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HER Number:MDV8740
Name:Cottages 35 meters north-east of church, North Bovey


Chancery Cottage, Stone Cross and Church Gate Cottages; group of attached cottages north-east of the church in North Bovey. Main range dates to the early 16th century, although a 2003 survey of Chancery Cottage dated the main fabric as a late 14th century medieval open hall house with a two-room and cross passage plan (incorporating part of Stone Cross). An upstairs chamber in the Church House was used as the original school for the village; subscriptions received from 1733 onwards. After the fire in 1838, a new school was planned (MDV117047).


Grid Reference:SX 739 838
Map Sheet:SX78SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishNorth Bovey
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH BOVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78SW/19
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 85171

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHURCH HOUSE (XIV to XVI - 1350 AD to 1550 AD (Between))
  • CHARITY SCHOOL (Altered, XVIII to XIX - 1733 AD to 1841 AD (Between))

Full description

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

According to the records of the charity commissioners of 1818 the house was then on lease, rent spent on church repairs.

Copeland, G. W., 1963, Devonshire Church Houses: Part 4, 147 (Article in Serial). SDV7678.

Copeland, G. W., 1967, Devonshire Church Houses: Part 7, 266-267 (Article in Serial). SDV157322.

Church House. North-east of the church and on the village green is an irregular thatched building with a large two-stage gabled porch. At one time divided into five cottages but now it is only two: Chantry Cottage and a shop and post-office. Originally called Church Cottages and much of original fabric of church house remains. Two late doorways to the south and traces of one east suggest an enlargement may have been planned. The porch has a plain large outer entrance, a wooden-framed inner doorway, and a cobble-paved floor. Within the passage to the left, a doorway admits to what was once a cobbler's shop. In the house, especially upstairs, much crude and massive timberwork, unmoulded arched-braces, remains exposed, the former dividing what was once a single upper room into three bays. The porch-room ceiling is three-sided, and is lighted by a semi-octagonal oriel window supported externally on two long and narrow shaped wooden corbels. On the porch a tablet bears the date 1728, indicating restoration or alteration. The house now contains four staircases. The doorway to the shop is in a single-stage pentice with two large rectangular windows with many lights, a later addition. The front of Chantry Cottage is mainly of cob plastered and colour-washed, the 'wing' to the south of colour-washed granite rubble, and the whole of the rear is of exposed granite rubble. Walls are thick, in one or two are occasional oaken floor-posts, the position of the old brewhouse may be seen, and in the outer front wall is a horse-ring. In the principal room is a moderately wide open fireplace with a plain wooden lintel. One original granite chimney-stack on the roof-ridge has survived.

Stanbrook, M., 1991, Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered, 54 (Monograph). SDV359884.

Before the school building was built in 1841, there was a Charity school held in what had once been the Church House. The building comprised five poorhouse dwellings with an upstairs chamber occupied the school.
In 1733, the Reverend Thomas Parr gave £3 a year endowment from land at Higher Langdon for the education of ten poor children, to be taught to read "until they can read the Bible perfectly well". By 1833, there were 40 children and 26 of them were taught free, due to subscriptions. In 1838, there was a fire and three of the poorhouses were burnt down. It was then that a new school was planned. The remaining part of the of Church House building was demolished in about 1869.

Thorp, J. R. L., 2003, Chancery Cottage, North Bovey, 1-13 (Report - Assessment). SDV347834.

Chancery Cottage comprises fabric from a medieval hall house thought to date from the 1350s onwards. It was quite large with a two-room and cross passage plan; a three-bay open hall (indicated from the smoke-blackened roof timbers) with cross passage along its southern end and a two-storey lower end (now in Stone Cross), comprising a service room with a solar or chamber above.
Later modernisation included the insertion of a hall fireplace with axial chimney stack backing onto the passage. A chamber was created above the passage at this time; thought to be late 16th / early 17th century. By the end of the 17th or mid 18th century the hall was divided into two and was two storeys throughout. A porch was added in 1732. A major mid 20th century modernisation comprised the construction of a new roof around 0.4 meters above the medieval one.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Row of three cottages depicted on the modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

