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HER Number:MDV18797
Name:Great Torrington Bowling Green


Bowling Green dating from 1645 to the east of Great Torrington Castle, with 18th century walls and gazebo. May be on the site of the medieval eastern bailey of the castle.


Grid Reference:SS 496 189
Map Sheet:SS41NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGreat Torrington
Ecclesiastical ParishGREAT TORRINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS41NE/11/2
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 90445

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BOWLING GREEN (XVII to XVIII - 1601 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 1973, Great Torrington, 5 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV2214.

Bowling Green walls and gazebo. Mainly 18th century or earlier. At east end of Castle site. There has been a bowling green here since 18th century if not earlier. The Reverend John Swete describes how the green was temporarily destroyed and a "pleasure-house" dismantled by Mr Rolle in 1789 owing to unseemly and blasphemous behaviour of those using them. In early 19th century Barley Grove was "laid out and planted" by Mr John Yeo, mayor of Torrington. The walls surrounding the bowling green may be of this date, stones from the old Castle probably being used. There is little other evidence of lay-out now remaining. At south east corner is an octagonal gazebo (possibly the pleasure-house of 1789). The base of this is buttressed on the south and east below the level of the green itself. Front is of rusticated stone with round-headed opening, the other sides roughcast and with sunk panels. Sash window in round-headed panel, south east, overlooks the valley. Octagonal roof of slate with ball finial at apex. Added brick lean-to to the east.

Timms, S. C., 1982, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV19985.

This site is probably that of the east bailey of Torrington Castle. It is still used as a bowling green.

Higham, R. A. + Goddard, S., 1987, Great Torrington Castle, 97-103 (Article in Serial). SDV11501.

Parchmarks visible on the bowling green suggest stone features of Great Torrington Castle survive beneath. In 1987 a watching brief at circa SS49691892 identified a two rubble walls from which medieval pottery sherds were recovered. The tail of a rampart was also identified.

Great Torrington District Chamber Of Commerce, 1987, Torrington Town Trail (Leaflet). SDV19224.

Bowling Green. Dating from 1645 it is the second oldest bowling green in England. The bowling green walls at the east end of the castle site are mainly 18th century. There has been a bowling green here since that time or before.

Hunt, P. J., 1989, Torrington, 9 (Report - non-specific). SDV352248.

The walls surrounding the bowling green seem to have been built with the stone from the old castle.

Watts, M. A., 1997, Untitled Source (Report - Excavation). SDV320961.

Excavation prior to an extension of the bowling green pavilion in 1997 revealed part of the Norman rampart of the castle sloping to the west. Cobbles were observed sloping to the north adjacent to the bowling green fence and also in the vicinity of the gate. Six sherds of North Devon medieval coarseware were recovered.

Whiteaway, T., 2005, Archaeological monitoring of groundworks for extensions to Great Torrington Bowling Club Pavilion (Report - Watching Brief). SDV320957.

A watching brief was undertaken by Exeter Archaeology during groundworks to the north and south of Great Torrington Bowling Club Pavilion in 2004. Two un-bonded probably medieval walls were exposed on the north and south sides of the pavilion. Two sherds of medieval North Devon ware were recovered from the northern section, and were dated between the 13th and 15th centuries.

Unknown, Unknown, Great Torrington Bowling Club (Aerial Photograph). SDV357576.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV11501Article in Serial: Higham, R. A. + Goddard, S.. 1987. Great Torrington Castle. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 45. Paperback Volume. 97-103.
SDV19224Leaflet: Great Torrington District Chamber Of Commerce. 1987. Torrington Town Trail. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV19985Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1982.
SDV2214List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Great Torrington. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 5.
SDV320957Report - Watching Brief: Whiteaway, T.. 2005. Archaeological monitoring of groundworks for extensions to Great Torrington Bowling Club Pavilion. Exeter Archaeology Report. Project 5258. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV320961Report - Excavation: Watts, M. A.. 1997.
SDV352248Report - non-specific: Hunt, P. J.. 1989. Torrington. Devon County Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 9.
SDV357576Aerial Photograph: Unknown. Unknown. Great Torrington Bowling Club. Photograph (Paper) + Photograph (Digital).

Associated Monuments

MDV437Related to: Great Torrington Castle (Monument)
MDV13834Related to: Great Torrington, Castle Chapel (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV186 - POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV984 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV985 - Archaeological monitoring of groundworks for extensions to Great Torrington Bowling Club Pavilion

Date Last Edited:Mar 13 2015 9:38AM