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HER Number:MDV9233
Name:Clergy Widow's Houses, Newton Abbot


Four houses built in the 17th century to house clergy widows. Two of the houses have been demolished. The remaining two houses on the site do not look to be 17th century and the implication is that they have been rebuilt, or at least extensively altered and modernised.


Grid Reference:SX 864 710
Map Sheet:SX87SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNewton Abbot
Ecclesiastical ParishWOLBOROUGH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX87SE/33
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX87SE8

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ALMSHOUSE (Early Medieval to XXI - 1066 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX87SE8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV348959.

Site visit 2nd December 1952. The 1638 datestone was found on one of the houses suring recent repairs. Two of the houses were rebuilt in the last century. The remaining two do not appear to be as old as 1638 but have probably been extensively altered and modernised. Projecting bonding on the eastern one shows where the other houses formerly joined. Other details: Photo.

Unknown, 1845, Wolborough (Cartographic). SDV285913.

Longer building depicted on the Tithe Map (167) suggesting that two of the houses were demolished in the second half of the 19th century.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Two houses shown in this location on the 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map.

Windeatt, E., 1884, Nonconformity in Newton and its Neighbourhood, 492 (Article in Serial). SDV348896.

The Widows Houses were built on a piece of land called Churchill.

Harris, S. G., 1899, Notes on the History of Newton Abbot, 285-297 (Article in Serial). SDV338239.

A few years after 1633, Lady Lucy Reynell founded and endowed a hospital not far from Forde House for the 'reception of the relicts of clergymen, four in number'. The houses are still called The Widow's Houses. The original houses bore the inscription 'The Widowe's House, 1638 with a rhyming couplet beneath.

Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 137 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

Widows' houses founded by Lady Lucy Reynell in 1638 on the eastern extremity of the town to the south of East Street.

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

Google Streetview shows the two houses to be two storey, rendered and painted cream with blue window cills and doors and ornate porches with steeply pitched roofs. Slate roof with overhanging eaves. Lines of projecting brickwork and buttresses on the south-east elevation.

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV285913Cartographic: Unknown. 1845. Wolborough. Tithe Map. Map (Paper).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV338239Article in Serial: Harris, S. G.. 1899. Notes on the History of Newton Abbot. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 31. A5 Hardback. 285-297.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 137.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #109524 ]
SDV348799Website: Google. 2012. Google Streetview. http://maps.google.co.uk. Website.
SDV348896Article in Serial: Windeatt, E.. 1884. Nonconformity in Newton and its Neighbourhood. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 16. Unknown. 492.
SDV348959Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX87SE8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.

Associated Monuments

MDV23031Related to: Newton Abbot Almshouses, East Street (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 24 2019 3:41PM