Chancery Cottage, Stone Cross and Church Gate Cottage, North Bovey. (formerly listed as Church Cottage and the stores). Group of attached cottages; Chancery Cottage and part of Stone Cross originally one house, other part of stone cross and Church Gate Cottage originally a later pair of very small cottages.
Main range circa early 16th century date stone of 1738 refers to porch, considerably altered in 20th century; adjacent pair of cottages 18th century. Rendered granite rubble walls, exposed at rear, with thatched roof hipped to right and gabled where it joins adjacent cottage to left, cottage roof thatched, hipped at front and gabled at rear. Main range has axial granite rubble stack with granite cap to right of centre and brick axial stack to left of centre; brick axial stack to cottage. Plan of main range (Chancery Cottage and most of Stone Cross). Three-room-and-through- passage with hall and lower end originally open to roof. Hall stack inserted backing onto the passage and fireplace added to lower end, inner room remained unheated. Further room added at lower end, probably in 17th century, likely to have been a dairy as there are no rear outshuts due to the rise in ground level. Porch added to front of passage in 1738 from date-stone on it. The remainder of Stone Cross and Church Gate Cottage added in 18th century as adjacent pair of cottages at right angles to the main block with one ground floor room each originally, heated by central stack. 20th century outshut added to Stone Cross as shop front. Main range divided in 19th /20th century into two cottages at the lower wall of the through passage with Chancery Cottage to the right upper end and Stone Cross to the left lower end. Stone Cross now extends into one of the adjacent cottages added at right angles to the lower end.
Two storeys. Main range has asymmetrical four-window front with large gabled rendered stone two-storey porch with thatched roof and small centred oriel window to 1st floor. Other windows two-light late 19th /early 20th century casements floor incorporating a small store room in its left-hand side with a shallow lean-to projection as its front wall left of the opening. Wide doorway to through passage with 20th century plank door in 16th century wooden doorframe chamfered with depressed four-centred arch. Slate roof outshut to left of porch extending to adjoining block with 20th century plank door to right of centre and large 20th century three-light single pane windows either side. Thatch rises in 'eyebrow' over first floor window in left of porch. At lower left end Church Gate Cottage and its adjoining part of Stone Cross is taller than the main range and faces away from it at right angles. It has a symmetrical two-window front with as the ground floor two windows to the centre and a door either side. Three-light casements with glazing bars, 1st floor over probably 19th century ground floor 20th century. 20th century stable type door to right with shallow wooden gabled 20th century porch to left with double plank doors.
Interior of Stone Cross only inspected, Chancery Cottage inaccessible at time of survey but apparently has granite ashlar back to hall fireplace facing onto passage with moulded cornice and plinth according to previous list description. On the first floor of Stone Cross in the room above the passage a very substantial roof truss is exposed up to collar level which is arguably smoke-blackened on both sides. It has pronounced curve but no visible joint with a broad chamfer and a curved collar morticed into the truss. Feet not visible. Roof at lower end replaced probably in 19th century, access to higher end roof space difficult. In the room formerly belonging to 18th century cottage is a small open fireplace with rough wooden lintel. Clearly some fabric of the late Medieval home survives in this property despite considerably alterations and it is likely that more early features are to be found inside Chancery Cottage. (Description 1955/1987) Other details: LB UID: 85171.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV157322Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1967. Devonshire Church Houses: Part 7. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 99. 266-267.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #108821 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347834Report - Assessment: Thorp, J. R. L.. 2003. Chancery Cottage, North Bovey. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K675. A4 Comb Bound. 1-13.
SDV359884Monograph: Stanbrook, M.. 1991. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Paperback Volume. 54.
SDV5752Article in Serial: Pearson, J. B.. 1900. Church Houses in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 32. A5 Hardback. 210.
SDV7678Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1963. Devonshire Church Houses: Part 4. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 95. A5 Hardback. 147.

Associated Monuments

MDV108885Related to: Church gate, North Bovey (Monument)
MDV8729Related to: Cross on the green, North Bovey (Monument)
MDV35578Related to: September Cottage, North Bovey (Building)
MDV8732Related to: St. John the Baptist church, North Bovey (Building)
MDV117047Related to: The Old School, North Bovey (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5295 - Survey of Chancery Cottage, North Bovey

Date Last Edited:Feb 16 2018 3:15PM