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:MDV297
Name:Great Potheridge House, Merton


Great Potheridge House, Merton. George Monk was born here 1608 and rebuilt the house on a grand scale about 1660-1670. This house was part demolished in 1734, but the surviving structure incorporates the south-east wing of the original U-shaped mansion.


Grid Reference:SS 513 146
Map Sheet:SS51SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishMerton
Ecclesiastical ParishMERTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS51SW/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANSION HOUSE (VIII to XVIII - 701 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, 96m/Box 88/30 (Record Office Collection). SDV21029.

Unknown, 96M/Box88/31 (Record Office Collection). SDV21032.

Unatributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV263.

Great potheridge, the home of the Monk family for many generations. Present farmhouse is the central part of the building in existence when George Monk was born, the rest being pulled-down in 1734. Fine staircase with oak balusters and a broad handrail, above which is a ceiling with ornamental plasterwork and painting. Magnificent carved overmantel in panelled study. Chapel.

Unknown, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV21026.

Plan of farmstead at time of Tithe Map on worksheet. Other details: Plan.

Polwhele, R., 1793-1806, The History of Devonshire, 414 (Monograph). SDV21030.

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 328 (Monograph). SDV323771.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Reichel, O. J., 1928 - 1938, The Hundred of Shebbear in Early Times, 542, 565, 583 (Article in Monograph). SDV7713.

Potheridge was Porriga in Domesday. It was held by Alberid of Baldwin the Sheriff. Before the Conquest it was held by Ulf. Licence to have an oratory in the mansion was granted in 1395. Early descents given.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 90 (Monograph). SDV336196.

House appears now as five by three bay block of two storeys typically 1660-1670 in character. Appears to be part of an originally H-shaped house of which half has been demolished.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 434 (Monograph). SDV17562.

The Monk family owned Great Potheridge as early as Henry II time. George Monk 1st Duke of Albermarle born here 1608 and rebuilt the ancestral home on grand scale about 1660-1670. This house entirely demolished in 1734.

Department of Environment, 1959, Torrington RD Provisional List, 11 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV118.

Grade I. Part demolished in 1734 but the splendid oak staircase remains together with its painted and plastered ceiling and a very fine panelled room.

Copeland, G. W., 1961, Proceedings of the 99th Annual Meeting, 15-16 (Article in Serial). SDV21020.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1973, SS51SW3 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV21014.

No obvious remains of manor house incorporated in present building. A plaque on the south wall of the house commemorates George Monk 1st Duke of Albermarle. Other details: Photo.

Timms, S. C., 1983, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV21027.

D. Sumpster's site report, sent to County Planning Officer in September 1983, indicates that the surviving structure is the south-east wing of original U-shaped south-facing mansion. The original plan is visible from ruined front wall line of rest of mansion. Panelling includes overmantel carved with military trophies presumably relating to general monk. Property said to have been used as farm since purchase by Clinton family in 1742. HBC repair grant under consideration. Other details: Citing D.Sumpster.

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/PA 8-9, PA 8,9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV21034.

Department of Environment, 1989, Merton, 107 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV21033.

Pye, A. + Westcott, K., 1993, Great Potheridge Farm, Merton. An Archaeological Presentation Survey (Report - non-specific). SDV11287.

An 18c account (see DRO 96m/box 88/30) describes the house as containing a hall, parlour, kitchen, scullery + other 'convenient' rooms, a large staircase, 6 first-floor chambers with garrets over, and a cellar. It also mentions a chapel, a stable for 40 horses, 4 large barns + other farm buildings. All ground + first-floor rooms described could have fitted into the existing S wing of the house and the E wing behind, which still apparently stood to its full width in 1866, although the present house would not have accommodated the 6 first-floor chambers or the garrets. Other sources (see Polwhele and Lysons) mention that much of the house + buildings were demolished in 1734. The account may describe parts of the house remaining after the 1734 demolition, or its original extent, or after partial demolition.
See report for structural details.

Parker, R., 2011, Great Potheridge, Merton, Devon. Historic Building Assessment, 1 (Report - Survey). SDV350917.

Survey undertaken with the aim of understanding the development of the plan form of the house which is proposed to alter.

Great Potheridge is a large house lying to the north-west of the village centre of Merton, just off the A386 to the south of Great Torrington. The property represents the southern and eastern wings of a much larger mansion, which is believed to have been constructed in c.1670 for General Monk, Duke of Albemarle, one of the architects of the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 and founder of the Coldstream Guards. The house is noted for the survival of a very large and impressive 17th century stair case with a ceiling featuring plaster wreaths surrounding Baroque paintings, the only ceiling of this type known to survive in Devon. The Hall in the northern part of the surviving building contains rich and elaborate late 17th century woodwork, including panelling, door cases and a large allegorical overmantel. The house is this importan both for its historic associations and its architectural significance, and this is reflected in its Grade I listed status.

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV11287Report - non-specific: Pye, A. + Westcott, K.. 1993. Great Potheridge Farm, Merton. An Archaeological Presentation Survey. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 93.10. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV118List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1959. Torrington RD Provisional List. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 11.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 434.
SDV21014Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1973. SS51SW3.
SDV21020Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1961. Proceedings of the 99th Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 93. 15-16.
SDV21026Worksheet: Unknown.
SDV21027Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1983.
SDV21029Record Office Collection: Unknown. 96m/Box 88/30. DRO Collection.
SDV21030Monograph: Polwhele, R.. 1793-1806. The History of Devonshire. The History of Devonshire. Unknown. 414.
SDV21032Record Office Collection: Unknown. 96M/Box88/31. DRO Collection.
SDV21033List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1989. Merton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 107.
SDV21034Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/PA 8-9. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). PA 8,9.
SDV263Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unatributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 328.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 90.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #86556 ]
SDV350917Report - Survey: Parker, R.. 2011. Great Potheridge, Merton, Devon. Historic Building Assessment. Richard Parker Report. 2011.01. Digital + A4. 1.
SDV7713Article in Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928 - 1938. The Hundred of Shebbear in Early Times. The Hundreds of Devon. A5 Hardback. 542, 565, 583.

Associated Monuments

MDV298Parent of: Great Potheridge Plasterwork (Monument)
MDV11955Related to: CHAPEL in the Parish of Merton (Monument)
MDV54749Related to: CHAPEL in the Parish of Merton (Monument)
MDV58303Related to: Great Potheridge Deerpark (Monument)
MDV54771Related to: Great Potheridge Linhays 1 + 2 (Monument)
MDV54772Related to: Great Potheridge, Cartshed (Monument)
MDV54768Related to: Great Potheridge, Cattle Shed (Monument)
MDV54770Related to: Great Potheridge, Cattle Shed (Monument)
MDV54764Related to: Great Potheridge, Farm Buildings (Monument)
MDV54766Related to: Great Potheridge, Horse Engine House (Monument)
MDV54774Related to: Great Potheridge, Linhay 3 (Monument)
MDV54769Related to: Great Potheridge, Probable Cattle Shed (Monument)
MDV54776Related to: Great Potheridge, Sheep Linhay (Monument)
MDV54775Related to: Great Potheridge, Thatched Shed (Monument)
MDV54763Related to: Great Potheridge, The Great Stable (Monument)
MDV54773Related to: Great Potheridge, Threshing Barn (Monument)
MDV41943Related to: Merton, Great Potheridge Garden Wall (Building)
MDV54779Related to: Potheridge Lodge (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1530 - SS51SW3
  • EDV6107 - Historic Building Assessment, Great Potheridge, Merton, Devon (Ref: 2011.01)

Date Last Edited:May 11 2015 8:52AM