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HER Number:MDV7874
Name:St. Lawrence's Chapel, Ashburton


Chantry Chapel, converted to Grammar School 1593-1983. 13th century; tower added early 16th century; nave rebuilt mid 18th century; schoolrooms added late 19th century and 1911.


Grid Reference:SX 757 698
Map Sheet:SX76NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishAshburton
Ecclesiastical ParishASHBURTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX76NE9
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 444728
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76NE/19
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76NE/19/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 376146

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHAPEL (Constructed, XIV to Late Medieval - 1314 AD (Between) to 1539 AD (Between))
  • CHANTRY CHAPEL (Constructed, XVI - 1540 AD (Between) to 1546 AD (Between))
  • GRAMMAR SCHOOL (Altered, Post Medieval to Late 20th Century - 1540 AD (Between) to 1983 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV296312.

Stephan, j. /tda/91(1959)112-117/some notes on ashburton grammar school.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV296313.

Satterly, h. /84(1952)29pl.3a/memories of ashburton in late victorian days.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV296314.

Copeland, g. W. /tda/83(1951)110/20th report of the plymouth and district branch.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV296315.

Worthy, c. /ashburton and its neighbourhood/(1875).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV296316.

Amery, p. F. S. /tda/8(1876)324-325/ashburton and the woolen trade.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV296317.

Hanham, h. J. /tda/94(1962)451/a tangle untangled: the lordship of the manor and borough of ashburton.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV296318.

Hanham, h. J. /tda/99(1967)112-113,114,116,117,118,127-129/the suppression of the chantries in ashburton.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV296319.

Doe/hhr:ashburton ud/(10/5/1973)36.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV296320.


Department of Environment, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV326375.

St. Lawrence's chapel. Mentioned in 1301, but must have existed earlier. As it was an episcopal chapel it did not require a licence and was not mentioned in the registers. On august 5 1314 bishop stapledon issued a charter founding st. Lawrence's chantry. On august 3 1371 bishop brantynghan confirmed stapledon's charter. The chapel may have been enlarged or rebuilt in this period. The chantry was suppressed after the act (1546-7), but the building was to continue in use as a school. A large room was added to the east of the tower. Lists of contents inventoried at bishop bytton's visitation of 1301 given. The school was closed in 1838 (no reference given). Built by bishop stapledon. In 1875 being used as the grammar school, only the tower and the east wall remaining of the original building (amery). Vis=17/7/1951 (os). The tower of st. Lawrence's chapel is in good condition and stands at the sw end of xvii century school building. No longer used as a grammar school. St. Lawrence's chapel was repaired in the first half of the 18th century (hanham,1962). St. Lawrence's chapel came to have the status of a guild chapel belonging to the burgesses of the borough of ashburton. In 1593 a document states that the building was in a bad state of repair (hanham,1967). Tower of xiv century chantry chapel of four storeys, mostly roughcast. Stair turret in north-west angle. Embattled parapet with angle pinnacles. One perpendicular window (doe).

White, 1890, Devonshire Directory, 108 (Unknown). SDV350487.

St. Lawrence. 14th century now used as grammar school. The grammar school founded by Bishop Stapledon in 1314 was held in the Chapel of St. Lawrence. This chapel was purchased from the Crown and afterwards, in 1594, vested in trustees to be used as a schoolhouse, and as a place for holding the manor courts.

Anonymous, 1897, Report of the Council, 16 (Article in Serial). SDV296359.

Kelly, 1910, Directory of Devonshire, 35 (Unknown). SDV296358.

Amery, J. S., 1924, (Presidential Address) The Ashburton of past days: its manners, customs and inhabitants, 58-59 (Article in Serial). SDV315287.

The school house is on the site of the ancient chapel of St. Laurence, associated with Bishop Stapledon's Guild of St. Lawrence, consisting of the portreeve and burgesses.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1951, SX76NE9 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV296362.

The tower stands at the south-west end of the 17th century school building, which is now used partly as a town library and partly for the holding of the traditional port leat courts, and no longer used as a grammar school. Ashburton Grammar School tower built by Bishop Stapledon in 1314, rebuilt about two centuries later. It later became a free school and a large hall was added to the east of the tower.

Satterly, J., 1952, Memories of Ashburton in late Victorian Days, 22,29 (Article in Serial). SDV315139.

