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HER Number:MDV7247
Name:Welle, or Langwell, House, Dodbrooke


Georgian house incorporating the remains of an earlier building, including a gatehouse of possibly 16th century date.


Grid Reference:SX 736 445
Map Sheet:SX74SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishKingsbridge
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishDODBROOKE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX74SW/15
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 431621
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX74SW4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (XIV to XVIII - 1301 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Wood, J., 1841, Plan of the Parish and Environs of Kingsbridge (Cartographic). SDV336838.

Referred to as 'Longwell House' on Kingsbridge parish plan of 1841.

Fox, S. P., 1864, Untitled Source, 61-62 (Monograph). SDV176538.

Unknown, 1895, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV348884.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

'Mansion (Remains of)' shown. Map object based on this Source.

Davies, W., 1908 - 1909, Some Notes on the Ancient Records Preserved in Kingsbridge Church., 104 (Article in Serial). SDV141009.

The chapel of St Mary 'atte Wylle' was consecrated for divine service by Bishop Stafford in 1403. This chapel was probably connected with the then stately mansion at Langewylle. There is now Langwell or Well House on the same site.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950 - 1980, SX74SW4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV348882.

Welle House remains of a medieval mansion.
Site visit 15th December 1952. The gatehouse or porch is of thin sandstone slabs, with a rounded entrance archway constructed with jambs leaning slightly outwards towards the top. The window above the archway is modern but with a granite lintel. A small slit window is in each side of the porch. The archway at other end of the gatehouse is pointed. A Tudor doorway is built into the main part of the house. Most of the house is roughcast and with modern windows. Remains are in good condition. Other details: Photograph.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 121 (Monograph). SDV336217.

The remains of the house of Champernowne family, especially gatehouse. Welle house itself is Georgian.

Copeland, G. W., 1956, Old Houses Viewed in 1955 by the Plymouth Branch, 285-286 (Article in Serial). SDV149390.

Alterations in the 18th century and after a fire in circa 1830 have swept away much late medieval work, but many interesting features remain. First mentioned in 1390, when the chapel was licensed. Said to have belonged to Buckfast Abbey and to have existed in some form as early as the 12th century. L-shaped with an additional wing extending north. The original windows have disappeared except in the porch. The porch, of gatehouse proportions, is almost in the centre of the east side and may well have been built in 1390, as the upper chamber bears evidence of having been an oratory. It has an open timber waggon roof, with moulded timbers, and large chamfered single lights in each wall, with shouldered heads. The outer arch below is well moulded. Within are stone benches, and on each side is a narrow slit broadly splayed internally. Of the ceiling some of the original moulded timbers remain, and the inner arch is original. Two short flights of stairs lead down into a small court with a good original four centred stone doorway at the foot of the steps, with carved spandrils and carved stops to the label. In the angle between the south and north west wings is a four centred doorway which admits to the cellar in two compartments and a circular staircase, which rises in a round turret to the top of the house. This turret has a small light to its upper stage, and there is a larger light near the base. In the wall between the two cellar rooms is a long rectangular window, with the remains of a six light oak frame. At one end of the passage from the landing is the springer of a stone doorway, now hidden in a cupboard and at the other end is an unusual chamfered oak doorway, with an ogee head. Other older features include a wide open fireplace, with a long chamfered oak lintel, and an oven opening, and another old open fireplace with a semi hexagonal stone head in the lintel, and a blocked flue said to have been a hide. In a kind of pantry is an iron barred stone window with a semi hexagonal head said to communicate with this hide. The chimney of this fireplace has a fine stack which rises through the upper floors, where it is possible to walk around it.

Brown, T., 1966, Holy and Notable Wells in Devon, Part VI, 155 (Article in Serial). SDV338662.

Dodbrooke, Langwell House: 'La Wyll', 1601. Traditional holy spring said to be curative.

Department of Environment, 1972, Kingsbridge, 43 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV141018.

Welle House, Wallingford Road. Probably 16th century, gatehouse, incorporated in present house which has a two storey Georgian front to the garden. Originally the seat of the Champernowne family, the remainder of the ancient house has been demolished. The gatehouse has a round arch, with very massive double-ovolo mould, facing east and gable to room above with small casement window.

Exeter Archaeology, 2000, Archaeological Assessment of Kingsbridge Lower School, Fosse Road, Kingsbridge, 2-3 (Report - Assessment). SDV336305.

Fox, writing in 1874, suggested the site had been associated with a holy spring or well and that it may have had monastic origins. Welle House has been demolished recently.

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

Map object based on this Source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV141009Article in Serial: Davies, W.. 1908 - 1909. Some Notes on the Ancient Records Preserved in Kingsbridge Church.. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 5. Unknown. 104.
SDV141018List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1972. Kingsbridge. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 43.
SDV149390Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1956. Old Houses Viewed in 1955 by the Plymouth Branch. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 88. A5 Hardback. 285-286.
SDV176538Monograph: Fox, S. P.. 1864. Kingsbridge Estuary. Unknown. 61-62.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 121.
SDV336305Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2000. Archaeological Assessment of Kingsbridge Lower School, Fosse Road, Kingsbridge. Exeter Archaeology Report. 00.08. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2-3.
SDV336838Cartographic: Wood, J.. 1841. Plan of the Parish and Environs of Kingsbridge. Photocopy.
SDV338662Article in Serial: Brown, T.. 1966. Holy and Notable Wells in Devon, Part VI. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 98. A5 Paperback. 155.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV348882Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950 - 1980. SX74SW4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV348884Article in Serial: Unknown. 1895. Western Morning News. Newspaper/Magazine Cuttin.

Associated Monuments

MDV63976Related to: Former Gardens of Langwell House, Dodbrooke (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 2 2012 12:54PM