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HER Number:MDV20756
Name:Minerva House, 2 Highweek Street, Newton Abbot


18th century house with 19th century extension of brick under a slate roof. Now offices. The building retains 18th century detail including a frieze in the hall, staircase and fireplaces. A lead statue of Minerva once stood on top of the building with an urn on either side of her.


Grid Reference:SX 857 713
Map Sheet:SX87SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNewton Abbot
Ecclesiastical ParishHIGHWEEK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX87SE/148
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 464393

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (XVIII to XIX - 1701 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Wyatt, M., 07/06/1985, Solitary Minerva Lies in her Cellar (Article in Serial). SDV358412.

Minerva House was named after the lead statue of Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom, that used to stand on top of the building with an urn on either side of her. Minerva House dates from the late 1700s. The history of the ownership of the house is given from circa 1830 when it was owned by a Dr. Green. The statues origins are unknown but its design suggests it is older than the house. Such lead statues were popular as garden statuary in the first half of the 18th century but they were also placed on house parapets. However, they are usually found on large estates and therefore it is unusual to find one on a relatively small house. The statue is weathered and damaged - a foot, part of a leg and a hand are missing. She is currently stored in the cellar.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, 07/09/1983, No Title (Correspondence). SDV358411.

Suggested that the statue of Minerva is earlier than the house. It appears to be of superior quality; the surviving foot and helmet suggest a fine attention to detail. It is of a type very popular as garden statuary in the first half of the 18th century.

Dudley, E. R., 1983, Minerva House, No. 2 Highweek Street (Worksheet). SDV338234.

Double fronted Regency building. Lead statue of Minerva and one of the urns from parapet are now stored in basement. Details given. Building is owned by Teignbridge District Council.

Department of Environment, 1983, Newton Abbot, 23 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV298253.

2 Highweek Street, Minerva House in Newton Abbot. Fine late 18th centyury brick house. Late Victorian extension to right. Detailed description of street elevation given. Internal features of 18th century (plasterwork, ceilings, doors, fireplaces, staircase, columns) also noted.

Oakey, N. J., 2004, Bradley Lane, Newton Abbot: Desk Based Assessment, 20 (Report - Assessment). SDV338211.

The more southerly leat which may be medieval is circa 50 metres north of the River Lemon.

Gent, T. H. + Leverett, M., 2007, Archaeological Assessment of the Proposed Redevelopment at Wolborough Street, Bank Street and East Street, Newton Abbot, 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV338207.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

2 Highweek Street and attached wall. House, now offices. Mid/late 18th century with substantial late 19th century extension to the right. MATERIALS: red Flemish-bond brick with burnt headers, painted freestone dressings and parapet coping, Plymouth stone plinth, slate roof with 2 large brick ridge stacks. PLAN: double-depth. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys; symmetrical 3-window range to the 18th century block, 5 windows to the whole facade. Fine rubbed brick detail to flat arches and brick platband. Central bay is stepped slightly forward (with a pediment as part of the parapet) over a moulded forward frame to a plate-glass sash window and Georgian-style doorcase with and open dentil pediment on engaged Ionic columns, fine cobweb fanlight, raised and fielded panels to the reveals, soffit and 8-panel door. This is flanked by full-height wide segmental bays with curved frames to 19th century plate-glass windows. Painted iron bands secure the parapet wall. Range to the left, rendered to the second floor, has double plank doors and a Venetian window with plate-glass sashes to the first floor. Late 19th century range to the right has similar but harder brickwork to the ground floor and a forward-facing timber-framed gable with a tall oriel window on brackets and curved glass to the corner panes. The 19th century right return is in similar style. INTERIOR: fine circa 1770s detail including swag and paterae frieze to the hall and a plain 18th century staircase with scroll tread ends. The room to the ground-floor left has a frieze with maidens and swags and an 18th century wooden fireplace with a reclining female in the roundel. The room to the ground-floor right has an 18th century fireplace with pilasters, swags and relief of a chariot drawn by lions, and a pilastered alcove. At the top of the staircase are fluted composite half columns with swag decoration. The first-floor right-hand room has an 18th century fireplace with pilasters and central panel with boar hunt. Floral frieze. 6-panel doors. SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: a brick wall with burnt headers and stone plinth and capping attached to the right extends for approx 20 metres along the street to meet rusticated gate piers approx 2 metres high. Date listed: 16th July 1949.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV298253List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Newton Abbot. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 23.
SDV338207Report - Assessment: Gent, T. H. + Leverett, M.. 2007. Archaeological Assessment of the Proposed Redevelopment at Wolborough Street, Bank Street and East Street, Newton Abbot. Exeter Archaeology. 07.19. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV338211Report - Assessment: Oakey, N. J.. 2004. Bradley Lane, Newton Abbot: Desk Based Assessment. Archaeological Investigations Ltd. 646. A4 Stapled + Digital. 20.
SDV338234Worksheet: Dudley, E. R.. 1983. Minerva House, No. 2 Highweek Street. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82920 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV358411Correspondence: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. 07/09/1983. No Title. Letter to Teignbridge District Council. Letter + Digital.
SDV358412Article in Serial: Wyatt, M.. 07/06/1985. Solitary Minerva Lies in her Cellar. Unknown. Newspaper/Magazine Cutting + Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds

  • FDV2061 - STATUE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1750 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV4206 - Bradley Lane Assessment
  • EDV4214 - Wolborough Street, Bank Street & East Street, Newton Abbot

Date Last Edited:Jul 15 2020 9:31AM