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HER Number:MDV8745
Name:Ring of Bells Inn, North Bovey

Summary

Originally a farmhouse, the Ring of Bells is probably late 15th/early 16th century in date. It was altered in the 17th century and modernised in the 20th century. Constructed of granite rubble with a thatched roof. The inn was badly damaged by fire in January 2016. Observations made during 2017 repair work.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 740 839
Map Sheet:SX78SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishNorth Bovey
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH BOVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78SW/23
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Built, XV to XVI - 1475 AD to 1535 AD (Between))
  • INN (XIX - 1840 AD to 1899 AD (Between))

Full description

Brown, T., 1959, 56th Report on Folklore, 198 (Article in Serial). SDV303943.

Ring of Bells Inn.


Department of Environment, 1987, North Bovey, 173 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV348844.

Inn originally farmhouse. Probably late 15th / early 16th century, altered in the 17th century, modernized in 20th century. Rendered granite rubble walls, possibly with some cob at the top. Thatched roof with gable ends. Rendered chimney stacks, right gable one is stone, axial stack possibly brick.
Four room and through passage plan with unheated service room between passage and lower room/kitchen. Possibly this end was altered or extended in 17th century from which time the fireplace dates. Newel staircase in projection at rear of hall. 17th century outshut. Two storeys. Asymmetrical 4 window front of three light 19th century casements.
Interior is relatively unspoilt and contains several features of interest. This house retains a traditional facade, has an interesting 17th century developed plan form and contains a number of features from various stages of its development, the late 15th / early 16th century doorway and the built-in clock being of particular interest. See List for full details.


Quick, T., 1992, Dartmoor Inns, 92-3 (Monograph). SDV359976.

Built in the mid-13th century and has changed little over the years. Originally built as a lodging house for the stonemasons who were building the nearby church of St John the Baptist. Later became a farmhouse and the date when it first became an inn is uncertain. It was most probably an ale house for the stonemasons, and farmworkers, early in its history. The extension housing the dining room was added in the 15th century.
The stables were converted into the Stable Bar in 1967. The cobbled floor still remains. The bar originally stood along the far wall.
The narrow space between the main building and the stables (where the hay carts were stored), locally known as the cart linhay, has been incorporated into part of the bar.
One of the most famous guests was the world-famous country singer, Dolly Parton.


Steinmetzer, M., 2014, Archaeological monitoring and recording at The Ring of Bells, North Bovey, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV359808.

During groundworks for new service trenches, two fragments of wall were exposed in the south-west end of the courtyard (see related record).


British Broadcasting Corporation, 2016, Fire at Ring Of Bells 13th Century Dartmoor pub (Website). SDV359367.

The inn was gutted by a fire on 13th January which also destroyed the thatched roof.


Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 21/10/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

NORTH BOVEY NORTH BOVEY SX 78 SW 4/260 Ring of Bells Inn - 23.8.55 GV II
Inn, originally farmhouse. Probably late C15/early C16, altered in C17, modernised in C20. Rendered granite rubble walls, possibly with some cob at the top. Thatched roof with gable ends. Rendered chimney stacks, right gable one is stone, axial stack possibly brick.
4-room-and-through-passage plan with unheated service room between passage and lower room/kitchen. Possibly this end was altered or extended in C17 from which time the fireplace dates. Hall has stack backing onto passage. Stone wall dividing hall from inner room. Presumably the house originally had an open hall but no direct evidence of this remains. Newel staircase in projection at rear of hall. Also behind the hall is C17 outshut. C20 extension at rear of lower end. 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 4-window front of 3-light C19 casements to left side and on 1st floor far right. Ground and first floor right of centre over 12-pane sashes without horns. Ground floor right is C20 2-light casement. Passage doorway to right of centre with possibly C18 wide panelled door in gabled stone porch with seats either side. At rear is semi-circular stair projection to right of centre with very small window. Immediately to-its left is outshut under continuation of main thatched roof. C20 flat roofed extension to left.
Interior is relatively unspoilt and contains several features of interest. Lower room has fireplace with stone voussoir arched lintel and contains a very large stone oven in the right-hand side with stone arched opening. Remains of stud partition to small room adjoining lower side of passage. The hall fireplace has a chamfered wooden lintel with convex stops. Half beam against either end wall of hall and central cross beam, all chamfered with hollow stops where visible. Access from hall to inner room was by a late Cl5/early C16 pointed arch wooden doorframe, chamfered with no stops and with curved chamfered lintel above, this has recently been blocked. The inner room contains cross beams similar to those in the hall. Built into the dividing wall between hall and inner room, on the hall side is a C18 grandfather clock by Joseph Lang, Moretonhampstead. Originally at the rear of the hall (now in a passage running along the back of the house) is a square-headed C17 wooden doorframe chamfered with masons mitres and jewelled and notch stops to the jambs. This leads into the rear outshut. This house retains a traditional facade, has an interesting C17 developed plan form and contains a number of features from various stages of its development, the late Cl5/early C16 doorway and the built-in clock being of particular interest.
Listing NGR: SX7407883898.


