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HER Number:MDV12365
Name:Old Blundells School, Tiverton

Summary

Old Blundells' School in Tiverton was built in 1604 and used until the new school was built in the late 19th century. Ownership was transferred to the National Trust in 1954

Location

Grid Reference:SS 957 124
Map Sheet:SS91SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTiverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTIVERTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS91SE/47
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 485420

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • SCHOOL (XVII - 1601 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SS91SE17 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV339390.


Harding, W., 1845, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV18684.

Old Blundells School situated at the southeast end of Tiverton was erected in 1604 through the benevolence of Peter Blundell who richly endowed it. Building is in Elizabethan style and contains two excellent school-rooms separated by a passage. Over the entrance to each school is carved a substantial oak or chestnut "P.1604. B. " the roof was evidently copied from a chapel existing in remains of Frithelstock Abbey near Torrington. A tradition exists that many of the timbers used formed part of the wreck of the defeated Spanish armada washed up on the Cornish coast 12-14 years before building commenced on the school.


Anonymous, 1900, Blundell's School Tiverton, 41-3 (Article in Serial). SDV339395.

History of Old Blundells given.


Amery, P. F. S., 1900-1901, A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789, 208 (Article in Serial). SDV18670.

Over the gateway to the old school an inscription on a tablet says that it was built by Peter Blundell in 1604 'aetatis suae 81'.


Mahood, A. S., 1947 - 1949, An obscure point in the history of Blundell's School, 285-8 (Article in Serial). SDV339394.


Mahood, A. S., 1947 - 1949, Concerning Blundell's School (Article in Serial). SDV339393.


O'Neil, B. H. St J., 1948, War and Archaeology in Britain, 43 (Article in Serial). SDV339391.

The upper part of the hall of Old Blundells was destroyed as a result of a fire caused accidentally by soldiers billeted there during the 2nd World War.


Department of Environment, 1951, Tiverton (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV339389.

Built in 1604. Originally consisted of three one-storey halls, now divided into 2 storeys. Large forecourt with gates and lodges 1695. Apart from lantern of 1840 buildings little altered. Now used as dwelling houses.


Mahood, A. S., 1952, Some notes on Blundell's School, 52-80 (Article in Serial). SDV339392.

History and documents relating to the school from its founding in 1604 till 1847.


Department of Environment, 1972, Tiverton, 5 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV52494.

A stone range consisting originally of three 1-storey halls. Now divided into two storeys and used as dwelling houses. Two projecting porches at front with round-headed arches and niches over. Three 4-light mullion transom windows to each hall have been renewed. A section of roof was recently burnt. Large forecourt entered through semi-circular stone arch. Gates date from 1695 and two 1-storey lodges are probably of same date but have been altered later. Red stone forecourt walls are 3 meters high.


Devon County Council, 1975, Tiverton Town Trails, 65 (Article in Monograph). SDV352466.


Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 198, 201 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.


National Trust, 1984, Old Blundell's School, Tiverton (Report - Survey). SDV339396.

The roof could be a copy of the chapel roof of Frithelstock Abbey. It is surmounted by a baycupola and bell, which various sources attribute to the date 1840 or 1740. It replaces an earlier cupola and bell of 1613. The school rooms each have a porch opening into the green, above the doors is the inscription 'P.1604 B'. A reference to the clothier Peter Blundell who was the school's benefactor. Another porch, leads to a dining hall, almost 11 meters long and at the end of the building are the Headmaster's rooms.


Giles, D. D. + Strong, P. J., 1984, The Blue Coat School, Tiverton, 89 (Article in Serial). SDV339397.


Cox, J., 1988, Old Blundell's School, Tiverton, 5-12 (Article in Serial). SDV339398.

Article gives history and architectural detail. Other details: Figs.


Mid Devon District Council, 1995, Tiverton Conservation Area Partnership Scheme. Preliminary Application, 5 (Un-published). SDV346055.


Collings, A. G., 2001, Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Centralised Offices at Phoenix Lane, Tiverton, 6 (Report - Assessment). SDV336255.

Other details: Fig 2.


Wessex Archaeology, 2003, Blundells Road, Tiverton, Devon: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment, 6, 16 (Report - Assessment). SDV345760.

