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HER Number:MDV74715
Name:6 Duke Street in The Butterwalk, Dartmouth


One of a row of 17th century merchants' houses, now a shop and the Dartmouth Museum, with accommodation above. Built end onto the street, with an ornate jettied timber-framed front over the Butterwalk, and originally backing onto the river.


Grid Reference:SX 877 514
Map Sheet:SX85SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishST.SAVIOURS

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 387230

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (Built, XVII - 1601 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 1972, Dartmouth, 17-18 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV155627.

Devon County Council, 1975, Dartmouth - Walk about in the Conservation Area & Exploring Dartmouth and Kingswear, 35, 37 (Article in Monograph). SDV352452.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

One of a row of merchants' houses, now a shop and the Dartmouth Museum, with accommodation above. The row is dated 1635 and 1640, some later 17th century improvements, various minor later alterations and a major renovation programme in the 1950s after severe bomb blast damage in 1943; David Nye and Partners of Westminster, London (architect), PW Wilkins and Sons Ltd. Of Torquay (builders). Mixed construction; stone side and back walls, front is an ornate display of timber-framing with slate-hung upper floor, and the walk carried on granite piers; stone rubble stacks with 20th century rendered brickchimneyshafts to front and rear of right party wall; slate roof. Plan: Built end onto the street, the ground plan is one room wide and 2 rooms deep with side passage along the right (eastern) side. No fireplace to front ground-floor room, because this was a shop. Newel stair in alcove in right party wall rises in centre of first floor where there was a small unheated room between the front and back rooms. Now there is a corridor to the first floor of No.8. Exterior: 3 storeys and attic; 3-window range. Ornate jettied timber-framed front forming part of a unified front comprising Nos 6-12 (even), the houses of the Dartmouth Butterwalk. The first floor oversails the Butterwalk and is supported on a carved bressummer on an arcade of granite piers with moulded capitals under blocks carved with geometric and heraldic motifs, one of them dated 1640. Recessed shop front is mid 20th century. First floor of exposed timber-framing. Central plastered section rebuilt and contains three 20th century horned 12-pane sashes (another 3 on the second floor and one to each floor on right-hand return). Original small-panel framing each side, the faces of the original timbers carved with strapwork patterns and guilloche. End posts (on party walls) carved as pairs of Ionic pilasters on pedestals under carved brackets supporting the second-floor jetty, but at right end there is now a single pilaster and no bracket. Jetty has carved fascia. Slate-hung above. Original gable demolished but present timber eaves cornice, carved with a kind of bead-and-reel, is probably original frieze-board. Gabled rear elevation is plastered and is mostly original; painted masonry under slate-hung gable contains various 20th century windows with glazing bars. The first-floor oriel is supported by reused 17th century brackets carved as griffin-like creatures. Interior: Exceptionally high quality and well-preserved. Original features include the newel stair which rises round a pine mast-like post, pine ovolo-moulded plank-and-muntin screens, small-field panelling, ornamental plaster ceilings of single and hollow rib designs, etc. The small closet on the first-floor landing with its grille of tiny turned posts may be secondary. Front parlour with overmantel featuring the arms of Charles II, who was entertained here in 1671. Rest of this room lined with original panelling except on the front where there is late 17th/early 18th century large-field panelling associated with the demolition of the original front oriel window and its replacement by the present 3-window arrangement. Rear parlour has introduced panelling. It also includes a curious small stone window in a curving alcove which appears to have served a second stair. Other 17th century features are probably hidden. Upper floors and roof not inspected. History: This house forms a unit of the Dartmouth Butterwalk, which is one of the finest rows of merchants' houses dating from the first half of the 17th century in England. The Butterwalk was built on reclaimed land as part of the same scheme which created the New Quay. The western half was leased to William Gurney in 1628, the eastern half was leased to Mark Hawkings. Both began to build, but in 1635 William Gurney sold his part to Hawkings who completed the row by 1640 at a cost of nearly £2500. The row originally continued one house further east; the Butterwalk arcade was of 13 granite piers and is now of 11. Backed onto river when originally built. (Freeman, Ray: Dartmouth and its Neighbours: Phillimore: 1990-: p80-83; Devon Buildings: Laithwaite, Michael: Town Houses up to 1660: Devon Books: 1990-: p113-5).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV155627List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1972. Dartmouth. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 17-18.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #101940 ]
SDV352452Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Dartmouth - Walk about in the Conservation Area & Exploring Dartmouth and Kingswear. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 35, 37.

Associated Monuments

MDV24855Part of: The Butterwalk, 6 to 12 Duke Street, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV8544Related to: 10 The Butterwalk, Duke Street, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV8545Related to: 12 Duke Street, The Butterwalk, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV74714Related to: 8 Duke Street in The Butterwalk, Dartmouth (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 21 2014 12:17PM