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HER Number:MDV42842
Name:Prison gateway, Princetown

Summary

Prison outer gateway with flanking walls and houses. Circa 1806-9, the houses having later alterations and additions.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 585 740
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 57 SE 145
  • National Monuments Record: SX 57 SE 44
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/177/3
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GATE (XIX - 1805 AD to 1810 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 1987, Lydford, 32 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV266265.

Outer gateway to Dartmoor Prison. Circa 1808. The arch is formed from dressed blocks of alternating pink and brown granite. Semi-octagonal head with 'Parcere Sujectis' carved in recessed panel at centre. Simple bead moulding inside and outside of arch.


Turton, S. D., 1993, Archaeological Assessment of SWW Dousland to Rundlestone Water Main, 5 (Report - Assessment). SDV249910.


Brodie, A., 2015, Devon, Lydford, Princetown, HMP Dartmoor (Report - Assessment). SDV359840.


Historic England, 2015, Outer Gateway to Dartmoor Prison. HMP Dartmoor, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6RR (Correspondence). SDV359244.

Historic England are considering amending the Listing for this structure.


Historic England, 2016, H M Prison Dartmoor: Outer Gateway Case Report (Report - Assessment). SDV359420.

Her Majesty's Prison Dartmoor, listed at Grade II in 1987, is one of the listed prisons identified by the Government in April 2013 for potential closure. H M Prison Dartmoor is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, which wishes to consider the various options for its future use. In order to assist the Duchy with this process, Historic England has offered to review the current prison designations, to identify structures within each site warranting designation, and to provide enhanced List entries covering those structures. These revised designations will use the new provision for listing brought into force by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, which allows for the extent of listing on a site to be legally defined.
The outer gateway to Dartmoor Prison is being considered for an amendment; the flanking wall, and the two houses standing to south and north of the gateway (currently not listed), are being assessed for addition to the List.
After examining all the records and other relevant information and having carefully considered the architectural and historic interest of this case, the criteria for listing at Grade II remain fulfilled, and an amendment to the listing to include the flanking walls, houses, and northern outbuilding is appropriate. The list entry is therefore recommended for an amendment to better define where special interest lies, to incorporate new information and to bring it in line with current standards and formatting.
REASON FOR DESIGNATION DECISION
The list entry for the outer gateway at H M Prison Dartmoor, is recommended for an amendment for the following principal reasons:
* Clarity: in order to clarify the extent of listing and where the special interest of the building expresses
itself most clearly;
* Extension of the designation: the flanking walls, houses, and northern outbuilding are of special
interest and should be included in the listing;
* Updating the designation base: the list entry should be amended to reflect new information and
current standards and practice.


Historic England, 2016, H M Prison Dartmoor: Outer Gateway with Walls, Flanking Houses and northern outbuilding (Cartographic). SDV359418.


Historic England, 2016, H M Prison Dartmoor: Outer Gateway with Walls, Flanking Houses and northern outbuilding, H M Prison, Dartmoor, Princetown, Yelverton (Correspondence). SDV359419.


Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Depicted on the modern mapping.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