Other details: Figure 2, siste WA 11.


Hunter, J., 2005, Old Blundell's Garage, Tiverton, 8 (Report - Assessment). SDV339400.


Department of Environment, 2007, Tiverton (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV339403.

Old Blundells School including forecourt walls on the northeast, entrance arch, gates and 2 lodges. Former school and headmaster's house, now converted into 6 flats. 1604; 19th century additions at rear. Ham stone ashlar on a plinth of local, reddish stone ashlar. Rear windows may be of Beer stone. Slated roof. 4 red brick chimneys, just visible behind ridge; probably late 19th or early 20th century; with spiked pots. Plan consists of a very long range, originally divided into higher school (on left), lower school and dining hall, with parlour at right-hand end. There are 3 short rear wings. That to the left, reached by a passage between the higher and lower schools, was the Usher's house. That in the middle, reached by a passage between the lower school and the dining hall, contained the kitchen. That on the right was the Master's house. Projecting entrance porches fronted the 2 passages. Exterior: single storey originally (upper floor now inserted) with 2-storey entrance porches and rear wings. Front has 3 groups of 3 windows with a pair of gabled porches in the intervening spaces. Windows have 12 stone mullioned and transomed lights arranged in 3 rows of 4. Lights in the 2 upper rows have Tudor arches, while those in the bottom row (a 19th century addition) are flat-headed; double-chamfered mullions, the frames with deeply cut hollow mouldings. Straight hoodmoulds. Between the windows are buttresses, another 19th century addition. Porches have round-arched doorways, ovolo and ogee moulded with hoodmoulds. Left-hand doorway has iron shoe-scrapers with fleur-de-lys finials. Over the doorways are semicircular niches with round heads containing shell-like carving. Above each of these in the upper storey is a 3-light mullioned and transomed window with Tudor-arched lights and hoodmould, and in the gable a small quatrefoil panel. Within the porches are stone benches with moulded wooden tops. Inner doorways are of stone, Tudor-arched and ovolo-moulded. Whole front has stone corbel table under the eaves. On the roof behind the left-hand porch is an octagonal wooden bell turret (rebuilt in 1840) with an ogee leaded roof. The base has fish scale slate hanging and, in the front face, a clock. Round-headed, open arcade above with bracketed cornice below the eaves; weather vane with initials P B. The walling (especially in front of the 2 schoolrooms) is carved with many names and 19th century dates; these include distinguished Devon families such as Carew, Chichester and Cruwys, and also RD Blackmore. The left end wall has a 15-light mullioned and transomed Ham stone window with straight hoodmould; lights are Tudor arched and arranged in 3 rows of 5. Right end wall, including the side of the Headmaster's house, also has Ham stone mullioned and transomed windows with Tudor-arched lights; 2 have leaded lights, that to left of ground storey with heraldic devices in coloured glass. Rear wall has mullioned and transomed windows similar to those at the front. Chimney in rear wall of hall has been cut down and late 20th century dormer windows introduced. Stone corbel-table under the eaves. Interior: has been much altered in the 19th century. The 2 schoolrooms are no longer recognisable, and the fine 2-storey screens (with initials PB and date 1604) flanking the passage between them have gone. The best surviving feature is the roof, which remains intact over the former schoolrooms. Almost incredibly old fashioned for its date, it has arch braced collar beams, from which curved struts rise to the principal rafters; 3 tiers of curved wind-braces arranged in star pattern. The remainder of the main roof, apart from the remains of one truss, is understood to have been destroyed by fire in 1945 or 1946. A number of other details survive, especially at Nos 2 (dining-hall) and 5 (Usher's house). The former has original doorways, together with a fireplace in the rear wall. The latter also has an original fireplace, and a stud partition with Tudor-arched doors. There is good 19th century work throughout the building. In front of the building is a lawned area about 75 meters square, crossed by cobbled paths and enclosed by a stone wall of local reddish coursed and squared rubble about 3 meters high. Most of it has a gabled coping; that on the right-hand side appears to be of stone, but that at the front end of the left-hand side seems to be of concrete while the rear part of the left-hand side has a simpler, rounded concrete coping. The quoins at the right-hand end of the front wall are of a different, greyish stone. In the centre of the front wall is the main gateway, rising to a considerably higher level and finished with a small triangular gable. Double-chamfered, round arched opening with badly-weathered remains of