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The Dower House

A Grade II* Listed Building in Lewtrenchard, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6554 / 50°39'19"N

Longitude: -4.1688 / 4°10'7"W

OS Eastings: 246788

OS Northings: 86211

OS Grid: SX467862

Mapcode National: GBR NV.8308

Mapcode Global: FRA 274B.RPR

Plus Code: 9C2QMR4J+5F

Entry Name: The Dower House

Listing Date: 7 November 1985

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1104818

English Heritage Legacy ID: 92337

Location: Lewtrenchard, West Devon, Devon, EX20

County: Devon

District: West Devon

Civil Parish: Lewtrenchard

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Tagged with: House

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4/90 The Dower House

House. Early to mid C16, alterations of 1664 and circa 1690. Stone rubble partly
colourwashed and rendered, some cob. Slate roofs gabled at ends. 5 stacks, 2 with
brick shafts, 1 rendered, 2 granite with moulded caps. The early C16 plan is
puzzling. It may have been a west-facing 3 room and through passage plan with the
hall stack backing on to the passage and a rear south wing with a great chamber with
a roof with painted decoration. However, the hall stack is not aligned with the
gable end of the main range and the possibility that the painted roof was an open
hall associated with a stack should not be discounted. The south wing was extended
or rebuilt to the west of the west wing, probably before 1664, forming a heated
parlour wing which was extended to the north in 1664 by a second span heated by the
non-aligned stack which has an adjoining stone newel stair. A rear north wing also
appears to date from the late C17. In circa 1690 the south wing was entirely
remodelled internally with a fine stair, canted plaster ceiling to the principal
first floor room and panelling and a decorated plaster ceiling to the ground floor
room. A gable on the south side suggests that there may have been a wing which no
longer exists.
In the late C19 Sabine Baring-Gould was responsible for some cosmetic alterations to
the interior. 2 storeys. 1- + 2- + 1-window south front with irregular
fenestration. Central shallow projection with asymmetrical gable contains late C17
stair. C19 entrance in front at left of projection under rectangular fanlight. A
recess to the right raised about 1 metre above ground level may be a blocked doorway.
Stair light is a 3-light casement, 5 panes per light. Above the C19 doorway is a 2-
light granite hollow-chamfered mullioned window. To the left of the projection a
ground floor 3-light granite hollow-chamfered mullioned window with leaded panes,
similar first floor window. To the right of the projection a 4-light circa late C17
timber mullioned casement: 3-lights have 15-panes, 1-light has 8-panes. A 3-light
first floor casement has 8 panes per light. Adjoining the south wing at the south is
a small projection, formerly containing a stair. The west front of the west wing has
2-, 3- and 4-light mullioned windows with leaded panes. Projecting west gable end
stack has set-offs. The entrance in the west front is an arched timber doorway with
ogival head under a slated canopy.
Interior 3 trusses of the C16 great chamber or open hall survive above the C17 first
floor ceiling. The trusses are collar rafter with chamfered cambered collars
mortised into the principals, the chamfers continuing on the principals and the arch
picked out with red paint on the collars and principals. The principals appear to
have curved feet. Diagonally set ridge and 3-tiers of trenched purlins, each purlin
chamfered with a step runout stop. The lowest tier is painted red with a decoration
of scrollwork. The trusses over the north end of the west wing have collars mortised
and side-pegged into the principals and threaded purlins. Trusses over the north
wing have collars halved and pegged to the principals, similar trusses to south west
wings. 1 small collar rafter truss survives below the present ridge level above the
C17 stair. The ground floor room of the south wing is panelled throughout with
bolection-moulded panelling. Contemporary bolection-moulded fireplace surround
intact. Decorated plaster ceiling has central oval motif enriched with foliage
designs. The principal room above has a canted plaster ceiling with a moulded
cornice carried round the principals on the south and north sides. A narrow C17
panelled door leads into the former stair turret. Fine softwood dogleg stair has
heavy turned balusters, newels of square section, a flat moulded hand rail and
contemporary dog gate. The south west wing has 1 panelled wall, some of the
panelling C17, the rest extended in the C19, probably by Baring-Gould. The 1664
addition has a boxed-in chamfered cross beam; the C17 fireplace is partly blocked and
a C19 panelled overmantel largely conceals a large chamfered granite lintel. A
doorway to the left of the fireplace leads to a stone newel stair. The north end of
the west wing has exposed ceiling beams and a partly blocked massive fireplace with a
timber lintel carried on a moulded corbel to the left.
The dower house was in the possession of the Monk family until the estate was
purchased by the Goulds in 1620. Sabine Baring-Gould is reputed to have removed some
of the fittings of local houses to Lew House (q.v. The Manor Hotel) and it is
possible that panelling and overmantels at Lew House originate from the Dower House.
An important survival of a decorated C16 roof in conjunction with an unusually
complete C17 interior.

Listing NGR: SX4678886211

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