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HER Number:MDV1368
Name:Tiverton Union Workhouse

Summary

Former workhouse, built 1837-8 in classical style with central octagonal tower. Used as hospital for elderly in second half of 20th century.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 958 130
Map Sheet:SS91SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTiverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTIVERTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS91SE/20
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 485226
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum Accession Number: 285/2008

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WORKHOUSE (XVIII to XXI - 1701 AD to 2009 AD (Between))
  • PUBLIC ASSISTANCE INSTITUTION (XX - 1929 AD to 1948 AD (Between))
  • GERIATRIC HOSPITAL (XX - 1948 AD to 1990 AD (Between))

Full description

Passmore, A., 09/2014, The Twyford Building, Belmont Hospital, Tiverton (Report - Survey). SDV357263.

Historic building recording was undertaken during the demolition of the Twyford Building at the former Belmont Hospital, Belmont Road, Tiverton (SS 9587 1300).

The principal building on the site originated as the Tiverton Union Workhouse, which was designed by the partnership of Sir George Gilbert Scott and William Moffatt in 1837–8, and later altered when converted in use as a hospital. The Twyford Building is a now-detached late 19th-century infirmary block that incorporates fabric from the 1837-8 workhouse. The Twyford Building has been the subject of two architectural studies. It was assessed as part of a Heritage Statement prepared by Heritage Vision in April 2008, and was the subject of a comprehensive historic building survey carried out by Exeter Archaeology in March 2010 (Passmore and Steinmetzer 2010). The present investigation augments the recording carried out in 2010.

Very little previously unrecorded historic fabric was exposed as a result of the works. Throughout the building lath and plaster was noted in wall partitions and ceilings. All other observations were on the ground floor and are summarised below:
• The eastern opening in the central projecting block on the south elevation had not been historically
blocked as previously thought.
• In the 1890s west wing a modern serving hatch between the child health clinic room and kitchen on
the ground floor was exposed.
• In the chiropody room the removal of some of the wall plaster from a projecting section of masonry
exposed bricks and concrete which represents a blocking of a former fireplace. This observation
confirm that all of the ground-floor rooms in the 1837-8 central range were heated.
• As previously observed, pugging (sound deadening) was noted in several locations within the ground-
floor ceiling of the 1837-8 central range. In the western room of the central range (the speech and
language therapy room) a slate slab apparently forming the hearth of the first-floor
fireplace was exposed . This was offset from the projecting masonry of the chimney stack (on both
floors) and it is possible that a further hearth slab has been removed. It seems likely therefore that
both large first-floor rooms (wards) were heated.

Comments
The building had been thoroughly surveyed and recorded in 2010. The few observations of newly-exposed historic masonry mainly relate to the presence of blocked fireplaces and provide evidence for heating of all the primary rooms in the 1837-8 central range that originally formed part of the Tiverton Union Workhouse.


Unknown, 1843, Plan of Tiverton (Cartographic). SDV349112.

Workhouse shown on tracing on 1843 survey. Other details: Tracing.


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

'Tiverton Union Workhouse' marked on 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map.


Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

'Public Assistance Institution (Devon County Council)' shown.


Ordnance Survey, 1972, Plan SS9412-9512 (Cartographic). SDV342145.

'Belmont Hospital for the Aged and Infirm' shown.


Department of Environment, 1972, Tiverton, 10 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV52494.


Minchinton, W. E., 1973, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 23 (Monograph). SDV7016.

Belmont Hospital, Belmont Road, is an interesting example of the early work of the architect Giles Gilbert Scott. It was built as a workhouse in 1837-1838 in the classical style, with plain blocks, small windows, and a central octagon with clock tower.


Turton, S. D. + Weddell, P. J., 1989, An Archaeological Assessment of the Tiverton Market Square Redevelopment Scheme (Report - Assessment). SDV336544.

Workshouse shown in this position on Blackmore's plan of 1777 (figure 4).


Morrison, K.A., 1997, The New Poor Law Workhouses of George Gilbert Scott and William Bonython Moffatt, 193 (Article in Serial). SDV7020.

1837-38, attributed to Gilbert Scott, stone buildings in classical style. Main block is three storey with four storey central octagonal tower, the diagonal sides projecting slightly and having gable pediments. Octagonal lantern in centre. Entrance porch on south side is of wood with round-headed window and pediment. Entrance block has one storey pavilions at sides and tall central arch with wrought iron gates. Lodge in similar style and material.


