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HER Number:MDV9147
Name:Stover House, Teigngrace


Country house built in 1776-81 for James Templer, with additions of circa 1830, possibly by Philip Hardwick for the 11th Duke of Somerset. It became a school in the 1930s.


Grid Reference:SX 838 742
Map Sheet:SX87SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTeigngrace
Ecclesiastical ParishTEIGNGRACE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX87SW/25
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 84662
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX87SW3

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANSION HOUSE (Built, XVIII to XIX - 1776 AD to 1850 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 03/07/1986, Teigngrace, 152-3 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV299514.

Country house, in use as school since 1932. Built in 1776-81 for James Templer, with additions of circa 1830, possibly by Philip Hardwick for 11th Duke of Somerset. Four bucket heads have initials J.T. and date 1776. Haytor granite ashlar with rusticated quoins and rusticated basements with band above and stringcourse at ground floor window level. Parapet and cornice with mutules. Portland stone porte-cochere, coated slate hipped roof with lead roll hips and 4 stacks with classical pots. Almost square plan. Two storeys, sub-basement, basement and attic. Symmetrical 1:3:1 bay north-west and south-east elevations, the centre 3 windows full height canted bays. Canted bay on south-east entrance front has round arched pilastered doorway with 19th century glazed doors. A large Doric hexastyle porte-cochere was built in front of the entrance circa 1830. The centre columns are spaced to accommodate a mounting block on the stylobate, above there is a Doric entablature. The door is approached up ballustraded paved stone quadrant stairs to a landing which breaks forward; to either side a cast iron lantern topped with a ducal coronet. South-west and north-east side elevations of 4 bays. Over the centre of south-west side, granite fronted attic window rises above the parapet, as also does the stair tower at the centre of the north-east side, both probably additions of circa 1830. Flat-arched window openings with plain sills: original hornless sashes except 3 lower sashes to north-west. Original 2-light casements to sub-basement with 6 panes each and ferramenta. 6-pane sashes to basement. Entrance floor has sashes of 6 panes over 6 and first floor has 3 over 6 panes. Small flat roofed dormers with glazing bars behind parapet. Stone ballustrade.to basement area. Linked to the south-west corner is a single storey office of rusticated granite with wide band below eaves of a hipped slate roof, two by one bay elevations with 6-pane hornless sash windows. Adjoining 2-storey rendered service block has sash windows within blind arcading below moulded cornice and blocking course and hipped slate roof.
Interior: almost symmetrical plan with central north-south corridor reflected on all floors. Sub-basement was store and cellar, stone floored and vaulted. Basement was kitchens and service rooms with stone floors. At entrance level were the reception rooms. On the first floor were the main bedrooms and on the second floor chiefly staff accommodation. The principal floor comprises entrance hall and saloon on the east-west axis with a collonaded screen with staircases off either end of it on the north-south axis. (Main stair to the north). In the north-west and south-west corners are reception rooms with perhaps more private rooms in the opposite corners. The principal east room (entrance hall) entered from vestibule off port-cochere, has a distyle screen opposite with fluted columns, engaged responds, Adam style capitals and decorative plasterwork entablature with cornice with mutules. Round arch north and south to staircase lobbies; double doors to saloon centrally framed. Principal room (saloon) with mantlepiece of white and buff veined marble, Ionic columns with entablature blocks, dentil cornice, central panel with swagged urn and 19th century grate with brass mounts. Adam style plasterwork ceiling with fluted and enriched roundel surrounded by oval necklace of small circular reliefs of garlanded profiles. Shutters to canted bay have cross-fluted panels and enriched casings. Mahogany doors north and south have architraves with vase-interlace friezes to the entablatures. The south-west room (possibly drawing room) is richly decorated : Adam style plasterwork ceiling with enriched fluted central roundel, swagged border and oval medallions of the Pascal Lamb. Strips at either end with paired gryphons. Enriched cornice and dado cornice. Marble mantlepiece with polychrome inlay, splat pilasters and fine central relief of a shepherd boy. Plasterwork overmantle with classical scene in a roundel surroundcd by wreaths and swags. The entablatures to the architraves of the two mahogany doors have friezes of flower baskets and twining wreaths. At the east end a door between 2 niches of oval plan with embellished fluted vaults. The north-west room (possibly dining room) is simpler : plasterwork ceiling in the Adam style of central rose in square frame with Templer arms in oval bay-leaf wreaths and end strips with classical relief. Marble mantlepiece with polychrome inlay has frieze of urns and paterae and 19th century grate with brass mounts. Plasterwork overmantle with rectangular frame around circular classical plaque surrounded by garlands and vine swags. In the south-east corner a simple room (possibly once a library) has plasterwork overmantle and cornice. All the reception rooms have mahogany doors some with remains of original brass door furniture with swagged mounts. The main staircase is cantilevered with open string and open round-ended well; the balustrade is of wrought iron with cast embellishments and a wreathed. Mahogany handrail. Adam style plasterwork ceiling cornice with paired acanthus brackets and buccrania. Buccrania friezes also to the doorcases and round classical plaques on the walls. At first floor level, round arch to central corridor of 3 bays separated by round panelled arches on pilasters with swagged consoles, the outer bays with flat ceilings, centre roses and pendentives. The middle bay has a centre ring, once open to the second floor where there must have been a circular ballustrade beneath the existing Adam style dome with swags and paterae and an oculus (now with 20th century light). Much original pine flooring exists throughout the house and there are said to be some original fireplaces on the first floor. The interiors are of excellent quality. It seems possible that entrance was originally on south side and that secondary staircase projection here is later. Colvin's reference to drawing of Stover Lodge (former name) in Hardwick family collection suggests porte-cochere is by Philip Hardwick.
Stover was home of James Templer (died 1782) who made his fortune completing government works in Madras and Plymouth. His son James II (lawyer) and grandson, George, built the Stover Canal and Haytor tramway respectively, both lived at Stover before purchase by eleventh duke of Somerset 1829.
H Colvin, Biographical dictionary of Architects, 1978 p.389
A J Key, Stover the storey of a school, 1982.

