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The Mansion House

A Grade II* Listed Building in Dartmouth, Devon

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Latitude: 50.3503 / 50°21'0"N

Longitude: -3.5781 / 3°34'41"W

OS Eastings: 287823

OS Northings: 51228

OS Grid: SX878512

Mapcode National: GBR QS.RJC4

Mapcode Global: FRA 38D3.MVX

Entry Name: The Mansion House

Listing Date: 14 September 1949

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1197496

English Heritage Legacy ID: 387286

Location: Dartmouth, South Hams, Devon, TQ6

County: Devon

District: South Hams

Civil Parish: Dartmouth

Built-Up Area: Dartmouth

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Dartmouth Townstal

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text


673-1/8/164 (North side)
14/09/49 No.2
The Mansion House


House, now restaurant and offices with accommodation above.
Built in 1736 for Captain Edward Ashe, renovated in 1979.
Stone rubble, plastered on the front which may be brick or
have brick dressings; end and rear stacks with C19 brick
chimneyshafts; slate roof.
PLAN: Double-depth, 2 rooms wide with central entrance hall
and rear stairhall.
EXTERIOR: 3 storeys; symmetrical 5-window front. Plastered
front is lightly blocked out as ashlar. Central doorway and
ground-floor windows are all round-headed with moulded stucco
architraves with triple keystones. Doorway emphasised by side
lights (8-pane sashes) with channelled rustication below and
moulded cornices above; it contains a fielded 10-panel door
and fanlight with radial pattern of glazing bars. Ground-floor
windows have round-headed 18-pane sashes with top radial
glazing bars. Plat band at first-floor level. First floor with
C19 horned 8-pane sashes with unusual horizontal panes (left 2
are blind), and second floor has C19 horned 4-pane sashes.
Plain eaves to parallel roof hipped both ends.
INTERIOR: One of the best C18 interiors of any Devon town
house. Principal rooms with excellent moulded plasterwork.
Entrance hall with ornamental ceiling and modillion cornice.
Round-headed arch to the stairhall flanked by large Corinthian
pilasters. Large top-lit open-well stair; open string with
carved stair brackets, turned newel posts and 3 turned
balusters with blocks to each tread, moulded flat handrail and
curtail step. First-floor level richly embellished with
plasterwork featuring an arcade containing panels representing
the 12 labours of Hercules, and roundels over the doorways
containing male and female busts; Vitruvian frieze at
second-floor level with linked roundels above containing the
signs of the zodiac, vaulted ceiling to the skylight with
pointed-arch panels springing from corbels fashioned as heads.
Stair rises from first to second floor alongside, and to left
of, the grand stairhall with a less-elaborate balustrade, but
a second-floor gallery in the same style as the lower stair
connects across the front of the stairhall.
Principal room first-floor right is particularly fine and
completely original except for the C19 marble chimneypiece.
Fireplace flanked by shell-headed alcoves above moulded dado,
panelled pilasters and moulded architrave with heads on the
keystones and swags; 2 more at the opposite end flanking wide
doorway through to the smaller end room, soffit of segmental
arch enriched with plasterwork. Modillion cornice and fine
theme ceiling of ornamental plasterwork featuring Hercules
being welcomed to Paradise by the pantheon of classical gods.
Smaller connecting room and room below have original fielded
panelling in 2 heights, the lower room with fluted Ionic
pilasters flanking the fireplace and 2 more shell alcoves with
cherub head keyblocks.
Other good original details around the building include
fielded-panel doors, eared architraves and moulded cornices.
Roof not inspected.
Well-preserved town house containing exceptionally high
quality craftsmanship. The plasterwork has parallels at The
Old Custom House (1739) on Bayards Cove (qv), and The Priory,
(Freeman, Ray: Dartmouth and its Neighbours: Phillimore:
1990-: P.124/P.136).

Listing NGR: SX8782351228

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

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