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Masonic Hall, Caretaker's House at Rear and Garden Walls at Left and Rear

A Grade II* Listed Building in Bideford, Devon

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Latitude: 51.02 / 51°1'11"N

Longitude: -4.2061 / 4°12'21"W

OS Eastings: 245365

OS Northings: 126825

OS Grid: SS453268

Mapcode National: GBR KJ.J48Z

Mapcode Global: FRA 262F.369

Entry Name: Masonic Hall, Caretaker's House at Rear and Garden Walls at Left and Rear

Listing Date: 8 November 1949

Last Amended: 19 April 1993

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1025135

English Heritage Legacy ID: 375744

Location: Bideford, Torridge, Devon, EX39

County: Devon

District: Torridge

Civil Parish: Bideford

Built-Up Area: Bideford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Bideford St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text


842-1/5/30 (North side)
08/11/49 No.12
Masonic Hall, caretaker's house at
rear and garden walls at left and
(Formerly Listed as:
(North side)


Part of a large house originally including No 11 (qv); now
Masonic hall with caretaker's house at rear. 1692; front
refaced and rear wing widened in C19. Solid rendered walls
(probably brick underneath). Slate roofs; crested red
ridge-tiles on front range. Rendered chimney at left end of
ridge on front range; 2 more at rear.
Plan: front range has through-passage at right-hand side; to
left of it the staircase with a room beyond that; one room in
rear wing with a range behind it, parallel to the street.
There must have been at least 2 more rooms fronting the street
(on the site of No 11) and it is quite possible that the house
had a full courtyard plan like that at Nos 28 and 28A (qv);
the rear range is not certainly original, but must date from
at least the early or mid C18.
2 storeys, with garret at rear. 4-window front covered with
rusticated render; raised band above ground storey. Moulded
wooden eaves-cornice. Windows segmental-headed with moulded
flush frames containing 6-paned sashes; sills supported by a
small bracket at each end, the ground-storey sills with low
decorated iron guards on top.
Wide doorway flanked by plain-shafted Ionic columns supporting
entablature with pulvinated frieze and modillioned cornice.
Doorway itself is segmental-headed, but fitted into it is a
square-headed moulded architrave and an 8-panelled door.
In front of latter a low wooden dog- or child-gate with turned
balusters; to left of doorcase an iron hook and ring,
presumably for tying up dogs or horses.
Rear wall of rear range (visible from Ropewalk) has
segmental-headed, flush-framed windows containing 6 or 8-paned
sashes; one in ground storey has early, thick, glazing-bars;
modillioned eaves cornice. Left-hand garden wall, adjoining
Lavington Chapel, is of old (probably late C17) red and yellow
brick; rear wall fronting Ropewalk is similar, built on a high
stone-rubble plinth.
INTERIOR: at rear of through-passage a round arch with moulded
imposts. Beyond it, to left, door to staircase; half-glazed
with coloured glass, fanlight with Gothic glazing-bars.
Open-well wooden staircase rising to second storey has closed,
pulvino-moulded strings, stout turned balusters, square newels
with flat moulded caps carrying ball-finials (the latter
probably a later addition), broad flat moulded handrail.
Ornate moulded ceiling with thick moulded ribs; round centre
panel with guilloche decoration, flanked by 2 shaped panels,
the whole enclosed in an oblong. Foliated boss in centre,
modillioned cornice enriched with egg-and-dart round the
Front and wing rooms in ground storey combined into a single
dining-room. Front part has raised bolection-moulded panelling
and foliated cornice; early C19 reeded door-frame with carved
flowers in top corners. Second-storey rooms above similarly
combined to form an imposing masonic temple with painted coved
ceiling and columns.
Rear section (in wing) has raised bolection-moulded architrave
and moulded cornice.
Front section has raised-and-fielded ovolo-moulded panelling
in early or mid C18 style. Front room over through-passage has
part of a box-cornice, apparently cut off when the house was
divided. Some of the panelling in the house is clearly C19 or
early C20 imitation, but the bulk of the bolection-moulded
panelling is almost certainly original. Rear range not
inspected, but ground-storey window has early or mid C18
shutters with raised-and-fielded ovolo-moulded panels.
This is Bideford Bridge Trust property, built under a lease of
21.9.1693 to John Smith, merchant. A second lease of 20.5.1698
describes it as the house 'wherein the said John Smith now
dwelleth and heretofore lately built by him'; it had a
frontage of 80ft. By 1784, when it was called the Great House,
it had already been divided into two houses, and by 1792 the
eastern house (No 11) had been rebuilt. The freemasons have
had their hall at No 12 since at least 1895.
(Bideford Bridge Trust Survey: A1/10; Wilson's Bideford
Almanack: 1895-: P.47).

Listing NGR: SS4539126851

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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