HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV9100
Name:8 High Street, Totnes


The building was once the Town Hall and subsequently the Cloth Hall. The building was then converted during the 18th century into a dwelling place and most recently into business premises. Grade II*.


Grid Reference:SX 802 604
Map Sheet:SX86SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTotnes
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishTOTNES

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX86SW/47
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CLOTH HALL (Unknown date)
  • GUILDHALL (Unknown date)
  • TOWN HALL (Unknown date)
  • BUSINESS CENTRE (XVIII to XXI - 1719 AD to 2009 AD)
  • HOUSE (XVIII to XXI - 1719 AD to 2009 AD)

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX86SW18 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV350486.

Visit on 15/08/1951. The whole of the offices occupy the remains of the Old Cloth Hall. It is obvious that the Old Cloth Hall has been modified considerably apparently in the 18th century. The Cloth Hall was probably converted in the 18th century into a dwelling place and it was later turned into business premises now occupied by Kellock anmd Cornmish Bowden Solicitors (Ridyard).

Laithwaite, M., 11/04/1968, Letter by M. Laithwaite (Correspondence). SDV141187.

Visit in around 1968 (Laithwaite) records that numbers 8 and 10 High Street are a splendid pair with cobbled space in centres. The rear part of number 8 (Old Cloth Hall, rebuilt circa 1719) with good ceiling and staircase of early 18th century.

White, 1890, Devonshire Directory, 986 (Unknown). SDV350487.

Visit in around 1890 (White) records 'among the buildings of interest (in Totnes) is one now (1890) used as a solicitor's office, the site of which was anciently the Cloth Hall and earlier still the Town Hall'.

Rea, C. F., 1923, Totnes in Bygone Days, 13 (Un-published). SDV337093.

Dated 07/12/1923. A building referred to in 1642 as "lately called the Old Guildhall, sithence used for a Cloth Hall". This was the back part of 8 High Street, now Messrs Kellock and Cornish Bowdens office. In 1600, the Hall, containing 'one press for woollen cloth' was leased 'together with the benefit, profit and commodity of the hall aidge (possibly aulnege) of all woollen cloth, merchandise and other things, which of right ought to be brought into the said Hall, being appointed a common Hall for the purpose'. The duty of the aulneger was to stamp the bales of cloth which were up to a proper standard.

Mr Kellock, 1951, 8 High Street, Totnes (Personal Comment). SDV350489.

Mr Kellock of Kellock and Cornish Bowden, 8 High Street, Totnes told Ridyard, G.W. on 15/08/1951, that 'to the best of my knowledge the whole of our offices occupy the remains of the Old Cloth Hall'.

Department of Environment, 1978, Totnes, 64-65 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV342722.

Dated 16/03/1978. Circa 1719. 3 storeys. 3 windows to 1st floor. Slightly recessed pent-roofed addition in west side. Hipped welsh slate roof with modillion eaves cornice. Timber-framed plastered front with moulded bressumer to jettied 1st floor. Masonry party wall with plastered finish to match front and moulded corbels at 1st floor level. Architraved sash windows with glazing bars; windows of 1st floor set in 7 bay panelled screen with wrought iron window guards. Paired sash windows to ground floor. Round-arch doorway with console bracketed cornice and raised and fielded panel door. Interior with 2 original c18, open staircases (1 in extension) with closed strings, turned balusters, square newels and moulded handrails. Ground floor rear and 1st floor rooms with original plaster cornices and ceilings with ogee moulded ribwork. Ground floor passage with panelled dado. Original panelled doors and cupboards. 18th century and 19th century chimneypieces.

Keystone, 1998, 10a High Street, Totnes, Devon (Report - Survey). SDV350450.

Google, 2012, Google Streetview (Website). SDV348799.

The building is currently occupied by 'Kellock and Johnson, Solicitors and Commissioners for Oaths'.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Cox, J. + Thorp, J. R. L., 2017, 8 and 8a, High Street: Totnes Historic Building Recording (Report - Survey). SDV360614.

8 & 8a High Street, Totnes, are a fascinating pair of town houses from an historic and archaeological point of view, built on the site of the medieval Guildhall, later converted to a cloth hall. Documentary evidence suggests that the Guildhall was built back from the street front with a small merchant’s house in front (facing onto the High Street). There is some fabric from the old merchant’s house in the front part (No 8), probably dating from the second half of the 17th century.

Documentary evidence indicates that the cloth hall to rear, the medieval Guildhall, was rebuilt as the
present house shortly before 1719 by the clothier. The front house appears to have been massively rebuilt at the same time, since they share similar features, notably the staircases and ribbed ornamental plaster ceilings. The two houses also share similar floor plans, which are of great interest. Perhaps the most remarkable survival is the east window to the rear house (No 8a), apparently a display window to Langworthy’s clothing shop. This and other windows are early survivals of sash windows with fat glazing bars. Moreover, they happily sit in, and contribute to, the large stock and variety of historic houses which survive along High Street and Fore Street in Totnes. Finally, the panelled first floor front overlooking the High Street is a remarkable display, matched only by that of No 10, the adjacent house to the west, the other side of the ancient courtyard between the two.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV141187Correspondence: Laithwaite, M.. 11/04/1968. Letter by M. Laithwaite. Letter.
SDV337093Un-published: Rea, C. F.. 1923. Totnes in Bygone Days. Unknown. 13.
SDV342722List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1978. Totnes. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 64-65.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #109305 ]
SDV348799Website: Google. 2012. Google Streetview. http://maps.google.co.uk. Website.
SDV350450Report - Survey: Keystone. 1998. 10a High Street, Totnes, Devon. Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants Report. K537. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV350486Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX86SW18. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV350487Unknown: White. 1890. Devonshire Directory. Unknown. 986.
SDV350489Personal Comment: Mr Kellock. 1951. 8 High Street, Totnes. Unknown.
SDV360614Report - Survey: Cox, J. + Thorp, J. R. L.. 2017. 8 and 8a, High Street: Totnes Historic Building Recording. Keystone. K899. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7457 - 8 and 8a, High Street, Totnes, Devon: Historic Building Recording. (Ref: K899)

Date Last Edited:Apr 19 2018 3:22PM