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HER Number:MDV15880
Name:Livery Dole Almshouses


Almshouses at livery dole, heavitree, exeter. Founded by sir r. Dennis in 1591, completed in 1594 (brushfield).


Grid Reference:SX 935 924
Map Sheet:SX99SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExeter
Ecclesiastical ParishHEAVITREE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX99SW/11
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ALMSHOUSE (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

BRUSHFIELD, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV102934.

Almshouses at livery dole, heavitree, exeter. Founded by sir r. Dennis in 1591, completed in 1594 (brushfield).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV177625.

A small red chapel exists c.1420-1430 (pevsner).

Knowles, D. + Hadcock, R. N., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV21724.

Founded before about 1420. Not suppressed at the time of dissolution. Almshouse with small chapel (c.1420-1430). Reference to st. Loye's in medieval hospitals of england by clay, may be the same (knowles + hadcock).

Orme, N., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV22909.

The old chapel and almshouse at livery dole, heavitree was erected on the site of the martyrdom of thomas benet. The surrounding wall and the almshouse were rebuilt in limestone in 1849. The chapel is of the original redstone (tapley-soper). Vis=unknown(doe) group of four separately listed buildings:-vis=(1) the almshouses: circa 1865. White limestone rubble, elizabethan style. Two blocks joined by a blocked archway. Two storeys. Slate roof with tall two stacks. Vis=(2) the chapel.16th century, of heavitree stone, and slate roof. Retains some original windows. Vis=(3) archway with commemorative tablet of the original foundation by sir rob. + sir thomas dennis, 1591-4. Vis=(4) the wall, which is contemporary with the buildings. Limestone rubble with dressed coping. Gateway (doe). Vis=coat of arms of dennys of holcombe over entrance gateway, dated 1591-1594. Rebuilt by the rolles in 1851 (j. B. ). Vis=sir robert denys' will indicates that construction of the chapel + almshouses had not been completed by 1592 (see dro). Vis=there is no mention of a chapel which can be identified with livery dole in the 1401 list of heavitree chapels, or in the excrescence accounts and debt rolls between 1418 and 1592. Denys' will is the first documentary reference. The architectural evidence may be explained by the modelling of the 16c chapel upon existing medieval chapels in exeter, and possible re-use of materials from nearby redundant chapels such as st. Clairs (sx99sw/83/1), st clements (sx99sw/32) and mincinglake (sx99sw/262), as well as the dissolved religious houses of cowick, st. Nicholas + polsloe etc (orme).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24144.

Brushfield, t. N. /tda/31(1899)235/aids to the poor in a rural parish.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24145.

Knowles, d. + hadcock, r. N. /medieval religious houses/(1971)320,359.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24146.

Pevsner, n. /south devon/(1952)163.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24147.

Tapley-soper, g. E. /tda/63(1931)380/pl.24/thomas benet,ma. Reformation martyr of exeter.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24148.

Doe/hhr:exeter district/(1974)125-126.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24149.

J. B. /dcnq/22(1942-1946)329-330/livery dole almshouses.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24150.

Cresswell, b. F. /dcnq/5,pt.2(1908-1909)47-49,pl/exeter churches.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24151.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24152.

Orme, n. /pdas/49(1991)121-130/the medieval chapels of heavitree.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24153.

Pro=prob 11/80ff 188v-190/at f.190(pcc 71 harrington).

CRESSWELL, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25789.

The earliest mention of the name livery dole is in a deed of 1279. In it, 'liver-dole' is mentioned as a boundary. The chapel does not seem to be mentioned until 1439, when it is referred to as 'the chapel of st. Clarus'. The chapel, built of red stone, with a western bell turret, stands at the east end of the almshouses. The wall was supported by strong buttresses. The tracery of the east window probably belongs to the original buildings. The side windows were probably inserted at the end of the 16th century, when the almshouse was erected. Within, the chapel is plain, consisting of a nave and sanctuary with no division between them. On either side hang china plaques, one bearing the arms and quatrings of denys, the other repeating the inscription which is placed outside the almshouse over the gate. From 1844 - 1846, the chapel was licensed for weddings during the closing of heavitree church for restoration (cresswell).

Jones, A., 2008, Gallows in the Landscape. Execution Sites in Devon, 78 (Article in Serial). SDV344749.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV102934Migrated Record: BRUSHFIELD.
SDV177625Migrated Record:
SDV21724Migrated Record: Knowles, D. + Hadcock, R. N..
SDV22909Migrated Record: Orme, N..
SDV24144Migrated Record:
SDV24145Migrated Record:
SDV24146Migrated Record:
SDV24147Migrated Record:
SDV24148Migrated Record:
SDV24149Migrated Record:
SDV24150Migrated Record:
SDV24151Migrated Record:
SDV24152Migrated Record:
SDV24153Migrated Record:
SDV25789Migrated Record: CRESSWELL.
SDV344749Article in Serial: Jones, A.. 2008. Gallows in the Landscape. Execution Sites in Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 66. Paperback Volume. 78.

Associated Monuments

MDV78059Related to: Chapel at The Livery Dole Almshouses, Exeter (Building)
MDV41893Related to: Exeter, Livery Dole (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4770 - Assessment of Gallow Sites in Devon

Date Last Edited:Aug 5 2010 12:37PM