HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV2155
Name:Portledge, Alwington


Country house, subsequently a hotel. Twelfth century with 16th century and 17th century extensions and alterations. Former chapel to east of kitchen.


Grid Reference:SS 394 247
Map Sheet:SS32SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAlwington
Ecclesiastical ParishALWINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS32SE/6
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (Early Medieval to XXI - 1066 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Riley, H., Untitled Source (Unknown). SDV20168.

Anonymous, 1928, Obituary Notices, 48 (Article in Serial). SDV20171.

Finberg, H. P. R., 1943, Church and State in Twelfth-Century Devon: some Documentary Illustrations, 255-6 (Article in Serial). SDV20172.

Simmons, J., 1947 - 1949, A Georgian Eccentric: Richard Coffin of Portledge, 33-34 (Article in Serial). SDV20163.

No extra information.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 137 (Monograph). SDV336196.

A modernised Tudor building. Windows have lost their stone mullions, the roofs their original gables and pitch, and the rooms their plasterwork.

Department of Environment, 1955, Bideford RD, 2 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV4813.

A 13th century arch still stands in the chapel. Other details: Provisional List.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978 - 2002, SS32SE2 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV20169.

Visited 29/11/1978. Portledge is now the "Portledge Hotel. " Access beyond the frontage not permitted. Tenants deny knowledge of a chapel. Exterior appears Victorian, but one medieval arch is in a courtyard wall at SS39392473

Department of Environment, 1988, Alwington, 39-40 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV20166.

Portledge Hotel (formerly listed 22.1.52 as Portledge)
Country house, now hotel. Medieval; 16th century and 17th century extensions and alterations; front range remodelled and extended circa 1830. Ashlar slatestone to front; gabled slate roofs with mid 19th century bell cupola to rear; stone lateral and internal stacks.
Plan form and development: medieval great hall, screens passage and service end, encased by thick walls, lies to right side of rear; by early 17th century house had enclosed central courtyard with the hall standing on its right side; in about 1830 this courtyard was turned into an octagonal inner hall, the house refronted in Domestic Tudor and Gothick-style, and the projecting right-hand front wing built; there is a small enclosed yard to the rear of the house.
Front of circa 1830 is of 2 storeys and of L-plan with projecting right wing: triple-gabled 3-window range to left has tympanum arches above label moulds over 4-light stone-mullioned windows with glazing bars to casements; reset mid 16th century four-light stone mullioned and round-arched window to right; front right wing has side walls each of 2-window range and similar windows; right side wall of the front range has 2-light Gothick-style windows. Triple-gabled left side wall, of circa 1830, has hollow-chamfered round-arched windows; porch has a pointed-arched entry with rusticated arch and Tuscan pilasters to inner porch, which has 17th century studded and decoratively-carved door set in a moulded wood architrave and a 17th century studded door with fielded panels to right.
Older work lies to the rear of the house, principally to the rear of the right side wall; a 17th century two-storey crenellated porch, with a hood mould over an early 17th century moulded round-arched doorway, adjoins a late 17th century two-storey gable end to rear, with two late 17th century wood-mullioned and transomed cross windows with leaded-lights. To rear of the house is an early 17th century range, remodelled in the early 19th century, and another parallel range of 17th century origins to right: these two ranges are separated by a walled yard, which has part of a 12th century chamfered round arch to a rear doorway and a gallery of lateC1th century6 Mannerist-style carved posts supporting scroll-bracketed wall plate with carved pendentives.
Interior: 12th century hall, to rear right, is encircled by massively thick walls and has a screens passage to rear with a 15th century chamfered and round-arched service doorway; the hall was gutted by fire in about 1890. Yard to rear is flanked by range to left which has moulded wood architraves with urn stops, one with plank and studded door; ground-floor room to rear (former kitchen) has mid 18th century panelled doors and bolection-moulded architrave to fireplace, large bread oven and 2 heavy beams; block to rear right has early 17th century stop-chamfered beams and bases of A-frame trusses. First-floor room to rear of medieval hall has mid 18th century panelling with bolection-moulded overmantle. In the early 19th century the central courtyard was infilled by an octagonally-shaped hall with imitation ashlar stucco walls and lit by a large glazed lantern; panelled doors, with Gothick architraves to first floor and Gothick balustrade to gallery; beamed ceiling is supported by brattished corbels.
Rest of description details front range: early 19th century plasterwork to ground-floor dining room on right; oval medallions are 20th century; early 19th century Gothick colonettes with foliate capitals to windows on right. Very find early 17th century dog-leg staircase with landing: turned balusters set on closed string; carved foliate decoration to turned newels; turned and carved pendentives; moulded banisters. Landing above staircase has early 17th century moulded wood architraves with urn stops, 17th century studded door, and fine ribbed plasterwork ceiling with large central pendentive, thistles of James I and heraldic eschutcheon. First-floor room to right has fine early 17th century overmantle with arcaded and trabeated Doric friezes; early 17th century panelling, each panel having a pedimented aedicule surmounted by urns and flanked by scrolls. Gallery to left of stairs has very fine barrel-vaulted plaster ceiling of circa 1700; cherubs in tympanae at each end hold vases of flowers and swags; two fine ovals to ceiling, which are comprised of fruit and vegetables to left, and flowers with masks of Green Men to right; early 17th century fireplace with heraldic cartouche to overmantle. Room to left has another very fine early 17th century overmantle with helmed coat of arms flanked by birds holding trails of flowers and female figures, probably Ceres. History: the Pine-Coffin family have lived at Portledge since the 12th century. There are similarities between the plasterwork here and the very fine plasterwork ceiling of circa 1684 at the Royal Hotel, Bideford.

