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HER Number:MDV40416
Name:White Hart Hotel, Moretonhampstead

Summary

Mid-18th century coaching inn built after a fire destroyed the houses that had existed here. Busy post inn during the reign of King George III, this was the meeting place of French officers on parole from Princetown prison during the Napoleonic wars. Farmer Jonathan May concluded his business and drank here in 1835 before being ambushed and robbed on his way home, dying the following day. A fairly unaltered 18th century coaching inn still in use as a hotel. Situated in a prominent central position in Moretonhampstead its virtually complete exterior makes a valuable contribution to the townscape.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 753 860
Map Sheet:SX78NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMoretonhampstead
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishMORETONHAMPSTEAD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NE/310
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 85106

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOTEL (Constructed, XVIII - 1735 AD to 1775 AD (Between))

Full description

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

The White Hart Hotel is depicted on the late 19th century historic mapping.


Department of Environment, 1987, Moretonhampstead, 128 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV337636.

White Hart Hotel, The Square (south side), Moretonhampstead.
Hotel, formerly a coaching inn. Circa mid-18th century with late 19th century extensions at rear. Rendered, probably stone rubble. Steeply pitched hipped slate roof. Circa late-19th century brick shafts to chimneystacks.
Central wide entrance through-passage with service end to right and inn to left. The right-hand room is said to have been formerly the kitchen and has a blocked fireplace on rear wall and stairs originally rising to staff accommodation above. To left of passage the inn which extends to rear to form overall L-shaped plan. The left-hand range has main stairs at centre for access to visitors room above. The former kitchen to right is now a dining room and the present kitchen is in a short early 20th century wing immediately behind. Possibly circa mid-19th century wing was built to rear left and a stable range at right angles forming the third side of a courtyard. Three storeys and attic. Almost symmetrical 5-window range, more closely spaced to right. Circa late-19th century 4-pane sashes. The ground storey has different fenestration, 3 late-19th century 4-pane sashes to right, 2-light sash to left of centre and 5-light horizontally sliding sash to left. Wide entrance doorway to right of centre with very large wooden fluted Roman Doric engaged columns and entablature with bracketed cornice, this was originally a porch with freestanding columns.
Interior: the plan is intact except for the blocking at the rear of the passage by the second stairs which give access to the rooms over the service end. The original 18th century main stair is on three floors, dogleg type with moulded string turned balusters and moulded handrail ramped over square newels. Panelled dado to bar in left-hand room. The rest of the joinery appears to be largely late-19th century.
A fairly unaltered 18th century coaching inn still in use as a hotel. Situated in a prominent central position in Moretonhampstead its virtually complete exterior makes a valuable contribution to the townscape.


Quick, T., 1992, Dartmoor Inns, 137-138 (Monograph). SDV359976.

The White Hart dates from the 18th century having been built on the site of several houses that had earlier been destroyed by fire. The inn was sold to its first owner for £130. during the reign of King George III, it became a busy post inn for the Exeter to Plymouth mail coaches which stopped here to change horses and load/unload mail for the surrounding area. This was before the coming of the railway to Moretonhampstead in 1867. The stables were situated at the rear of the building and to reach them the horses were led through the front door, along a wide passage and then down a slope to the stables. They have since been converted into a conference room.
Has been a popular meeting place over the years. During the Napoleonic Wars, when French prisoners of war were held at Princetown, officers on parole would meet here. The Dartmoor Tinners' Great Court held their last meeting here in 1786.
The public bar with its oak-beamed ceiling and large fireplace also includes a framed newspaper clipping detailing the murder of farmer Jonathan May who was killed in 1835 after concluding a business deal in the White Hart and displaying £80 in gold and notes. He was ambushed on his way home by two strangers and robbed, dying the following day. Two men were charged with murder and one (Thomas Oliver) was hanged in 1836. Edmund Galley was initially thought to have been his accomplice but after many appeals his sentence was later commuted to transportation to Australia. A criminal also transported (John French) apparently later admitted the crime and in 1881 Edmund Galley (then 80 years old) was finally acquitted and awarded £1000 compensation.


Ordnance Survey, 2017, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359962.

The modern mapping shows 5 The Square but it is not labelled.


Historic England, 2017, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 31/01/2017 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359963.

MORETONHAMPSTEAD THE SQUARE (south side), SX 7586 Moretonhampstead 8/174 White Hart Hotel - 23.8.55 GV II
Hotel, formerly a coaching inn. Circa mid C18 with late C19 extensions at rear. Rendered, probably stone rubble. Steeply pitched hipped slate roof. Circa late C19 brick shafts to chimneystacks. Central wide entrance through-passage with service end to right and inn to left. The right-hand room is said to have been formerly the kitchen and has a blocked fireplace on rear wall and stairs originally rising to staff accommodation above.
To left of passage the inn which extends to rear to form overall L-shaped plan. The left-hand range has main stairs at centre for access to visitors room above. The former kitchen to right is now a dining room and the present kitchen is in a short early C20 wing immediately behind. Possibly circa mid C19 wing was built to rear left and a stable range at right angles forming the third side of a courtyard. 3 storeys and attic. Almost symmetrical 5-window range, more closely spaced to right. Circa late C19 4-pane sashes. The ground storey has different fenestration, 3 late C19 4-pane sashes to right, 2-light sash to left of centre and 5-light horizontally sliding sash to left. Wide entrance doorway to right of centre with very large wooden fluted Roman Doric engaged columns and entablature with bracketed cornice, this was originally a porch with freestanding columns.
Interior: the plan is intact except for the blocking at the rear of the passage by the second stairs which give access to the rooms over the service end. The original C18 main stairs is on 3 floors, dogleg type with moulded string turned balusters and moulded handrail ramped over square newels. Panelled dado to bar in left-hand room. The rest of the joinery appears to be largely late C19.
A fairly unaltered C18 coaching inn still in use as an hotel. Situated in a prominent central position in Moretonhampstead its virtually complete exterior makes a valuable contribution to the townscape.
Listing NGR: SX7534486041

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337636List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Moretonhampstead. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 128.
SDV359962Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #90792 ]
SDV359963National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2017. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 31/01/2017.
SDV359976Monograph: Quick, T.. 1992. Dartmoor Inns. Dartmoor Inns. Paperback Volume. 137-138.

Associated Monuments

MDV118263Related to: 9 Cross Street, Moretonhampstead (Building)
MDV118262Related to: The Bell Inn, Moretonhampstead (Building)
MDV40414Related to: White Horse Inn, Moretonhampstead (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jan 31 2017 10:41AM