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:MDV395
Name:Dunsland House, Bradford

Summary

Dunsland House, Bradford. Ruins of an early Tudor house which formed a wing of a later house. When this was demolished in 1946 it was seen to contain traces of an older building. The Late Saxon and Medieval houses are presumed to have lain on or near the site of the Post Medieval house.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 409 051
Map Sheet:SS40NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBradford
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishBRADFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS40NW/6

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Dunsland. Ceiling with enriched ribs, dated 1630, of period two. Overmantel with armorial bearings. Period ceiling, dated circa 1690.


Unknown, Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV4690.


Reichel, O. J., 1928 - 1938, The Hundred of Black Torrington in Early Times, 197,220,237 (Article in Monograph). SDV2105.


Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 82 (Monograph). SDV336196.

East wing is Tudor, but remodelled 1630. Splendid north wing is of stone, two storeys of seven bays with a very steep three bay pediment, in the south part of the east wing are some mullioned and transomed timber windows.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 341-2 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Beginning with small early Tudor house, shows succession of enlargements down to late 18th century. House fell into considerable disrepair during 1939-1945 war but has since been carefully restored.


French, K. + French, C., 1957, Devonshire Plasterwork, 130,132,134 (Article in Serial). SDV4676.

Other details: Plate 21a.


Trinick, M., 1965 - 1967, Lintel at Dunsland House, 23 (Article in Serial). SDV4664.

Author mentions lintel dated 1584 of limestone from the Plymouth district. Hood moulding inscription quoted. Probably limestone from Plymouth.


Trinick, M., 1967, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV4688.


Unknown, 1967, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV4689.

Destroyed by fire.


National Trust, 1970 - 1979, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV4663.

A plaque on the garden wall at Dunsford states that the house was bought for the National Trust in 1954 and destroyed by fire 18/11/1967. The site is now grassed over, with no remains in the area except a lintel dated 1588. The Dunsland coat of arms was rescued from the fire and is now (late 1970s) on loan to Holsworthy Museum.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978 - 2000, SS40NW8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV4677.

Visited 20/11/1978. Other details: Photograph of plaque.


Lauder, R. A., 1981, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV664.


National Trust, 1984, Dunslands (Report - Survey). SDV4665.

Most of the foundations are buried beneath the present lawn, but some walling and steps are exposed in what would have been the back area of the house.


Cherry, B., 1988, The Devon Country House in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries, 102-103 (Article in Serial). SDV129144.

Dunsland, with a grand range and own entrance added circa 1690, at right angles to the older hall range and sumptuously decorated inside with plasterwork close in style to that at Youslton. Other details: Plate 10.


Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 345 (Monograph). SDV325629.

The house had a Tudor south wing with additions of 1660 and a substantial east wing of circa 1690. Inside were excellent woodwork and plasterwork and a ceiling of circa 1690 with modelling characteristic of plasterwork elsewhere in North Devon (Royal Hotel, Bideford; Youlston House).


Watts, M. A., 1993, Archaeological Evaluation at Dunsland House, near Holsworthy, Devon, 1993 (Report - Evaluation). SDV4674.