Prison outer gateway with flanking walls and houses. Circa 1806-9, the houses having later alterations and additions.
GATEWAY
MATERIALS: the bases of the arch are large blocks of granite; the piers are of coursed granite ashlar, and the arch is formed from dressed blocks of alternating pink and brown granite.
DESCRIPTION: the head of the arch takes the form of a semi-hexagon. In a recessed panel at the centre are carved the words "PARCERE SUBJECTIS", taken from Virgil’s Aeneid (VI.851), and meaning ‘Spare the vanquished’ – a reminder of the site’s first use for prisoners of war. There is a simple bead moulding around the inside and outside of the arch.
FLANKING WALLS
MATERIALS: the walls are of coursed granite rubble, with a curved granite capping. Set into the western face of the wall, to the north of the gateway, is a drinking fountain, fed directly from the reservoir to the west (qv). The fountain takes the form of an arched embrasure made up of large granite blocks, with a projecting basin, and a hood with a rounded edge.
HOUSES
MATERIALS: rendered and painted granite, with painted granite quoins. The roofs are slated. The chimney stacks which originally rose from either end of the main ranges have been removed. The horned sash windows are later replacements.
SOUTHERN HOUSE (HISTORICALLY THE GOVERNOR’S HOUSE)
PLAN: the principal elevation faces outwards from the prison, to the west. The original rectangular range of the house is set on a rectangular north/south alignment, with a projecting central porch. Early images of the prison do not provide a consistent account of the form taken by additions to the building, but there appears to have been a wing extending eastwards from the centre of the main range from an early stage, containing rooms including the agent’s and clerks’ offices, now modified, and there is an additional extension to the south, on the site of the original canted washhouse.
EXTERIOR: the main range of the house is of five bays over two storeys, under a pitched roof. In the centre of the principal elevation is the slated porch, with the entrance to the north, and window openings in the other faces. The three-bay southern extension is on the same plane as the principal elevation, and is of also of two storeys, but lower in height. The rear wing consists of a single storey section, with a two-storey, three-bay block to the east, covered by a hipped roof, with a central porch.
INTERIOR: the interior was not inspected (2015), but is thought to have been much altered.
NORTHERN HOUSE (HISTORICALLY THE SURGEON’S HOUSE)
PLAN: the principal elevation faces outwards from the prison, to the west. The original rectangular range of the house is set on a rectangular north/south alignment, with a projecting central porch. Early images of the prison do not provide a consistent account of the form taken by additions to the building, but there appears to have been a wing extending eastwards from the centre of the main range from an early stage, now modified, and there is an additional extension to the north, on the site of the original canted washhouse.
EXTERIOR: the main range of the house is of five bays over two storeys, under a hipped roof (early images of the prison suggest the roofs of both houses were originally pitched). In the centre of the principal elevation is the slated porch, with the entrance to the south, and window openings in the other faces. The two-bay southern extension is on the same plane as the principal elevation, and is of also of two storeys, but lower in height. The rear wing is also of two storeys: the western section – of a single bay – being of the same height as the main range; the eastern four bay section has quoins to the eastern end, as on the main range, and there is a projecting porch to the south, also with quoins.
INTERIOR: the interior has been much altered, and retains few historic features, though there is a late-C19 staircase.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURE
Standing to the north-west of the former surgeon’s house is a single-storey granite building. This is visible on the illustration of 1810, and the plan of 1847 shows the building as containing a stable with three stalls, a coach house, and a cow house, opening on to a small enclosed yard; an equivalent block was provided for the governor to the south, but this has now gone. The building was used in the later C20 as a plant-fitter’s shop.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV249910Report - Assessment: Turton, S. D.. 1993. Archaeological Assessment of SWW Dousland to Rundlestone Water Main. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 93.06. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5.
SDV266265List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Lydford. Historic Houses Register. A4 Bound. 32.
SDV359244Correspondence: Historic England. 2015. Outer Gateway to Dartmoor Prison. HMP Dartmoor, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6RR. Amendment to List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interes.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped features: #91497 ; #91498 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV359418Cartographic: Historic England. 2016. H M Prison Dartmoor: Outer Gateway with Walls, Flanking Houses and northern outbuilding. Listing Amendment Map. Digital.
SDV359419Correspondence: Historic England. 2016. H M Prison Dartmoor: Outer Gateway with Walls, Flanking Houses and northern outbuilding, H M Prison, Dartmoor, Princetown, Yelverton. Letter. Digital.
SDV359420Report - Assessment: Historic England. 2016. H M Prison Dartmoor: Outer Gateway Case Report. Historic England. Digital.
SDV359840Report - Assessment: Brodie, A.. 2015. Devon, Lydford, Princetown, HMP Dartmoor. Historic England. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV42843Related to: Dartmoor Prison reservoir, Princetown (Monument)
MDV15309Related to: Dartmoor Prison, Princetown (Building)
MDV114498Related to: Dartmoor Prison: Polygonal buildings, former officers' mess and former steward's house (Building)
MDV42841Related to: Prison wall and inner gateway, Princetown (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7115 - Assessment of the buildings at Princetown Prison, Dartmoor

Date Last Edited:Nov 1 2016 10:24AM