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HER Number:MDV8546
Name:Royal Castle Hotel, Dartmouth


Pair of merchant's houses, dated 1639, united and converted to an inn in the 18th century, with further extensive alterations in 1840.


Grid Reference:SX 877 513
Map Sheet:SX85SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishST.SAVIOURS

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX85SE/26
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 387368

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • INN (XVIII - 1701 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

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

'Hotel' shown.

Russell, P., 1950, The New Quay at Dartmouth (1584-1640), 289-90 (Article in Serial). SDV341025.

Royal Castle Hotel was built in 1639 to fill the gap between the new and old houses on the New Quay. Lofty stucco front, broad sashed bays, blue-posted door and mock crenellations mask the frame of two gabled houses with a huge granite party wall between them. On the wall is a tablet with the date 1639 and two sets of initials, BWM (north) and CJJ (south), William Barnes and Joseph Cubitt. Later became the Castle Inn. Stables built at rear in 1775 for the inn. Behind the two houses was a small courtyard (now the stairway hall) with another pair of less solidly built houses facing onto the churchyard. Several of the broad barred sash windows look like Queen Anne insertions, but the stucco front and stairway appear to date from 1823. First floor dining room retains original plaster ceiling.

Department of Environment, 1972, Dartmouth, 34 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV155627.

Probably originally two 16th century houses, (corbelled stone party walls), stucco, lined and painted. 4 storey front with 19th century castellations to parapet and label moulds to sash windows (with glazing bars) 4 in number, at 2nd and 3rd floors.1st floor 2 3-light bays with glazing bars. Tablet dated 1630. Doorway with 1831 Doric columns under overhang. Interior: inn yard with galleries now enclosed and 19th century stair inserted. Early 17th century plaster ceiling to dining room.

Devon County Council, 1975, Dartmouth - Walk about in the Conservation Area & Exploring Dartmouth and Kingswear, 35 (Article in Monograph). SDV352452.

Freeman, R., 1988, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV341024.

Above description in error: should read 'two 17th century houses'. Documents in Devon Record Office show this first became an inn in the 1730's.

Freeman, R., 1995, The History of the Castle Hotel Dartmouth (Pamphlet). SDV340278.

Built 1639. Originally two merchants' houses. Merged by 1776. Part had already become the 'New Inn' by 1736. 'BWM' and 'CJJ' on granite party wall by front door - Barnes and Cubitt were the original owners of the two houses. Brewhouse added at rear in 1770's and in 1774 a stable block was built. The stables are now used as a furniture store. First called 'Castle Inn' in 1770's. There was an open yard at the centre of the hotel until 1841 when the hotel was enlarged by one storey, the castellated cornice was added and the yard infilled.

Freeman, R., 1998, The History of the Castle Hotel Dartmouth (Article in Serial). SDV341077.

Includes illustrations of Dartmouth and the Castle Hotel.

Freeman, R., 1998, The History of The Castle Hotel Dartmouth (Pamphlet). SDV358333.

Since the first edition was written more information has come to light, including an inventory of the Hotel made in 1792 which lists every piece of furniture, the carpets, bedding, china, silver and cooking equipment, room by room at this time. Also extracts from the diaries of the Reverend John Swete, who visited the inn twice, in 1792 and 1793. The quality of pictures is also improved.