Wessex Archaeology, 2003, Blundells Road, Tiverton, Devon: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment, 8, 18 (Report - Assessment). SDV345760.

Other details: Figure 2, site WA 26.


Gaimster, M., 2009, Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Isles in 2008 (Article in Serial). SDV352753.

A. Collings and A. Passmore undertook assessment and building survey which demonstrated that most of the fabric of the Tiverton Union Workhouse, designed by Sir G. G. Scott and William Moffatt and built in 1837–38, survives intact. Part of it was incorporated in an infirmary of 1893–97. Evidence was found indicating the position of the preceding Tiverton Workhouse, designed by John Abbott and built in 1698–1704, none of which stands (citing Exeter Archaeology Report 08.46, which argues that, contrary to recent proposals, the 1830s work deserves retention).


Passmore, A. J. + Steinmetzer, M. F. R., 2010, Belmont Hospital Tiverton, Devon. An Archaeological Evaluation and Historic Building Recording (Report - Survey). SDV344522.

The Tiverton Union Workhouse was constructed by the partnership of Sir George Gilbert Scott and William Moffatt in 1837-8, on the site of an earlier workhouse built in 1704, but has experienced much alteration since then when in use as a hospital. The layout of the 1837-8 workhouse is comparable to other early workhouses designed by Scott and Moffat, comprising a square plan with a tall central range and lower external ranges around four courtyards. It was extended in the late 19th century and in 1948 was acquired by the newly formed National Health Service and became Belmont Hospital. The historic buildings were retained, later augmented by further buildings outside the present site. The interior was altered to form wards etc and the infirmary range was subsequently converted to provide other health services. Most of the original fabric survives, although some buildings in the north range have been lost and the eastern part of the southern range was demolished in the 1960s to make way for a car park. The building is constructed primarily of rubble sandstone with volcanic trap used for architectural detailing, although the entrance façade appears to have had finer work. The surviving administration rooms in the south block which fronts the main entrance to the complex are constructed of finer ashlar sandstone with breccia for the detailing and this fine detail is also seen in the lodge to the west. Most of the windows and external doors have been replaced.
Archaeological evaluation showed that the 1704 workhouse was completely demolished. A number of pits and a large basement-type feature were found within the gardens of the workhouse. The finds, which included a small pair of scissors, date mainly to the period 1710-40. The pottery appears to comprise domestic personal items and the lack of imported and decorated items is perhaps in keeping with the use of the site as a workhouse. See report for full details.


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

Belmont Hospital. Workhouse, now in use as hospital with clinics. Rebuilt 1837-1838 to the designs of Scott and Moffat, considerable later alterations including some demolition.
Materials: local purple stone, some snecked, some rubble with red sandstone lintels to the windows; slate roofs; stacks with glazed cream brick shafts.
Plan: the main block, on a west east axis, incorporates a central tower and has rear left and right wings comprising a house (north-east wing) and a single storey service wing (north west). A rear centre single-storey wing was the kitchen. On the south side, one of the single storey entrance pavilions survives, parallel to the main range and linked to it by a single storey front wing. The single storey front wing to the east survives but the pavilion has been demolished, as have the entrance gates. Rear of the main block is a separate range, said to have been the casual wing for temporary workhouse users. The courtyard between the casual wing and main range includes a detached laundry and a later boiler house (excluded from the listing). A pedestrian gateway and small lodge at the entrance from Water Lane are separately listed.
Exterior: 1) The Main Range. 3 storeys incorporating a 4-storey central octagonal tower. The range terminates in wider blocks at either end with small wings to the west and east. 1:5:5:5:1-window south front, the 5 central windows are to the tower which has pedimented gables but has lost its octagonal lantern since the list description of 1972. The windows are mostly 3-light metal casements but the rear of the tower retains a sash window. Modest 4-panel door into tower with remains of timber pedimented pentice over - the 1972 list description refers to an entrance porch with a round-headed window and pediment - presumably the pedimented pentice is all that remains. To the rear, the single storey kitchen has a series of vents and a louvred lantern along the ridge. The rear right (north west) wing incorporates what may have been the overseer's house, which faces west into the courtyard and has a roof hipped at the north end. This has a symmetrical 3-bay front with a flush-panel front door with small-pane overlight and 12-pane timber sashes.
2) The Entrance Block. Only one half of this survives, the west half. This consists of a smart single storey T-plan lodge in snecked stone with red Breccia flat arches to the openings, a stone eaves band and 12-pane timber sash windows, with a doorway on the east end. 1:2:2-window south front with projecting front wing in the centre with 1-window returns. The old list description refers to 2 entrance pavilions and a central arch with wrought-iron gates - gates and arch have also been demolished.
3) The Casual Wing. This has been altered but is included for group value. It is a long range on a north-south axis terminating in square blocks with a square block in the centre and separately roofed stair projections with platbands off the square blocks to the rear. The rear centre block has been rebuilt in brick. There are entrances on the returns of the blocks on the south side, which has a 2:4:2:4:2-window front and a stone eaves band. The north side has various single-storey lean-tos added. Attractive cast-iron fire escape on west end.
4) The Laundry. This is a minor building but is included for group value. It is in the courtyard between the casual wing and the main range and is a single-storey building with vents on the ridge. The south elevation has a gable to the west and 4 plank doors and 4 windows.
Interior: main and casual block not inspected. The interior of the laundry has king post and strut.
History: the workhouse was built on an earlier hospital site and cost £8,800. Pevsner described the building as "badly-treated but the dignified classical composition still recognisable". Date first listed: 14th December 1972.


