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HER Number:MDV190
Name:Church House, Braunton


Church House, now museum with office over. Probably 16th century, altered in 18th century, when it became Challoner's School.


Grid Reference:SS 489 370
Map Sheet:SS43NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NE/11
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 98311
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS43NE 13

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHURCH HOUSE (XVI to XVIII - 1501 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Slee, A. H., 1941, Braunton and its Manors, 198 (Article in Serial). SDV83677.

The church house in the Manor of the Dean was of great importance. Parish records dating from 1538 state that this house was originally the bakehouse of the holy wafer and holy loaf. Brewing utensils were introduced later and it was then used for brewing ale and baking bread for all festive occasions. The profits on sales of bread and ale from the church house contributed considerably to the meeting of parish expenses, such as repairs to the church and lady chapels.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 61 (Monograph). SDV336196.

Church house, east of church, with old wooden mullioned window frames.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953 - 1978, SS43NE13 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV341320.

Challoner's School. Endowed 1667.
1. Challoner's School.
2. In the year 1667 the Reverand William Challoner gave 450 shillings towards the endowment of a free school. Twelve girls and 12 boys are taught.
3. A whitewashed stone building with external porch at the north end covering stone steps climbing to the first storey. Some timbers are exposed in the outside walling and the leaded windows are iron barred in oak frames. The roof is modern and there are no dateable architectural features. Now used as a Sunday School.
4. Included in a list of encumbents of Braunton is William Challoner MA 1622. Other details: Photograph.

Department of Environment, 1960, Barnstaple RD, 11 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV337219.

Copeland, G. W., 1961, Devonshire Church Houses, part 2, 252-4 (Article in Serial). SDV7456.

The church-house now serves as a parish hall, previous to which it was a school, founded in the 18th century by William Challoner. It has lost certain features but still retains some some points of interest. It is rectangular on plan and of two storeys, the walls are of stone rubble, whitewashed, and the roof is tiled. The lower floor is now used as a store, and has no features of interest. The original north entrance to the upper floor remains, and has a double flight of stone steps from the east and west. In the apex of the north gable is a variety of cross pattee, in bas-relief within a circle, like a type of consecration cross. This is a very rare feature on a Devon church house, the only one of its kind so far recorded in Devon. At the south end of the building is a carriageway through it, with chamfered oak lintels and a cobble-paved floor. Other details: Plate XVIII.

Alcock, N. W., 1981, Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue, 113 (Report - non-specific). SDV342504.

Short curved feet cruck recorded.

Department of Environment, 1985, Braunton, 32 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV73918.

Church House, now museum with office over. Probably 16th century and apparently altered in 18th century, when it became Challoner's School. Whitewashed rubble with gable-ended rag slate roof and gabled slated pentice over 2 flights of external stone steps to first floor entrance. Rectangular plan, 2 storey with 5 window front bay. Two 19th century brick stacks offset on west side and at south gable end, both reduced in height. South end has large gateway opening with chamfered timber beam over and gates of 2 leaves. To right are 4 wide blocked openings with timber lintels formerly open shambles. At each corner of the north gable to the main range are 2 dressed quoins below eaves, that to east side having angular octogoil to east face and bishops head with mitre on north face. The smaller stone on west side has raised cross on west face and crowned king on north face. In the apex of the gable is a further stone bearing design of cross within a circle. See list for full details. Other details: 11/69.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 61.
SDV337219List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1960. Barnstaple RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 11.
SDV341320Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953 - 1978. SS43NE13. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV342504Report - non-specific: Alcock, N. W.. 1981. Cruck Construction: An Introduction and Catalogue. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. 42. Photocopy. 113.
SDV73918List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1985. Braunton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 32.
SDV7456Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1961. Devonshire Church Houses, part 2. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 93. A5 Hardback. 252-4.
SDV83677Article in Serial: Slee, A. H.. 1941. Braunton and its Manors. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 73. Hardback Volume. 198.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 5 2016 2:35PM