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HER Number:MDV7212
Name:St Thomas More School, Fallapit House


St Thomas More School at Fallapit House built in the 19th century on the site of a Medieval manor house to the northwest of East Allington


Grid Reference:SX 763 489
Map Sheet:SX74NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishEast Allington
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishEAST ALLINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX74NE/7
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 99829

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (XIV to XXI - 1301 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Karkeek, P. Q., 1877, Sir Edmund Fortescue and the siege of Fort Charles, 336 (Article in Serial). SDV155984.

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

'Fallapit House' and 'Manor House (Site of)' shown on 19th century map.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 318 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Fallapit or Fallopit House; the family seat of the Fortescues until the mid 19th century; Sir Edmund was born there in 1610.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1961, SX74NE1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV341885.

The main doorway in the centre of the north east side and an archway in a wall jutting from the north east corner of the present house seem to have been re-used from an earlier building. Other fragments of windows from the earlier building lie in the garden. It is possible that the present house occupies the same position as the first house. Other details: Illustration.

Department of Environment, 1991, East Allington (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV339935.

Fallapit House (St Thomas More's School) including arch adjoining to the north east. House, now used as a school rebuilding of the medieval house in 1810-15 and incorporating some 16th and 17th century features remodelled and enlarged and enlarged again in the mid and later 20th century. Coursed stone rubble with a steeply pitched slate roof with shaped barge boards to verges of half-hipped gable ends and exposed rafter ends to eaves. Axial stacks with diagonally set brick shafts. Plan and development: The existing house has a front (north-east) main range with 2 principal rooms and a central vestibule leading to a stairhall behind in a central wing flanked by two wings, the left hand wing containing the famous ballroom and the right hand wing the services. This arrangement is largely the result of a substantial remodelling and enlargement in 1849 of the earlier 19th century (1810-15) house of which the rear wings might be part. In 1947 the house became a school and the rear wings were extended. The Headmaster's accommodation was built in the left side later in the 20th century. The house is built near the site of the ancient Fortescue house a few fragments of which are incorporated. The medieval house was still standing in 1727 when Edmund Prideaux depicted it in a drawing as a large medieval hall facing a courtyard flanked by what looks like later ranges. Exterior: 2 storeys and attic. Symmetrical 2:1:2 window east front, centre advanced and gabled both reused moulded 4-centred arch granite doorway, granite string and oriel on reused carved brackets. There is also a reused moulded granite string at ground floor window sill level. The windows have been replaced in the 20th century but original with straight hoodmoulds intact 19th century panelled and glazed Gothick door at centre. The right and left hand ends of the front range have full-height later canted bays. On the right hand (north east) corner a carriageway with a moulded granite 4-centred arch from the old house with a hoodmould and arms above and butresses and pinnacle at end. The left hand (north) elevation has polygonal stair turret at centre with arrow loop and wooden cupola; 2 windows to right similar to those at front and 4 centred arch windows to left. The right hand (north) elevation has similar window to those at front except for one ground floor window which retains 19th century mullion-transom frame and had arid above on carved brackets; and in the roof a row of hipped dormers 20th century extensions at rear but central gable has 4-centered arch stair window. Interior: The entrance vestibule has fine late 16th or early 17th century panelling with arcaded panels, strapwork cartouches with arms, carved anthemion and other motifs; the frieze has trailing vines, rosettes and Pegasus carving and a complicated guilloche motif. Apart from one 18th century 2-panel door in the service wing all the other features are 19th century. There are numerous early 19th century panelled doors and the servants staircase is also 19th century. The stairhall and landing above have large moulded 4-centred arches with clustered shafts. The open-well, open-string staircase has arcaded thick balusters and moulded mahogany handrail wreathed over clustered shafts at curtail and tread ends with quatrefoils and mouchesttes. The front left hand room has moulded modillain cornice and late 19th century Devon marble chimneypiece with colonnettes. The front right hand room has triple 4-centred arch chimneypiece. Rear left hand ballroom (now commonroom) has colonaded screen at back. Rear right hand room in rear left hand wing has Gothick moulded plaster frieze, moulded plaster brackets on ornate corbels and brown marble chimneypiece a front left first floor room is probably 19th century. Historical note: The Fallapit or Valeput family possessed the estate from the end of the 13th century or earlier. It passed to the Fortescues at the beginning of the 15th century: In 1734 on the death of Edmund Nananiel Wells whose eldest son took the name Fortescue. It stayed in the Fortescue family until the mid 19th century and was sold to William Cubitt (of the London building firm fame) who might have been responsible for the 1849 remodelling. In 1925 the estate was bought by Lord Ashcombe. During the Second World War it was used by American servicemen and in 1947 it became a school. Sources: Thomas (Fortescue) Lord Clermont, A History of the Family of Fortescue, 1989 Edmund Prideaux, drawing of 1727 now at Prideaux Place, Cornwall. Whites Directory 1878. Sales Particulars of 1925. W G Hoskins Devon. Other details: LBS Number 99829.

