablature with parapet. Return front to left is similar in style, but without bow windows; the right-hand ground-storey window has no glazing-bars, nor have the lower sashes in the fourth and sixth windows from the left. Raised band between ground and second storeys. Rear range has barred sashes as in the two main fronts. Service building has sashes with margin-panes.
Interior: includes many 19th century panelled doors and shutters; also enriched ceilings and cornices. Main stair rebuilt soon after 1913 and three first-floor rooms continued to from a ballroom. Entrance-hall has 20th century Georgian-style panelling and 19th century Tudor-style black marble chimneypiece with Gothic fireback. Jacobean-style oak staircase with turned balusters and carved newels; Georgian-style panelled dado; early 19th century enriched oval cupola (restored 1989). Corridor along rear wing has panelled pilasters and groined-vaulted ceiling. Ground-floor front left room and the two wing rooms behind it all have enriched ceilings and cornices. Ballroom has apsidal ends; panelling and ceiling in Adam style; early 19th century white marble chimneypiece with caryatids and carved frieze.
This was originally Daddon, the 18th century seat of George Buck, esq, who is believed to have started rebuilding in about 1760, although the irregular plan suggests that he retained some of the earlier fabric. Lewis William Buck (d 1858) is said to have completed the work and changed the name to Moreton in 1821; he was MP for Exeter 1826-32 and for North Devon 1834-58; entertained Disraeli at the house. Sir Hugh Stueley, bt, who moved here in 1913 also made substantial alterations. (Stueley Sir Dennis, bt: History of Moreton House (newspaper/mag cutting) source unknown).

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 126 (Monograph). SDV336196.

The house was built in 1824 with eight bays.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SS42NW8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV12502.

A house with no visible indication of age built in a late Georgian style. The OS field drawing of 1804-1807 names a house here as Daddon.

Ordnance Survey, 1975, SS42NW (Cartographic). SDV336653.

'College' marked on 1975 6 inch Ordnance Survey map.

Exeter Archaeology, 2000, Archaeological Assessment and Watching Brief of SWW Moorhead to Cornborough Water Main, North Devon, 3 (Report - Assessment). SDV344592.

Other details: Figure 1, site 5.

Exeter Archaeology, 2006, Archaeological Assessment of Proposed College Sites in Bideford, 6-7 (Report - Assessment). SDV336652.

Moreton House appears to be on the site of the former Daddon, as depicted on Donn's map of 1765 and the OS surveyors drawing of 1804-7. Daddon was built in the late 17th or early 18th century. An illustration of the house dating to about 1760 shows it as a square house with a wing attached. The new house, Moreton, was finished in 1821 and its irregular plan suggests that some of the earlier fabric of Daddon was retained. Moreton house is shown on the Tithe Map of circa 1841 and some alterations to the house are evident by 1889. The house is now part of Grenville College.

Exeter Archaeology, 2007, Archaeological Assessment of Land at Grenville College (Moreton House), Bideford, 4 (Report - Assessment). SDV338362.

Moreton has been identified as the 'Mooretown' referred to in a deed of 1624. The house, however, appears to have been called Moreton only since the 19th century. It seems to have been built on the site of the former Daddon, which is shown on Donn's map of 1765 and the OS surveyor's drawing of 1804-7. The irregular plan of the new house suggests that some of the earlier fabric was retained.

Unknown, 2009, Bideford Buzz October 2009 Edition Pages 1 to 3 (Pamphlet). SDV360530.

Lewis William of Moreton House, married keen gardener, Ann Robins in 1808. They demolished most of the house, then incorporated land and property previously owned by Reynolds of Winsford.

Formerly known as Daddon, Moreton House was re-named in 1821.

In the time before WW2, the local people of Bideford were given employment through the re-development of the gardens and what had been the wallled garden.

The House was also occupied by Grenville/Kinglsey prep school up until July 2009 when it was vactaed for their new campus.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Humphreys, C. + Wapshott, E. + Hosegood, V., 2015, Moreton House, Bideford, Devon: Results of a Desk-Based Study and A Historic Building Assessment (Report - Survey). SDV360189.

The Devon Record Office holds documents pertaining to Moreton House suggesting that its original construction was during the reign of Queen Anne (1655-1714). Therefore, if there was not already a house at Daddon Moor before it was bought by John Buck, the original construction can be dated to between 1695 and 1714.

The only available early sources, which provide any useful information for this study, are the 1804 Surveyors Draft maps and the 1809 First Series OS. Neither of these provides any clear detail but they do show that there was development at the site at this time.

The Bideford Tithe Map is the first informative and detailed map available for this study. It clearly shows the detail of the buildings present at Moreton and the surrounding landscape in 1841.

Moreton was used as a school for much of the later 20th century, closing its doors in 2009. A large housing estate is now being built to the east. The converted former stable block and remaining 20th century school buildings lie just north of the property.

The house is a large, Grade II Listed country house, which has developed from a single range 17th century building, through two significant phases of expansion and remodelling in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Despite considerable alterations in the 20th century to adapt the building to its school function there are surviving period features. These period features range from moulded cornices, doors and door architraves, shutters and window casements, the former stair column, multiple staircases, fireplaces and sash windows; from the three main phases of build, the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Much of what survives is only in part, damaged by later works.

