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The Butterwalk

A Grade I Listed Building in Dartmouth, Devon

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Latitude: 50.3518 / 50°21'6"N

Longitude: -3.5789 / 3°34'43"W

OS Eastings: 287769

OS Northings: 51406

OS Grid: SX877514

Mapcode National: GBR QS.RB52

Mapcode Global: FRA 38D3.FKF

Plus Code: 9C2R9C2C+PC

Entry Name: The Butterwalk

Listing Date: 14 September 1949

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1197519

English Heritage Legacy ID: 387233

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

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673-1/8/111 (North side)
14/09/49 No.12
The Butterwalk


One of a row of merchants' houses, now a shop with
accommodation above. The row is dated 1635 and 1640, 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; side
and back walls of stone rubble, front is an ornate display of
timber-framing with plastered upper floor, and the walk
carried on granite piers; stone rubble stacks with C20
rendered brick chimneyshafts to right party wall; slate roof.
PLAN: Smaller than its neighbour, No.10 (qv), it was
originally built backing onto the river. Ground floor recessed
behind the Butterwalk. Built end onto the street, the ground
plan is one room wide and 2 rooms deep with originally a side
passage along right (east) side. A newel stair rises just back
from the front door onto a first-floor landing halfway through
the first-floor level where there is a small unlit and
unheated room between the front and back rooms.
EXTERIOR: 3 storeys with attics; one-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. Recessed shop front is mid C20 with
contemporary door to passage to right. First floor of exposed
timber-framing. Centre rebuilt and contains 7-light mullioned
window containing iron casements and rectangular panes of
leaded glass (a 5-light version on the second floor).
Largely-original moulded small-panel framing each side, the
faces of the original timbers carved with strapwork patterns
and guilloche. End posts are carved as Ionic pilasters on
pedestals underneath carved brackets to second-floor jetties,
paired pilasters on right party wall. Upper jetty has carved
timber fascia boards. Plastered second floor. Original front
gable demolished and C18 timber modillion eaves cornice to
hipped roof. Rear elevation is painted stone rubble to
slate-hung gable and contains mid C20 windows with glazing
INTERIOR: Exceptionally high quality and well-preserved.
Original features include newel stair rising round pine
mast-like newel post, panelled partitions on first floor
(middle room partition with carved frieze), and the
first-floor front parlour - panelled crosswall, granite
fireplace with carved lintel and imported Dutch brick cheeks
and back; ornamental plaster ceiling, a tour de force by a
Dart Valley plastering `firm' representing the Jesse Tree
(this was restored from the pieces of the original ceiling
which had completely collapsed as a result of the 1943 bomb
blast - Percy Russell includes a photograph of the ceiling
before its restoration complete with the 2 figures which are
now missing). Other C17 features are probably hidden on the
ground and first floors and others probably survive on the
upper floors. 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 anywhere 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.
(Freeman, Ray: Dartmouth and its Neighbours: Phillimore:
1990-: P.80-83; Russell, Percy: Dartmouth: 1982-: PL.23; Devon
Buildings: Laithwaite, Michael: Town Houses up to 1660: Devon
Books: 1990-: P.113-5; Devon Buildings: Thorp, John: Wall
Painting and Lime-plaster Decoration: Devon Books: 1990-:

Listing NGR: SX8776951406

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