Earliest known element is an early Tudor house, probably built by 1500, which formed a wing of the later house. When this was demolished in 1946 it was seen to contain 'clear traces of a still more ancient building' (see Trinick). The late Saxon and Medieval houses are presumed to have lain on or near the site of the Post Medieval house. Thought to have been enlarged circa 1550. Extension added to south of early Tudor house which, until 1967, survived as part of 'south room'. South-east wing probably added in 1609. Half of this wing survived until 1967 as the porch, justice room and remainder of south room. Other half demolished circa 1690 when most of the 17th century house was built. This involved rebuilding half of the south-east wing and adding a substantial north-east wing, with a grand facade overlooking the valley. At this period the basement level was inserted under a raised floor. Most of the building and ornate plasterwork destroyed in 1967 fire dated from this period. Early Tudor wing demolished in early 1950s. National Trust restorations from 1954 until destruction by fire in 1967. Archaeological evaluation carried out in 1993 by Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit, on behalf of National Trust. Most surviving basement walls exhibit a single phase of roughly coursed rough sandstone blocks with occasional pieces of slate, bonded with pale yellow limestone mortar. Bricks seen only in porch staircase basement wall, where it has survived to a height of over 1 metre. Basement floors of flagstone slabs. Drawing room basement floor with drainage gully running parallel to walls. Foundations and basement walls contain re-used building material, including probable tudor window mullions. Later insertions/alterations also observed. Known building phases summarised:
i) early Tudor (pre-1500): no evidence seen.
ii) first extension (c 1500): south room wall (position of).
iii) original south wing (circa 1609): re-used mullions in next phase.
iv) south-east and north-east wings (circa 1609): basement and foundation walls, flagstone floors.
v) later insertions (1700-1900): blocked windows, internal buttresses, internal wall in drawing-room basement.
vi) post-WWII restoration (1945-67): rebuilt foundations, underpinning, drains and service ducts.
Surviving walls in generally poor state of preservation, as was the moulded ceiling plaster.
Thought to have been enlarged circa 1550. Extension added to south of early Tudor house which, until 1967, survived as part of 'south room'. South-east wing probably added in 1609. Half of this wing survived until 1967 as the porch, justice room and remainder of south room. Other half demolished circa 1690 when most of the 17th century house was built. This involved rebuilding half of the south-east wing and adding a substantial north-east wing, with a grand facade overlooking the valley. At this period the basement level was inserted under a raised floor. Most of the building and ornate plasterwork destroyed in 1967 fire dated from this period. Early Tudor wing demolished in early 1950s. National Trust restorations from 1954 until destruction by fire in 1967. Archaeological evaluation carried out in 1993 by Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit, on behalf of National Trust. Most surviving basement walls exhibit a single phase of roughly coursed rough sandstone blocks with occasional pieces of slate, bonded with pale yellow limestone mortar. Bricks seen only in porch staircase basement wall, where it has survived to a height of over 1 metre. Basement floors of flagstone slabs. Drawing room basement floor with drainage gully running parallel to walls. Foundations and basement walls contain re-used building material, including probable Tudor window mullions. Later insertions/alterations also observed. Known building phases summarised:i) early Tudor (pre-1500): no evidence seen.


National Trust, 1993, Dunsland, Devon, 10-11 (Report - Survey). SDV4675.

Nothing remains visible of Dunsland House except south-west wall of Tudor range, and 15 stone steps leading up to remains of walled yard above the site on south-west side. Stone floor of yard still visible in places, but mostly grassed over. Part of enclosing wall of yard remains. From house platform, 7 brick steps lead down to small lawn. Plaque placed on wall by National Trust. Area encircled by encroaching vegetation and scrub.


Gent, T. H., 1998, Archaeological Survey at Dunsland House, Devon (Report - Survey). SDV15666.

A survey of earthworks situated in the grounds of Dunsland House. The survey encompassed the physical remains of suspected fishponds and associated features, contained within woodland on the northern side of the estate.


Nicholas Pearson Associates, 1998, Dunsland, Restoration and Management Plan (Report - Survey). SDV344033.

This report builds on two previous studies, a Biological Survey undertaken for the National Trust in 1989 and an Archaeological Survey of 1992. These surveys recommended further archaeological investigation of the fish ponds and a specialist lichen survey, and these recommendations have been implemented as part of the present report.

The report outlines the history of Dunsland starting from 1086 when Dunsland was mentioned in the Domesday Book, through to 1967 when Dunsland was destroyed by fire. Dunsland House has passed through many hands, mainly of the minor gentry which included magistrates, military officers, clergy and sheriffs. It is a fine example of a smaller Devon property and the landscape is particularly of interest as an expression of the social, cultural and economic conditions in which these people lived.

