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HER Number:MDV23701
Name:Warehouse, Mayor's Avenue, Dartmouth


Western warehouse of Hawke and Sons, with origins in the 14th to 17th centuries. Stone-vaulted basement of 6 arches with warehouse above, the upper part was rebuilt in the mid to late 19th century.


Grid Reference:SX 878 515
Map Sheet:SX85SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishTOWNSTAL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX85SE/154
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 387296

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WAREHOUSE (XIV to XIX - 1301 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1855-1895, First Edition 1:500 Town Map (Cartographic). SDV338879.

Map object based on this source.

Department of Environment, 1972, Dartmouth, 30 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV155627.

Mayor's Avenue, Warehouse. Cement depot on map. Probably medieval ground floor vaults with long rectangular warehouse above. 3-centred vault divided into 6 bays by cross walls with 3 arches each, some arches filled in. Stone. Warehouse above, with 19th century Queen-post trusses to roof. Ground floor with small openings with iron bars, north, probably a bonded store, and with central opening. Wrought iron gib-hoist remaining to upper floor, north. The middle age harbour was connected with the 12th to 15th century wine trade and the siege of Calais 1346.

Henderson, C. G., 1995, Archaeological Assessment and Evaluation of Former Bus Depot Site, Mayor's Avenue, Dartmouth, 5 (Report - Evaluation). SDV341459.

Former bonded stores with double doors and small first floor windows facing west. These will be obscured by the poropsed supermarket development.

Exeter Archaeology, 1995, Mayor's Avenue Archaeological Excavation, Dartmouth 1995 (Report - Excavation). SDV341460.

Built in the 1810s on the site of a shipyard whichwas infilled with mud dredged from the harbour. Occupied by W A Hawke and Son since the 1890s.

Ponsford, M. + Jackson, R., 1996, Post-Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1995, 259 (Article in Serial). SDV361715.

Dartmouth, Mayors Avenue (SX8778 5153). Excavation by Exeter Archaeology carried out for Plymouth and South Devon Cooperative Society prior to building a supermarket. Chronology of reclaimed foreshore.

Stephenson, G., 2001, Archaeological Desk Top Study: Flavel Centre, Dartmouth (Report - Assessment). SDV319967.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Map object based on this source.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Western Warehouse of Hawke and Sons. Warehouse with origins in the 14th/17th centuries. Upper part rebuilt in the mid/late 19th century. Local stone rubble; roof of corrugated asbestos, replacing slate. Plan: Rectangular building end onto the street. Stone-vaulted basement with warehouse above. On the upper floor, the rear 2 bays are divided off and divided axially. Exterior: Front end of the warehouse is now behind a 20th century building. Access to the basement and upper floor through 20th century doorways in the right (east) side wall from the eastern warehouse (not included). The 6 arches of the basement vault show on the outside this side, suggesting that they were originally open. Above the bays are defined by stone piers although the gaps between were filled with stone in the 19th century. The roof is hipped front and back. The larger openings in the rear end wall have timber lintels. There is a blocked wide basement doorway and, above it, paired loading doorways, both containing old plank doors. Alongside to right a shuttered and barred window. Each end, at basement level, are original tiny round-headed single lights. The left one has lost its original voussoirs but both contain round-headed stone frames, each cut from a single piece of stone and each with iron bar and saddlebar. There are more of these on the west side wall. Interior: Basement of 6 barrel vaults across the building. These are connected by a central wide segmental arch with flanking smaller arches. Upper-floor divisions are stone walls and the crosswall and the front end wall contain similar segmental arches (now blocked). 8-bay roof of mid/late 19th century tie-beam trusses with king posts and queen struts. Most of these are set into the blocking of the eastern bays rather than the stone piers that side. History: The vaulted basement suggests it was built for the wine trade which was of most importance to Dartmouth in the medieval period rather than the 16th century and 17th century. The warehouses on Mayors Avenue and No.26 Foss Street were built as waterfront buildings and are of great historic interest because of their associations with the maritime history of the port. Mayors Avenue was laid in 1876/7 on the site of the original waterfront.