Plaster coat of arms of Ashburton in the Great Hall. There was also a small classroom in the tower itself and in the 1890's a science room was added to the east of the hall. The court leet used to meet anually in the hall till 1894.

THE PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL, 1970, St. Andrew's Church, Ashburton, 6 (Leaflet). SDV296291.

Department of Environment, 1973, Ashburton, 36 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV300597.

School was kept by chantry priest and refounded as a grammar school in 1593. The school room is an 18th century building behind the tower. Stone rectangular building with classical cornice and many later additions. Three round headed windows each side.
Interior: 18th century plasterwork including cornice and arms of town and benefactors. 18th/19th century woodwork and gallery.

English Heritage, 2014, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV355683.

SX7569 ST LAWRENCE LANE 849-1/10/168 (East side) 07/08/51 Chapel of St Lawrence (Formerly Listed as: ST LAWRENCE LANE (East side) St Lawrence's Tower, Old Grammar School) - GV II*
Chantry Chapel, converted to Grammar School 1593-1983. C13; tower added early C16; nave rebuilt mid C18; schoolrooms added late C19 and 1911. Solid rendered walls; tower has buttresses, quoins and parapets of exposed granite. Late C19 schoolroom in limestone with red-brick dressings. 1911 schoolroom in limestone and granite. Slated roofs. Nave, W tower. Late C19 schoolroom at E end 1911 schoolrooms on S side. 3-stage tower with setback buttresses; NW stair turret. Pointed-arched W doorway with half-round and hollow mouldings; above it a 3-light window with 4-centred arch, the lights with cinquefoiled heads. Second stage has single-light windows with segmental arches; similar 2-light belfry openings in third stage. Parapet with battlements and finials. Small spire with weather-vane. Nave has on each side 3 round-arched windows with glazing-bars; heavily-moulded eaves-cornice. East wall (covered by late C19 schoolroom) has a blocked triple-lancet window. Late C19 schoolroom has pointed-arched windows with glazing-bars. 1911 schoolroom is in a version of the Tudor style with plain mullioned windows. Interior: nave has good rococo plasterwork: coats-of-arms on the walls in foliated surrounds, cornice with pendants. W gallery with C18 turned balusters. Around the walls, school benches with Gothic panelled fronts. The chapel was given to the Guild of St Lawrence, Ashburton, by Bishop Stapledon of Exeter in 1314. The chantry priest appears to have kept a school here and still did so when the chantry was dissolved in 1546. The maintenance of the school was a condition of the grant of 1593 to John Caunter and others. (Dartmoor National Park: The Chapel of St Lawrence, Ashburton (leaflet): 1988-).
Listing NGR: SX7571369846

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

Depicted on the modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV296291Leaflet: THE PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL. 1970. St. Andrew's Church, Ashburton. Unknown. Unknown. 6.
SDV296312Migrated Record:
SDV296313Migrated Record:
SDV296314Migrated Record:
SDV296315Migrated Record:
SDV296316Migrated Record:
SDV296317Migrated Record:
SDV296318Migrated Record:
SDV296319Migrated Record:
SDV296320Migrated Record:
SDV296358Unknown: Kelly. 1910. Directory of Devonshire. Directory. Unknown. 35.
SDV296359Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1897. Report of the Council. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 29. Unknown. 16.
SDV296362Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1951. SX76NE9. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV300597List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Ashburton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 36.
SDV315139Article in Serial: Satterly, J.. 1952. Memories of Ashburton in late Victorian Days. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. Unknown. 22,29.
SDV315287Article in Serial: Amery, J. S.. 1924. (Presidential Address) The Ashburton of past days: its manners, customs and inhabitants. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 56. Unknown. 58-59.
SDV326375Report - Survey: Department of Environment.
SDV350487Unknown: White. 1890. Devonshire Directory. Unknown. 108.
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #105572 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV29229Related to: 17 St Lawrence Lane, Ashburton (Building)
MDV119855Related to: Baptist Chapel on Woodland Road, Ashburton (Building)
MDV23264Related to: Gates and wall of Grammar School, Ashburton (Monument)
MDV7913Related to: Site of Our Lady's Well, St. Lawrence Lane (Monument)
MDV13602Related to: The Old Court House (Lambel's Cottage), Ashburton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 1 2022 2:34PM