History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

The Butterwalk

A Grade I Listed Building in Dartmouth, Devon

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 50.3519 / 50°21'6"N

Longitude: -3.5786 / 3°34'43"W

OS Eastings: 287788

OS Northings: 51411

OS Grid: SX877514

Mapcode National: GBR QS.RB78

Mapcode Global: FRA 38D3.FNQ

Plus Code: 9C2R9C2C+QH

Entry Name: The Butterwalk

Listing Date: 14 September 1949

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1197516

English Heritage Legacy ID: 387230

Location: Dartmouth, South Hams, Devon, TQ6

County: Devon

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

Find accommodation in



673-1/8/108 (North side)
14/09/49 No.6
The Butterwalk


One of a row of merchants' houses, now a shop and the
Dartmouth Museum, with accommodation above. The row is dated
1635 and 1640, some later C17 improvements, various minor
later alterations and a major renovation programme in the
1950s after severe bomb blast damage in 1943; David Nye and
Partners of Westminster, London (architect), PW Wilkins and
Sons Ltd. of Torquay (builders). Mixed construction; stone
side and back walls, front is an ornate display of
timber-framing with slate-hung upper floor, and the walk
carried on granite piers; stone rubble stacks with C20
rendered brick chimneyshafts to front and rear of right party
wall; slate roof.
PLAN: Built end onto the street, the ground plan is one room
wide and 2 rooms deep with side passage along the right
(eastern) side. No fireplace to front ground-floor room,
because this was a shop. Newel stair in alcove in right party
wall rises in centre of first floor where there was a small
unheated room between the front and back rooms. Now there is a
corridor to the first floor of No.8 (qv).
EXTERIOR: 3 storeys and attic; 3-window range. Ornate jettied
timber-framed front forming part of a unified front comprising
Nos 6-12 (even) (qv), the houses of the Dartmouth Butterwalk.
The first floor oversails the Butterwalk and is supported on a
carved bressummer on an arcade of granite piers with moulded
capitals under blocks carved with geometric and heraldic
motifs, one of them dated 1640. Recessed shop front is mid
C20. First floor of exposed timber-framing. Central plastered
section rebuilt and contains three C20 horned 12-pane sashes
(another 3 on the second floor and one to each floor on
right-hand return). Original small-panel framing each side,
the faces of the original timbers carved with strapwork
patterns and guilloche. End posts (on party walls) carved as
pairs of Ionic pilasters on pedestals under carved brackets
supporting the second-floor jetty, but at right end there is
now a single pilaster and no bracket. Jetty has carved fascia.
Slate-hung above. Original gable demolished but present timber
eaves cornice, carved with a kind of bead-and-reel, is
probably original frieze-board.
Gabled rear elevation is plastered and is mostly original;
painted masonry under slate-hung gable contains various C20
windows with glazing bars. The first-floor oriel is supported
by reused C17 brackets carved as griffin-like creatures.
INTERIOR: Exceptionally high quality and well-preserved.
Original features include the newel stair which rises round a
pine mast-like post, pine ovolo-moulded plank-and-muntin
screens, small-field panelling, ornamental plaster ceilings of
single and hollow rib designs, etc. The small closet on the
first-floor landing with its grille of tiny turned posts may
be secondary. Front parlour with overmantel featuring the arms
of Charles II, who was entertained here in 1671. Rest of this
room lined with original panelling except on the front where
there is late C17/early C18 large-field panelling associated
with the demolition of the original front oriel window and its
replacement by the present 3-window arrangement. Rear parlour
has introduced panelling. It also includes a curious small
stone window in a curving alcove which appears to have served
a second stair. Other C17 features are probably hidden. Upper
floors and roof not inspected.
HISTORY: This house forms a unit of the Dartmouth Butterwalk,
which is one of the finest rows of merchants' houses dating
from the first half of the C17 in England. The Butterwalk was
built on reclaimed land as part of the same scheme which
created the New Quay. The western half was leased to William
Gurney in 1628, the eastern half was leased to Mark Hawkings.
Both began to build, but in 1635 William Gurney sold his part
to Hawkings who completed the row by 1640 at a cost of nearly
ยป2500. The row originally continued one house further east;
the Butterwalk arcade was of 13 granite piers and is now of
11. Backed onto river when originally built.
(Freeman, Ray: Dartmouth and its Neighbours: Phillimore:
1990-: P.80-83; Devon Buildings: Laithwaite, Michael: Town
Houses up to 1660: Devon Books: 1990-: P.113-5).

Listing NGR: SX8778851411

Selected Sources

Book cover links are generated automatically from the sources. They are not necessarily always correct, as book names at Amazon may not be quite the same as those used referenced in the text.

Source title links go to a search for the specified title at Amazon. Availability of the title is dependent on current publication status. You may also want to check AbeBooks, particularly for older titles.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.