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HER Number:MDV83050
Name:Hembury Fort House


Gentleman's villa, now in use as a retirement home. Early 19th century, possibly with an 18th century core.


Grid Reference:ST 115 024
Map Sheet:ST10SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBuckerell
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKERELL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (XVIII to XIX - 1701 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Clark, J., 2013, Hembury Fort House (Un-published). SDV357821.

A gentleman's villa, formerly known as Cockenhays, now a retirement home, on a magnificent hilltop site. In 1836 it was described as 'a capital mansion house … fit for the residence of a family of distinction, with offices of every description'.

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

English Heritage, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV357602.

Gentleman's villa, now in use as a retirement home. Early C19 possibly with an C18 core with C20 alterations including recent window replacement. Rendered, the central block whitewashed; slate roof behind parapets; rendered stacks. Plan: Approximate L plan. South-facing main block, the centre portion of which may be C18, with projecting pedimented bays to left and right, rear right wing. Central front door leads into a large heated entrance hall, principal stair to rear left, service stair in what was presumably the service wing to rear right. Exterior: 3 storey main block. Symmetrical 1:3:1 window south front, the centre 3 bays with 2 platbands and a moulded cornice below the parapet, the outer bays projecting with pediments. Central Greek Doric portico, probably circa 1830, with paired columns, a triglyph frieze and moulded cornice. The portico has been filled in with a round-headed 2-leaf panelled outer door. On either side of the porch C19 French windows with small panes and proud architraves. The pedimented blocks each have large early C19 French windows with fanlights with spoke glazing bars and glazed flanking panels. Unfortunately all the other windows are plastic replacements but probably in their original embrasures. The centre 3 bays presumably had 3/6 pane sashes to the second floor and 12-pane sashes to the first floor, all now replaced with small pane plastic windows. The outer bays presumably had tripartite first floor sashes and 3/3 pane second floor sashes, all now replaced with small-pane plastic windows. The left (west) return is 4-bays and 1 bay to the return of the pedimented projection. All the windows and 2 ground floor doors are plastic replacements, the windows probably in their original embrasures. The right return and rear elevation retain some original timber windows but most have been replaced with plastic. Interior: Not thoroughly inspected. Good early C19 cantilevered principal stair with stick balusters and a ramped wreathed handrail. Other features of interest, including decorated plasterwork, may survive. Polwhele records that the house - the eighteenth-century parts - is brick and was purchased by Vice Admiral Graves about 1750. He repaired and enlarged it: it was originally called Cockenhayes. (History of Devonshire, (p.p. 1793, 1974 edn., vol. II. p. 274).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #108346 ]
SDV357602National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV357821Un-published: Clark, J.. 2013. Hembury Fort House. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV109347Related to: Hembury Fort House Park and Gardens (Park/Garden)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 4 2015 12:47PM