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HER Number:MDV86390
Name:Cromwell's Arch, Abbey Road, Bovey Tracey


Medieval granite archway. Believed to be in its original position.


Grid Reference:SX 815 784
Map Sheet:SX87NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBovey Tracey
Ecclesiastical ParishBOVEY TRACEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ARCH (Built, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Ministry of Works, 'Cromwell's Arch' and Adjacent Arch, Bovey Tracey (Schedule Document). SDV346749.

Cromwell's Arch and adjacent arch.
Cromwell's Arch is a 15th century granite arch consisting of eleven stones. The mouldings run all around with stops at the bases. The inner side is rebated for a door or doors and one hinge-pin remains on the left (south) side. To the north of the arch runs an old wall now forming the eastern boundary of the graveyard of the baptist church. It is probable that the wall continued to the south, but it was cut away by the roadway and for a building. The arch is probably in situ.

Hyde, H. B., 1921, Bovey Beads, 21 (Monograph). SDV340032.

A fine entrance archway.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953 - 1954, SX87NW5.1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV346747.

Cromwells Arch is 2.2 metres wide by 3 metres high and mouldings on outer side and on inner side are door jamb, bar slots and gate hangers.The whole piece of masonry including an abutment of wall to the south is 4.5 metres wide by 3.6 metres high. On its north side the arch joins on to all that remains of the precinct wall which continues up the west side of Hind Street. Together with the adjacent arch they are the only remains of this one time sacred retreat.

Laithwaite, J. M. W., 1987, Bovey Tracey (Report - Survey). SDV347714.

Local tradition associates the two medieval arches at the southern end of the Baptist Chapel graveyard with a former monastery although there is no documentary evidence to support this. Cromwell's Arch is the larger of the two arches. It has ogee mouldings and retains one, large iron gate hinge. There is nothing to show, however, whether it was designed for a gatehouse or for another building. It now spans half of Abbey Road which leads to a housing estate. At the time of the 1841 Tithe Map the road led to the two houses adjoining the Baptist Chapel on the south and to a large range of farm buildings. The implication from articles written by William Ellis in the later 19th century is that the arch was in its present location from at least the early 19th century.

Historic England, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV358087.

Cromwell's Arch. Arch, built across part of entrance to Abbey Road. Believed to be in original position. Medieval. Granite. Consists of a large 2-centred arch with 2 sets of ogee mouldings; moulded convex stops at foot. Rebates for gates on Abbey Road side, with one large iron hinge surviving. Believed locally to be the remnant of a monastery, but no such institution is known to have existed in the town.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV340032Monograph: Hyde, H. B.. 1921. Bovey Beads. Bovey Beads. Unknown. 21.
SDV346747Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953 - 1954. SX87NW5.1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV346749Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. 'Cromwell's Arch' and Adjacent Arch, Bovey Tracey. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV347714Report - Survey: Laithwaite, J. M. W.. 1987. Bovey Tracey. Devon Religious Houses Survey. 14. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV358087National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Website. [Mapped feature: #108721 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV8960Related to: Archway in Abbey Road, Bovey Tracey (Monument)
MDV112285Related to: Baptist Burial Ground, Bovey Tracey (Monument)
MDV20679Related to: Baptist Chapel, Hind Street, Bovey Tracey (Building)
MDV8959Related to: Chapel, Hind Street, Bovey Tracey (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 22 2015 11:20AM