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HER Number:MDV8545
Name:12 Duke Street, The Butterwalk, Dartmouth


One of a row of 17th century merchants' houses, originally built backing onto the river, now a shop with accommodation above. Built end onto the street, with the ground floor recessed behind the Butterwalk, and originally a side passage along the east side.


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

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX85SE/25
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 387233

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Newman,, 1869, On the Antiquity of Dartmouth, 130-134 (Article in Serial). SDV339563.

Erected by Hayman in 1635 as one of 5 houses forming a sort of piazza, the front supported by a row of pillars with signs of the zodiac carved on the tops. Formerly intercommunicating doors between the houses, said to have been built by the designer for his 5 daughters. His arms on one of the houses, interiors full of quaint carvings and curious ceilings.

Hine, J., 1877, A Plea for the Picturesque in Devon Towns, 161-162 (Article in Serial). SDV339564.

Russell, P., 1950, The New Quay at Dartmouth (1584-1640), 285-286 (Article in Serial). SDV339562.

Number 12, Duke Street, The Butterwalk. One of two houses built by Mark Hawkins, in 1635. The front room has one of the finest plaster ceilings of the period, depicting the tree of Jesse with emblems of the Evangelists in the corners, (removed in 1949 for safety). Walls ornamented with carvings of the Twelve Apostles. The Dartmouth Chronicle said these figures were in a mansion in the Midlands.
Russell dismisses the story that 5 houses were built by a member of the Hayman family as local legend.

French, K. + French, C., 1957, Devonshire Plasterwork, 129-131 (Article in Serial). SDV4676.

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

Lidstone, W. E., 1982, Flavel Memorial United Reformed Church 1662-1980 (Pamphlet). SDV172558.

Devon County Council, 1983, 606/30 (Ground Photograph). SDV99932.

Impett, R. M., 1989, Dartmouth (Ground Photograph). SDV339567.

Department of National Heritage, 1994, Dartmouth, 102-3 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV157498.

One of a row of Merchants' Houses, now a shop with accommodation above. The row is dated 1635 and 1640, various minor later alterations and a major renovation programme in the 1950s after severe bomb blast damage in 1943. Mixed construction; side and back walls of stone rubble, front is an ornate display of timber-framing with plastered upper floor, and the walk carried on granite piers; stone rubble stacks with 20th century rendered brick chimney shafts to right party wall; slate roof.
Plan: Smaller than its neighbour, No.10 (qv), it was originally built backing onto the river. Ground floor recessed behind the Butterwalk. Built end onto the street, the ground plan is one room wide and 2 rooms deep with originally a side passage along right (east) side. A newel stair rises just back from the front door onto a first-floor landing halfway through the first-floor level where there is a small unlit and unheated room between the front and back rooms.
Exterior: 3 storeys with attics; one-window range. Ornate jettied timber-framed front forming part of a unified front comprising Nos 6-12 (even) (qv), 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. Recessed shop front is mid 20th century with contemporary door to passage to right. First floor of exposed timber-framing. Centre rebuilt and contains 7-light mullioned window containing iron casements and rectangular panes of leaded glass (a 5-light version on the second floor). Largely-original moulded small-panel framing each side, the faces of the original timbers carved with strapwork patterns and guilloche. End posts are carved as Ionic pilasters on pedestals underneath carved brackets to second-floor jetties, paired pilasters on right party wall. Upper jetty has carved timber fascia boards. Plastered second floor. Original front gable demolished and 18th century timber modillion eaves cornice to hipped roof. Rear elevation is painted stone rubble to slate-hung gable and contains mid 20th century windows with glazing bars.
Interior: Exceptionally high quality and well-preserved. Original features include newel stair rising round pine mast-like newel post, panelled partitions on first floor (middle room partition with carved frieze), and the first-floor front parlour - panelled crosswall, granite fireplace with carved lintel and imported Dutch brick cheeks and back; ornamental plaster ceiling, a tour de force by a Dart Valley plastering `firm' representing the Jesse Tree (this was restored from the pieces of the original ceiling which had completely collapsed as a result of the 1943 bomb blast - Percy Russell includes a photograph of the ceiling before its restoration complete with the 2 figures which are now missing). Other 17th century features are probably hidden on the ground and first floors and others probably survive on the upper floors. 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. If the initials are anything to go by, he converted this house for his own use. 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.

Stephenson, G., 2001, Archaeological Desk Top Study: Flavel Centre, Dartmouth (Report - Assessment). SDV319967.

The Butterwalk was badly damaged in an air raid in 1943.

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV157498List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of National Heritage. 1994. Dartmouth. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 102-3.
SDV172558Pamphlet: Lidstone, W. E.. 1982. Flavel Memorial United Reformed Church 1662-1980. Unknown.
SDV319967Report - Assessment: Stephenson, G.. 2001. Archaeological Desk Top Study: Flavel Centre, Dartmouth. Exeter Archaeology Report. Project 4995. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV339562Article in Serial: Russell, P.. 1950. The New Quay at Dartmouth (1584-1640). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 82. A5 Hardback. 285-286.
SDV339563Article in Serial: Newman,. 1869. On the Antiquity of Dartmouth. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 3. Unknown. 130-134.
SDV339564Article in Serial: Hine, J.. 1877. A Plea for the Picturesque in Devon Towns. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 9. Unknown. 161-162.
SDV339567Ground Photograph: Impett, R. M.. 1989. Dartmouth. Impett Slide Collection. Slide.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #108641 ]
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. 37.
SDV4676Article in Serial: French, K. + French, C.. 1957. Devonshire Plasterwork. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 129-131.
SDV99932Ground Photograph: Devon County Council. 1983. 606/30. Conservation Section Photograph Collection. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV24855Part of: The Butterwalk, 6 to 12 Duke Street, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV8544Related to: 10 The Butterwalk, Duke Street, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV74715Related to: 6 Duke Street in 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 12:20PM