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

Ordnance Survey, 2008, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV340009.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Pair of merchant's houses, dated 1639, united and converted to an inn in the 18th century. Built for William Barnes and Joseph Cubbitt. By 1736 Barnes' house (the right one) was known as the New Inn owned by John Summers, and by 1782 John Browne had acquired Cubbitt's house and the 2 were already known as The Castle. The late 18th century improvements are probably associated with him. Extensive alterations in 1840. Stucco front. Mixed construction; thick party walls of local stone rubble, front and back walls of plastered timber-framing; stone rubble stacks with 19th century brick chimneyshafts and old pots; slate roof. Plan: Built as a pair of houses, both end onto The Quay. Originally both had front blocks 2 rooms deep with stacks in their right party walls. Both houses had rear blocks behind small courtyards, and the right one at least was connected to the front block by a gallery. 17th century fabric survives extensively on the lower 2 floors and this influenced the major rebuild of1840 when front and rear blocks were raised and the courtyard glazed over to house a new grand staircase and galleries. Wide passage from nearly-central front doorway through front block to the courtyard. Some of original internal partitions removed, particularly on the ground floor. Exterior: 4 storeys with attics; symmetrical 5-window front. Upper floors from 1840, but 17th century structure indicated by jettied first and second floors. Ends of the stone party walls corbel out to carry the jetties. They are plastered but, in the centre wall, the original date plaque is exposed, inscribed 1639 with the initials of William and Mary Barnes and Joseph and Johane Cubbitt, just below the corbelling for the second-floor jetty. Because of the central stone wall the front doorway is right of centre; probably early 19th century flanking fluted Doric columns support the jetty and 18th century eared stucco surround to doorway under a leafy frieze, 5-panel door. Ground floor has 18th century sashes, 2 to left of the doorway and a triple sash to right, all originally 12-pane sashes but glazing bars have been removed. Front is symmetrical above. First floor has 2 late 18th century large curving bay windows, each containing three 12-pane sashes. Second and third floors have a 5-window front of 1840, central blind windows and 12-pane sashes, all with stucco Tudor-style hoodmoulds. Stucco castellated parapet complete with decorative machicolation and end turrets for flagpoles. Parallel roof hipped both ends and contains 2 front flat-roofed dormers containing 20th century casements. Plain rear jettied at first-floor level suggesting 17th century origins. Interior: Essentially the result of the 1840 rebuild but carpentry of the 17th century right house exposed at ground-floor level; axial joists of large scantling from front and rear blocks and 2 alcoves, apparently for newel stairs. An ovolo-moulded axial beam provides evidence for 17th century gallery across the original coutyard. Some 17th century pine overlapping-plank screen reused in the bar, the left front room. Room above has good original ornamental plaster ceiling of single rib design with moulded angle sprays. To rear of first-floor right room is a late 17th century timber arch with keystone and capitals, possibly from a cupboard or even a blocked doorway through to No.12 The Quay. Rest of the building largely 19th century and includes some fine features. The covered courtyard is particularly impressive with galleries and stick-baluster stair. Windows each side include horned sashes. Old service bells with room numbers. History: The Royal Castle Hotel is the largest building on the west side of The Quay overlooking the Boat Float. Originally it was 2 of a group of merchants' houses built on reclaimed land in a Town Corporation backed scheme to reclaim land for housing and expand the port facilities with the New Quay. This began in 1585, and by the second phase, in the 1630s, this was the most fashionable part of the town, and the surviving 17th century houses here are amongst the best merchants' houses of their period in Devon.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV155627List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1972. Dartmouth. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 34.
SDV319967Report - Assessment: Stephenson, G.. 2001. Archaeological Desk Top Study: Flavel Centre, Dartmouth. Exeter Archaeology Report. Project 4995. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV340009Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2008. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Digital. [Mapped feature: #108643 ]
SDV340278Pamphlet: Freeman, R.. 1995. The History of the Castle Hotel Dartmouth. Dartmouth History Research Group Papers. 14. A5 Paperback.
SDV341024Worksheet: Freeman, R.. 1988. Devon County Sites and Monuments Register. Worksheet.
SDV341025Article in Serial: Russell, P.. 1950. The New Quay at Dartmouth (1584-1640). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 82. A5 Hardback. 289-90.
SDV341077Article in Serial: Freeman, R.. 1998. The History of the Castle Hotel Dartmouth. Dartmouth History Research Group. 25. A5 Paperback.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
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. 35.
SDV358333Pamphlet: Freeman, R.. 1998. The History of The Castle Hotel Dartmouth. Dartmouth History Research Group Papers. A5 Paperback.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 19 2015 3:02PM