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 486 (Monograph). SDV323771.

Watkin, H. R., 1924 - 1925, Templer Family, 326-30 (Article in Serial). SDV341503.

James Templer pulled down the old house, 'Stoford Lodge', in 1765 and built 'Stover' of Dartmoor granite. Other details: 292.

Watkin, H. R., 1930 - 1934, Teign, Teign Bruer, Teign Le Gras, Teign Graas, Teign Grace, 133-43 (Article in Serial). SDV341505.

Descent of ownership given.

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

Adams, E. A., 1946, The Old Heytor Granite Railway, 157 (Article in Serial). SDV341504.

Built by James Templer in 1776, using granite from the Haytor quarries.

Department of Environment, 1952, Newton Abbot RD (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV304573.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SX87SW 3 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV341508.

The present Stover House was built in 1776, and is a girls' school.

Colvin, H. M., 1978, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, 389 (Monograph). SDV341512.

Mitchell, M., 1979, Ball Clay Survey of South Devon (Archive - Survey). SDV341500.

Visited 29/6/1979. Stover House: built in 1776, said to have been designed by Robert Adam. Now in use as a girl's school. Other details: Number 18 (worksheet 23).

Dudley, E. R., 1982, Stover House (Worksheet). SDV341506.

Visited September 1982. 1777 datestone above first floor window at rear. Internal features, lithographs and other documentation noted. Stable block to west of house has bell turret and clock (reconstructed 1896). Stable block/grotto to east of house lies adjacent to pleasure garden and has datestone of 1779. Sketches and other details on worksheet. Other details: Photos.

Key, A. J., 1982, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV341513.

Devon County Council, 1988, Templer Way Guide for the Walker (Leaflet). SDV341502.

Stover house is not accessible to the public but is now a private school.

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/ND, 11, 12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV341515.