The epiphytic lichen communities has led to Dunsland being made a Site of Special Scienetific Interest. The archaeological value of Dunsland is also of significance. A balance is necessary to ensure that conservation proposals to conserve one quality of the site are not detrimental to other qualities. The Restoration and Management Objectives are set out on page 26.

The report lists a number of sites, some of which have designated by the National Trust. The list also states 'Date', and 'Condition'. A small number of these sites appear to already have Devon Historic Environment Monument numbers. The other sites mentioned include:
Medieval Field Bank
Medieval Field Boundary
Medieval Bank and Ditch
18th century Boundary Banks
18th century Steps
19th century Bank and to Parkland Clump
19th century Boundary Track
19th Century Bridges
19th century Letter Box
19th century Parkland Railing
19th century Timber Gate Posts
20th Century Dam and Culvert
Charcoal Pit


Clark, J. + Richardson, D., 1999, Dunsland House (Un-published). SDV357659.

In the early 18th century the house was set within a formal landscape, but later acquired a small landscaped park, pleasure ground and walled garden. The Devon Garden Trust recommended that Dunsland Park be included in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, and should be designated Grade II.


Meller, H., 2011, Down and Out, Some Lost and Forgotten Devon Country Houses, 16 (Article in Serial). SDV347477.

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. 102-103.
SDV15666Report - Survey: Gent, T. H.. 1998. Archaeological Survey at Dunsland House, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 341-2.
SDV2105Article in Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928 - 1938. The Hundred of Black Torrington in Early Times. The Hundreds of Devon. A5 Hardback. 197,220,237.
SDV263Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unatributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 345.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 82.
SDV344033Report - Survey: Nicholas Pearson Associates. 1998. Dunsland, Restoration and Management Plan. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV347477Article in Serial: Meller, H.. 2011. Down and Out, Some Lost and Forgotten Devon Country Houses. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 29. A4 Stapled + Digital. 16.
SDV357659Un-published: Clark, J. + Richardson, D.. 1999. Dunsland House. Devon Register Review. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV4663Correspondence: National Trust. 1970 - 1979. Notes + Correspondence. Unknown.
SDV4664Article in Serial: Trinick, M.. 1965 - 1967. Lintel at Dunsland House. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 30. Unknown. 23.
SDV4665Report - Survey: National Trust. 1984. Dunslands. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV4674Report - Evaluation: Watts, M. A.. 1993. Archaeological Evaluation at Dunsland House, near Holsworthy, Devon, 1993. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 93.90. A4 stapled + Digital.
SDV4675Report - Survey: National Trust. 1993. Dunsland, Devon. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 10-11.
SDV4676Article in Serial: French, K. + French, C.. 1957. Devonshire Plasterwork. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 130,132,134.
SDV4677Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978 - 2000. SS40NW8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV4688Monograph: Trinick, M.. 1967. Dunsland House. Unknown.
SDV4689Article in Serial: Unknown. 1967. Sunday Express. Unknown.
SDV4690Photograph: Unknown. Plan + Photographs. Unknown.
SDV664Monograph: Lauder, R. A.. 1981. Vanished Houses of North Devon. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV396Parent of: Dunsland House Sundial (Monument)
MDV61180Related to: ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT in the Parish of Bradford (Monument)
MDV11696Related to: Dunsland Northern Fishpond, Bradford (Monument)
MDV14198Related to: Dunsland Southern Fishpond, Bradford (Monument)
MDV61174Related to: FINDSPOT in the Parish of Bradford (Find Spot)
MDV30763Related to: Granery, Bradford (Monument)
MDV76194Related to: Park, Dunsland House, Bradford. (Monument)
MDV30762Related to: Stable Block (Monument)
MDV30760Related to: Trough, Dunsland (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1250 - Dunsland, Devon
  • EDV1251 - SS40NW8
  • EDV1252 - Dunslands

Date Last Edited:Jan 21 2015 11:32AM