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HER Number:MDV12002
Name:Eggesford House, Wembworthy


Extensive ruins of country house built between 1820-30 and abandoned in 1911. The house was conceived on a grand scale, comprising an irregular and rambling complex of buildings. Undergoing restoration in 2004. The ruins were transcribed as part of the Winkleigh NMP project from aerial photographs taken in 1947.


Grid Reference:SS 675 113
Map Sheet:SS61SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWembworthy
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWEMBWORTHY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS61SE/19
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 95534

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, Unknown (Migrated Record). SDV1416.

Illustrations by swete (dro).

Wilson-North, W. R., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV18003.

Architectural fragments from eggesford house, wembworthy, have been found near dolton. They were possibly intended for stafford barton (ss51se/20) where other pieces were incorporated (wilson-north).

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV24.

Vis=19/9/1973 (os) the present 19th century eggesford house is now a ruin.

BROOKS, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV28471.

Proposal to incorporate part of the main block in a new house. Existing walls to be capped-off as ruins to become garden boundary walls to the new house. South front (the principal, and the most intact) to be restored (brooks).

SMR, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV3670.

Nmr ss61se27 may refer to this site. See ss61se/20/1 (smr).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV39526.

Eggesford house ruin of 19th century house.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV39538.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV39540.

Lauder, r. A. /vanished houses of north devon (1981).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV39541.

Dro=564m/13/99,13/111(illustrations by swete).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV39542.

Aph=dap/dj 3(26/7/1984).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV39543.

Aph=dap/dt 8,8a(15/8/1984).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV39544.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV39545.

Brooks, c. /dbg newsletter/5(1988)2/secretary's report.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV39546.

Rchme/eggesford house, wembworthy, devon (2 vols)/(1993)/copy in wcsl exeter.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV39547.


Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV39548.

Aph=slide/(9/8/1995)/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV39550.

Des=wilson-north, r,.(6/6/1996)/letter in dolton pf.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV39551.

Donn, b. /map of devon/(1765)6a.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV39552.


WCSL, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV111831.

Apparently surveyed at some point prior to 1993 by rchme. Accession list of wcsl contains reference to rchme report deposited 1993 (wcsl) (no copy sent to smr).

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 85 (Monograph). SDV336196.

Rebuilt 1830 and dismantled 1917. The original building on the site was Jacobean. Shown as 'Haywood' on Donn's map.

Department of Environment, 1986, Wembworthy (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV339663.

Extensive ruins of country house. Built between 1820-30 for the honourable Newton Fellowes; architect, Thomas Lee of Barnstaple; abandoned 1911. Squared blocks of local iron stone with granite ashlar dressings and some Hatherleigh stone detail; many interior walls and stacks of brick; roofs now completely gone. Much of the building has collapsed and therefore the plan can only be appreciated in general. The house was conceived on a grand scale, comprising an irregular and rambling complex of buildings. It faced south-west with the main block at the right (south-east) end, apparently 3 rooms wide and 3 deep. The shell of this survives. Another block along the left side was recessed from the front and 2 rooms deep. It has largely collapsed. From the back a range at right angles extended left to the north wing with projected to rear 2 rooms wide and 2 deep. From the front of this a single storey range extended to a tower set diagonally to the axis of the rest. A courtyard was thus created with a low wall across the front. Three storeys with extensive cellars. Similar Elizabethan Gothic style throughout. The facades are irregular with bold embattled parapets, projecting stacks and buttresses. The windows are square-headed with stone mullions, Tudor arch headed light (some enriched with cusped cinquefoils) and hoodmoulds. The larger windows have transoms. The south-west front of the main block survives in part. The remains of the 2-storey porch with part of the large Hatherleigh stone outer arch surmounted by an heraldic achievement in a Gothic style plaque. To right is the tall stair window now missing its tracery. The 2-window front to right is more or less intact. The south-east return is also nearly intact and its 3:1:1 windows served the principal rooms and chambers. The central bay has an enormous first floor window with the hood mould rising around an heraldic achievement. The bay to the left includes a canted bay window to ground and first floors and right bay has a full height square-cornered bay window. Most of the rear wall remains up to parapet level with an irregular 1:2:2:1 window arrangement. The north wing projects as a massive canted bay with 4 forward windows and 2 each side. The tower to left of the main front is the best-preserved part of the building. It has a window on each floor on 3 sides and a newel stair projecting to the front left side. Part of front courtyard wall also survives. Interior: has been completely stripped of all detail and most beams have collapsed. Until 1911 Eggesford House was the home of the Earls of Portsmouth. It is set in parkland with fine views over the river Taw. A 19th century print of the exterior is in the Devon Record Office. The 1913 sale catalogue also included photographs of the exterior and fine Gothic style interior.

Axe, M. + Chapman, L. + Miller, S., 1995, The Lost Houses of Eggesford, 33 (Unknown). SDV338846.

Eggesford House in Wembworthy built 1828-1853. Earls of Portsmouth bought former Heywood House in 1828 and built their own mansion on the site. Details of life there given. Tower a later addition. Sold in 1913 to a timber company. Used in 1917 for German prisoners of war. Finally sold and stripped in 1923. Some of the stone used to build Winkleigh village hall.

