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HER Number:MDV9344
Name:Canonteign Barton, Christow


Canonteign Barton, or Manor, Christow. Also known as Old Canonteign. Three-storey 16th century mansion with numerous mullioned and transomed windows and an E-shaped plan. The current house dates to around 1820 and there was a major restoration in the 1970s, after the house had become quite dilapidated. Now a farmhouse.


Grid Reference:SX 837 831
Map Sheet:SX88SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChristow
Ecclesiastical ParishCHRISTOW

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 88 SW 14
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX88SW/11
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 85587
  • Pastscape: 447351

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANSION HOUSE (XV to XXI - 1500 AD to 2011 AD (Between))

Full description

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 103 (Monograph). SDV323771.

There was formerly a chapel at Canon-teign, a house which was garrisoned, but taken by Parliamentarians in 1645.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 75 (Monograph). SDV336217.

The old house is divided into farmhouse and cottages. Elizabethan on the "E" plan with many gables and windows up to six lights (the new house dates to approximately 1820).

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SX88SW14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV311476.

A three-storey 16th century house with mullioned and transomed windows, some probably retaining original greenish glass, others roughly boarded, and some completely open to the weather. Much of the house is hidden by ivy. It is now a farmhouse and cottages. No information on the former chapel, attached or incorporated into the house. Roof is modern slate, but the building is in a deplorable state of disrepair. (Photocopied photograph from 1953 included)

Department of Environment, 1988, Christow, 54-5 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV308409.

Manor House. Circa late 16th century, major restoration of the 1970s; stone rubble with granite dressings; slate gabled roof; projecting external stacks with granite ashlar shafts. E-plan, studiously symmetrical, the main block facing east with a central porch; short north and south crosswings. Three storeys. Symmetrical 7 window front with a central 3 storey gabled porch. Much altered. Roof structural features. See List for full details.

Devon County Council, 1988, JY, 8-9a (Aerial Photograph). SDV311481.

Style, C. + Style, O., 1999, Canonteign Manor, Christow (Report - Assessment). SDV347675.

Canonteign Manor, Christow possibly built between circa 1585 and circa 1589 for Robert Davye, Esquire of Canonteign son of Gilbert Dayve, Esquire son of Robert Dayve of Credition, merchant. Major restoration from circa 1965 to circa 1980.
See report for detailed chronology and reproduction of historical sources regarding the manor. Other details: 200 page report.

Humphreys, C., 2002, Archaeological Evaluation at Canonteign Manor, Christow (Report - Assessment). SDV347644.

Four trenches excavated to the south-west of the house found no evidence of any previous occupation.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

