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HER Number:MDV9104
Name:Lower Almshouses, The Plains, Totnes


The site of Lower Almshouses or Norris's Almshouses founded by John Norris in 1589 and demolished in 1830.


Grid Reference:SX 805 603
Map Sheet:SX86SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTotnes
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishTOTNES

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX86SW/51

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ALMSHOUSE (XVI to XIX - 1589 AD to 1830 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX86SW22 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV350491.

Visit on 15/08/1951. Almshouses sited at SX80546033 from Rea's (1923) description. The rebuilt almshouses embodying the windows from The Plain are in the Grove at SX80326026.

Windeatt, E., 1876, Private Paper in possession of Mr G. Windeatt, Town Clerk of the Totnes Council (Un-published). SDV168931.

Lower Almshouses, Norris's Almshouses, on The Plains. These stood formerly on the west side of The Plains and from an old picture of that portion of the town appear to have been very ancient buildings. They contained ten rooms occupied by that number of families, but the two at the northern end were built with the gift of John Norris. It does not appear from what funds the eight rooms were erected but it is probable it was done by the corporation who kept them in repair and on their being pulled down in 1830, rebuilt them in The Grove (MDV9105). The old stonework of the windows in perpendicular style, was retained when they were rebuilt.

Windeatt, E., 1900, Totnes: Its Mayors and Mayoralities, 1627-1676, 113 (Article in Serial). SDV168934.

Rea, C. F., 1923, Totnes in Bygone Days, 10-11 (Un-published). SDV337093.

On The Plains facing the bridge were the Lower Almshouses founded by John Norris in 1589. In the report of the charity commissioners of 1822 they were described as being in a ruinous condition about 1830 they were taken down and rebuilt in the grove. On this building there are two inscriptions: one, on stone on the Victoria Street side of the widows' almshouses is: "remember the poor: god will remember you. 1590". The other is on brass:- "almshouse of John Norris". The inscriptions were transferred to the new building. In 1836, the Mayor and burgesses granted to Mr Henry Webber, carpenter of Totnes, 'a lease of a piece of waste ground near The Plains being the site of the old Almshouses'. On the site he erected the four houses that are standing there today namely: Number 2 Fore Street (the Corner House) and numbers 1, 2 and 3 The Plains.

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV168931Un-published: Windeatt, E.. 1876. Private Paper in possession of Mr G. Windeatt, Town Clerk of the Totnes Council. Unknown.
SDV168934Article in Serial: Windeatt, E.. 1900. Totnes: Its Mayors and Mayoralities, 1627-1676. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 32. Unknown. 113.
SDV337093Un-published: Rea, C. F.. 1923. Totnes in Bygone Days. Unknown. 10-11.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #109314 ]
SDV350491Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX86SW22. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.

Associated Monuments

MDV90085Related to: 1-3 The Plains, Totnes (Building)
MDV9105Related to: Lower Almshouses, The Grove, Totnes (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 8 2013 4:34PM