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HER Number:MDV1410
Name:The Walronds, Cullompton

Summary

Early 17th century house with 18th and 19th century alterations. The interior retains many early features.

Location

Grid Reference:ST 020 073
Map Sheet:ST00NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishCullompton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCULLOMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST00NW/8
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 95284
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: ST00NW 1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (XVII to XIX - 1601 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Foster, M. T., 1910, A Short History of Cullompton, 156 (Article in Serial). SDV336340.

Anon, 1928, The Walronds House, 154-6 (Article in Serial). SDV336341.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953 - 1968, ST00NW 1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV336338.

1. The Walronds, 16th-17th century house.
2. A large building partly in use as offices.
3. Photographs provided.

French, K. + French, C., 1957, Devonshire Plasterwork, 127,132 (Article in Serial). SDV4676.

Period 1 ceiling. 1605. Single rib. Geometrical patterns formed by slender curved and straight ribs. Overmantel displaying armorial bearings 1605.

Department of Environment, 1959, Tiverton RD, 13 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV54004.

Copeland, G. W., 1964, Proceedings at the 102nd Annual Meeting, 20 (Article in Serial). SDV57390.

Walronds. A stone built and gabled mansion standing in the middle of the town. The house retains most of its well-moulded stone-framed mullioned windows, original fireplaces with moulded plaster overmantels, good moulded plaster ceilings, and panelling, screen work and inner doorways. Built 1603 by Sir John Petrie, Knight, M. P. and restored in 1890. Between Manor House Hotel and The Retreat (south of the church), left of Tiverton Lane and High Street.

Tiverton District Council, 1978, Cullompton Conservation Area, 6; 4/6 (Report - non-specific). SDV41951.

Department of Environment, 1986, Cullompton, 62-4 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV336339.