Adams, A., 2004, Review of the Year, 1, 2 (Article in Serial). SDV363131.

Largely demolished house originally built for Lord Portsmouth in the 19th century and now undergoing restoration.
The crenellated granite parapet, much of which was lying about the site, was replaced, with the occasional missing bits replicated in concrete. The whole extremely tall house was floorless, when the present owner bought it (it had been sold for demolition). These floors have subsequently been provided with heating and faced with polished stone. To date, the re-creation has taken some ten years.
Stone from the demolished house was used to build Winkleigh Village Hall.

Young, A., 2005, Transcriptions from Winkleigh Biomass Plant National Mapping Programme (NMP) project (Cartographic). SDV321540.

Transcriptions of structures correspond to the grid reference for PRN167309.

Young, A. & Turner, S., 2005-2006, North Devon/Winkleigh Biomass Plant National Mapping Programme (NMP) project database records, PRN167309 (Interpretation). SDV358473.

The ruins of Eggesford House are visible on aerial photographs (p1) and were were digitally plotted during the National Mapping Programme.
Photograph reference:
1. RAF CPE/UK/2082 4209-10 19-MAY-1947

Young, A. + Turner, S., 2006, Winkleigh Biomass Plant, National Mapping Project, Page 60 (Report - Interim). SDV358057.

Ruinous remains of walls have been mapped as part of the NMP project.

Lovie, J., 2009, Arlington Court, Devon: Conservation Statement Prepared by Johnathan Lovie for the National Trust, 48; Figs 34, 35 (Report - non-specific). SDV352139.

The development of Eggesford, built by Thomas Lee for the Hon Newton Fellowes in 1822, closely mirrors that of Arlington. A mediaeval house, rebuilt by John Meadows in 1770-72 stood close to the mediaeval parish church just above the River Taw. The eighteenth century house was provided with a landscape designed by Nathaniel Richmond (1724-1784) which was painted by the Revd John Swete in the 1790s. However the confined position of the house in the valley bottom adjacent to the old church prevented an effective landscape composition, and when, in 1822, Lee was commissioned to rebuilt the house, he and his client selected a new site some distance away and higher up the western side of the valley which allowed a series of picturesque views to be developed. As at Arlington, the house is set within an area of lawns and shrubberies, beyond which parkland with scattered planting drops down towards the river. An extensive network of carriage drives was developed through the park, woodlands and surrounding land, with incidents including a cottage ornee, two Norman earthwork castles, the river itself, and the mediaeval church.

Clark, J. + Richardson, D., 2013, Eggesford House (Un-published). SDV357040.

The house built on a new site in 1822 by Thomas Lee, a Barnstaple architect, for Newton Fellowes. It was an early example in the county of an embattled Tudor style for a country house. It was dismantled in 1917. Now an eminently picturesque large ruin standing against the sky, surrounded by the woods of the Taw valley, like the best of follies.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV111831Migrated Record: WCSL.
SDV1416Migrated Record: Unknown. Unknown. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown.
SDV18003Migrated Record: Wilson-North, W. R..
SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV28471Migrated Record: BROOKS.
SDV321540Cartographic: Young, A.. 2005. Transcriptions from Winkleigh Biomass Plant National Mapping Programme (NMP) project. Plot of Cropmarks. Digital.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 85.
SDV338846Unknown: Axe, M. + Chapman, L. + Miller, S.. 1995. The Lost Houses of Eggesford. Unknown. 33.
SDV339663List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1986. Wembworthy. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV352139Report - non-specific: Lovie, J.. 2009. Arlington Court, Devon: Conservation Statement Prepared by Johnathan Lovie for the National Trust. National Trust Report. Digital. 48; Figs 34, 35.
SDV357040Un-published: Clark, J. + Richardson, D.. 2013. Eggesford House. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. Digital.
SDV358057Report - Interim: Young, A. + Turner, S.. 2006. Winkleigh Biomass Plant, National Mapping Project. Devon County Council + English Heritage. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. Page 60.
SDV358473Interpretation: Young, A. & Turner, S.. 2005-2006. North Devon/Winkleigh Biomass Plant National Mapping Programme (NMP) project database records. Cornwall Council Report. Digital. PRN167309.
SDV363131Article in Serial: Adams, A.. 2004. Review of the Year. 22. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 1, 2.
SDV3670Migrated Record: SMR.
SDV39526Migrated Record:
SDV39538Migrated Record:
SDV39540Migrated Record:
SDV39541Migrated Record:
SDV39542Aerial Photograph:
SDV39543Aerial Photograph:
SDV39544Migrated Record:
SDV39545Migrated Record:
SDV39546Migrated Record:
SDV39547Aerial Photograph:
SDV39548Aerial Photograph:
SDV39550Migrated Record:
SDV39551Migrated Record:
SDV39552Migrated Record:

Associated Monuments

MDV56292Related to: Eggesford Gardens (Monument)
MDV126141Related to: Winkleigh Village Hall (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7455 - Winkleigh Biomass Plant National Mapping Programme

Date Last Edited:Jul 25 2019 3:16PM