Cherry, B., 1988, The Devon Country House in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries, 93-96 (Article in Serial). SDV129144.

A complete courtyard house. Early-mid 17th century plasterwork in first floor rooms of south west wing. Plasterwork in long gallery is similar to that at Great Potheridge. Other details: Plates 3 + 4.

Chanter, J. R., 1989, First Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records, 126 (Article in Serial). SDV20159.

Portledge, owned by the Coffin family as early as the reign of Henry III, who in 1254 granted "to Rchard Coffin and his heirs for ever free warren in all his demesnes and lands of Alwinton".

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 690-1 (Monograph). SDV325629.

East range is the oldest part, formerly approached through gatehouse and outer court. Hall and ground floor (now converted to kitchen) still recognizable. Two storey porch with mediaval arch to service room. Fenestration includes 17th century mullion-and-cross and 18th century Gothick.1769 plan shows solar wing extending further east, possibly with a chapel. Main south range of 2 storeys with 2 bays of late tudor 4-light windows (mullions replaced) with single light windows in between. On west front windows seem 19th century Tudor, as does porch. Courtyard roofed over. 17th century work in south range. Early 17th century dog-leg staircase in original position. Heraldic overmantels in first floor chambers. Circa 1600 panelling in solar. Later 17th century court style plasterwork in long gallery on top floor of south range. Old kitchen has 17th century doorway. 18th century panelling in nursery. Former chapel (now subdivided) with tall 18th century gothic windows accessed via wooden loggia to east of kitchen.

Pugsley, S, 1994, Devon Gardens, 129, 131-2 (Monograph). SDV672.

Gray, T., 1995, The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources, 180-1 (Monograph). SDV671.

Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 652 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

Clark, J., 2013, Portledge (Un-published). SDV358117.

MacCullagh, R., 2014, Portledge, Fairy Cross, Bideford, Devon: Heritage Significance Statement, 3 (Report - Assessment). SDV356279.

Portledge is a substantial stone built country house that was established in the 12th century by the Coffin family who are thought to be of Norman French origin and held the manorial seat for Alwington. The Grade II* listed house is of a double courtyard plan with the remnants of the medieval hall located to the north together with a 3-storey north porch and screen passage with a 3-storey service wing to the west and encircling a former inner courtyard a 3-storey solar wing to the east and a 2-storey south porch to the south. A 2-storey kitchen wing is located to the west with a range of buildings enclosing an outer courtyard to the northwest. A further 2-storey c.1830 wing is located to the northeast of the solar wing and about this time the south front was refronted in a Domestic Tudor and Gothick style. The building contains a treasure trove of architectural features ranging from medieval to 20th century and has a complicated and fascinating history.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV129144Article in Serial: Cherry, B.. 1988. The Devon Country House in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 46. A5 Paperback. 93-96.
SDV20159Article in Serial: Chanter, J. R.. 1989. First Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 21. Unknown. 126.
SDV20163Article in Serial: Simmons, J.. 1947 - 1949. A Georgian Eccentric: Richard Coffin of Portledge. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 23. Unknown. 33-34.
SDV20166List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Alwington. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 39-40.
SDV20168Unknown: Riley, H.. Fourth Report of the Royal Historical Commissioners.
SDV20169Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978 - 2002. SS32SE2. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV20171Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1928. Obituary Notices. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 60. Hardback Volume. 48.
SDV20172Article in Serial: Finberg, H. P. R.. 1943. Church and State in Twelfth-Century Devon: some Documentary Illustrations. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 75. A5 Hardback. 255-6.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 690-1.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 137.
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. No. 652.
SDV356279Report - Assessment: MacCullagh, R.. 2014. Portledge, Fairy Cross, Bideford, Devon: Heritage Significance Statement. RMA Heritage. Digital. 3.
SDV358117Un-published: Clark, J.. 2013. Portledge. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. Digital.
SDV4813List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1955. Bideford RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 2.
SDV671Monograph: Gray, T.. 1995. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. Paperback Volume. 180-1.
SDV672Monograph: Pugsley, S. 1994. Devon Gardens. Devon Gardens. Unknown. 129, 131-2.

Associated Monuments

MDV74968Related to: Cartshed and Stable attached to Portledge Hotel, Alwington (Building)
MDV74969Related to: Garden Wall to Portledge, Alwington (Building)
MDV74967Related to: Granary attached to Rear Side of Portledge Hotel, Alwington (Building)
MDV64768Related to: Portledge Parkland and Gardens (Park/Garden)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 4 2015 9:33AM