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HER Number:MDV11794
Name:Little Torrington, Cross House


Late 17th century house incorporating fitments from Stowe House (dismantled 1720). Early 19th century remodelling, and reduction in size in mid 20th century.


Grid Reference:SS 487 175
Map Sheet:SS41NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLittle Torrington
Ecclesiastical ParishLITTLE TORRINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS41NE/38
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANSION HOUSE (Post Medieval to XXI - 1540 AD to 2009 AD)

Full description

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 79 (Monograph). SDV336196.

The fitments were transferred from Stowe House, near Bude, the Grenville mansion dismantled 1720. House was built 1680-5, the Venetian window to rear being an early feature. Fine grand staircase of 1685.

Department of Environment, 1959, Torrington RD Provisional List, 10 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV118.

Cross House. The building dates from 1680 and the front from 1820. A rectangular two storey building, whose top storey and wings have recently been removed.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978, SS41NE23 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV13316.

As above. In good condition.

Department of Environment, 1989, Little Torrington, 93 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV12088.

Country house.1680-85 according to Pevsner with c18 alterations and further remodelling in early c19. In mid c20 the house was reduced in size. Rendered stone walls. Hipped slate double span roof.2 rendered axial stacks.
Pan: double depth plan, 3 rooms wide with large central stairhall. Originally there were 2 flanking wings which presumably contained the service rooms. When Stow House, the late c17 Grenville mansion in Cornwall, was demolished in 1720 some of its fitments were transferred to Cross, including the staircase. Further modificatins took place in the early c19 when the exterior of the house appears to have undergone remodelling. In the mid c20 the top storey of the house and its 2 wings were removed.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Symmetrical 3 bay 7 window front, disposed 2:3:2, 12-pane sashes on first floor, those to the right are early c19 whereas those at the centre and left have thicker glazing bars suggesting they are original.15-pane early c19 sashes on ground floor with contemporary insertion of off central doorway with semi-circular fanlight over glazed door. Early c19 tuscan portico of 4 granite columns with heavy frieze and cornice. The original form of the front is retained in the projecting keystones over the windows, the rusticated pilasters at either end, the moulded plinth and slightly projecting central bay. One storey section of wall at either end is all that survives of the 2 wings. The rear elevation has mainly early c19 9, 12 and 15 pane sashes apart from 2 c19 French windows to the left and an c18 12-pane sash to right of centre on first floor.2 6-panel doors-one to left of centre and one at centre. Above the right-hand one is a flat doorhood on c17 or c18 carved consoles; the left-hand door has a reeded doorhood with dentilled cornice on c17 or c18 console brackets.
Interior: inaccessible at time of survey but recorded to contain an early Venetian window at the rear. Fitments transferred from stow include a very fine staircase of 3 flights around an open well with closed string and openwork carving in the Gibbons style - Irish foliage, flowers, putti etc. Other fragments from Stow in other rooms.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV118List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1959. Torrington RD Provisional List. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 10.
SDV12088List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1989. Little Torrington. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 93.
SDV13316Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978. SS41NE23.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 79.

Associated Monuments

MDV55761Related to: Cross House Parkland (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1535 - SS41NE23

Date Last Edited:Nov 16 2021 3:11PM