Large detached town house. Completed in 1605, with later (18th and particularly 19th century) modifications. Built by John Peter, the house came into the possession of the Portman family in the late 17th century and was tenanted by the Walronds, hence its name. Local coursed sandstone rubble with some volcanic trap, and Beerstone dressing. Gabled-end slate roofs, with some asbestos slate to rear of south (left-hand) cross-wing.
Plan: single-depth main range containing through-passage, hall (to the right) heated by an external rear lateral stack, and service-end (to the left) which consists of several small rooms, considerably reordered over the years, but retaining the original buttery, pantry and kitchen; two cross-wings which, with the main range, present a symmetrical front, but a markedly asymmetrical rear elevation. The first floor of the main range contained two main bedrooms, one heated by an external stack that is separate from but adjacent to the hall stack. These rooms were further subdivided in the late 19th century, when a front corridor was inserted; it is possible, although unlikely, that the upper floor of the main range originally was comprised of a single long gallery; access to it is by way of two stairs, a newel from the service-end and a dog-leg string staircase (altered in the 18th century) which leads up into the attic and which occupies the rear of the north cross wing forming, in effect, a stair turret with a cellar below, but above ground level. The front section of this wing contains the parlour with a principal bedroom above, both heated by an external lateral stack. The original plan of the south wing is more difficult to reconstruct: the Great Chamber (first floor, to the front) is heated by an external lateral stack that is corbelled out at this level; the room below, presumably used for storage, was unheated. The wing extended further to the rear than it does now (foundations survive under the rear yard) but was partially dismantled, probably in the 18th century. Unlike the remainder of the house this wing is of jointed cruck construction. Original garret accommodation survives here. Some truncated rafters survive at the junction of the wing with the main range suggesting that either the newel stair was separately gabled (cf Bradninch Manor) or that another wing was projected. Two and a half storeys.
Exterior: front: symmetrical, the main range and the two cross wings enclose a small cobbled forecourt. Wings each of one bay with an inner face of two bays; main range of three bays, the central entrance bay, blind to first floor, rising almost to almost the roof ridge level and separately gabled. Dressed stone quoins and moulded plinth string course. Garret windows, one to each gable wall of wing, of four-lights; all other windows of three-lights; all with double ovolo moulded Beerstone surrounds and mullions; all (except gable-wall windows) under sandstone hood moulds. Leaded panes, some latticed, many with stanchions. Wide ovolo moulded door surround. All gables with coping and surmounted by square obelisks. Left-hand (south) elevation: truncated external stack, corbelled out, heats the great chamber; one three-light window, with multiple roll moulded surround and mullions, lacking its sill; one old doorway surround not in situ (possibly removed in 19th century); other windows to this side 19th or 20th century. The timber carriage entrance arch to the access to the rear tenement, with ovolo moulded surround, is possibly contemporary with the house. Right-hand (north) elevation: external lateral stack with two pairs of set-offs heats parlour and parlour-chamber. One two-light cyma recta moulded stone window to attic, another weathered two-light window to first floor, of indeterminate moulding; the rear part of the wing (containing the stairs) projects with one single-light ovolo moulded window set at lst floor level to the front face of the projection. Rear: external lateral stack to left with pair of set-offs, with stack serving chamber above attached to it corbelled at eaves level. Stone shafts. One two-light and one three-light window to the right-hand side of stack at first floor level, one of three-lights to the left, all with ovolo moulded stone surrounds and mullions, 24 leaded panes per light. Three-light window to ground floor, left of stack, ovolo moulded as above, but with hood mould; a two-light window to right of stack, has no hood mould, but a composite ovolo and cyma recta moulding to surround and jambs. Rear door surround with ovolo moulding. To the right of this and set in the angle between main range and south wing is the newel stair turret lit by a two-light ovolo moulded window to 1st and ground floor level; a quatrefoil and a shallow pointed lancet have been reset at ground level, probably in the 19th century. Inner face of south wing with three-light ovolo moulded ground floor window and a 19th century chamfered door surround, the other windows also later, the three-light ovolo moulded window under timber hood mould to rear of wing possibly 18th century. Inner and rear faces of north wing with two and three light ovolo moulded stone windows severely weathered; what since the 18th century has been the cellar set below the stairs but above ground, is lit by small lancets.
Interior: (1) Through-passage: ground floor rooms both plank and muntin screens survive, with cyma recta mouldings, hollow step stops, carpenter's mitres; two doorways, moulded with cranked lintels to both screens, one to the hall blocked. Eighteenth century panelled doors. Service-end: deep chamfered ceiling cross beams to kitchen. Rear newel with octagonal newel post and finial, and original treads and risers. The arrangement of the ground floor rooms at this level has been much altered; post and wattle partitions (possibly 17th century) survive dividing the kitchen from the other rooms in the wing, but most internal walls are probably 19th century; the ground floor storage area of the south wing formerly extended well back with two deep chamfered cross beams, one with bulbous step stops. Hall: the hall side of the passage screen has had deal horizontal pieces inserted to match the higher end screen that divides the hall from the stair passage; this screen is of four tiers, scratch moulding, with debased fluted Ionic pilasters; cornice to room with composite moulding and a frieze of tulips (continuous except to lower end). Chimneypiece with overmantel, dated 1605, stone jambs and lintel with continuous cyma recta moulding and bulbous step stops; the plaster overmantel with strapwork decoration, a central panel containing the impaled arms of Peter and Parris, and swags of fruit and flowers; the whole with two Indians as bearers. Cyma recta moulded door surround to front parlour and to stair passage, one with early fielded-panel door. Eighteenth century barley-sugar balusters and rail added to 17th century main string stair. Parlour (north wing): wall panelling, five tiers, the upper panels with inlay work, each divided by decorated brackets; chimneypiece with Ionic pilasters, a cornice forming capitals to pilasters, lintel and jambs with composite ovolo and cyma recta moulding; the overmantel with inlaid wooden arches; dentilled cornice, double detached shafts. Plaster ceiling with single ribbed design based on a central device of eight radiating ribs, with interseting squares and angle sprays. Three 17th century window catches survive in this room.
Interior: (2) lst floor: The Great Chamber: fine single-ribbed plaster ceiling with central floral motif, six radiating ribs, with squares and concave-sided diamonds, and angle sprays. Chimneypiece with continuous composite moulded stone lintel and jambs, a moulded cornice with fleurons; overmantel with arms of Parris impaling Peter, two angel bearers, contained in a strapwork scroll surround and with the date 1605; moulded cornice. The chamber had a small ante-chamber approached through a door-surround with pediment, cranked lintel, and fluted pilasters. Parlour chamber: plaster ceiling with a single motif and single ribs, based on a simplified variant of parlour ceiling design; continuous decorated cornice. Cranked doorway lintel and moulded jambs. Rear bedroom: fireplace with stone jambs with composite moulding, with wooden lintel; overmantel with what is possibly a hop or wheat motif, and a vine. Roofs and attic: ceiled, coved garret to south wing, with jointed crucks; the remainder cleared of internal partitions in 1890; three trusses to main elevation; apex carpentry of principals, morticed and pegged, tie beams. The roof construction of The Walronds bears close affinities with that to The Manor House Hotel of 1603.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 305-6 (Monograph). SDV325629.

