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HER Number:MDV42293
Name:Former Guildhall in Higher Street


Former medieval merchant's house between Higher and Lower Streets, used as the second Guildhall from the 15th century, demolished in the 19th century.


Grid Reference:SX 877 511
Map Sheet:SX85SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishST.SAVIOURS

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX85SE/232

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))
  • GUILDHALL (XV to XIX - 1401 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Lewis, W., 1853, Dartmouth (Record Office Collection). SDV341437.

A Deed of 1480 transfers ownership to Dartmouth Corporation who used it as a new Guildhall. It also housed the Council Chamber and Quarter Sessions. It fronted onto Lower Street and had access to ground floor cellars via a narrow lane (Dark Lane) passing through and under the house, and opening into a court in Higher Street. In the 14th-15th century the cellars served as the town prison, but this use seems discontinued by late 15th century.

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

'Oxford Slip' shown. Map object based on this source.

Pistono, S. P., 1979, Henry IV and John Hawley, Privateer, 1399-1408, 147 (Article in Serial). SDV341074.

Hawleys Hall was the largest mansion in Dartmouth in the early 15th century extending from Higher to Lower Street. It served as Dartmouth's second Guildhall for 384 years.

Smart, I. H., 1991, The Many Ancient Guildhalls of Dartmouth, 18-26; figures 2-3 (Article in Serial). SDV340290.

Merchant's house, formerly the house of John Hawley (1408), later used as the second Guildhall in Dartmouth. The watch house was transferred to the modern gaol in St Saviours Square in 1855, and the Guildhall building was demolished in 1864. In 1871 carved wall panelling and the Mayor's chair were bought by the Mayor who installed them in Tudor House. The Guildhall was demolished to make way for Newcomen Road by 1868. Once formed house of John Hawley (1340-1408). Thomas Newcomen used the northern part as his workshop. Part became the town Watch House in 1836. Map object based on this source.

Smart, I. H., 1995, The Newcomen Road, 16-17 (Pamphlet). SDV341366.

'Guildhall' shown on 19th century map extending from Lower Street to Higher Street just to the north of Oxford Slip. Map object based on this source.

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

Map object based on this source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV338879Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. Map (Digital).
SDV340290Article in Serial: Smart, I. H.. 1991. The Many Ancient Guildhalls of Dartmouth. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 123. A5 Paperback. 18-26; figures 2-3.
SDV341074Article in Serial: Pistono, S. P.. 1979. Henry IV and John Hawley, Privateer, 1399-1408. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 111. A5 Paperback. 147.
SDV341366Pamphlet: Smart, I. H.. 1995. The Newcomen Road. Dartmouth History Research Group Papers. 15. A5 Paperback. 16-17.
SDV341437Record Office Collection: Lewis, W.. 1853. Dartmouth. MH Series 1360. Unknown.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV8542Related to: 5 Higher Street, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV42988Related to: Former Chapel and Guildhall (Monument)
MDV42295Related to: Former Duke Street Assembly Rooms (Monument)
MDV42294Related to: Former Newcomen House's in Higher Street (Monument)
MDV42288Related to: Medieval Guildhall, Dartmouth (Monument)
MDV8562Related to: The Guildhall, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV8575Related to: Town Gaol, Dartmouth (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 20 2013 11:51AM