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HER Number:MDV33160
Name:Bishops House, 3-5 Lower Street, Chagford


Two houses, originally a 3-room-and-through-passage plan house set back from the street facing north-west with hall open to the roof. Subdivided into two cottages, probably in the late 19th century. This is a very well-preserved multi-phase house with a good interior. Was the lodging for the Bishop of Crediton when he visited the parish.


Grid Reference:SX 701 877
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NW/227
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 94659

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CROSS PASSAGE HOUSE (XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1550 AD (Between))
  • COTTAGE NON SPECIFIC (XIX - 1840 AD to 1880 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Depicted on the Tithe Map; 71 on the apportionment.

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

Late 19th century shows the building to have been subdivided at this time.

Rice, I., 2002, The Book of Chagford. A Town Apart, 20, 29, 46 (Monograph). SDV356605.

The Bishop's House was so called as it was used as the lodging for the Bishop of Crediton when he visited the parish. It is a fine medieval longhouse with 17th century additions. One of the key buildings in the town which saw the growth of farming in the district linked to the development of the woollen industry dating from the 13th to the 17th centuries.

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

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

Numbers 3 and 5 Bishops House, Lower Street, Chagford. Two houses, once a single house, early 16th century with later 16th and 17th century improvements, subdivided probably in the late 19th or early 20th century. Plastered granite; granite stack with plastered chimney shaft; thatch roof.
Plan and development: originally a 3-room-and-through-passage plan house set back from the street facing north-west. No. 3 is a 2-room plan cottage occupying the former hall and inner room to right of the passage. The hall has a large axial stack backing onto the passage and there is a newel stair turret projecting to rear at the upper end of the hall. No. 5 is a 1-room plan cottage occupying the former service end room. Two-storey front porch, the upper room belonging to No. 5. It seems that the original house was open to the roof from end to end and probably heated by an open hearth fire. Through the later 16th and 17th century the fireplace was inserted and the rooms were progressively floored over. Porch was added in late 16th-early 17th century. Both cottages have 20th century service outshots to rear. Main block is two storeys.
Exterior: 1:1:2-window front of mostly 20th century iron or timber-framed casements with glazing bars. The porch is gabled and the room over jetties forward on moulded granite corbels resting on rubble side walls, the right one particularly thick (it contains the hall fireplace oven housing). On the left side there is a 17th century oriel window to the first floor porch room; it has canted sides but the lights are now blocked and it rests on shaped oak brackets. Alongside to left of the porch is a 19th century plank door inserted to the service end room (No. 5). The front passage doorway contains a similar door but it occupies the original arch-headed oak frame (showing to rear only). The roof is gable-ended.
Good interior: both sides of the passage are stone rubble walls and the lower side doorway has been blocked. The hall (No. 3) contains the only fireplace in the whole house; large, probably late 16th century, granite ashlar with hollow-chamfered surround and blocked side oven. At the upper end is an oak plank-and-muntin screen, probably an original low partition. The muntins are chamfered with straight cut stops high enough for an upper end bench and the screen contains a shoulder-headed door. Probably in the mid 16th century the inner room was floored and the chamber was jettied into the hall and the rounded ends of the joists project over the screen. In the inner room a trimmer shows the position of the former ladder access to the chamber. The hall was floored in the early 17th century; its crossbeams are deeply chamfered with step stops. At the same time a newel stair was provided to rear of the hall. Its oak doorframe is ovolo-moulded, the steps are baulks of oak and there are two chamfered and step-stopped doorframes from a tight landing to the first floor chambers. Most of the doors in this part (No.3) are very old and some may be original. The service end room (No. 5) has a plain axial beam of indeterminate date and the winder stair here is 19th century. The roof overall is four bays. The lower end truss is a true cruck. The hall has a side-pegged jointed cruck with a cambered collar and another has been closed between the hall and inner room chambers. The roofspace is inaccessible but smoke- blackened timbers and thatch are suspected.
This is a very well-preserved multi-phase house. (Description 1987). Other details: LB UID: 94659.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #87695 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV356605Monograph: Rice, I.. 2002. The Book of Chagford. A Town Apart. The Book of Chagford. Hardback Volume. 20, 29, 46.

Associated Monuments

MDV33159Related to: 7-9 Lower Street, Chagford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 16 2018 3:35PM