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HER Number:MDV1378
Name:Waldron's Almshouses and Chapel, Wellbrook Street, Tiverton


Almshouses and adjoining chapel, built in 1579 for eight men by John Waldron.


Grid Reference:SS 950 126
Map Sheet:SS91SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTiverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTIVERTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS91SE/28
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 485436

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ALMSHOUSE (XVI - 1579 AD to 1579 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, Waldron's Almshouses (Ground Photograph). SDV348957.

Other details: Film 588.

Harding, W., 1847, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV348954.

Also called the Western Almshouses. The elevation is similar in style to Greenway's almshouses.

Amery, P. F. S., 1900-1901, A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789, 207 (Article in Serial). SDV18670.

Adams, M., 1919, Proceedings at the 58th Annual Meeting, 37 (Article in Serial). SDV55584.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1951 - 1955, SS91SE16 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV348955.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 496 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Present building bears the date 1597.

Department of Environment, 1972, Tiverton, 58 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV52494.

Waldron's Almshouses, Wellbrook Street. Founded 1579 by John Waldron for eight men. Two storey range with chapel at west end. The almshouse range has four dwellings on each floor, the upper one being approached by stone steps and a wooden gallery. Original tudor oak doors and windows remain. Stonework at front is carved with Waldron's initials and staple mark.

Devon County Council, 1975, Tiverton Town Trails, 66 (Article in Monograph). SDV352466.

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

Blaylock, S. R., 1986, A Survey of Greenway's Porch at St Peter's Church, Tiverton., 85-105 (Article in Serial). SDV57407.

The form and arrangement of the external decorations are clearly influenced by Greenway's work.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 818 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Waldron Almshouses are a stone range with wooden gallery at two levels and four dwellings on each floor. Each has four-centred entrance with black letter inscription. There are later extensions to the rear but original chimney stacks.

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

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

Almshouses with adjoining chapel. 1579 for John Waldron and his wife (inscription); almshouses restored 1987, chapel restored 1990. Local purple volcanic rubble with Beerstone dressings; gabled slate roof with clay ridge tiles; stone rubble shouldered stacks with slate coping and rebuilt brick shafts with moulded stone cornices.
Plan: chapel at west end, almshouse range to east. The almshouse range has four rear lateral stacks and a two-storey gallery across the front between stone rubble end blocks with an external stair to the first floor at the right (west) end. The almshouse block was designed for eight men in single rooms.
Exterior: two storey almshouse range; single-storey chapel. Almshouse has 1:8-bay front. Stone blocks at either end have panels of carving including a ship (Waldron was a merchant) the initials of the patron and the text 'Remember the Poore'. Gallery between has 13 timber Tudor arched openings on a low stone rubble wall with doorways in the second and twelfth bays. Behind the gallery the front elevation has four Tudor arched doorways with black letter inscription over - "Depart they goods while thou hast time/for after thy death they are not thine/God Save Queen Elizabeth" and four one-light windows with ovolo-moulded stone frames. The doorframes are moulded stone with urn stops and carved spandrels; plank and cover strip front doors. Windows all glazed with diamond leaded panes. Above the ground floor openings the gallery front has moulded timbers with plain rectangular sunk panels and six modern windows above with boarded panels between. First floor doorways are timber. External stone steps to right with straight joint to main front. The rear elevation preserves good rear lateral stacks. The left (east) return has 20th century stone-framed windows. Text across front elevation under eaves with inscription: "John Walrond merchant and Richord his wife/builded this house in the time of their life/At such time as the walls were fourteen foot high/He departed this life even the eighteenth of July 1579/Since youth and life doth pass away/and death at-hand to end our days/Let us do so that men may say/We spent our goods God to praise/he that upon the poor doth spend/the goods that he hath here/To God again the same doth send/and pay the same with great increase". The chapel adjoining at the west end has a projecting porch to the west and a stone gabled west end bellcote. The porch has a moulded doorway with carved spandrels and a deep carved frieze with quatrefoils below a similarly decorated parapet. Two-light window to left of porch has elaborate carved label stops and slightly flamboyant tracery. The west end has a three-light window with elaborate carved label stops and flamboyant tracery - mullions replaced. Rear elevation of chapel has one small plain round-headed doorway to west and one two-light traceried window.
Interior: not inspected. Chapel believed to have a wagon roof.
History: according to Harding, writing in 1847, the almshouses were "in a most dilapidated state". A chest tomb to John Waldron survives in the parish church of St Peter between the chancel and the south chancel chapel. It is wholly Gothic in manner. (Harding Lt. Col F G S: The History of Tiverton: 1847-: 79).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 496.
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. 207.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 818.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 198, 201.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #81031 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV348954Monograph: Harding, W.. 1847. History of Tiverton. 2. Unknown.
SDV348955Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1951 - 1955. SS91SE16. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV348957Ground Photograph: Devon County Council. Waldron's Almshouses. Devon County Council Conservation Section Collection. Photograph (Paper).
SDV352466Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Tiverton Town Trails. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 66.
SDV52494List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1972. Tiverton. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 58.
SDV55584Article in Serial: Adams, M.. 1919. Proceedings at the 58th Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 51. A5 Hardback. 37.
SDV57407Article in Serial: Blaylock, S. R.. 1986. A Survey of Greenway's Porch at St Peter's Church, Tiverton.. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 44. Paperback Volume. 85-105.

Associated Monuments

MDV17232Related to: Chapel, Waldron's Almshouses (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 19 2015 11:50AM