Humphreys, C., 2000, Fallapit House, East Allington, Archaeological Assessment, 4-8 (Report - Assessment). SDV341887.

Nicholas Pearson Associates, 2000, Fallapit House: Landscape Proposals, 5-8 (Report - Assessment). SDV341886.

The 'Falepitte' family are traceable from 1332 until the mid 15th century when the 'Fortescue' family became residents. A stylistic plan of East Allington cirrca 1600 shows 'Vallapit House' a mansion with outer courtyard with gatehouse and inner courtyard with domestic buildings. The plan also shows a probable deer park and warren to the east and a mill to the southeast. A hearth tax paid on 18 hearths at Fallapit in 1674 indicates a substantial house and probably includes extensive lodgings and service buildings. A drawing of 1727 shows a medieval hall flanked by 2 protruding wings. There is reference to a new house built circa 1815 and the 1839 Tithe Map shows the new house to the southwest of the old house. The new house was enlarged in 1849 and 19th century maps show the 'Site of Manor House'. The house has also been referred to as 'Great Valleput' in 1624 and 'Fallowpit' in 1809 map.

Parker, R., 2008, Archaeological Building Recording at Fallapit House, East Allington (Report - Survey). SDV341888.

Fallapit House is the site of a Medieval manorial settlement. The present house may incorporate earlier fabric but mainly dates to the early 19th century. The house is reputed to have suffered a severe fire in the 1840s and was subsequently reconstructed and enlarged. The house was acquired by St Thomas More's School after the Second World War when alterations and extensions were undertaken. The house has since been restored to its 19th century appearance.

Gaimster, M., 2009, Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Isles in 2008 (Article in Serial). SDV352753.

R. Parker and J. Allan (Exeter Archaeology) studied this country house and its grounds in the course of major structural changes (Fig. 6). Reset architectural fragments including a richly carved early 17th-century wooden screen survive from the medieval and later manor house of the Fortescue family, recorded in a map of c. 1600 and drawn by Edmund Prideaux in 1727. This was entirely rebuilt c. 1815 in a picturesque evocation of an Elizabethan house with a compact square plan, which underwent changes c. 1850, notably the enlargement of the service range. Further extensions, with glasshouses and changes to the estate, were made after 1869 for William Cubitt, son of the London builder.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV155984Article in Serial: Karkeek, P. Q.. 1877. Sir Edmund Fortescue and the siege of Fort Charles. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 9. A5 Hardback. 336.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 318.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV339935List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1991. East Allington. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV341885Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1961. SX74NE1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV341886Report - Assessment: Nicholas Pearson Associates. 2000. Fallapit House: Landscape Proposals. Nicholas Pearson Associates Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5-8.
SDV341887Report - Assessment: Humphreys, C.. 2000. Fallapit House, East Allington, Archaeological Assessment. Southwest Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4-8.
SDV341888Report - Survey: Parker, R.. 2008. Archaeological Building Recording at Fallapit House, East Allington. Exeter Archaeology Report. 08.73. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV352753Article in Serial: Gaimster, M.. 2009. Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Isles in 2008. Post Medieval Archaeology, p359 -423. 43/2. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV7213Parent of: COAT OF ARMS in the Parish of East Allington (Monument)
MDV63576Related to: Deerpark (Monument)
MDV108502Related to: Fallapit Park and Gardens (Park/Garden)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4438 - Archaeological Building Recording at Fallapit House

Date Last Edited:Nov 20 2014 2:54PM