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HER Number:MDV1451
Name:The Grange, Broadhembury


Country house of early 16th century origins, extended and remodelled in the early 17th century. Built on the site of the granary of Dunkeswell Abbey.


Grid Reference:ST 309 104
Map Sheet:ST31SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBroadhembury
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBROADHEMBURY

Protected Status

  • SHINE: The Grange. Late Elizabethan house built on the site of the granary of Dunkeswell Abbey and surrounding historic parkland marked on Nineteenth Century Mapping
  • Listed Building (I) 1098064: GRANGE

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST00SE/8
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANSION HOUSE (Built, XVI - 1501 AD to 1600 AD)

Full description

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica. Devonshire, 266 (Monograph). SDV323771.

F. W., 1904-5, Chimney Pieces at Grange, 107 (Article in Serial). SDV133230.

H. L., 1904-5, Chimney Pieces at Grange, 73, plate (Article in Serial). SDV133229.

H. L., 1904-5, Grange, Broadhembury, 41-44 (Article in Serial). SDV133223.

The Grange at Broadhembury is Late Elizabethan, built by Edward Drewe (d.1622) on the site of the granary of the ancient Abbey of Dunkeswell. It has undergone alterations, notably the filling in of the court on the western side in the 18th century, at which period the original grey stone appears to have been overlaid with stucco and the stone mullioned windows removed, only one of which remains on the eastern front. It seems probable that the original design was that of the letter E. The house is described by Jones in his "Views of Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen". The quadrangle at the northern end with its stone-transomed windows, the numerous tall chimneys and pinnacled gables are referred to by Jones as the chief remaining indications of the antiquity of the grange. It appears to be doubtful whether this quadrangle was not a portion of an earlier building belonging to the abbey, and a stone fireplace in a room overlooking this courtyard sustains this view. Several earlier owners have placed flag- shaped vanes on the pinnacles of the gables, perforated with their own and their wives initials and the dates of marriage. A cupboard in one of the bedrooms on the first floor gives access by means of a trapdoor to a stone stairway and passage having an outlet on the principal staircase, this passage is believed to extend to the grounds. It was bricked up by the late Simcoe Drewe, and its course has not been investigated. The iron gateway which stood at the entrance to the old garden, is worthy of notice. The gates are fine scroll-work, surmounted by the arms of the Drewe family. These gates are believed to have occupied a position of greater importance, when the house was approached from the south.

Punchard, E. G., 1904-5, Heraldic Scrolls from Grange, 44-45 (Article in Serial). SDV133224.

Two armouries from the muniment chest have been examined. The first scroll of 100 folios, all numbered. 18 shields are on each page the total number must have been 3600. This armoury is alphabetical and a general one, not confined to Devon coats. The second scroll is also a general armoury but arranged in rank charges, not in order of names.

Department of Environment, 1950, Honiton RD, 11 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV118185.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 67 (Monograph). SDV336196.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 35 (Monograph). SDV17562.

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

There is information about family portraits, panelling and ceilings in this article. The ceilings have similar designs to others in great houses within a 15 mile radius of Exeter dated 1600-1650 (Period 2).

Copeland, G. W., 1964, Proceedings at the 102nd Annual Meeting, 25 (Article in Serial). SDV57390.

Visited 11th June 1964. A large, fine house set within its own park. It dates to the early 17th century and was remodelled in the 18th century. There are fine moulded plaster ceilings in some of the rooms.

McKechnie, S., 1965-7, A Devonshire Family of Georgian Times, 295-8 (Article in Serial). SDV133232.

Family history given.

Fox, H. S. A., 1972, Field Systems of East and South Devon: Part 1, 97 (Article in Serial). SDV111337.

Department of Environment, 1989, Broadhembury, 25-7 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV340167.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

