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HER Number:MDV119069
Name:House, 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge, Devon


House, 4 Highland Street, 19th century, Ivybridge, Devon.


Grid Reference:SX 635 562
Map Sheet:SX65NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishIvybridge
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishERMINGTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (XIX - 1816 AD to 1880 AD (Between))
  • LOCK UP (XIX to XX - 1874 AD to 1930 AD (Between))
  • HOUSE (XX to XXI - 1926 AD to 2017 AD (Between))

Full description

Thatcher, L., 2015, Police Cells, 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge, Devon: Historic Building Appraisal (Report - Survey). SDV360168.

This report has been prepared in response to the proposed conversion of the annexe, originally used as prison cells, at the rear of 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge.

The annexe is located within the garden at the rear of the property. There is no separate access to the garden and the annexe is only accessible via the main front door and through a more recent kitchen extension at the rear of the property. The annexe was historically used as two prison cells.

The properties in Highland Street were probably built around 1816 and, as the name suggests, are reputed to be associated with the Highlands House Estate, possibly as dwellings for their staff.

A newspaper report in the Exeter Flying Post of 1874 describes the arrangements being made to alter 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge for the lock-up and policeman’s residence.

In the 1911 Census the building was referred to as the Police Station and lists PC Pile (37) in residence with his wife and daughter, PC Fishleigh (21) as a boarder and Thomas Carrington (38) a shoemaker from London, in the cells.

Map object based on this source.

This building has not been used for its original purpose for many years but, nevertheless, it is one of the few remaining structures in Ivybridge directly connected to its historic past and for which some heritage information can be gleaned. Although small, it has sufficient significance to warrant being recognised as an important heritage site within the Town.

The rectangular building is a single story stone construction with granite quoin stones to the corners and surrounding the window openings, a brick chimney at the north end and a slate roof. It appears to be in sound condition.

The interior of the building has been substantially altered, with walls partly knocked down and parts of the ceilings removed. Access to the perimeter of the inside walls was restricted as the building is currently used as a store with items along the walls and piled on the floor. However, the original configuration is still substantially visible.

Inside, the building comprises two cells and a passageway running the length of the east wall. The passageway flares slightly at the north end and measures 6.22m long by 1.19m wide at rear and 1.05m wide by the entrance doorway. At the back of the passageway is a window with four bars remaining but the window frame and glass are no longer there and the opening has been blocked by a newer breeze block retaining wall for the upper garden.

The Prison Cells at 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge are a unique remnant of the early development of both the town and Devon & Cornwall Constabulary and a heritage asset. Unfortunately, their location at the rear of a terraced dwelling makes them both invisible and inaccessible to the public.

The proposed conversion would ultimately preserve the fabric of this historic building which, although seemingly sound at present, would benefit from development which ensures its long term survival, albeit substantially altered and with a different function.

It has not been possible to find any evidence of similar buildings in any research medium. This building could be of national/significant importance as an unique example of its kind and function and therefore every effort should be made to protect the external fabric, where possible, and to record in detail the deconstruction of the interior before any redevelopment work commences. This would be more easily facilitated if the cells were first cleared of all the owner’s stored items.

Externally the building appears to be in reasonable condition but internally the building exists in a poor state of repair with substantial internal damage to walls and ceiling.

De-Villiers, S. + Rainbird, P., 2016, Prison Cell Annex to the rear of 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge, Devon: Results of Historic Building Recording (Report - Survey). SDV360171.

A historic building record of a prison cell annexe to the rear of 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge, Devon was prepared by AC archaeology in April and June 2016. The work was required under a condition of the grant for planning permission by South Hams District Council for the "conversion of existing annexe prison cells to ancillary accommodation".

The cell annexe was constructed in the late 19th century (by 1880) after no. 4 Highland Street was leased for use as the Ivybridge police station. The property was leased for this use until 1926 at which point the cell annexe became redundant. The cell annexe is a small stone building which originally contained two cells and an access corridor. The interior arrangement had already been partially demolished and was further removed during the period of recording. However, several historic fittings
were recorded prior to their removal including the windows and opening mechanisms, window security bars, the rudimentary sanitary facilities and the door to the chimney raking out chute. One of the cell doors was also present, but not in its original position.

The prison cell annexe to the rear of no. 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge was purposebuilt in the late 19th century (by 1880) after no. 4 was leased for use as the Ivybridge police station. The property remained the police station until 1926 at which point the cell annexe became redundant. The recorded layout of the cell annexe was that which was constructed with no evidence to show that it had been remodelled during its use.

The prison cell annexe was built with a functional simple 2-cell and corridor design. It was provided with simple sanitary facilities supplied from a water tank in the roof space. It was also heated, but it was not possible to identify the specifics of the heating system. No direct comparison with other known detached late Victorian police station cells can be drawn and it is most probably the case that it was designed to suit the space available and to utilise local building materials. The requirement of a brick-arched ceiling specified in the historical documentation (Thatcher 2015) was clearly not instated and instead a ceiling of heavy slate slabs further weighted down by rubble was regarded as a suitable alternative for providing the same level of security.

Map object based on this source.

Ordnance Survey, 2017, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359962.

Map object based on this source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV359962Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV360168Report - Survey: Thatcher, L.. 2015. Police Cells, 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge, Devon: Historic Building Appraisal. Ivybridge Mill Archives Group. Unknown. Digital.
SDV360171Report - Survey: De-Villiers, S. + Rainbird, P.. 2016. Prison Cell Annex to the rear of 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge, Devon: Results of Historic Building Recording. AC Archaeology. ACD1366/2/0. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7256 - Historic Building Appraisal: Police Cells, 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge, Devon
  • EDV7259 - Results of Historic Building Recording: Prison Cell Annex to the rear of 4 Highland Street, Ivybridge, Devon (Ref: ACD1366/2/0)

Date Last Edited:Jun 20 2017 12:09PM