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HER Number:MDV1367
Name:Chilcot's Free School, 4 Peter Street, Tiverton


Chilcot's Free School founded in 1611 at 4 Peter Street in Tiverton, known later as Bluecoat School


Grid Reference:SS 953 125
Map Sheet:SS91SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTiverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTIVERTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 36437
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS91SE/19
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 485407
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS91SE2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • SCHOOL (XVI to XVIII - 1600 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Ministry of Works, Bluecoat School, Peter Street, Tiverton (Schedule Document). SDV345495.

Bluecoat School in Peter Street in Tiverton was formerly Chilcot's Free School. "Chilcot's Free English School". Situated on west side of Peter Street is a substantial stone building, which was erected by the Trustees of Robert Comms alias Chilcot in 1611. The building is in the Elizabethan style and measures about 15 metres from end to end, 7.6 metres wide, and the schoolroom is 12.8 metres by 6.1 metres. Behind the school is a good dwelling for the master without tenements and gardens, commanding a view of the River Exe. This school escaped the conflagration of 1612, 1731, 1794, and has undergone little or no alteration since it was formed. Over the entrance door is the following inscription: "Robert Comm, alias Chilcot, born in this town founded this Free English Schoole, and endowed it with maintenance forever, anno domine 1611". Note: Chilcot was a nephew of Peter Blundell (1520-1601), who is supposed to have provided a portion of the money necessarily expended in the building and design and endowment of this establishment. "the evident design of this endowment was to instruct the poor boys in reading English, writing and arithmetic to prepare them for the Grammar School". Chilcot's Will provides for 100 poor boys born in Tiverton, "My meaning is that no Maydes or girls shall be taught in this school".

Dunsford, M., 1790, Untitled Source, 119 (Monograph). SDV345501.

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 519 (Monograph). SDV323771.

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

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'School' shown on 19th century map.

Pengelly, W., 1887, Prince's "Worthies of Devon", and the "Dictionary of National Biography", 334 (Article in Serial). SDV16197.

Jenkins, R., 1920 - 1921, Chilcott's Free Schools, 18 (Article in Serial). SDV345503.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 286 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1955 - 1978, SS91SE2 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV345502.

Chilcott School founded in 1611.

Andrew, C. K. C., 1956 - 1958, Chilcott's School, Tiverton and Langthorne Manor, Yorks, 122 (Article in Serial). SDV345496.

Aspects of 17th century legal history dealt with. Rent from Manor in Yorkshire payable to school.

Mahood, A. S., 1956 - 1958, Chilcott's School, Tiverton, 159 (Article in Serial). SDV345497.

Author cites earlier sources on history of school including Dunsford.

Department of Environment, 1972, Tiverton, 48 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV52494.

Schoolroom is single storey building with mullion windows fronting street. The two-storey master's house at 4 St Peter's Street forms a back wing is of the early 17th century and built of stone. It is of two stories with a three window front, with 4-, 3- and 2-light stone mullion windows. End wall, overlooking River Exe, is roughcast.

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

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

Authers, W. P., 1980, Chilcot School (Leaflet). SDV345498.

The Chilcot School consists of a large, lofty schoolroom, it has been altered very little, and retains the original characteristics of Jacobean architecture. A massive nail-studded wooden door is framed by a pointed arch. Between the top of the arch and a small square window is a tablet with an inscription. From the doorway a short dark passage gives access to the school hall and to the house adjoining which was built for the schoolmaster, whose garden sloped down to the river. The school is now the main committee room of the Mid Devon District Council. The school is built of local stone snecked rubble with a plinth and notable are the mullioned and transom windows which give the interior an unusual supply of daylight. In 1906 the Chilcot School became redundant under an amalgamation scheme and it was converted into a gymnasium. During the war it was a military store and it has also been the headquarters of the sea cadets, a pottery studio for the technical college and it housed the Tiverton Museum.

Weston, S., 1983, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982 (Un-published). SDV342456.

Field Monument Warden visit.

Weston, S., 1983, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1983 (Un-published). SDV343247.

Site visited on 14th January 1983.

Giles, D. D. + Strong, P. J., 1984, The Blue Coat School, Tiverton, 89-90 (Article in Serial). SDV339397.

Cox, J., 1988, Old Blundell's School, Tiverton, 8 (Article in Serial). SDV339398.

Possibly served as preparatory school for Blundell's School.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Bluecoat School, Peter Street, Tiverton (Schedule Document). SDV345500.

Bluecoat School in Peter Street descheduled. Other details: Number 90371.

Gerrard, H., 1998, Untitled Source (Report - non-specific). SDV345499.

Following severe storms in January 1998, part of the roof on the south-east end of the building was removed by gales. Immediate repairs were carried out. Impossible to detect new work from original as viewed from outside the building.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 36437 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345504.

A school and master's house built in 1611 of coursed stone rubble with freestone dressings under a slate roof. L-shaped on plan, the large 5-bay schoolroom/hall is parallel to the street, and at the left (south) end there is a gallery, under which there is a through-passage with the main entrance at the front and a rear doorway to a courtyard enclosed by the master's house and a rear wall. The school was founded by Robert Chilcot to provide 100 boys a free education in English and reading, in preparartion for Blundell's School, in Tiverton. Robert Chilcot's will stated: "no maydes or girls be taught".