English Heritage, 2006, Buildings at Risk: The Register 2006, 69 (Report - non-specific). SDV336311.

The Walronds was undergoing slow decay in 2006 with no solution agreed.

Morton, R., 2007, Land at Station Road Cullompton, Devon. Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment for Tesco Stores Ltd, 7, 17 (Report - Assessment). SDV338659.

Purcell Miller Tritton, 2008, Walronds Cullompton: Options Appraisal Study (Report - non-specific). SDV351179.

The Options Appraisal included a review of the architectural and historic interest of the property, and a re-appraisal of the physical condition of the site and building, as well as identifying possible new uses for the building.

English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West, 101 (Report - non-specific). SDV342694.

A large mansion in the centre of Cullompton. In poor condition. The owner, Cullompton Walronds Preservation Trust, has commissioned further feasibility work and is approaching potential partners for the reuse of the building. Emergency repairs have been undertaken and discussions continue with the local authority, English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thorp, J. R. L., 2009, The Ornamental Plasterwork at The Walronds, Cullompton (Report - Assessment). SDV357621.

The principal rooms of The Walronds enjoy ornamental plasterwork, dated twice to 1605. These rooms were designed for ornamental ceilings from the start. This is illustrated by the contrast in construction of the upper floor levels over the principal and service rooms. In the principal rooms (as far as can be examined at the second floor level) the beams are plain and square in section. They are accompanied by vertical full-height thin joists, somewhat like up-ended planks, which,
when lathed-and-plastered below, provide a flat ceiling – a ground for an uninterrupted display of ornamental plasterwork. The earliest dated example of the use of similar upended plank joists is from 1598 from Exeter Guildhall. This system contrasts with the ceilings over the service rooms of the house which use the more traditional system of chamfered and stopped beams projecting below ceilings hung on square-section joists.
The ornamental plasterwork falls into two basic categories –, ceilings with friezes and overmantels. There are three rooms with ornamental plaster ceilings and four with friezes. The hall, which now has a frieze with a plain flat ceiling, may well have had an ornamental ceiling in 1605. See report for full details.

Cullompton Walronds Preservation Trust, 2009, The Walronds, 6 Fore Street, Cullompton EX15 1JL. A Grade 1 Building 'At Risk' (Leaflet). SDV344451.

The Walronds stands on an ancient burgage plot and still retains almost an acre of garden. The earliest part of the building is a cob structure at the back of the house called Craft Cottage owned by Henry Parris (died 1564). His son, Humphrey, built a new stone and timber house at right angles to the cob building and the house was further extended in the early 17th century to its present configuration by Humphrey's son in law. The wide staircase was added in a rebuilt corner tower circa 1700. The only major change since has been the addition of a corridor across the house circa 1900. The house fell into separate ownerships in the 20th century but is now in single ownership again under the Cullompton Walronds Preservation Trust. Current proposals for the house, which is now in great need of repair, despite some emergency repairs, include turning the upper floors of the house and craft cottage into holiday accommodation. The ground floor rooms will be used for community events and it is also intended to restore an open the outer garden to the public.

Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants, 2009, The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon. A Conservation Management Plan for The Cullompton Walronds Preservation Trust. Consultation Draft (Report - non-specific). SDV344797.

