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HER Number:MDV62052
Name:Drill Hall, Newport Street, Tiverton


Drill Hall built in the mid 19th century, used as such until 1912, then converted into a cinema in 1917.


Grid Reference:SS 955 127
Map Sheet:SS91SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTiverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTIVERTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS91SE/392
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum Accession Number: 64/2008

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DRILL HALL (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

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

'Drill Hall (Volunteer)' shown.

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

Building marked as 'Cinema' on 1930s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map.

Ordnance Survey, 1972, Plan SS9412-9512 (Cartographic). SDV342145.

Building marked as 'Electric Theatre' on 1972 1:2500 Ordnance Survey map.

Gillard, M. + Green, T. + Humphreys, C., 2009, Electric Bingo Hall Site, Newport Street, Tiverton, Devon. Results of a Desk-Based Assessment, Archaeological Building Survey, Archaeological Evaluation and Excavation (Report - Survey). SDV342146.

The Electric Bingo Hall was built as a drill hall in the mid 19th century, on the site of earlier buildings, with occupation of the site dating back to at least the 13th century. It ceased to function as a drill hall in 1912 and was converted to a cinema known as the Electric Theatre in 1917. An Art Deco façade was added in 1932. The cinema closed down in the late 20th century and the building converted for use as a bingo club and snooker hall. It comprises a three storey brick building fronting onto Newport Street with a large two storey stone building behind. The art deco pedimented façade, which is finished with a cement render, was originally of symmetrical design of three bays, the central bay with the main entrance doorway stepped slightly forwards. The building was extended to the east in the 1930s with a similar, although not pedimented, façade.
Archaeological evaluation and excavation undertaken during redevelopment of the site revealed a number of pits and other features including a possible floor and wall footings of medieval date. Ceramics dating maingly to the 13th century but there was also one possible Saxo-Norman sherd. The excavations also revealed layers of rubble containing 17th century pottery, evidence of the demolition of houses in Newport Street during the Civil War when the defences of Tiverton Castle were expanded in the 1640s. A layer of cobbling that survived in much of the northeast corner of the site post-dated this demolition. See report for full details.

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

2014, The Drill Hall Project - Charting a Neglected Legacy, Tiverton; photo (Website). SDV356480.

Kelly's Directory, 1889, refers to Newport Street and in 1893 to E Company 3rd Volunteer Battalion Devonshire Regiment, Newport street.
Kelly's Directory, 1902, records 'The drill and public hall, erected by the volunteers of Tiverton, was opened in 1884, from plans prepared by Mr. Mitchell, of Southampton, and comprises a drill hall, armoury, and dwelling house for the sergeant instructor; the total outlay in respect of the hall and other portions of the premises was about £3,000; the walls are of Westleigh stone, pointed externally and plastered on the inside; the hall is 80 feet by 50 feet, and at the southern end is an alcove with platform, the arch overhead being 15 feet radius with a plaster mouldings, turned to carry the gable end and roof, and the roof is domed so as to carry sound to the hall; on either side are retiring rooms, which, together with the back of the platform, are built of brick; the front of the building is of red brick, with Bath stone dressings; it will hold 1,250 persons; a small hall on the east side, 40 feet by 22 feet, and holding 150 persons, was erected in 1885.'

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV338879Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. Map (Digital).
SDV342145Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1972. Plan SS9412-9512. Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map. Map (Paper).
SDV342146Report - Survey: Gillard, M. + Green, T. + Humphreys, C.. 2009. Electric Bingo Hall Site, Newport Street, Tiverton, Devon. Results of a Desk-Based Assessment, Archaeological Building Survey, Archaeological Evaluation and Excavation. Southwest Archaeology Report. 090204. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV356480Website: 2014. The Drill Hall Project - Charting a Neglected Legacy. www.drillhalls.org. Website. Tiverton; photo.

Associated Monuments

MDV106671Related to: King Street Drill Hall, Tiverton (Monument)
MDV75284Related to: The Electric Theatre, Newport Road, Tiverton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4493 - Assessment, Survey and Excavation at the Electric Bingo Hall, Tiverton

Date Last Edited:Apr 8 2014 2:15PM