HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV12494
Name:Tome Stone at Queen Anne's Walk, Barnstaple.


Inscribed circular stone on a pedestal at the front of Queen Anne's Walk. The stone, dated 1633, is thought to have been used to strike bargains between merchants.


Grid Reference:SS 556 331
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/169
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • EXCHANGE TABLE (XVII - 1633 AD to 1633 AD (Between))

Full description

Windeatt, E., 1920, Totnes Stone, 56-57 (Article in Serial). SDV350393.

A circular stone table formerly standing against the west wall of the old hall of St. Nicholas, until 1826, but now in from of Queen Anne's Walk, protected by fencing. Cut into its thick circumference is its original date 1633 and the inscription, 'ION DELBRIDG MAIER RICHARD FERIS XM NICHOLAS BELBRIDGE ALDERNI'. It is said to have been the exchange table in the merchants'exchange for centuries.

F. W. C., 1922-1923, The Barnstaple Tome Stone, 337-338 (Article in Serial). SDV92617.

Barnstaple tome stone situated on the quay.

F. W. C., 1924-1925, The Barnstaple Tome Stone, 26-27 (Article in Serial). SDV92613.

C., 1924-1925, The Barnstaple Tome Stone, 28 (Article in Serial). SDV92615.

The author takes the word 'tome' to mean a book and suggest that the stone was used as a place to rest accounts upon.

H. A., 1924-1927, The Barnstaple Tome Stone, 27-28 (Article in Serial). SDV92614.

Tome stone set up in 1633, replacing an earlier stone. Used by merchants as a place to seal business transactions.

Tingey, J. C., 1928-1929, The Barnstaple Tome Stone, 156 (Article in Serial). SDV92616.

There are late 16th century references to this 'tombestone, but it is named only as a meeting place.

Department of Environment, 1973, Barnstaple, 66 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV89941.

17th century. Stone on later pedestal, probably replaced an earlier stone.

Bone, M., 1973, Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology, 13 (Monograph). SDV78228.

Set in its present position in 1900.

Exeter Archaeology, 2001, Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording at Commercial Road, Barnstaple, 10, Fig. 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV73888.

Circular stone table inscribed with the date 1633 and the names of the mayor and two aldermen. The pedestal is modern and it is now protected by railings.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Tome stone under centre of Queen Annes Walk. Stone used for striking merchants' bargains. Early 17th century, on a baluster probably of 1909. Round, weathered flat-topped stone with 3 names incised round its edge; these have been mutilated, but are believed to read IOH(N DEL)BRIDG MAIER (RIC)HARD FERIS XM NIC(HOL)AS DELBRIDGE ALDERMAN. 4 oval recesses have been cut into the top of the edge, apparently at random, destroying part of the inscription. The stone is set between 2 columns of Queen Anne's Walk and protected by 20th century railings front and back. Richard Feris was mayor in 1632 and John Delbridge in 1633; However, the XM is difficult to decipher and a John Delbridge was also mayor in 1600 and 1615. The first reference to a tome stone appears to be in 1606. A very rare and significant survival, other examples surviving outside the Exchange in Bristol. Date listed: 19th January 1951. Date of most recent amendment: 29th September 1999.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SS53SE29 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV92610.

Site visit 13th October 1953. A much worn flat circular stone on a fairly modern pedestal. Inscribed. 0.6 metres diameter, 0.1 metres thick.
Site visit 21st April 1976. Beneath the colonnade of Queen Anne's Walk. Similar in shape to the Bronze 'nails' outside the former Corn Exchange in Bristol.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website. [Mapped feature: #80521 ]
SDV350393Article in Serial: Windeatt, E.. 1920. Totnes Stone. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 52. Hardback Volume. 56-57.
SDV73888Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2001. Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording at Commercial Road, Barnstaple. Exeter Archaeology Report. 01.28. A4 Stapled + Digital. 10, Fig. 2.
SDV78228Monograph: Bone, M.. 1973. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. A5 Paperback. 13.
SDV89941List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Barnstaple. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 66.
SDV92610Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SS53SE29. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV92613Article in Serial: F. W. C.. 1924-1925. The Barnstaple Tome Stone. 13. Unknown. 26-27.
SDV92614Article in Serial: H. A.. 1924-1927. The Barnstaple Tome Stone. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 13. Unknown. 27-28.
SDV92615Article in Serial: C.. 1924-1925. The Barnstaple Tome Stone. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. Unknown. 28.
SDV92616Article in Serial: Tingey, J. C.. 1928-1929. The Barnstaple Tome Stone. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 15. Unknown. 156.
SDV92617Article in Serial: F. W. C.. 1922-1923. The Barnstaple Tome Stone. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. Unknown. 337-338.

Associated Monuments

MDV841Related to: Queen Anne's Walk, Barnstaple (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 5 2012 3:53PM