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HER Number:MDV95954
Name:Exeter Inn, 12-13 Litchdon Street, Barnstaple


The Exter Inn comprises a four-bay, two storey building fronting Litchdon Street with a rear wing extending from the north-west end. The building has been heavily modified including a later addition with cart entrance to the south-east but on sylistic evidence has been thought to date from between about 1575 and 1600. Dendrochronological analysis of roof timbers in the front range provided a precise felling date of winter 1601/2 indicating construction in 1601 or soon thereafter. A similar date was achieved from a roof timber in the rear wing but as this particular timber showed evidence of reuse it is difficult to say if this wing is contemporary. Excavation in the yard to the rear of the inn revealed three intercutting pits all containing kiln wasted. A great quantity of pottery and associated material was recovered dating to circa 1500.


Grid Reference:SS 560 328
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref: 485666

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PUBLIC HOUSE (Built, XVII - 1602 AD to 1602 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1855-1895, Towns 1855-95 1:500 (Cartographic). SDV348147.

'Exeter Inn' marked.

Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon + South West Archaeology, 2011, Barnstaple Exeter Inn: Community Excavation (Report - Interim). SDV351293.

A four-day community excavation over an area approximately 5.0 by 6.0 metres to the rear of the Exeter Inn recorded three intercutting pits, all of which contained kiln waste. A substantial amount of pottery and associated material (at least 750kg) was recovered, dating to circa 1500. An 18th or 19th century wall cutting through the three pits was also recorded.

Moir, A., 2012, Dendrochronological Analysis of Oak Timbers from the Exeter Inn, 12 & 13 Litchdon Street, Barnstaple, Devon, England (Report - Scientific). SDV351294.

The Exeter Inn lies on Litchdon Street, originally the main route into Barnstaple from the south. The front south-west-facing range is a four-bay, two-storey, end-chimney house, with roughcast walls. The building has a brick chimney at the south-east end. The slated roof is gabled. The roof has upper and lower purlins, the collars are notch lapjointed to the principal rafters. A rear wing extends from the north-west end. The Inn itself has beenheavily modified, including a later addition with cart entrance to the south-east, but from stylistic evidence, was previously thought to date from between c.1575 and 1600.
A total of eleven core samples were taken from roof timbers, all of which were confirmed as oak. Four of the eleven samples taken from the Exeter Inn match together to form an 81-year site chronology called BRNST-E1, which is dated to span AD 1521 to AD 1601. All the timbers dated are purlins. The Front Range provides two precise felling dates in the winter of AD 1601/2, together with a compatible felling-date range from one other timber, indicating that construction occurred in AD 1602, or soon after. The Rear Wing produces a single precise felling date in the Winter AD 1600/1. However, as this timber shows evidence of re-use it remains unclear whether the Rear Wing is coeval. Six samples from the principal rafters cross-match well together, but these timbers fail to date, most likely
due to them being from a separate source that was subject to management.
Cross-matching against individual buildings and area reference chronologies is sufficiently high to indicate that the dated timbers probably came from local sources.

Google, 2013, Google Streetview (Website). SDV350787.

Shown boarded-up.

Southwest Archaeology, 2013, Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database, Mapping Area 874, 2009 (Un-published). SDV351581.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Exeter Inn, 12 and 13 Lichdon Street. (Formerly Listed as: Litchdon Street, Exeter Inn).
Public house. Probably C17 or earlier, remodelled early C19; right-hand section probably an early C19 addition. Solid roughcast walls. Slated roof, hipped to right. Red brick chimneys on right end walls of original building and addition. 2 storeys. 6-window range. Main building 4-window range with side doorway off-centre to right. Windows have 8-paned sashes, except for 3rd upper-storey window from left, which is blind. Addition has cart-entrance with double plank doors to left; window with 2-paned sashes in centre, 6-panelled door to right, the top 2 panels now glazed, the bottom panels replaced by vertical planking. Upper storey has 2-light C20 metal casements with 8 panes per light.
Interior not inspected.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV348147Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. Towns 1855-95 1:500. Towns 1855-95 1:500. Digital.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #109872 ]
SDV350787Website: Google. 2013. Google Streetview. http://maps.google.co.uk. Website.
SDV351293Report - Interim: Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon + South West Archaeology. 2011. Barnstaple Exeter Inn: Community Excavation. Southwest Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV351294Report - Scientific: Moir, A.. 2012. Dendrochronological Analysis of Oak Timbers from the Exeter Inn, 12 & 13 Litchdon Street, Barnstaple, Devon, England. Tree-Ring Services. EXEI/04/12. Digital.
SDV351581Un-published: Southwest Archaeology. 2013. Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database. Greater Barnstaple Area Project. Digital. Mapping Area 874, 2009.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds

  • FDV5417 - POT (XV to XVI - 1450 AD to 1550 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV4622 - Archaeological Significance of Litchdon Street Potteries, Barnstaple
  • EDV5565 - Survey of Penrose Almshouses, Barnstaple
  • EDV6151 - Dendrochronological Analysis, Exeter Inn, Litchdon Street (Ref: EXEI/04/12)
  • EDV6150 - Community Excavation at the Exeter Inn, Litchdon Street, Barnstaple

Date Last Edited:Oct 10 2013 11:36AM