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HER Number:MDV7235
Name:Old Stones, Pay Cottage and School Cottage


Three cottages formerly an almshouse or church house. Circa early 16th century with a late 18th century addition.


Grid Reference:SX 724 438
Map Sheet:SX74SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWest Alvington
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishWEST ALVINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX74SW/9
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 100901

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHURCH HOUSE (XVI to XVIII - 1501 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

PEARSON, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV11952.

According to the records of the charity commissioners of 1818 there were then two houses, one a poorhouse (pearson).

DOE 1960, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV141541.

Pay cottage is a 16th century building. It appears to have combined the function of church house and alms house, and was later used as a poorhouse (doe 1960).

ALCOCK, CITING COUTIN, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV141543.

Possible cruck recorded (alcock citing mrs k. Coutin).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV141545.

Copeland, g. W. /tda/92(1960)139-140/devonshire church-houses, part 1.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV141546.

Doe/hhr:kingsbridge rd/(1960)42.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV141547.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV141548.

Pearson, j. B. /tda/32(1900)211/church houses in devon.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV141549.

Alcock, n. W. /cruck construction(cba res rep 42)(1981)113.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV141550.

Doe/hhr:west alvington(19/2/1990)128.

COPELAND, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV33318.

Church house now known as a poorhouse. Separated from the church by the public road. Of local stone and well finished. A passage through from north to south has a pointed arch at each end of south hams type. Similar doorway on the south side towards the west. Remains of about 5 shouldered chamfered windows; also a prominent chimney breast with a rectangular stack. North is a round headed window of south hams type, probably intended for an upper doorway reached by a flight of external stairs to the parish room. To the east is an upper granite window of 4 lights with elliptical heads, and ovolo moulds; it is in 2 bays. Similar windowframe towards the centre. Distinct traces of about 3 chamfered shouldered windows, with heads of the caernarvon type. They are usually associated with the late 13th century but seem to have been copied in south devon for long after that period. The walls have chamfered plinths.(copeland).

Ordnance Survey, 2015, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV357601.

English Heritage, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV357602.

3 cottages formerly almshouse/church house. Circa early C16 with late C18 addition. Slate stone rubble walls, roughly coursed at the front. Gable ended slate roof with Victorian decorative ridge tiles, hipped roof to front wing. 2 brick gable end stacks, one at side of front wing and stubby rendered rubble lateral stack at front. Plan: original plan or room use not entirely clear due to later subdivisions but may have been built as 3 cottages on the ground floor with one large public room above. A through-passageway runs from front to back left of centre with the doorways to Old Stones and Pay Cottage opening off it. School Cottage has an original outside doorway at the rear and a small wing at the back which may have been either a garderobe or staircase wing. At the front of it a late C18 parlour wing was built on. There appears originally to have been external access to the first floor judging from the doorways that exist at both front and rear, although the steps have gone. Either the front or the rear lateral stack would have heated this floor. Exterior: 2 storeys, Asymmetrical 5 window front with partly slate-hung wing projecting from right-hand end of School Cottage. Most windows to main range are 2 or 3-light circa late C19 casements. The ground floor windows are in original chamfered openings, the 2 left-hand ones with shouldered heads. On the first floor the left-hand window is an original 4-light moulded stone mullion with 4- centred heads and leaded panes. The window to right of centre was probably the same but its mullions have been removed and only the jambs survive. Between these two is a window in what was formerly an original doorway with a roundheaded voussoir arch. Below it is an identical doorway with C20 plank door. The wing of School Cottage has 2 replacement 16-pane sash windows on its front face and a leanto porch against its inner face with a hall door. The rear elevation has a very small gabled wing at the left-hand end, 2 similar roundheaded doorways on the ground floor; one towards left-hand end and one to rear of passageway. The latter has an identical doorway, now a window, above it to the right. To the left of these doorways is a projecting rubble stack cut off at the eaves. Several of the windows are in original chamfered openings with shouldered heads. Interior: Pay Cottage has unstopped chamfered cross beams. Original roof survives over whole range consisting of 6 bays (2 missing) of substantial principals, some with curved feet and some side pegged jointed crucks, with plain morticed cambered collars and threaded purlins. Although darkened in colour the timbers are unlikely to be smoke blackened. This is an interesting survival of a late medieval building, of a type fairly characteristic of this area (q.v. South Milton and Thurlestone) which remains surprisingly unspoilt externally and, unusually for South Devon, retains its medieval roof structure.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV11952Migrated Record: PEARSON.
SDV141541Migrated Record: DOE 1960.
SDV141543Migrated Record: ALCOCK, CITING COUTIN.
SDV141545Migrated Record:
SDV141546Migrated Record:
SDV141547Migrated Record:
SDV141548Migrated Record:
SDV141549Migrated Record:
SDV141550Migrated Record:
SDV33318Migrated Record: COPELAND.
SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #99868 ]
SDV357602National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jan 6 2015 3:41PM