Canonteign Barton manor house. Circa late 16th century, major restoration of the 1970s; stone rubble with granite dressings; slate gabled roof; projecting external stacks with granite ashlar shafts. Plan: E plan, studiously symmetrical, the main block facing east with a central porch; short north and south crosswings.
The internal plan has been obscured by altered partitions but the hall appears to have been to the left of the porch; a modest 17th century dog-leg stair leads off the hall at the rear left. The left crosswing now consists of one large room to the front, a smaller to the rear but the partition between is modern: 2 heated rooms to the right crosswing, partition removed. Small heated room between right crosswing and hall with a 1970s stair to the rear. The first floor has been re-arranged in the 1970s but the remnants of a plaster chimneypiece above a blocked fireplace in a cupboard suggests a great chamber over the hall. The second storey, now an attic, consists of what may have been a long gallery at the front with a series of small heated chambers to the rear. There is no surviving stair to this storey and with no plasterwork remaining it is difficult to judge its original status, but the moulded chimneypieces are surprisingly good for servants' accommodation and were perhaps guest chambers. There are no surviving subsidiary buildings to the house and no obvious kitchen or service rooms within it.
Exterior: three storeys. Symmetrical 7 window front with a central 3-storey gabled porch, the gabled ends of the crosswings to left and right, the main range gabled to the front on either side of the porch which is flanked by projecting lateral stacks with granite ashlar shafts. Plinth, granite string-courses and coped granite gables, complete set of granite mullioned and transomed windows with relieving arches,3-,4-, 6- and 8-light, the second storey widows with hoodmoulds, the string courses acting as hoodmoulds for the other windows; all windows glazed with 20th century square leaded panes. The slender porch is crowned with a bellcote, a recess in the gable originally held armorial bearings (information from owner). Narrow, moulded, square- headed outer doorway. The left and right returns are also symmetrical: each with a central gable flanked by projecting stacks with granite ashlar shafts; 3-light granite mullioned and transomed windows, glazed as on the front elevation. The left return has a square-headed moulded granite doorframe in the centre. The rear elevation has four gables to the main block, chimney shafts at angles with crosswings. Complete set of 3-light granite transomed mullioned windows, glazed as on the front elevation. The north crosswing has a blocked doorway in the end wall with a timber lintel; two granite moulded doorframes to pear of main block; one with a cranked, one with a cambered head. Interior: Much altered, both with respect to partitions and to the ceilings, which have been completely replaced except for in the north crosswing where the chamfered stopped cross beams may be original. Moulded granite chimneypieces have survived throughout, including the second storey; the rear right ground floor fireplace in the north crosswing has a granite lintel supported on granite corbels. Little original joinery apart from the fine but modestly-scaled 17th century stair with turned balusters (altered on the first floor) ; panelled studded front door, and three ovolo-moulded stopped oak doorframes on the first floor. Granite internal doorframes between the hall and south crosswing, and hall and small rear room (not quite opposed to the first door). A plaster overmantel above a blocked fireplace on the first floor has armorial bearings, said to be those of the Davy family of Crediton (information from owner). No stair to the second story which is now simply attic space but with good granite moulded fireplaces in a series of former small chambers at the rear; long gallery or corridor to the front with a blocked fireplace. The second storey has a newel stair adjacent to one stack, presumably for access to the roof. Roof: Collar rafter roof trusses with a variety of joints, some pegged, some nailed. A Domesday Manor, Canonteign was given to the canons of St Mary du Val in Normandy in circa 1125 (Hoskins) and conveyed to the Prior and convent of Merton, in Surrey. It was granted to Lord John Russell after the Reformation, and then passed through a series of owners. It was garrisoned for the king during the Civil War and taken by Fairfax in 1645. According to Lysons it belonged to the Davy family in the 17th century. In 1812 Sir Edward Pellew, later Lord Viscount Exmouth, purchased the manor and the old house was reduced to a farm after 1828 when Exmouth built Canonteign House close by. It was semi-derelict prior to thorough restoration in the 1970s. Group value with farmbuildings, medieval cross and mid 19th century mining buildings nearby. Hoskins, W.G. Devon (1972 edition), p. 366. Lysons, D. Devonshire (1822), vol. II, p. 103-4. Photographs of house, prior to restoration, in N.M.R. Other details: LB UID: 85587.

National Monument Record, 2017, Pastscape, 447351 (Website). SDV359964.

Canonteign Barton, (name confirmed) has been thoroughly repaired and now appears in excellent condition (citing Ordnance Survey Field Investigators Comments, 05/10/1981).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV308409List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Christow. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 54-5.
SDV311476Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SX88SW14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV311481Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1988. JY. Devon Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 8-9a.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 103.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 75.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #109670 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347644Report - Assessment: Humphreys, C.. 2002. Archaeological Evaluation at Canonteign Manor, Christow. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV347675Report - Assessment: Style, C. + Style, O.. 1999. Canonteign Manor, Christow. Family Faces. A4 Bound.
SDV359964Website: National Monument Record. 2017. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. 447351.

Associated Monuments

MDV40385Related to: Canonteign Barton Farmstead, Christow (Monument)
MDV9345Related to: Cross at Canonteign Barton, Christow (Monument)
MDV9376Related to: Wheal Exmouth Mine, Christow (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5211 - Evaluation at Canonteign Manor, Christow

Date Last Edited:Mar 21 2017 12:24PM