Wapshott, E. + Morris, B., 2018, Mayor's Avenue Travis Perkins, Dartmouth - desk-based assessment and historic building recording (Report - Survey). SDV362952.

South West Archaeology Ltd. was commissioned to undertake historic building recording at Mayor’s Avenue Travis Perkins, Dartmouth, Devon. This work was undertaken in advance of the restoration of the property and to set it building in its historical and archaeological context.

This building is a 2.5 storey rectangular building, built of stone rubble with a hipped pitched roof of corrugated asbestos sheets carried on wide late 18th or early 19th century king-post trusses. This is a complex structure with five phases of build.

The earliest phase of building comprises the ground-floor walls and vaults which date to the late 16th century. If this dating is correct, it would make this one of the earliest surviving structure in Dartmouth. Between each vault there is a wide arched opening, which have deep and well-built segmental arches of slatestone. The flanking arches are now blocked with mortared stone rubble.
Within the vaults, several of the blocked doorways feature windows above each door. These are small arched windows which are set into the apex of the vault and were designed to throw light into the chamber, each window sports ferramenta.
Also featured on the ground floor is a fine chamfered stone doorway in the south wall.

The first floor walls date to the 17th century; the east wall dates to the early 18th. Th east wall features tall stone 19th century piers. In the north wall, there are fine 18th century plank loading doors, with a yoked lintel, pulley loop, sheerlegs and a dragon tie. One main historic fitting in Room 1 is a long section of wide beaded plank boarding fastened to the west wall; a single section survives at the south end of the east wall.

A significant feature of note is the fine late 18th century king-post and queen-strut roof. 10 of the trusses are marked 1-10 in Roman numerals. Kingpost roofs are normally (as suggested in the Listing) 19th century in date, but the lack of bolts and other metal fittings, and the maritime context of the port, would suggest a late 18th century date for this roof. At the southern end of Room 1, Room 1a features an early 20th century grain hopper, flywheel, trolley conveyer.
Another feature of note are the 17th, 18th and 19th century floor boards, all cut and reset, a mix of oak, elm and pine. Finally, the first-floor features 19th century plank boarded doors providing access between Room 2 and 3.

Setting aside the documentary evidence, the structural evidence would suggest the ground floor vaults were built as secure cellars for wine and/or other products. Six vaulted cellars, accessed by six identical doors with windows above, would imply individual vaults were rented separately. The double-doors in the north wall at first-floor level would suggest the first floor was a general-purpose warehouse; the width of the building would make roofing it a challenge and perhaps it featured four roofs pitched east-west, rather than a single roof pitched north-south. The boarded floors and walls at first-floor level, together with the hopper (R1a) indicate the first floor was used for the storage of grain in the 19th century.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV155627List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1972. Dartmouth. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 30.
SDV319967Report - Assessment: Stephenson, G.. 2001. Archaeological Desk Top Study: Flavel Centre, Dartmouth. Exeter Archaeology Report. Project 4995. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV338879Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. Map (Digital).
SDV341459Report - Evaluation: Henderson, C. G.. 1995. Archaeological Assessment and Evaluation of Former Bus Depot Site, Mayor's Avenue, Dartmouth. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 95.03. A4 stapled + Digital. 5.
SDV341460Report - Excavation: Exeter Archaeology. 1995. Mayor's Avenue Archaeological Excavation, Dartmouth 1995. Exeter Archaeology Report. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV361715Article in Serial: Ponsford, M. + Jackson, R.. 1996. Post-Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1995. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 30. Unknown. 259.
SDV362952Report - Survey: Wapshott, E. + Morris, B.. 2018. Mayor's Avenue Travis Perkins, Dartmouth - desk-based assessment and historic building recording. South West Archaeology. 181127. Digital.
Linked documents:1

Associated Monuments

MDV43362Related to: Shipyards north of Mayor's Avenue, Dartmouth (Monument)
MDV53899Related to: The Sail Loft, Mayor's Avenue, Dartmouth (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8090 - Mayor's Avenue Travis Perkins, Dartmouth, South Hams: Desk-based Assessment and Historic Building Recording (Ref: 181127)

Date Last Edited:Apr 4 2019 10:44AM