Gray, T., 1996, Stover (Un-published). SDV359862.

The estate was purchased by James Templer in 1765. He demolished the old mansion house and built a new house of Haytor granite on top of the hill. Inscribed on one side of the house are the words 'Built by James Templer Esq., 1777'. The house is an austere Palladian villa with a grand portico which was added in the early 19th century. The rich interior is in the style of Robert Adam. James Templer also laid out elaborate grounds around the house. The house remained in the Templer family until 1829 when the estate was purchased by Edward Adophus Seymour, 11th Duke of Somerset and it remained the family's principal Devon residence throughout most of the 19th century. The census returns for 1841-188s show how the staff changed and reduced in number during that period. The property became a school in the earlier 20th century. Soldiers were based on the estate during the Second World War. Today part of the original estate is run as Stover Country Park by Devon County Council. See report for more information.

English Heritage, 2000, Stover Park (Register of Parks and Gardens in England). SDV341514.

Stover House stands on an eminence at the south-west corner of the park. The house, constructed between 1776 and 1780, probably to the designs of its owner, James Templer, is an austere Palladian villa built in granite ashlar. The basement is rusticated, and canted bays extend from the north-west and south-east facades. A portico of circa 1830 comprising 6 Greek Doric columns is connected the the south-east canted bay by curving brick walls, and is reached by a double flight of steps. To the west a quadrant wing connects the main house to a 2 storey pavillion, originally containing service rooms. The pavillion, quadrant wing and south-east portico formed part of the alterations made to the house by the 11th Duke of Somerset after his purchase of the estate in 1829. The house has been used as a school since 1932, but has been little altered. Other details: GD2286.

Adam, N., J. + Cox, P. W. + Chandler, J., 2001, Stover Ball Clay Works ROMPS, Teigngrace, Devon: Archaeological Assessment, 7 (Report - Assessment). SDV341497.

Other details: Site 2.

Waterhouse, R., 2006, Stover House. Archaeological Notes, 1, 3 (Report - non-specific). SDV364294.

Stover House stands on a low hill on the western side of the park. It together with the grounds immediately around it have been a private school since 1931. It was built 1776-1779 by James Templer using Dartmoor granite. It is thought to have been designed by Thomas Hardwick Junior (1752-1829). Later phases of development include stair towers of circa 1812 and a portico and stable block added circa 1830-40.

Askew Nelson Ltd, 2014, Stover Park. Parkland Plan, 24-25, 35-36, 46 (Un-published). SDV358318.

The house was built 1776-1780 by James Templer II (1748-1813) who married Mary Buller in 1776. The house was probably designed by Thomas Hardwick junior (1752-1829); a plan and elevation of the house are included in an album of sketches which he started in 1773.
A datestone on the house states that it was built by Jas Templer Esq 1777. All the rainwater hoppers are dated 1776.
The Doric Portico was added in 1833 and the servants wing was also added between 1829 and 1855.
The house became a Red Cross Hospital at the beginning of the First World War, between 1914 and 1915. After the First World War the Stover Estate was gradually broken up. The house was first leased as a school in 1932 and was acquired by Stover School with other land and property in the 1950s.

Blaylock, S., 2015, Stover Park, Devon, 3, 15 (Report - non-specific). SDV360090.

New house built circa 1776-1779 by James Templer about 300 metres to the south of the old house. Built on a more commanding site with panoramic views. The house and estate were sold to the 11th Duke of Somerset in 1129. Extenstions were made to the house by 1he 11th and 12th Dukes of Somerset from the 1830s-1850s including the Doric portico, western service range and service stair turret.

Ordnance Survey, 2017, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359962.

Drabble, S., 2018, Stover Park in the Great War, 5 (Monograph). SDV364354.