Gaimster, M., 2011, Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon (Article in Serial). SDV361542.

TIVERTON, BELMONT HOSPITAL (SS 9587 1300). A. J. Passmore and M. F. R. Steinmetzer undertook recording of the hospital, constructed in 1837–38 as the Tiverton Workhouse to designs by Sir George Gilbert Scott and William Moffatt, and replacing a workhouse of 1704 (cf. Post Medieval Archaeology 43:2 (2009), 375). Excavation demonstrated that the walls of the 1704 workhouse had been entirely robbed away, but pits and a cellar of c. 1710–40 were recorded. The foundations of a demolished range of the 1837–38 workhouse were shown to survive below ground (citing Exeter Archaeology Report 10.20).


National Archives, 2012, http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/Hospitalrecords/details.asp?id=3161&page=10 (Website). SDV349363.

Belmont Hospital, formerly Tiverton Public Assistance Institution, closed in 1990.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SS91SE29 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV349359.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV154869List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2010. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336544Report - Assessment: Turton, S. D. + Weddell, P. J.. 1989. An Archaeological Assessment of the Tiverton Market Square Redevelopment Scheme. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 89.07. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV342145Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1972. Plan SS9412-9512. Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map. Map (Paper).
SDV344522Report - Survey: Passmore, A. J. + Steinmetzer, M. F. R.. 2010. Belmont Hospital Tiverton, Devon. An Archaeological Evaluation and Historic Building Recording. Exeter Archaeology Report. 10.20. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV345760Report - Assessment: Wessex Archaeology. 2003. Blundells Road, Tiverton, Devon: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment. Wessex Archaeology Report. 54068.01. A4 Stapled + Digital. 8, 18.
SDV349112Cartographic: Unknown. 1843. Plan of Tiverton. Wm. Richards and Sons. Map (Paper).
SDV349359Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SS91SE29. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV349363Website: National Archives. 2012. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/Hospitalrecords/details.asp?id=3161&page=10. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Website.
SDV352753Article in Serial: Gaimster, M.. 2009. Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Isles in 2008. Post Medieval Archaeology, p359 -423. 43/2. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV357263Report - Survey: Passmore, A.. 09/2014. The Twyford Building, Belmont Hospital, Tiverton. AC Archaeology. ACD887/2/0. Digital.
SDV361542Article in Serial: Gaimster, M.. 2011. Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 45. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV52494List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1972. Tiverton. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 10.
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1973. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 23.
SDV7020Article in Serial: Morrison, K.A.. 1997. The New Poor Law Workhouses of George Gilbert Scott and William Bonython Moffatt. Architectural History. 40. Extract. 193.

Associated Monuments

MDV76660Related to: Lodge to Belmont Hospital, Tiverton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4646 - Evaluation and Building Recording at Belmont Hospital, Tiverton (Ref: 10.20)
  • EDV6596 - Results of Historic Building Recording, The Twyford Building, Belmont Hospital, Tiverton TIVERTON (Ref: ACD887/2/0)

Date Last Edited:Jul 19 2018 9:25AM