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HER Number:MDV9080
Name:70 Fore Street, Totnes


Elizabethan House and Museum at 70 Fore Street in Totnes was built in the late 16th century/early 17th century.


Grid Reference:SX 803 604
Map Sheet:SX86SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTotnes
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishTOTNES

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX86SW/27
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum Accession Number: 30/2007

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (XVI to XVII - 1550 AD to 1650 AD (Between))
  • MUSEUM (XX to XXI - 1958 AD to 2013 AD)

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX86SW 54 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV339480.

Pantin, W. A., 1962 - 1963, Medieval Archaeology, 202-39 (Article in Serial). SDV339481.

Copeland, G. W., 1965, Proceedings at the 103rd Annual Meeting, 26 (Article in Serial). SDV145408.

The museum, 70 Fore Street, Totnes, is a merchant's house of the mid-16th century.

Department of Environment, 1978, Totnes, 40-41 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV342722.

A late 16th/early 17th century merchant house of right angled plan. A 3 bay house with side passage. A freestanding kitchen and buttery at the rear is connected by a gallery. The building was extensively renovated between 1958 and 1962.

Simpson, S. J., 1990, Archaeological Excavation at Totnes Museum, 70 Fore Street, Totnes, 1989 (Report - Excavation). SDV339482.

A small extension was built at the back of the museum in 1989. Prior excavation identified the wall of a further building element behind the standing structures.

Beacham, P. M., 1990, Devon Buildings, 106-7 (Monograph). SDV11470.

Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants, 1996, Assessment of Civic Centre Area, Totnes (Report - Assessment). SDV340328.

Department of Environment, 2007, Totnes (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV339478.

70 Fore Street in Totnes on the south side of the road. Elizabethan House and Local Museum. Later 16th or early 17th century merchant's house. A good example of the Elizabethan, West Country development of Pantin's right-angled house type with narrow plant it has affinities to the continental "maison a deux corps de batiments". The building consists of a 3 bay house with side passage to the east and an internal entry passage on the west side. A freestanding kitchen and buttery at the rear is connected to the house by a gallery. The main house comprises a former front shop, central staircase with attached spence and rear parlour. At first floor level were a fore-hall, counting house and (dining) hall with attached closets over the east side passage. Possibly built by the Kelland family; later the Eugene Inn and, in the 19th century, the Commercial Inn. 3 storeys with attics. 4 bay facade (ground floor). Gabled front with renewed, Welsh slate roof. Random Devonian limestone party walls and rear wall with dressed quoins and moulded jetty corbels of granite. Timber framed front with 2 bracketed jetties; carved bressumers and brackets. Cement rendering to gable and ground floor; exposed timbering to first floor with plaster panels. Gable windows, flush framed sashes with glazing bars; 10 light oriel window to first floor forehall with leaded lights is an insertion of circa 1900 (carved date) in the opening of the original 16th/17th century window; modern 3 light mullioned windows to ground floor with leaded lights and barred fanlights over. Modern architraved doorway with nail-studded panel door with ornamental hinges. At side, 3 storeys. Timber-framed staircase bay with 4 light windows, all mostly renewed. At rear 6 light mullioned stone windows with cavetto mouldings, hood moulds and leaded lights. Timber-framed first floor gallery to kitchen block with open ground floor loggia. 2 storey masonry kitchen range with 2 and 4 light windows similar to those in rear facade of main house. Lead rainwater head inscribed "W.P 1823". Interior original spiral staircase with round timber newel rising full height of house; turned balusters and newels to landings. Panelled partitions to chambers and staircase with ogee mouldings; similar mouldings and carved 'urn type' stops to doorways on first and second floor, Oriel window recess of first floor fore-hall with ovolo mouldings. Original fireplaces in side walls with flattened, arched heads, ogee, mouldings and 'urn type' stops similar to joinery; first floor fireplace with plaster back decorated with painted chequer work. Early 17th century chimneypiece in ground floor back chamber brought from Number 49 Fore Street and inserted circa 1962: similar chimneypiece in rear kitchen brought from 14 High Street and inserted at the same time, Number 70 was extensively renovated between 1958 and 1962 when the building was converted for use as a museum.

Adams, A., 2010, Sgraffito - Decorated and Painted Plaster on Devon Fireplaces, 4; Fig 7 (Report - non-specific). SDV354436.

Geometric-design sgraffito on two of the fireplaces.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV11470Monograph: Beacham, P. M.. 1990. Devon Buildings. Devon Buildings. Unknown. 106-7.
SDV145408Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1965. Proceedings at the 103rd Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 97. A5 Hardback. 26.
SDV339478List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 2007. Totnes. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV339480Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX86SW 54. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV339481Article in Serial: Pantin, W. A.. 1962 - 1963. Medieval Archaeology. Medieval Archaeology. 6-7. Unknown. 202-39.
SDV339482Report - Excavation: Simpson, S. J.. 1990. Archaeological Excavation at Totnes Museum, 70 Fore Street, Totnes, 1989. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 90.12. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV340328Report - Assessment: Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. 1996. Assessment of Civic Centre Area, Totnes. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K477. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV342722List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1978. Totnes. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 40-41.
SDV354436Report - non-specific: Adams, A.. 2010. Sgraffito - Decorated and Painted Plaster on Devon Fireplaces. Exeter Archaeology. 10.24. A4 Grip Bound + Digital. 4; Fig 7.

Associated Monuments

MDV80582Related to: Paradise Cottage, Totnes (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 27 2015 1:07PM