imposts and hoodmould Above it is a stone tablet in a moulded frame, inscribed 'OLD BLUNDELLS A.D. 1604'. Simple iron gates, probably 19th century, with twisted pendants hanging from the top rail. Flanking the gates, on the inside, are 2 rough-cast, single-storey lodges with slated roofs, gabled towards the school, hipped towards the road. Each has a red brick chimney with octagonal pot, so placed as to form a finial at each end of the gateway. Lodges have small paned, wood casement windows facing the school. History: Blundells was founded under the will of Peter Blundell (died 1601), an immensely successful Tiverton clothier and merchant. It was the second largest Grammar School in the country (up to 150 pupils) and probably the largest in the size of its building. The schoolhouse was sold in 1882 to provide funds for the present school buildings on the outskirts of the town. it was bought back in 1940 with funds collected by the Old Blundellian Club and presented to the school Governors in 1945. It was given to the National Trust in 1954. Other details: LBS No 485420.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV18670Article in Serial: Amery, P. F. S.. 1900-1901. A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1. Unknown. 208.
SDV18684Monograph: Harding, W.. 1845. History of Tiverton. 1. Unknown.
SDV336255Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G.. 2001. Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Centralised Offices at Phoenix Lane, Tiverton. Exeter Archaeology Report. 01.18. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6.
SDV339389List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1951. Tiverton. Historic Houses Register. Unknown.
SDV339390Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SS91SE17. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV339391Article in Serial: O'Neil, B. H. St J.. 1948. War and Archaeology in Britain. Antiquaries Journal. 28. Unknown. 43.
SDV339392Article in Serial: Mahood, A. S.. 1952. Some notes on Blundell's School. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 52-80.
SDV339393Article in Serial: Mahood, A. S.. 1947 - 1949. Concerning Blundell's School. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 23. Unknown.
SDV339394Article in Serial: Mahood, A. S.. 1947 - 1949. An obscure point in the history of Blundell's School. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 23. Unknown. 285-8.
SDV339395Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1900. Blundell's School Tiverton. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 46 part 1. Unknown. 41-3.
SDV339396Report - Survey: National Trust. 1984. Old Blundell's School, Tiverton. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV339397Article in Serial: Giles, D. D. + Strong, P. J.. 1984. The Blue Coat School, Tiverton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 116. A5 Paperback. 89.
SDV339398Article in Serial: Cox, J.. 1988. Old Blundell's School, Tiverton. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 5. Unknown. 5-12.
SDV339400Report - Assessment: Hunter, J.. 2005. Old Blundell's Garage, Tiverton. CgMs Consulting Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 8.
SDV339403List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 2007. Tiverton. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 198, 201.
SDV345760Report - Assessment: Wessex Archaeology. 2003. Blundells Road, Tiverton, Devon: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment. Wessex Archaeology Report. 54068.01. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6, 16.
SDV346055Un-published: Mid Devon District Council. 1995. Tiverton Conservation Area Partnership Scheme. Preliminary Application. Mid Devon District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5.
SDV352466Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Tiverton Town Trails. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 65.
SDV52494List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1972. Tiverton. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 5.

Associated Monuments

MDV30620Parent of: Building on the Green, Old Blundell's School (Monument)
MDV30620Related to: Building on the Green, Old Blundell's School (Monument)
MDV30619Parent of: Old Blundell's School, Gates, Walls and Lodges (Monument)
MDV30619Related to: Old Blundell's School, Gates, Walls and Lodges (Monument)
MDV30620Parent of: Building on the Green, Old Blundell's School (Monument)
MDV30620Related to: Building on the Green, Old Blundell's School (Monument)
MDV1367Related to: Chilcot's Free School, 4 Peter Street, Tiverton (Building)
MDV43033Related to: Old Blundell's School, Cockfighting (Monument)
MDV30619Parent of: Old Blundell's School, Gates, Walls and Lodges (Monument)
MDV30619Related to: Old Blundell's School, Gates, Walls and Lodges (Monument)
MDV1375Related to: Tiverton School (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4290 - Old Blundell's Garage

Date Last Edited:Feb 19 2015 11:22AM