The Walronds is a remarkably well-preserved high status town house of circa 1605. The house was was erected for John Peter of Compton in Marldon parish and includes armorial bearings and initials identified as his and those of his wife, Emmeline, and family. It seems likely that the house was built in 1602 following a serious fire in Cullompton which destroyed Emmeline's family home that had previously stood on the site. The style of the house corresponds more closely to gentry town houses of the same period than to merchant's houses and contrasts with the Manor House and the Merchant's House close by. Together these represent perhaps the finest piece of early 17th century streetscape to survive in any Devon town. The Walronds is two storeys high with attic rooms in the main block and front wings. It is built of local brown-coloured sandstone with ashlar quoins and also limestone and volcanic stone dressings. The roof is covered with Welsh and asbestos slate. The front and south return of the house are shown as rendered on a print of circa 1825. The front has a symmetrical 1:2:1 window front with gables to the front wings and a central front doorway to the main block. The other sides of the house are less regular. It has a basic H-plan with the conventional main elements and room uses for the date. However, the rooms are exceptionally grand and well-finished with no fewer than three heated first floor rooms. It also has two staircases each with lobbies in front. The 1605 plan and features; panelling in the hall and particularly the decorated plasterwork ceilings and overmantels, are remarkably intact, although repaired, amended and, in places, compromised by 20th century finishes. Also fine finishes such as marquetry and grained panelling of the circa 1660s have been obscured by 19th century varnish. Full description of the building, and details of building history and ownership given.

Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants, 2010, Conservation Management Plan for The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon (Report - non-specific). SDV347577.

Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants, 2010, Gazeteer of the the Buildings and Gardens of The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon (Report - non-specific). SDV356470.

Detailed descriptions of the exterior and interior of the building.

English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West, 93 (Report - non-specific). SDV344777.

Further grant applications are being made for the full repair of the building.

English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 97 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Emergency repairs have been undertaken. Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage grant-aided project development ongoing with repairs due to start 2012.

Watts, S., 2011, The Bradninch and Cullompton Map (DRO 2650Z/Z1A) (Personal Comment). SDV346472.

The Walronds is shown, shaded blue on a map of Cullompton and Bradninch dated 1633.

James, T., 2011, The Proposed Cullompton Town Centre Enhancement Scheme, Fore Street, Cullompton, Devon: Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Assessment, 4, 6-7; figure 2, site B4; plates 2, 7. (Report - Assessment). SDV347743.

Cox, J., 2011, The Walronds Part 2, 30-46 (Article in Serial). SDV347496.

Excerpts from the joinery and plasterwork reports given, two of the reports commissioned in advance of a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding. On inspection the parlour panelling was identified as secondary, probably circa 1660s in date, and not part of the principal 1605 phase of the house. It was also found that the moulded elements were carved out of the solid rather than applied, a technique seen also at Chevithorne Barton and Holcombe Court and that the panelling had at one time extended right across the existing window opening in the east end of the room. Repairs were also evident.
The parlour, principal chamber over the parlour and the Great Chamber all have ceilings with ornamental plasterwork; the rooms being designed for ornamental ceilings from the start. Their single-rib style is restrained and conservative compared with others of the same date and may perhaps be better regarded as the end of the Elizabethan plasterwork tradition. There are also three ornamental plaster overmantels, the most elaborate being that over the fireplace in the hall. Details of construction and of the paint used on the hall overmantel given. See article for full details.

Thorp, J., 2014, The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon: A Revised Gazetteer (Report - Watching Brief). SDV357620.

A programme of repairs was undertaken at The Walronds between October 2012 and May 2014, which involved a complete upgrade of all electrical, heating and plumbing systems along with the insertion of insulation with sound and fireproofing materials. A watching brief was undertaken during the building works in order to record any historic information which the works revealed. See report for full details. (This upgraded Gazetteer should be read in conjunction with the SWARCH report 020114 on the underground archaeology, by S. Walls and J. Bampton).

Walls, S. + Bampton, J., 2014, The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon: Results of Archaeological Monitoring & Recording, 33 (Report - Watching Brief). SDV357616.

