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HER Number:MDV23538
Name:Blachford House, Cornwood


Blachford House, Cornwood; large 16th century house in landscaped park. Major renovations in the 18th century and early 19th century alterations and additions. Includes service wing and stables to the east of the main building.


Grid Reference:SX 612 599
Map Sheet:SX65NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishCornwood
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishCORNWOOD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX65NW34
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 441305
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX65NW/114
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 99130
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (Built, XV to XVI - 1500 AD (Between) to 1599 AD (Between))

Full description

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 376 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Gallant, L., 1986, Deer Parks and Paddocks of England (Un-published). SDV656.

Goodwin, N., 2002, Archaeological Recording at Blachford Manor, Cornwood (Report - non-specific). SDV336113.

A building assessment regarding the history and fabric of Blachford undertaken in September 2002 by Exeter Archaeology, confirmed documentary evidence that the present house was rebuilt in approximately 1690. 17th century remains survive in south, east and north ranges. Two major modernisations to the main house in the 1770s and in 1827.

Thorp, J. + Horton, D., 2002, Blachford Manor, Cornwood, 1-39 (Report - Assessment). SDV347638.

Detailed documentary history of the manor provided from its mention in the Domesday Book of 1086 through to owners in the 21st century (see report, pages 1-21).
Blachford Manor is a large house on an H-shaped plan.
Phase 1: the oldest part of the house (at least with visible remains) is the rear east end of the northern service range, the carpentry in which could date to any time between 1550-1650. This is the minor stable and its former hayloft which was converted to domestic accommodation in the late 20th century, when the attic level was created.
Phase 2: the late 17th century ‘capital mansion house’. The fabric of the present house is consistent with the documentary evidence indicating a major rebuild in around 1690. Extensive remains from this phase include the east stair.
Phase 3: the 1749 stables. Substantial new stables were added in 1749 according to documentary sources, but the stable block off the rear of the northern service range are more likely to date to the mid-19th century.
Phase 4: the modernisation of the 1770s. The evidence from this refurbishment is hard to differentiate from that of 1827 but mainly appears on the first floor.
Phase 5: refurbishment in 1827. The existing house is essentially the product of this refurbishment, which was associated with extensive landscaping in the grounds, including the excavation of the pond. The front wall was apparently (according to documentary sources) completely rebuilt at this time, including the creation of the projecting east end bay and extensive building works in the west range.
Phase 6: late alterations. These were mostly minor, including rearranging the northern service range with new stairs off the back of the building. Parts of this building werer divided and self-contained in the late 20th century to rent out.

Waterhouse, R., 2003, Outbuildings at Blachford House, Cornwood, 1 (Report - Survey). SDV141423.

Note reconstruction of the house between 1694 and 1710 by John Rogers, a Plymouth merchant. Reconstruction largely covered the east front of the main range and the east wing which projected from its north end. These formed two sides of a court at the eastern end of the house.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

Blachford including service wing and stables to east (formerly listed as II* Blackford)
Large house in landscaped park. Circa 16th century origin although largely rebuilt in the 18th century and with early 19th century alterations and additions. Granite rubble with dressed granite quoins. Slate hipped roof behind rendered parapet with moulded cornice. Half H-shaped on plan with wings at rear. Two storeys and attic.
Front: 2:5:2 bays projecting end two bays are early 19th century additions. First floor right hand is blind. Sash windows mostly with glazing bars in moulded architraves with cornices. Central doorway with stone pilasters, entablature and fielded panel door. Early 19th century Tuscan porch. Gabled and slate hung between wings at rear. Stables and service wing to east, set back. L-shaped plan. Granite ashlar with steeply pitched hipped slate roof. Two storeys. Five by five bays of sash windows. Wooden ballcote over roof. Reset in east end wall a large moulded granite 4-centred arch doorway with carved spandrels and hoodmould. Inside the stables there are 18th century arcaded stalls.
Interior: 18th century staircase in large open well with balusters and carved tread ends. Drawing room has modillion cornice and frieze. Although the remainder of the house has not been inspected it appears that much of the 18th century joinery is intact. Blachford is a Domesday manor and became the seat of the Rogers family. According to W G Hoskins "A New Survey of England, Devon" page 376, the house was rebuilt in 17th century. Other details: LB UID: 99130.

Various, 2014, Country Life, Accessed 24/10/2014 (Website). SDV357281.

One of three ancient manors in the sprawling parish of Cornwood on the edge of Dartmoor, Blachford was held in the early 1300s by the Prior of Plympton, before being bought, post-Reformation, by the Hele family of South Hele. In 1694, John Rogers, a high-ranking Customs official and wealthy merchant from Plymouth, acquired both Blach-ford and South Hele, and, in 1698, became a baronet and MP for Plymouth. That same year, he made Blachford over to his newly married son, also called John. Sir John was succeeded by 10 baronets, seven of whom became MPs, before the barony died out in the early 1900s.
At that time, the vast estate lands extended onto Dartmoor itself, and a number of boundary stones on the moor still bear the inscription ‘BB’, for Blachford Bounds. In 1917, the new owner, Margaret Deare, gave the bulk of the estate to her cousin, Maj Frederick Passy, retaining only the gardens, deer park and some surrounding land. Parcels of land were later reacquired to restore the estate to its current size.
The east wing of Blachford Manor reveals a much older, possibly Jacobean house, which was enlarged and re-fronted with a Georgian façade in the early 18th century; Blachford’s famous deer park and lake were laid out by James Green in 1827. The manor then stood still for decades before the present owner undertook a major restoration of the house, gardens, cottages and land.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV141423Report - Survey: Waterhouse, R.. 2003. Outbuildings at Blachford House, Cornwood. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 376.
SDV336113Report - non-specific: Goodwin, N.. 2002. Archaeological Recording at Blachford Manor, Cornwood. Exeter Archaeology Report. 02.88. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #84002 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347638Report - Assessment: Thorp, J. + Horton, D.. 2002. Blachford Manor, Cornwood. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K660. A4 Comb Bound. 1-39.
SDV357281Website: Various. 2014. Country Life. http://www.countrylife.co.uk/. Website. Accessed 24/10/2014.
SDV656Un-published: Gallant, L.. 1986. Deer Parks and Paddocks of England. Deer Parks and Paddocks of England. Manuscript.

Associated Monuments

MDV14527Related to: Blachford Deer Park, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV126717Related to: Broad Rock, Erme Head (Monument)
MDV71089Related to: Deer linhay, Blachford Park (Monument)
MDV49665Related to: Fishpond at Blachford, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV132998Related to: Gardeners Cottage, Blachford Estate (Building)
MDV67144Related to: Outbuildings at Blachford House, Cornwood (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5205 - Assessment of Blachford House, Cornwood
  • EDV5208 - Assessment of Blachford Manor, Cornwood

Date Last Edited:Apr 24 2023 8:57AM