The house also has significant historical associational significance, both locally and regionally. This is due to the connections with two important North Devon families, with wider county links, the Bucks and the Stucleys and also the connection to Benjamin Disraeli, a former Prime Minister, who briefly stayed at the house.

Moreton is a large country house of complex developmental plan, with surviving features from three main phases of build, the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and later refurbishment in the form of the creation of a first floor ballroom and the insertion of a new stair.

The house is associated with landscaped grounds which also contain important historic features such as ponds, sunken gardens, walled gardens and carriage drives that contribute significantly to the setting of the building.

Simon, Y., Unknown, A History of Moreton House Bideford (Report - non-specific). SDV360544.

History of Moreton House detailing the Stucley ancestors, Sir Hughes children, Moreton House, the gardens, wildlife, the estate, the birth of Grenville College and progress through the years.

Moreton House is a local property well-known to many of the residents of Bideford.
The Stucley family lived there for over three hundred years having first moved to Devon in the fifteenth century from the County of Huntingdonshire. The family is descended from the famous Elizabethan sailor Sir Richard Grenville who fought against the Spanish Armada in 1591. In later years the Stucleys married into the Buck family who were very wealthy and successful merchants in Bideford, trading mainly in tobacco and timber. With the proceeds they bought land in and around the town of Bideford and built a house called Daddon which later became known as Moreton.
There are descriptions together with selected photographs of the family, house and gardens showing how life on the estate was lived as a shared community.
The house with much of the estate was sold to Mr. Walter Scott in 1958 for use as a school which later became part of the Woodard Corporation this being the largest body of independent schools in the country. Grenville College is one of the youngest schools in the South-Western division and has grown steadily over the years.

For more information see full report.

Unknown, Unknown, List of Illustrations and Notes to Accompany Comments on the Report Concerning Moreton Garden (Un-published). SDV360545.

Illustrations, maps, photos and notes giving details of Moreton House and Jennetts Lodge. The report which this documents accompanies is unknown but it could be SDV360544.

For more details see library linked document.

Unknown, Unknown, Notes on Moreton House (Un-published). SDV360543.

The land on which Moreton was built was orginally called Daddon Moore, and the original house was known as Daddon. It is described as the seat of George Buck, Esquire, in a print of Bideford which depicts the house in its orginal form. The print by John Jewell was made between 1755 and 1783 in the year when the Rev. Lewis Buck was Mayor of Bidford.

For more information see library linked document.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV12502Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SS42NW8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV321653List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1949. Historic Houses Register.
SDV335680Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1938. 19NW. Revision of 1932 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 126.
SDV336652Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2006. Archaeological Assessment of Proposed College Sites in Bideford. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.30. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6-7.
SDV336653Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1975. SS42NW. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Map (Paper).
SDV336656Worksheet: Devon Gardens Trust. Moreton House. Worksheet.
SDV338362Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2007. Archaeological Assessment of Land at Grenville College (Moreton House), Bideford. Exeter Archaeology Report. 07.22. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4.
SDV344592Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2000. Archaeological Assessment and Watching Brief of SWW Moorhead to Cornborough Water Main, North Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 00.89. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #76566 ]
SDV360189Report - Survey: Humphreys, C. + Wapshott, E. + Hosegood, V.. 2015. Moreton House, Bideford, Devon: Results of a Desk-Based Study and A Historic Building Assessment. Southwest Archaeology. 150429. Digital.
SDV360530Pamphlet: Unknown. 2009. Bideford Buzz October 2009 Edition Pages 1 to 3. Unknown. Digital.
SDV360543Un-published: Unknown. Unknown. Notes on Moreton House. North Devon Record Office Collection. Digital.
SDV360544Report - non-specific: Simon, Y.. Unknown. A History of Moreton House Bideford. Not applicable. Unknown. Digital.
SDV360545Un-published: Unknown. Unknown. List of Illustrations and Notes to Accompany Comments on the Report Concerning Moreton Garden.
SDV6497Monograph: White, W.. 1850/1968. White's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire. white's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire. Hardback Volume.

Associated Monuments

MDV73889Related to: Daddon, Bideford (Monument)
MDV33965Related to: Fishponds, Moreton Park (Monument)
MDV72780Related to: Houses and Court North of Moreton House, Bideford (Monument)
MDV54841Related to: Moreton House Gardens, Bideford (Monument)
MDV72765Related to: Stable Block, Moreton House (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1538 - SS42NW8
  • EDV4028 - Archaeological Assessment of Proposed College Sites in Bideford
  • EDV4274 - Archaeological Assessment at Grenville College
  • EDV4697 - Assessment of South West Water Moorhead to Cornborough Water Main, North Devon
  • EDV4698 - Watching Brief Along South West Water Moorhead to Cornborough Water Main, North Devon
  • EDV7271 - Results of a Desk-Based Study and A Historic Building Assessment: Moreton House, Bideford, Devon (Ref: 150429)

Date Last Edited:Nov 9 2017 1:27PM