2016, UK Pub History and historical street directory of London and the UK (Website). SDV359831.

Website lists publican details from 1844 - 1923 from the following Directories; Pigots, Whites, Kellys and Post Office.


Thorp, J., 2017, Observations during Repairs to The Ring of Bells Inn, North Bovey, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV361166.

The fire of 2016 destroyed a great deal of 18th century and 19th century studwork partitions and associated joinery which previously confused interpretation of the original layout and development of the inn. Before the fire the main block had a basic four-room and cross passage plan. The cross passage lies between opposing front doorways roughly in the centre – a strong indicator of late medieval origins.
The earliest feature recorded was a linear drainage ditch. When the east end fireplace and massive side oven was built a stone-lined drain was built to provide a channel for high level water to escape through the north wall.
The listing inspector thought that the east end bakehouse was a 17th century extension to the main block; the bakehouse fireplace and oven appear to date from the second half of the 17th century or later.
Images included of largish blocks of granite shown between sections 1 & 2 which are all relatively flat-topped and might represent an early, or original, floor of the service end room (the linear ditch may have been cut through). Author unconvinced due to the uneven surface.
A similar drainage channel was noted along the north side of the hall when the concrete
floor was removed. The builders found a similar drain down the outside of the north wall. It is therefore assumed that the drain passed from inside to outside under the cross passage opening. See report for full details.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV303943Article in Serial: Brown, T.. 1959. 56th Report on Folklore. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 91. Unknown. 198.
SDV348844List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. North Bovey. Historic Houses Register. A4 Single Sheet. 173.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #108825 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 21/10/2016.
SDV359367Website: British Broadcasting Corporation. 2016. Fire at Ring Of Bells 13th Century Dartmoor pub. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-35304422. Website.
SDV359808Report - Watching Brief: Steinmetzer, M.. 2014. Archaeological monitoring and recording at The Ring of Bells, North Bovey, Devon. Oakford Archaeology. OA1176. Digital.
SDV359831Website: 2016. UK Pub History and historical street directory of London and the UK. http://pubshistory.com. Website.
SDV359976Monograph: Quick, T.. 1992. Dartmoor Inns. Dartmoor Inns. Paperback Volume. 92-3.
SDV361166Report - Watching Brief: Thorp, J.. 2017. Observations during Repairs to The Ring of Bells Inn, North Bovey, Devon. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. K887. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV35470Related to: Barn/stable block by Ring of Bells Inn, North Bovey (Building)
MDV35516Related to: Chapel Cottage, North Bovey (Building)
MDV35515Related to: Gate House, North Bovey (Building)
MDV112269Related to: Site of old house, North Bovey (Monument)
MDV35514Related to: Slate Cottage, North Bovey (Building)
MDV116830Related to: Wall fragments in courtyard at Ring of Bells, North Bovey (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7091 - Archaeological monitoring and recording at The Ring of Bells, North Bovey (Ref: OA1176)
  • EDV7542 - Observations during Repairs to The Ring of Bells Inn, North Bovey, Devon (Ref: K887)

Date Last Edited:May 1 2018 3:44PM