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HER Number:MDV11799
Name:Court Gate, Tavistock Abbey

Summary

Court Gate, built in the 12th century, with 15th century additions and later alterations, was probably the main entrance into Tavistock Abbey. Also known as Higher or Town Gate

Location

Grid Reference:SX 482 744
Map Sheet:SX47SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTavistock
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SE/1/6
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 93407
  • Old SAM Ref: 29679

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GATEHOUSE (XI to XIX - 1100 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 01/12/2005, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV323713.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted, subject to conditions, for proposed works at Court Gate, concerning the affixing of a 12 inch Blue Heritage Building plaque. The plaque is to read 'Court Gate. This was the principle entrance to the Great Abbey of St. Mary and St. Rumon. Originating in the twelfth century, it was extended in the fifteenth century and underwent major restoration by John Foulston in 1824'.


Department of National Heritage, 07/09/1994, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV344400.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for works concerning repairs to the external envelope of the Court Gate cottage, and repairs to the ceilings in the upstairs rooms in the property.


Department of National Heritage, 12/08/1994, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV272496.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted in respect of works concerning the replacement of stairwell and cupboard ceiling; lead weathering to string/corbel; renewal of part Library ceiling, and removal and subsequent replacement of part of the ceiling in the Masonic Hall to gain access for repointing of the gable wall.


Iles, R., 16/01/1998, Tavistock Abbey (Correspondence). SDV358814.


Swete, R. J. (Revd), 1792-1801, 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete, 160,163 (Record Office Collection). SDV337942.


Radford, G. H., 1914, Untitled Source, 153 (Article in Serial). SDV249294.


Ministry of Works, 1924, Tavistock Abbey Ruins (Schedule Document). SDV344377.


Reed, H., 1927, Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter, 21-22 (Article in Serial). SDV249288.

The blocked entrance to the upper chamber can be seen facing Bedford Street. Once used as a prison for captive seamen.


Radford, E. L., 1932 - 1933, The Buildings of Tavistock Abbey after the Dissolution, 202 (Article in Serial). SDV249296.


Kingdon, E. V., 1946, Tavistock Library, 229 (Article in Serial). SDV249293.


Department of Environment, 1950, Tavistock UD, 2 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV256437.

The gatehouse of Tavistock Abbey. Also known as Higher Gate or Town Gate. Of late 12th century origin with 15th century additions. Fine 12th century arches remain. The upper room was originally approached by an external staircase on the north side. The gatehouse was altered and thoroughly restored by Foulston when it was converted into the Tavistock Library in 1829.


Devon County Council, 1975, Tavistock Town Walk, 92 (Article in Monograph). SDV352474.


Unknown, 1981, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV249286.

In 1981, the roof is said to have been in bad repair.


Rodwell, K. A., 1993, An Archaeological Survey of Court Gate, Tavistock, Devon, 1 (Report - Survey). SDV350288.

In August 1993 a measured survey was carried out on Court Gate, one of several surviving fragments of Tavistock Abbey. Five separate phases of construction could be identified, which were distinguished by variations in the size, combination and weathering of building materials, as mortar joints were largely obscured by 19th century and modern repointing. See report for full details, plans and elevations.


The Tavistock and District Local History Society, 1994, About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks, 10, 23, 31 (Monograph). SDV354806.

Court Gate, which was restored in the early 19th century, is the most impressive of the surviving abbey buildings. The adjoining turreted house was probably the almonry.


Freeman, M. + Wans, J., 1996, Tavistock Abbey: Alternative Interpretations, 17-34 (Article in Serial). SDV249301.


Exeter Archaeology, 1997, Archaeological Assessment of Tavistock Sewer Overflows Scheme, 4-5 (Report - Assessment). SDV344347.


Salvatore, J. P., 1999, 144445. (Personal Comment). SDV256388.

