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HER Number:MDV43873
Name:Still House, Tavistock Abbey

Summary

Medieval Still House tower at the junction of the west and south precinct walls of Tavistock Abbey. Converted into a summerhouse or gazebo in the late 19th century, some of its features are of this date.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 481 742
Map Sheet:SX47SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTavistock
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SE/1/10
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 93391
  • Old SAM County Ref: 96
  • Old SAM Ref: 29679

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TOWER (Early Medieval to XIX - 1066 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Iles, R., 16/01/1998, Tavistock Abbey (Correspondence). SDV358814.


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

'Still House' shown on 19th century map as a small square building at the junction of the western and southern walls of Tavistock Abbey precinct.


Ministry of Works, 1924, Tavistock Abbey Ruins (Schedule Document). SDV344377.

A small tower standing on the Precincts Wall. It has been repaired and reroofed for use as a summerhouse. It is locally known as the Still House and is perhaps a part of the Infirmary buildings. From here the Precincts Wall runs for a considerable distance east and west along the bank of the River Tavy, for part of this distance the old walk along the top of the wall is well preserved.


Reed, H., 1927, Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter, 21-22 (Article in Serial). SDV249288.

A small tower standing on the precinct wall has been repaired and reroofed for use as a summerhouse. It is locally known as the Still House, and is perhaps a part of the infirmary buildings of the Abbey. From this, the precincts wall runs for a considerable distance east and west along the bank of the river Tavy.


Devon County Council, 1975, Tavistock Town Walk, 91 (Article in Monograph). SDV352474.


Department of Environment, 1983, Tavistock, 2 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV272550.

Still House and Abbey Wall. Medieval. Small square tower in south east corner of Vicarage garden. Perhaps part of the infirmary buildings. About 20 foot (6.1 metres) high. Granite with crenellated parapet and four centred arched windows with hood moulding and spandrels, one with cinquefoil facing the river.


Turton, S. D. + Weddell, P. J., 1991, Archaeological Assessment of Four Areas of Land Adjoining the River Tavy and Plymouth Road, Tavistock, 5; figure 2; plate 3. (Report - Assessment). SDV256444.

Small, square granite tower known as the Still House. Marks south west corner of abbey precinct. Woolner suggests it was used for distilling medicinal herbs from the herb-garden to the north. It may therefore have been part of the infirmary. Repaired and reroofed for use as summerhouse in 1884.


The Tavistock and District Local History Society, 1994, About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks, 10, 23, 34 (Monograph). SDV354806.


Freeman, M. + Wans, J., 1996, Tavistock Abbey: Alternative Interpretations, 17-34 (Article in Serial). SDV249301.


Exeter Archaeology, 1997, Archaeological Assessment of Tavistock Sewer Overflows Scheme, 4 (Report - Assessment). SDV344347.


Salvatore, J. P., 1999, 144445. (Personal Comment). SDV256388.

At the junction of the south and west precinct walls in the extreme south west corner is a small, square, two-storeyed tower known as the Still Tower or Still House which is a Grade II Listed Building. It is about 6 metres high and 4.8 metres square, built of Hurdwick stone, shillet, and some granite, with a crenellated parapet. Although it may be pre-15th century, the use of granite in an original doorway suggests the probability of a later date. The tower was converted into a summerhouse or gazebo in the late 19th century and some of its features are of this date.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2001, Tavistock Abbey (Schedule Document). SDV344375.

At the junction of the south and west precinct walls in the extreme south-west corner is a small square, two storied tower known as the Still Tower or Still House which is a Grade II Listed Building. It is about 6 metres high and 4.8 metres square, built of Hurdwick stone, shillet and some granite, with a crenellated parapet. Although it may be pre-15th century, the use of granite in an original doorway suggests the probability of a later date. The tower was converted into a summerhouse or gazebo in the late 19th century and some of its features are of this date.


Blaylock, S. R., 2001, Tavistock Abbey: Further Recording of the Standing Fabric (Report - non-specific). SDV256395.

The internal elevations of the Still Tower were recorded in 2001 and it was included in the digital survey of the standing remains of Tavistock Abbey.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2005, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV323720.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted, subject to conditions, for proposed works to the Abbey Still Tower, concerning affixing a 12 inch Heritage Building plaque. The plaque is to read ' Abbey Still House. Marking one of the corners of the Abbey precinct, the Still Tower was where the monks distilled, for medicinal purposes, herbs from their nearby garden. It was restored in 1884'.


West Devon Borough Council, 2009, Tavistock Conservation Area Management Plan, 11, 21, 40 (Report - non-specific). SDV351411.

Repairs are needed to some of the abbey remains, including the Still House.


Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.


Rodwell, K. A., 30/06/1995, A Survey of Tavistock Abbey Precinct Wall, 1 (Report - Survey). SDV256456.

The Still House is shown in Delafontaine's prospect of Tavistock of 1741 with a pyramidal roof. The building was described in 1832 as very ruinous, and was restored in 1884 as a summerhouse.


Copeland, G. W., c1965, Photos (Record Office Collection). SDV358497.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV249288Article in Serial: Reed, H.. 1927. Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 21-22.
SDV249301Article in Serial: Freeman, M. + Wans, J.. 1996. Tavistock Abbey: Alternative Interpretations. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 128. A5 Paperback. 17-34.
SDV256388Personal Comment: Salvatore, J. P.. 1999. 144445.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Unknown.
SDV256395Report - non-specific: Blaylock, S. R.. 2001. Tavistock Abbey: Further Recording of the Standing Fabric. Exeter Archaeology Report. 01.82. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV256444Report - Assessment: Turton, S. D. + Weddell, P. J.. 1991. Archaeological Assessment of Four Areas of Land Adjoining the River Tavy and Plymouth Road, Tavistock. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 91.33. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5; figure 2; plate 3..
SDV256456Report - Survey: Rodwell, K. A.. 30/06/1995. A Survey of Tavistock Abbey Precinct Wall. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1.
SDV272550List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Tavistock. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 2.
SDV323720Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2005. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #91973 ]
SDV344347Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 1997. Archaeological Assessment of Tavistock Sewer Overflows Scheme. Exeter Archaeology Report. 97.02. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4.
SDV344375Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2001. Tavistock Abbey. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV344377Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. 1924. Tavistock Abbey Ruins. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV351411Report - non-specific: West Devon Borough Council. 2009. Tavistock Conservation Area Management Plan. West Devon Borough Council Report. a4 Stapled + Digital. 11, 21, 40.
SDV352474Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Tavistock Town Walk. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 91.
SDV354806Monograph: The Tavistock and District Local History Society. 1994. About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks. About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks. A5 Paperback. 10, 23, 34.
SDV358497Record Office Collection: Copeland, G. W.. c1965. Photos. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV358814Correspondence: Iles, R.. 16/01/1998. Tavistock Abbey. Letter. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV3919Part of: Tavistock Abbey (Monument)
MDV43875Related to: South Precinct Wall of Tavistock Abbey (Building)
MDV43874Related to: Wall south-west of Still House, Tavistock Abbey (Building)
MDV43872Related to: West Precinct Wall at Tavistock Abbey (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4597 - Assessment of Tavistock Sewer Overflow Scheme

Date Last Edited:Jul 28 2015 9:34AM