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HER Number:MDV12508
Name:Paige's Almshouses, Church Lane, Barnstaple


A row of four two-storey almshouses on Church Lane. Originally endowed by William Canford in 1553, they were rebuilt by E. Paige in 1656.


Grid Reference:SS 558 331
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit Site Code: ND65
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/181
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS53SE18

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ALMSHOUSE (XVII - 1656 AD to 1656 AD (Between))

Full description

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 38 (Monograph). SDV323771.

Gribble, J. B., 1830, Barnstaple (Cartographic). SDV357319.

Almshouses marked (10).

Ordnance Survey, 1855-1895, First Edition 1:500 Town Map (Cartographic). SDV338879.

Paige's Almshouses depicted on 1855-1895 1:500 town map, comprising ranges of buildings around a central courtyard. Map object based on this source.

Department of Environment, 1973, Barnstaple, 22 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV89941.

A row of four two-storey cottages.

Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 74 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit, 1991, North Devon Archaeological Site Code Index, Site Code ND65 (Report - non-specific). SDV63429.

Watching brief carried out in Horwood Square, Church Lane in 1986. Evidence of 19th century internal modifications observed.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Only the buildings on the western side of the courtyard, fronting Church Lane, are still extant. Map object based on this source.

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

Paiges Almshouses, Church Lane. Range of 4 almshouses. 1656, C20 additions to left and rear. Founded by Elizabeth Paige. Painted brick front roughly in English bond; small painted stone rubble section at left-hand end. Slated roof. Originally 4 dwellings for 8 inmates. 2 storeys. Main building has 4 windows per storey plus 4 doorways. Section to left has one upper-storey window. Doorways have double ovolo-moulded, square-headed wood frames with elaborately carved stops; ribbed and studded plank doors, The second from left a near-replica of the original. Slated wood canopy above each door. Windows (restored) are of 4 lights in ground storey, 3 above; ovolo-moulded wood mullions with diamond-shaped leaded panes, each window having a casement with ornate iron hinges. Window in section to left has a 2-light wood casement with pegged joists; probably late C17 or later. Left gable wall has 2 mullioned windows in the style of those in the main range. These almshouses make an important contribution to the C17 character of Church Lane, being adjacent to Horwood's Almshouses. Date listed: 19th January 1951. Date of most recent amendment: 29th September 1999.

Southwest Archaeology, 2013, Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database, Mapping Area 56 (Un-published). SDV351581.

Watching brief carried out on internal changes to the second almshouse from the north. Outline of building marked on plans in North Devon Rescue Archaeology files.

Unknown, July 1975, Barnstaple Municipal Charities Historic Almshouses (Leaflet). SDV82108.

Horwood Almshouses is an amalgamation of three separate 17th century charity foundations, Horwood, Paige and Harris almshouses which in turn replaced earlier buildings. Thomas Harris gave money for the building of one house here in 1646 and ten years later, Elizabeth wife of Gilbert Paige, Mayor of Barnstaple, established four almshouses adjoining that of Thomas Harris. In 1665 Thomas and Alice Horwood founded eight more houses in the same place. The original deed refers to the location as Whitpit Lane, now Church Lane. Some alteration to the original layout has led to the thirteen almshouses becoming twelve.

Friends of Archaeology ND, Unknown, Historic Barnstaple (Leaflet). SDV356772.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SS53SE18 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV82075.

Site visit: 1st April 1976. Originally endowed by William Canford in 1553. They were rebuilt by E. Paige in 1656. They are very well-preserved and still in use.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 38.
SDV338879Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. Map (Digital).
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 74.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV351581Un-published: Southwest Archaeology. 2013. Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database. Greater Barnstaple Area Project. Digital. Mapping Area 56.
SDV356772Leaflet: Friends of Archaeology ND. Unknown. Historic Barnstaple. Leaflet + Digital.
SDV357319Cartographic: Gribble, J. B.. 1830. Barnstaple. Frontispiece to Memorials of Barnstaple. a4 single Sheet + Digital.
SDV63429Report - non-specific: North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit. 1991. North Devon Archaeological Site Code Index. North Devon District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. Site Code ND65.
SDV82075Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SS53SE18. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV82108Leaflet: Unknown. July 1975. Barnstaple Municipal Charities Historic Almshouses. Leaflet + Digital.
SDV89941List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Barnstaple. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 22.

Associated Monuments

MDV12507Related to: Horwood's Almshouses, Church Lane, Barnstaple (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 6 2014 3:48PM