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HER Number:MDV49670
Name:Kelly College, Tavistock


Public school built between 1872-1874, with a west wing added in 1897. Founded by Admiral Kelly on land donated by the Duke of Bedford.


Grid Reference:SX 488 751
Map Sheet:SX47NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTavistock
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47NE/59
  • Old Listed Building Ref: 93546

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PUBLIC SCHOOL (XIX - 1872 AD to 1897 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, Notes (Un-published). SDV350314.

Kelly's College. Founded 1870 by Admiral Kelly on land given by the Duke of Bedford.

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

'Kelly College' marked.

The Tavistock and District Local History Society, 1994, About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks, 15 (Monograph). SDV354806.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Public school. 1872-4 by C F Hansom; west wing of 1897 by H J Snell. Built of dressed Hurdwick stone with buff limestone bands and dressings; stone- coped gabled slate roofs with diagonally-set brick flues to stone stacks. Elongated plan: main range with axial corridor and first floor chapel (originally Big School) flanked by west wing with chapel and long east range with rear gabled wings connected by covered passage to dormitory block and headmaster's house. Gothic Revival style. Two storeys. South-facing front of 5:6:5 bays has 2-light traceried windows to central range articulated by full-height buttresses and 3-light stone-mullioned and transomed Tudor-arched windows to outer wings; arched doorway to left. Double-gabled and symmetrical west elevation of 1897 has Tudor-style oriel window to first-floor left, and 3-light Gothic window to first-floor right and tall offset buttresses flanking central pointed-arched doorway with Gothic overlight. The outer wings of the rear elevation are treated in a similar Domestic Tudor style with some Gothic detail; the central range is in a more vigorous Gothic Revival style with a similar treatment to its front elevation but dominated by a 3-storey central projecting bay with a tall 3-light window, angle buttresses and a ground-floor pointed-arched arcade with richly-carved Early Gothic style capitals to cylindrical piers. Covered passage with similar capitals to pointed-arched arcade connects latter range to west block built as headmaster's house and dormitory block. This is of 2 storeys and attic with large gabled dormers: it is built in a Domestic Tudor style with sashes set in paired stone-mullioned Tudor- arched widows; one-bay projecting wing to south has square bay windows built as angled buttresses; large 3-light transomed stair window above open timber porch.
Interior: west block includes Minton tile floors, Gothic- style cornices and fireplaces and panelled doors and shutters. Main school range has ground-floor classrooms served by rear axial corridor with corbelled beams. Pointed arches to two stairwells which each have stone dog-leg stair with arched buttress ingeniously formed as balustrade with capped newels. At top of east stair has pointed moulded arch with ballflower stops to library which has 4-bay hammer-beam roof with arch braces and cast-iron columns with bell capitals to rear aisle. Chapel, built as Big School, has shafts with fine carved Gothic capitals to similar hammer-beam roof, a large Tudor-style fireplace with armorial panels to west, tall panelled dado, 20th century Gothic-style reredos and a tall pointed moulded arch with similar foliate capitals to 2 orders of shafts. Panelled doors and Tudor-style fireplaces. The school was never built to Hansom's original designs, which were of a grand scale and clearly modelled on Clifton College in Bristol and Malvern College.

Frederick Sherrell Limited, Apr 2012, Proposed Olympic Swimming Pool at Kelly College, Tavistock, Devon, 5 (Report - Assessment). SDV359540.

The site of the proposed new swimming pool has been part of the Kelly College gardens since before 1885 and little has changed. The current swimming baths, Newton House and Courtney House were built between 1885 and 1906. A small building in the western part of the site which was also built at this time was removed between 1906 and 1954. The tennis court is a more recent development.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #93550 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV350314Un-published: Unknown. Notes. A4 Stapled.
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. 15.
SDV359540Report - Assessment: Frederick Sherrell Limited. Apr 2012. Proposed Olympic Swimming Pool at Kelly College, Tavistock, Devon. Frederick Sherrell Ltd Report. 3751. Digital. 5.

Associated Monuments

MDV104158Related to: Courtenay House, Kelly College, Tavistock (Building)
MDV104156Related to: Entrance Lodge, Kelly College (Building)
MDV16801Related to: Newton House, Tavistock (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6940 - Desk Study Report for proposed Olympic Swimming Pool at Kelly College, Tavistock (Ref: 3751)

Date Last Edited:Apr 20 2016 10:44AM