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HER Number:MDV8249
Name:The Church House, High Street, Chagford


British Legion Hall, former church house and was used as school and poorhouse in 19th century. Now known as Endecott House. Late 16th-early 17th century, refurbished in 1709 according to date plaque (possibly after late 17th century fire of Chagford), internally altered in late 19th-early 20th century.


Grid Reference:SX 700 874
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NW/20
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GUILDHALL (XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1550 AD (Between))
  • CHURCH HOUSE (XVI to XVII - 1550 AD to 1650 AD (Between))
  • SCHOOL HOUSE (XIX - 1853 AD to 1860 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Building depicted on the Tithe Map. Plot number 3 on apportionment.

Ormerod, G. W., 1876, A historical sketch of the parish of Chagford, 79 (Article in Serial). SDV259032.

The church house was still in use as an infants' school in 1876.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Pearson, J. B., 1900, Church Houses in Devon, 210 (Article in Serial). SDV5752.

The records of the charity commissioners of 1818 say that this building was then being used as a school and a poorhouse.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 76 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SX78NW21, 31/3/1953 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV257336.

Guild house of St Catherine, AD 1200, now British Legion Hall. A thatched building with mullioned windows on two storeys with arches above those on the ground floor. The first floor has been removed internally, and the hall is a single room from ground to rafters. A date stone of 1709 is high up on the outside wall. This may mark repairs after the fire which burnt Chagford at the end of the 17th century. The building is church property and is in a good state of repair.

Copeland, G. W., 1960, Devonshire Church-Houses: Part 1, 124 (Article in Serial). SDV298102.

Copeland, G. W., 1966, Devonshire Church-Houses, part 6, 159 (Article in Serial). SDV157325.

This church house 'near the church', but on the other side of the road, is a good rectangular two-storey building of irregular granite blocks. The front shows seven rectangular mullioned granite windows, all of three lights except for one of two lights over the three-centred granite doorway. The three lower windows have hood moulds. The building continues the three crowns inn, a structure of similar period and style. The upper room has been used as a schoolroom. The house was kept in repair by the churchwardens. It may have originated in Saint Mary's Guild chapel.

Department of Environment, 1987, Chagford, 94 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV350463.

British Legion Hall (formerly St. Catherine's Guild Hall). Former church house and was school and poorhouse in 19th century.
Late 16th and early 17th century refurbished in 1709 according to date plaque (possibly after late 17th century fire of Chagford), internally altered in late 19th century/early 20th century. The hall is built along the street and set back a little from it, facing north-east. It is now open to the roof from end to end. Secondary rear outshots. There was formerly a through passage. Regular but not symmetrical 4 window front. Casements. Attractive granite facade.
Interior mainly result of 19th/early 20th century modernisation when the first floor structure and the internal partitions were removed. Roof not accessible for inspection. Feet of straight principals show.

Rice, I., 2002, The Book of Chagford. A Town Apart, 24, 78-83, 106 (Monograph). SDV356605.

There are records of a school in Chagford in the 17th century, although the location is unknown. It may well have been in the church or church house. Chagford (Voluntary) Parochial School opened in 1799, teaching children aged 7-13 and was housed in the old guildhall of St. Katherine, which has been known as the British legion Hall and is, at the time of writing, Endacott House. The house was owned by the church and the school only occupied an upper room; pupils were initially all taught in the same room.
In 1853 an infant department was opened at the school; starting in a small room constructed at the rear of the building. By the 1860s the school had been named the National School, No. 5197. Later, after 1891, a completely new schoolroom was added at the rear of the original building.
The Parochial School quickly outgrew the accommodation and in 1859-60 the old Parish Alms house in New Street was extensively rebuilt to provide a new junior school. The infants continued to be educated here.
When the secondary modern school on Lower Street was changed into a primary school, children from both the infants and junior schools moved there and the New Street School and schoolhouse were sold off for residential purposes and St Katherine's Hall was taken over and restored by the Chagford Combined Charity. Donations were sought from as far away as the USA. In 1644, a John Endicott (a Chagford man and prominent Puritan) became the first governor of the Colony of Massachusetts. A further famous member of the family was William Crowninshield Endicott, born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1826, who became a Supreme Court Justice and Secretary for War under President Cleveland. The old guildhall was renamed Endicott (or Endecott or Endacott) House in honour of these eminent sons of Chagford.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

'Endecott House' is depicted on the modern mapping.

Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

CHAGFORD HIGH STREET, (south side), SX 7087 Chagford 6/114 British Legion Hall (formerly St Catherine's 20.2.52 Guild Hall) GV II*
British Legion Hall, former church house and was school and poorhouse in C19. Late C16-early C17, refurbished in 1709 according to date plaque (possibly after late C17 fire of Chagford), internally altered in late C19-early C20. Coursed blocks of granite ashlar with much granite stone rubble patching to rear; granite stacks, the original 1 with a granite ashlar chimney shaft; thatch roof, slate to outshots. Plan and development: the hall is built along the street and set back a little from it, facing north-east. It is now open to the roof from end to end. It has an original end stack at the left (south-east) end and there is an inserted rear corner stack at the right end. There was formerly a through passage right of centre and originally an external first floor doorway. The first floor structure has been removed . Secondary rear outshots. Exterior: regular but not symmetrical 4-window front. All except the 2-light version blocking the first floor doorway are original granite 3-light windows with ovolo-moulded mullions. All have central iron casements. Some contain rectangular, others diamond, panes of leaded glass. The ground floor windows have hoodmoulds with relieving arches over. The front doorway is right of centre; granite Tudor arch with hollow-chamfered surround and sunken spandrels containing an old plank door with studded coverstrips. This doorway is original but some blocking immediately to right suggests that it has been moved for the sake of regularity. It is now set directly below the blocked first floor doorway. A shield-shaped plaque set high on the wall between the first floor left windows bears the date 1709. Roof runs across the front between the adjoining buildings. Secondary outshots across the rear and although most of the first floor windows appear to occupy original embrasures they now contain C20 casements without glazing bars. Interior: is the result of a late C19-early C20 modernisation when the first floor structure and the internal partitions were removed. Fireplaces both have chimneypieces and grates of that date. The roof is not accessible although the feet of straight principals show suggesting A-frame trusses; probably associated with the 1709 refurbishment. This building has an exceptionally attractive granite facade and forms a group with other listed buildings opposite the Church of St Michael (q.v.), particularly its neighbour The Three Crowns (q.v.). The Guild House of St Catherine was founded here in 1200. This building looks as though it was built as a church house. According to the Charity Commissioners report of 1876 the ground floor was then used as a poor house and the first floor was a school. Source. Devon SMR.

Devon History Society, 2019, Early Victorian Schools, 43-48 (Article in Serial). SDV363127.

A school was housed on the upper floor of this building, until 1824 this was supported by money from the Weekes Charity, set up in 1790 by John Weekes of Chagford who left a legacy to help educate poor children. By 1853 a separate Infants' School was established due to growth in the school population.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV157325Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1966. Devonshire Church-Houses, part 6. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 98. A5 Hardback. 159.
SDV257336Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SX78NW21. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. 31/3/1953.
SDV259032Article in Serial: Ormerod, G. W.. 1876. A historical sketch of the parish of Chagford. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 8. Unknown. 79.
SDV298102Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1960. Devonshire Church-Houses: Part 1. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 92. A5 Hardback. 124.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First 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. 76.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV350463List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Chagford. Historic Houses Register. A4 Bound. 94.
SDV356605Monograph: Rice, I.. 2002. The Book of Chagford. A Town Apart. The Book of Chagford. Hardback Volume. 24, 78-83, 106.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV363127Article in Serial: Devon History Society. 2019. Early Victorian Schools. The Devon Historian. 88. Paperback Volume. 43-48.
SDV5752Article in Serial: Pearson, J. B.. 1900. Church Houses in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 32. A5 Hardback. 210.

Associated Monuments

MDV113595Related to: Chagford Primary School (Building)
MDV114113Related to: Junior School, Chagford (Building)
MDV8252Related to: The Three Crowns Hotel, Chagford (Building)
MDV33166Related to: Whiddons, Chagford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jul 22 2019 10:38AM