The more easterly gateway, and probably the main entrance into the Abbey, is known as Court Gate (also as Higher or Town Gate); it is a Grade I Listed Building. A study of the two-storey gatehouse in 1993 has identified five structural phases beginning in the late 12th century although it is considered that the 12th century gatehouse is encased in a later structure and the first floor of the building is considered to belong to the later medieval and later phases. The building was restored in 1824 when additions were made to its east and west walls. The scheduling of the Court Gate refers only to the ancient part of Court Gate (that is the gatehouse of the previous scheduling) and not the 19th century additions to either side of it which nevertheless are classified as the same building.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2001, Tavistock Abbey (Schedule Document). SDV344375.


West Devon Borough Council, 2009, Tavistock Conservation Area Management Plan, 11, 21 (Report - non-specific). SDV351411.


English Heritage, 2010, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV154869.

Abbey Gatehouse. Late 12th century with 15th century additions restored in 1824. Two storeys with two pointed arched windows with hood mouldings. The fine 12th century arches remain. The upper room (now the Tavistock Library) was originally approached by an external staircase on the north side. The Gatehouse was altered and thoroughly restored by John Foulston when it was converted into the Tavistock Library (founded 1799) in 1829.


Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.


Department of National Heritage, 24/03/1994, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV272495.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for works to the Court Gate; repair of cracked gable wall of Masonic Hall, reinstatement of first floor classroom ceiling and repairs to Library floor.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV154869List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2010. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV249286Article in Serial: Unknown. 1981. Western Morning News. Newspaper/Magazine Cuttin.
SDV249288Article in Serial: Reed, H.. 1927. Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 21-22.
SDV249293Article in Serial: Kingdon, E. V.. 1946. Tavistock Library. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. A5 Hardback. 229.
SDV249294Article in Serial: Radford, G. H.. 1914. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 46. 153.
SDV249296Article in Serial: Radford, E. L.. 1932 - 1933. The Buildings of Tavistock Abbey after the Dissolution. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 17. Unknown. 202.
SDV249301Article in Serial: Freeman, M. + Wans, J.. 1996. Tavistock Abbey: Alternative Interpretations. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 128. A5 Paperback. 17-34.
SDV256388Personal Comment: Salvatore, J. P.. 1999. 144445.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Unknown.
SDV256437List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1950. Tavistock UD. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 2.
SDV272495Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 24/03/1994. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV272496Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 12/08/1994. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV323713Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 01/12/2005. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV337942Record Office Collection: Swete, R. J. (Revd). 1792-1801. 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown + Digital. 160,163.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #77266 ]
SDV344347Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 1997. Archaeological Assessment of Tavistock Sewer Overflows Scheme. Exeter Archaeology Report. 97.02. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4-5.
SDV344375Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2001. Tavistock Abbey. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV344377Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. 1924. Tavistock Abbey Ruins. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV344400Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 07/09/1994. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV350288Report - Survey: Rodwell, K. A.. 1993. An Archaeological Survey of Court Gate, Tavistock, Devon. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1.
SDV351411Report - non-specific: West Devon Borough Council. 2009. Tavistock Conservation Area Management Plan. West Devon Borough Council Report. a4 Stapled + Digital. 11, 21.
SDV352474Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Tavistock Town Walk. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 92.
SDV354806Monograph: The Tavistock and District Local History Society. 1994. About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks. About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks. A5 Paperback. 10, 23, 31.
SDV358814Correspondence: Iles, R.. 16/01/1998. Tavistock Abbey. Letter. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV3919Part of: Tavistock Abbey (Monument)
MDV43871Related to: Betsy Grimbal's Tower, Tavistock (Building)
MDV1592Related to: Library and Former Librarian's House, Guildhall Square, Tavistock (Building)
MDV29024Related to: Shop in Guildhall Square, Tavistock (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4597 - Assessment of Tavistock Sewer Overflow Scheme

Date Last Edited:Jul 28 2015 9:18AM