English Heritage, 2010, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV154869.

Chilcot School including 4 St Peter's Street at the rear in Tiverton was Listed on 12th February 1952. Council meeting room and house, formerly school and headmaster's house. Dated 1611; minor additions at rear. Materials: squared purplish stone rubble with most details in dressed limestone, possibly from Beer; the front doorway appears to be of a local volcanic stone, refaced with cement. Storehouse rendered. Slated roofs with stone parapets on the gable ends; storehouse roof of corrugated asbestos. 20th century metal ventilator on centre of ridge. House has stone chimney (probably 19th century) at front end and red brick chimney at rear. Plan: school consists of an open hall along the street frontage with a through-passage at the left-hand end; gallery above the passage. Headmaster's house lies behind, at right to the right-hand end. Opposite it, to the left of the courtyard, is a two-storey building (probably a 19th century addition) with a storehouse adjoining. Exterior: school single-storey. Front has four mullioned and transomed windows of four lights each with king mullions; ogee-moulded mullions, continued hoodmoulds. At left-hand end is a round-arched doorway with moulded jambs, imposts and archivolt; keystone projects, and appears originally to have had a pendant. Hoodmould with lozenge terminals. Studded plank door, much repaired with round-arched wicket-gate cut into it. Above the door is a square moulded plaque with inscription: "Robert Comin als Chilcot borne in this towne founded this free English Schoole and indowd it with maintenance for ever anno dni. 1611". Above the plaque is a two light mullioned gallery window with continued hoodmould. Projecting plinth with chamfered coping of volcanic stone. Moulded corbel table under the eaves. Rear wall has two windows to left, matching those at the front. Rear doorway to passage has Tudor arch with straight hoodmould; masonry encased in cement. Rear extension, forming in the ground storey a lobby to the rear courtyard, has a plain segmental stone arch and a studded plank door. Headmaster's house is two-storey with a three-window front facing the courtyard. Centre doorway concealed by 19th or 20th century gabled porch. Ogee-moulded, stone-mullioned windows; those in ground storey are of four lights with hoodmoulds and relieving arches, those above are of three lights at either end and two lights in the middle. Rear gable wall (prominent in the view from Exe Bridge) has two stone-mullioned windows in each storey. Those in ground storey have three lights to left and two to right; those in second storey have two lights, the left light of the iron casements with small oblong leaded panes. Interior: through-passage divided from schoolroom by a stone-rubble wall containing a Tudor-arched limestone doorway with ovolo and ogee mouldings, carved spandrels and large pyramid-like stops; studded plank double doors with moulded ribs. Schoolroom plain. In rear wall to right a segmental headed fireplace with double-ogee moulding. barrel-vaulted ceiling with moulded ribs having carved bosses at the intersections. Gallery woodwork is probably entirely of 1907; a plaque records that in that year the school was incorporated into a gymnasium. Interior of house not inspected.
History: Robert Chilcot was the brother-in-law of George Slee another Tiverton wool merchant and the nephew of Peter Blundell a wool merchant with Tiverton links. An outstanding example of a school of this period, Tiverton also boasting Blundell's School. Other details: LBS Number 485407.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV154869List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2010. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV16197Article in Serial: Pengelly, W.. 1887. Prince's "Worthies of Devon", and the "Dictionary of National Biography". Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 19. A5 Hardback. 334.
SDV18684Monograph: Harding, W.. 1845. History of Tiverton. 1. Unknown.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 519.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 286.
SDV339397Article in Serial: Giles, D. D. + Strong, P. J.. 1984. The Blue Coat School, Tiverton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 116. A5 Paperback. 89-90.
SDV339398Article in Serial: Cox, J.. 1988. Old Blundell's School, Tiverton. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 5. Unknown. 8.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 201.
SDV342456Un-published: Weston, S.. 1983. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Unknown.
SDV343247Un-published: Weston, S.. 1983. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1983. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Unknown.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #80982 ]
SDV345495Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. Bluecoat School, Peter Street, Tiverton. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV345496Article in Serial: Andrew, C. K. C.. 1956 - 1958. Chilcott's School, Tiverton and Langthorne Manor, Yorks. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 27. Unknown. 122.
SDV345497Article in Serial: Mahood, A. S.. 1956 - 1958. Chilcott's School, Tiverton. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 27. Unknown. 159.
SDV345498Leaflet: Authers, W. P.. 1980. Chilcot School. Leaflet.
SDV345499Report - non-specific: Gerrard, H.. 1998. Unknown.
SDV345500Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Bluecoat School, Peter Street, Tiverton. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV345501Monograph: Dunsford, M.. 1790. Historical Memoirs of the Town and Parish of Tiverton. Unknown. 119.
SDV345502Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1955 - 1978. SS91SE2. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV345503Article in Serial: Jenkins, R.. 1920 - 1921. Chilcott's Free Schools. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 11 Part 1. Unknown. 18.
SDV345504National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 36437. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
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. 48.

Associated Monuments

MDV12365Related to: Old Blundells School, Tiverton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 18 2015 3:47PM