Grange. Country house. Circa early 16th century origins, extended and remodelled in the early 17th century by Sir Thomas Drewe, the son of Edward Drewe, Recorder of London and Serjeant-at-law to Queen Elizabeth. Thomas Drewe died in 1622 and the house became the principal seat of the Drewe family until 1903. There were further phases of alteration in the early and late 18th century, probably carried out by Francis Drewe who lived at Grange from 1712 to 1773 and Francis Rose Drewe, died 1801. Colourwashed plastered stone with some cob and brick, first floor of one wing of framed construction; slate roof; rendered stacks.
Plan: The overall plan is a long rectangle on an approximate north/south axis. The north end is an enclosed courtyard arrangement, parts of which are probably early 16th century, possibly originating as the pre-Reformation building owned by Dunkeswell Abbey. The south block of the courtyard range was probably a conventional 3 room and cross passage plan with a lower end kitchen at the west end and a high quality chamber over the inner room. The east block may have been a parlour wing, the north and west blocks probably service wings. The development of the house has been southwards. In the circa early 17th century a double depth block was added on a north/south axis with a crosswing at the south end. This, with the old hall range, gave an overall H plan with the most sumptuous surviving 17th century rooms in the south crosswing. It seems possible that the early 17th century hall was sited in the main block but recast in the 18th century to provide the present entrance arrangement into a wide passage flanked by 18th century principal rooms with a fine stair to the rear. The 18th century remodelling also gave a garden entrance on the south side; the 18th century refurbishment is of high quality and preserved a number of 17th century rooms including a spectacular, richly-panelled room in the south crosswing, possibly the great parlour. The old putative hall range associated with the courtyard was gradually re-partitioned and altered as the main service wing. The house appears to have been virtually untouched in the 19th century. It was sold away from the Drewe family in 1903 and in 1929 the panelling from the room in the south crosswing was sold and moved to the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.
Exterior: 2 storeys with an attic storey to the main block. The west elevation has the main block to the right, and the west block of the courtyard range to the left. Asymmetrical 4:5 window west front with regular fenestration, the main block with a gabled projection to the left and gabled to the front at the right with an open Corinthian porch to right of centre with a pediment and a hlaf-glazed 19th century recessed front door with panelled reveal. To the right of the front door the gabled bay has probably 18th century paired sashes on each floor: these have hexagonal lead glazing bars and match the windows on the right (south) return which is the 18th century garden front. The other windows are 18th or early 19th century small-pane timber sashes, paired to the gable projection at the left, with 3 round-headed attic dormers behind the parapet; sashes and casements to the west front of the west courtyard block to the left. The south return, the 18th century garden front, is symmetrical : 5-bays with a cornice with a dentil frieze and central pediment with an oculus. The left and right bays project to the front with hipped roofs and rusticated quoins. Central 2-leaf panelled 18th century front door with a moulded eared architrave and an engaged pedimented porch with Corinthian columns and an entablature with a frieze. Paired sash windows, probably 18th century, with hexagonal lead glazing bars, one a 20th century copy. The rear (east) elevation is 4-bays to the centre with gabled projections to left and right, the left hand projection 3 storeys. Both projections are crowned with weathervanes, said to be 17th century and carrying the initials of members of the Drewe family. Each projection has a first floor 4- light mullioned and transomed stone window with ovolo-moulded mullions, similar 3- light window to the inner return of the right hand projection. Ground floor window left is an 18th century paired sash, matching those on the garden (south) front, the other windows are 18th or early 19th century small pane sashes. Adjoining at the right is the east block of the courtyard, this has a first floor 2- light stone mullioned window to the left with ovolo-mouled mullions and an adjacent similar 1-light window to the return; similar 3-light window to the right. The interior of the courtyard is extremely attractive; the putative old hall range (the south block) has 3 lateral stack, 2 projecting, and a good 16th or 17th century moulded doorframe to right of centre, possibly the original entrance to the cross passage. Two stone mullioned windows, one transomed, survive; the other windows are small pane sashes and casements. The east block has 6 first floor 3-light stone mullioned windows, one ground floor window with a moulded timber frame and a 3-light casement to the left with a hoodmould. Most of the windows retain square leaded panes. The west block is of framed construction at first floor with 2 blocked first floor windows and one 3-light casement. The north block has 2 first floor 3-light stone mullioned windows and 2 large 42-pane 18th century sashes on the ground floor.
Interior: Rich in 17th and 18th century features. Although the spectacular panelling in the south-east room was sold in 1929, it retains a splended 17th century enriched rib plaster ceiling with pendants and a moulded stone chimney-piece. The walls have been re- panelled in an 18th century style. The closet which opens off the south east corner of the room also has a decorated plaster ceiling with a pendant. On the first floor above this room a fine chamber has a probably slightly earlier single rib decorated plaster ceiling, enriched with sprays. The remains of 17th century wall panelling survives and a splendid early 17th century chimney-piece with the arms of Sir Thomas Drewe impaling those of his wife flanked by the figures of Justice and Truth in early 17th century costume. The first floor room in the south-west corner retains its 17th century panelling from floor to ceiling with a painted frieze and a fine chimney-piece with armorial bearings. Other rooms retain 17th century or earlier features and panelling (not necessarily in situ): a small room in the north-east of the main range is panelled with a repaired strapwork frieze; the old kitchen (west end of the hall range associated with the courtyard) has a massive fireplace with a bread oven and a high ceiling with chamfered crossbeams; the east end room of the same range (the putative inner room) has the remains of 17th century oak panelling, extended in pine and an incomplete strapwork frieze and cornice. The first floor room above which has a coved plaster ceiling (see roof) has a good moulded stone chimney-piece and 2 moulded stone chimney-pieces survive on the first floor of the east block associated with the courtyard. 18th century fittings include 2 very fine rooms and a splendid open well stair with delicate vase-turned balusters, an open string, a flat-topped, ramped handrail and Corinthian newels. The ceiling of the stair well has delicate 18th century plasterwork and the walls are decorated with swags of fruit. To the right of the entrance a very complete late 18th century room retains its wall panelling; picture hooks; panelled doors; an Adam style ceiling in 3 sections and a fine chimney-piece (receipt dated 1780 said to survive) with guns carved on the jambs and a frieze of hounds and game carved on the lintel. To the left of the entrance an 18th century room retains a grey Ashburton marble chimney-piece, an exquisite 18th century decorated ceiling, wall panelling and panelled doors. 18th century cornices and doors survive on the first floor.
Roof: The south block associated with the courtyard retains a jointed cruck roof construction at the east end, originally designed for a coved plaster ceiling. The trusses have been repaired with circa mid 17th century collars lap dovetailed into the principals and the original trusses may be 16th century. The cruck feet have been removed on the south side and the principals rest on a timber wall plate. The roof of the framed west block associated with the courtyard has, as far as could be judged with limited access, 'A' frame trusses with lap dovetailed collars, suggesting a mid 17th century date. The attic storey of the main range and south crosswing is plastered for service accommodation and access to the roof structure is limited but the south crosswing trusses appear to be 'A' frames.
Grange is an outstanding evolved house, the early 17th century enlargement very grand, the 18th century refurbishment of a high quality. Before the sale of the panelling, the great parlour must have ranged as one of the finest early 17th century rooms in the country: photographs of the room in 1904 were published in County Life, and the extant plasterwork, panelling and chimney-piece of the early 17th century reflect the quality of the enlargement of the house and prestige of Sir Thomas Drewe.