There are five broad phases of features identifiable in the archaeological record, although given the nature of the ground works further archaeological deposits are likely to remain in-situ and perhaps include Roman or prehistoric elements to the west of the plot and medieval and post-medieval remains to the east.
The earliest phase identified during the monitoring is represented by two undated postholes uncovered in Room 4, which appear to have gone out of use prior to the 1602 fire. The second and perhaps contemporary phase is represented by wall footing {109} identified in Room 1, this aligns with the walls of Room 4 and represents a building/structure destroyed in the 1602 fire. This structure/building follows the alignments of the burgage plots and is likely of medieval origin. Thirdly, the present house was constructed c.1605, which resulted in the demolition of the majority of any earlier structures and the levelling of floors etc within Room 1. Roughly contemporary to the building of the majority of the present house, but of a notably poorer build quality, was the Main Stair. The fourth phase is represented by 18th century elements with the cobbled floor and drain added to Room 4 and a small brick-built ‘shed’ added to what became the walled garden, the cobbled floor noted in the service trench may also be from this phase. The final phase is represented by the 1890 Burrow renovations, with the footprint of the extended (but detached?) southwest wing revealed in the service trench. All other features were of 20th century origin. See report for full details.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 305-6.
SDV336311Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2006. Buildings at Risk: The Register 2006. English Heritage Report. A4 Bound. 69.
SDV336338Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953 - 1968. ST00NW 1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV336339List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1986. Cullompton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 62-4.
SDV336340Article in Serial: Foster, M. T.. 1910. A Short History of Cullompton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 42. A5 Hardback. 156.
SDV336341Article in Serial: Anon. 1928. The Walronds House. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 74: Part 1. Unknown. 154-6.
SDV338659Report - Assessment: Morton, R.. 2007. Land at Station Road Cullompton, Devon. Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment for Tesco Stores Ltd. Cotswold Archaeology Report. 07059. A4 Stapled + Digital. 7, 17.
SDV342694Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2009. Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West. English Heritage Report. A4 Bound +Digital. 101.
SDV344451Leaflet: Cullompton Walronds Preservation Trust. 2009. The Walronds, 6 Fore Street, Cullompton EX15 1JL. A Grade 1 Building 'At Risk'. Leaflet.
SDV344777Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2010. Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West. English Heritage Report. Digital. 93.
SDV344797Report - non-specific: Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. 2009. The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon. A Conservation Management Plan for The Cullompton Walronds Preservation Trust. Consultation Draft. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K/770. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV346472Personal Comment: Watts, S.. 2011. The Bradninch and Cullompton Map (DRO 2650Z/Z1A). Map (Paper).
SDV347496Article in Serial: Cox, J.. 2011. The Walronds Part 2. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 29. A4 Stapled + Digital. 30-46.
SDV347577Report - non-specific: Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. 2010. Conservation Management Plan for The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K/770. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV347743Report - Assessment: James, T.. 2011. The Proposed Cullompton Town Centre Enhancement Scheme, Fore Street, Cullompton, Devon: Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Assessment. AC Archaeology Report. ACD247/1/0. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4, 6-7; figure 2, site B4; plates 2, 7..
SDV351179Report - non-specific: Purcell Miller Tritton. 2008. Walronds Cullompton: Options Appraisal Study. Purcell Miller Tritton. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV355280Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 97.
SDV356470Report - non-specific: Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. 2010. Gazeteer of the the Buildings and Gardens of The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV357616Report - Watching Brief: Walls, S. + Bampton, J.. 2014. The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon: Results of Archaeological Monitoring & Recording. Southwest Archaeology. 020114. Digital. 33.
SDV357620Report - Watching Brief: Thorp, J.. 2014. The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon: A Revised Gazetteer. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. Digital.
SDV357621Report - Assessment: Thorp, J. R. L.. 2009. The Ornamental Plasterwork at The Walronds, Cullompton. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. Digital.
SDV41951Report - non-specific: Tiverton District Council. 1978. Cullompton Conservation Area. Tiverton District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6; 4/6.
SDV4676Article in Serial: French, K. + French, C.. 1957. Devonshire Plasterwork. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 127,132.
SDV54004List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1959. Tiverton RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 13.
SDV57390Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1964. Proceedings at the 102nd Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 96. A5 Paperback. 20.

Associated Monuments

MDV43721Related to: 8 Fore Street, Cullompton (Building)
MDV12356Related to: Chevithorne Barton, Tiverton (Building)
MDV106661Related to: Gardens at The Walronds (Park/Garden)
MDV1468Related to: Holcombe Court, Holcombe Rogus (Building)
MDV1408Related to: The Manor Hotel, Cullompton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4777 - Conservation Management Plan for The Walronds, Cullompton
  • EDV6640 - Archaeological Monitoring and Recording at The Walronds (Ref: CW11)
  • EDV6641 - Historic Building Recording at The Walronds

Date Last Edited:Jul 9 2020 12:38PM