At the time of the First World War the Stover estate was owned by Richard Harold St Maur, grandson of the 12th Duke of Somerset. The house became a Red Cross Hospital for a short time during the war having been offered as such to the War Office by Mrs St Maur. The first patients were admitted in October 1914 but it closed just a year later, probably for financial reasons; it was financed by public donations.
The St Maurs do not appear to have resided much at Stover after the First World War, moving to Gloucestershire in the 1920s and thence travelling to Kenya where St Maur died in 1927.
In 1922, following the sale of parts of the Stover estate and the creation of Stover Estates Ltd, the mansion was leased Col. Welsh Thornton. He moved to Curtis Knowle in 1931 and in 1932 the mansion was leased to Joan Dence, founder of Stover School who are the present owners.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV299514List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 03/07/1986. Teigngrace. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 152-3.
SDV304573List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1952. Newton Abbot RD. Historic Houses Register. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 486.
SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV341497Report - Assessment: Adam, N., J. + Cox, P. W. + Chandler, J.. 2001. Stover Ball Clay Works ROMPS, Teigngrace, Devon: Archaeological Assessment. AC Archaeology Report. 0201/1/1. A4 Stapled + Digital. 7.
SDV341500Archive - Survey: Mitchell, M.. 1979. Ball Clay Survey of South Devon. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Survey of the Ball Clay Industry of . Mixed Archive Material.
SDV341502Leaflet: Devon County Council. 1988. Templer Way Guide for the Walker. Templer Way Guides. Leaflet.
SDV341503Article in Serial: Watkin, H. R.. 1924 - 1925. Templer Family. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 13. A4 Stapled. 326-30.
SDV341504Article in Serial: Adams, E. A.. 1946. The Old Heytor Granite Railway. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. A5 Hardback. 157.
SDV341505Article in Serial: Watkin, H. R.. 1930 - 1934. Teign, Teign Bruer, Teign Le Gras, Teign Graas, Teign Grace. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 6. Unknown. 133-43.
SDV341506Worksheet: Dudley, E. R.. 1982. Stover House. Worksheet.
SDV341508Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SX87SW 3. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV341512Monograph: Colvin, H. M.. 1978. A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840. A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840. Unknown. 389.
SDV341513Monograph: Key, A. J.. 1982. Stover: the Story of a School. Unknown.
SDV341514Register of Parks and Gardens in England: English Heritage. 2000. Stover Park. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. A4 Stapled.
SDV341515Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/ND. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 11, 12.
SDV358318Un-published: Askew Nelson Ltd. 2014. Stover Park. Parkland Plan. Digital. 24-25, 35-36, 46.
SDV359862Un-published: Gray, T.. 1996. Stover. Digital.
SDV359962Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #109354 ]
SDV360090Report - non-specific: Blaylock, S.. 2015. Stover Park, Devon. Digital. 3, 15.
SDV364294Report - non-specific: Waterhouse, R.. 2006. Stover House. Archaeological Notes. Devon Rural Archive. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1, 3.
SDV364354Monograph: Drabble, S.. 2018. Stover Park in the Great War. Stover Park in the Great War. Paperback Volume. 5.

Associated Monuments

MDV38611Related to: Bridge 300 metres north of Stover House (Monument)
MDV38612Related to: Clock House Stables, Stover School (Building)
MDV9991Related to: Granite Lodge, Stover Park (Building)
MDV28414Related to: Higher Lodge, Stover Park (Building)
MDV9142Related to: Site of Stover House or Stoford Lodge (Monument)
MDV38613Related to: Stover Bridge, A382, Teigngrace (Monument)
MDV54854Related to: Stover House Gardens (Monument)
MDV38628Related to: Stover House Stables (Building)
MDV56726Related to: Stover Park, Teigngrace (Monument)
MDV38627Related to: Summerhouse in Stover House Gardens (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4418 - Archaeological Assessment of Stover Ball Clay Works Romps, Teigngrace, Devon
  • EDV7223 - Contributions on Aspects of the Architectural History, Landscape History and Archaeology of Stover Park
  • EDV7491 - Preparation of Parkland Plan for Stover Park, Newton Abbot, Devon

Date Last Edited:Jun 3 2021 10:08AM