Cox, J., 2011, The Walronds Part 2, 37 (Article in Serial). SDV347496.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, ST00SE4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV133225.

Site visit 27th November 1953. Admission to was not obtained but it seems that the older and south side of the quadrangle is part of the former house of 1610. The house is still substantially early 17th century, though much altered in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV111337Article in Serial: Fox, H. S. A.. 1972. Field Systems of East and South Devon: Part 1. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 104. A5 Paperback. 97.
SDV118185List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1950. Honiton RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 11.
SDV133223Article in Serial: H. L.. 1904-5. Grange, Broadhembury. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 41-44.
SDV133224Article in Serial: Punchard, E. G.. 1904-5. Heraldic Scrolls from Grange. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 44-45.
SDV133225Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. ST00SE4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV133229Article in Serial: H. L.. 1904-5. Chimney Pieces at Grange. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 73, plate.
SDV133230Article in Serial: F. W.. 1904-5. Chimney Pieces at Grange. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 107.
SDV133232Article in Serial: McKechnie, S.. 1965-7. A Devonshire Family of Georgian Times. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 30. Unknown. 295-8.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 35.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Devonshire. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 266.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 67.
SDV340167List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1989. Broadhembury. Historic Houses Register. Website. 25-7.
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347496Article in Serial: Cox, J.. 2011. The Walronds Part 2. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 29. A4 Stapled + Digital. 37.
SDV4676Article in Serial: French, K. + French, C.. 1957. Devonshire Plasterwork. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback.
SDV57390Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1964. Proceedings at the 102nd Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 96. A5 Paperback. 25.

Associated Monuments

MDV1890Related to: Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV112247Related to: The Grange Park and Gardens (Park/Garden)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 16 2024 4:56PM