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HER Number:MDV876
Name:Heritage Centre, Barnstaple


The building adjacent to Queen Anne's Walk has had a varied history. Converted to a bath house in the mid 19th century, it subsequently became a Masonic Hall. It was turned into a rest centre for the elderly in the post war period and is now a heritage centre.


Grid Reference:SS 556 331
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/32
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 485835

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATH HOUSE (XVI to XXI - 1501 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Wood, J., 1843, Plan of the Town of Barnstaple from Actual Survey (Cartographic). SDV91852.

Department of Environment, 1973, Barnstaple (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV89941.

Building behind Queen Anne's Walk (Masonic Hall on map). Late 19th century, built as Baths, later Freemason's Lodge. 1 storey, stone and part rendered. Panelled parapet with urn finials. Important as forming group with Queen Anne's Walk. Queen Anne's Walk, Building behind Queen Anne's Walk and former F E Station form a group.

Bone, M., 1973, Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology, 13 (Monograph). SDV78228.

In 1859 when the Bath and West Show was held in Barnstaple, the building adjoining Queen Anne's Walk was purchased by a baths and wash house company and converted into a baths, swimming-bath and wash house. The venture did not prove successful and by 1868 the building had become the Masonic Hall.

Metcalfe, T., 1984, Listed Building Cost Dilemma (Article in Serial). SDV361451.

Plans for Barnstaple's most important historic building may be mothballed because of spending cuts.
Queen Anne's Walk once a trading place for merchants on the town's quayside, will soon become redundant as an old people's day centre. Instead the pensioners will move to the town's redundant railway station which is being restored.
But now councillors must decide how to utilise the 350 year old monument which is Barnstaple's only Grade I Listed Building.

Ferguson, P., 1993, The Restoration of Queen Anne's Walk, Barnstaple, 24-6 (Article in Serial). SDV76895.

Exeter Archaeology, 2001, Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording at Commercial Road, Barnstaple, 10, Fig 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV73888.

There have been buildings on this site since at least 1568. In the 18th century it was The Fleece Inn and in the 19th century a printing office. In the post-war period, it became a rest centre for the elderly and then a heritage centre.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Building behind Queen Anne's Walk (Over 60s Club), The Strand.
Former public baths, converted to Masonic Hall in 1868, now club. Said to be 1859, the date of the public baths, but some brickwork looks earlier. Attached to north-west side of Queen Anne's Walk. Flemish bond brick construction, the south-west elevation originally rendered, the north-east elevation (to The Strand), designed to continue the scale of Queen Anne's Walk, cement-rendered and blocked out. Roughly rectangular block consisting of 2 parallel halls, roofed on a north-west/south-east axis divided by an entrance passage from offices on the north-est side. Main entrance from Queen Anne's Walk into passage between halls and offices, entrance to offices in north-east side from The Strand. Single-storey. Asymmetrical 5-bay north-east elevation (to The Strand) continues line of cornice and parapet of Queen Anne's Walk, centre 3 bays are broken forward with chamfered, rusticated pilasters. Windows with Gibbs surrounds and segmental heads with triple keyblocks. Doorway in right-hand of centre bays, twentieth century timber windows. South-west side, facing the river is 6 bays divided by pilasters with round-headed recesses with keyblocks, the 2 outer bays fenestrated with twentieth century timber windows. The exposed brickwork is heavily repaired and the original, particularly on the north-west return, might be pre-Victorian. Two twentieth century timber windows onto Queen Anne's Walk.
Interior: 2 attractive late Victorian/Edwardian halls. The south-west hall has walls divided by giant engaged columns with a large cornice and coved, ribbed ceiling. End bays have square wall pillars with coffered ceiling and round-headed niche at north-west end and flat ceiling at south-east end. North-east hall has circa 1900 3-bay roof with flat ceiling above collars of A-frame trusses which are held on moulded corbels; Adam-style frieze above moulded picture rail. Date listed: 31st December 1973. Date of most recent amendment: 29th September 1999.

Timms, S. C., 24/11/1982, Rest Centre (Personal Comment). SDV350555.

This building is on the north-west side of Queen Anne's Walk and is now a rest centre. On Wood's town plan of 1843 it is owned/occupied by Bale and fronts directly onto the River Taw.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV350555Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 24/11/1982. Rest Centre. Not Applicable.
SDV361451Article in Serial: Metcalfe, T.. 1984. Listed Building Cost Dilemma. Western Morning News. 16/11/2984. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV73888Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2001. Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording at Commercial Road, Barnstaple. Exeter Archaeology Report. 01.28. A4 Stapled + Digital. 10, Fig 2.
SDV76895Article in Serial: Ferguson, P.. 1993. The Restoration of Queen Anne's Walk, Barnstaple. North Devon Heritage Journal. 5. Unknown. 24-6.
SDV78228Monograph: Bone, M.. 1973. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. A5 Paperback. 13.
SDV89941List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Barnstaple. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV91852Cartographic: Wood, J.. 1843. Plan of the Town of Barnstaple from Actual Survey. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV65741Related to: Fire Engine Station, Castle Street, Barnstaple (Building)
MDV841Related to: Queen Anne's Walk, Barnstaple (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1608 - Archaeological assessment & building recording at Commercial Road, Barnstaple

Date Last Edited:Jun 14 2018 4:15PM