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HER Number:MDV75034
Name:The Keep, 17 Mount Boone, Dartmouth


House, built in 1850 to look like a medieval castle, in a prominent position on a steep hillside facing south-east towards the mouth of the estuary. The main block is two storey with three storey turrets and crenellated parapets.


Grid Reference:SX 873 515
Map Sheet:SX85SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishTOWNSTAL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 387298

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of National Heritage, 1994, Dartmouth, 173-4 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV157498.

House set in its own grounds, 1850, according to the deeds, with extensive repair and modernisation in the 1970s. Brown-coloured local stone rubble with red brick and some cream-coloured sandstone dressings (rear service rooms are rendered); rendered chimneyshafts with large castellated crests; asbestos slate roof. Plan: Front block has a 2-room plan, flanked by large corner drum turrets; another drum turret immediately behind the right corner turret is the entrance hall and contains the main stair. A corridor runs from the entrance hall behind the front rooms separating the principal rooms from the original service rooms behind. Exterior: Gothick in style. 2 storeys with attics and 3-storey turrets; nearly-symmetrical 0:3:1 window front. The left corner turret has blind vertical slits. The centre, the main block, has large pointed-arch openings lined with red brick and with moulded stone cranked-arch hoodmoulds. The windows are all arch-headed with glazing bars and margin panes, but the left bay contains casements with fixed pane heads, ground-floor right is double French windows, and the rest are horned sashes. Right corner turret contains similar sash windows, the ground-floor one with an arch-headed hoodmould; plain casements with glazing bars to the third floor. Turrets and front have crenellated parapets, the turrets rise higher and the parapets are now rendered. The same style is carried round to the right side, the entrance front. The entrance turret contains a square-headed doorway under a timber flat hood with reeded edges supported on a pair of reused 17th century oriel brackets carved as animals. Timber doorframe a pointed arch with simple surround and spandrels, containing studded plank door with good original wrought-ironwork. Stair window above a tall lancet with top Y-tracery. Similar window to rear for service stair, the lower part blocked by late 20th century lean-to extension. Rendered service block contains various sash and casement windows with glazing bars. Hipped parallel roofs connected by kitchen wing roof. Interior: Main entrance through the `cupboard' lobby under the stairs. Circular stair has open string and is late 17th century in style with large turned newel posts and balusters, curtail step and a large moulded handrail in several sections, as if the builder had great difficulty accommodating the curve and the ramps. Rest of the house has standard Victorian detail; panelled doors, plaster reeded cornices, at least one marble chimneypiece and stick-baluster service stair (close to the service bells), etc. Service courtyard and boundary walls: cobbled yard to the southwest of the kitchen range with single storey former coach house beyond (now converted to a garage). Tall wall separates coach house from the garden (set well back from the house front) and continues with crenellated parapet as gable end of coach house. Front gable end onto road contains loading hatch. Boundary wall to Mount Boone contains 2 gateways and an arch-headed doorway - all plain timber, some rebuilt as they were, and all with good original ferramenta. History: Built to look like a medieval castle in a prominent position on a steep hillside facing south-east towards the mouth of the estuary. The owner has the documents, including the original lease from H P Seale to J W Wooldridge dated 1850 and stipulating that the house should cost no less than £3000.

Ordnance Survey, 2009, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV341569.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV157498List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of National Heritage. 1994. Dartmouth. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 173-4.
SDV341569Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2009. MasterMap. MasterMap. Digital. [Mapped feature: #102244 ]

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 18 2013 8:43AM