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Great Fulford House

A Grade I Listed Building in Dunsford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7124 / 50°42'44"N

Longitude: -3.7142 / 3°42'50"W

OS Eastings: 279072

OS Northings: 91710

OS Grid: SX790917

Mapcode National: GBR QJ.VKHT

Mapcode Global: FRA 3736.8TN

Plus Code: 9C2RP76P+X8

Entry Name: Great Fulford House

Listing Date: 11 November 1952

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1214302

English Heritage Legacy ID: 399072

Location: Dunsford, Teignbridge, Devon, EX6

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dunsford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Dunsford St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text

SX 79 SE


Great Fulford House


Manor house. C16 with refurbishing of the late C17 and some remodelling of circa
1800. The house has been the family home of the Fulford family since the reign of
Richard I (Tipping). Roughcast stone rubble with some Beerstone dressings, 3 axial
stacks to the hall range and further stacks behind the battlemented parapet, slate
4 ranges round a quadrangle with an archway into the courtyard in the centre of the
east range opposite the hall (west) range. A second, smaller courtyard to the rear
(west) of the hall is surrounded by service buildings, the west block being the
former kitchen. The C17 and early C19 alterations make it difficult to establish the
early development of the house but the survival of C16 features in the west, east and
south ranges and a doorway to the rear courtyard indicates that the double courtyard
plan is at least C16 in origin and that the late C17 alterations were a matter of
refurbishing and internal re-arrangement including a number of bolection-moulded
panelled rooms, a fine staircase, the panelling in the chapel and corridors in the
east and south wings which in several cases, cut across C16 plaster ceilings. In
circa 1800 there were modest alterations in the Gothic style. The south and east
wings were given 3-storey projecting bays with fenestration to match the existing
late C16 windows. Some internal Gothic embellishments in the east south and west
wings were provided. A porch leading directly into the great hall in the centre of
the west wing may also be of circa 1800, although it is said to be a copy of one of
Batty Langley's designs. The battlementing of the east range and probably of the
other ranges also dates from circa 1800. In the late C20 the old kitchen block has
been converted to cottages.
3 storeys. The principal elevation is the east range with a symmetrical 5-window
front, a battlemented parapet, string course at first floor level and 3-storey canted
bays at either end. The central gateway into the courtyard has a moulded 4-centred
C16 archway with a good 2-leaf plank and stud door with a wicket and some later
applied Gothic detail below a square-headed hoodmould with carved label stops;
arabesques and Renaissance foliage carved in the spandrels. Above the archway
armorial bearings in a moulded frame are flanked by C17 figures carved in deep
relief. The only ground floor windows are in the C19 bays: 3-light mullioned windows
that continue to the ground with hoodmoulds and label stops. 3 first floor 4-light
mullioned windows in the centre have transoms, hoodmoulds and label stops; the bays
have similar larger windows. Three 4-light timber mullioned windows on the second
floor have hoodmoulds and label stops; similar larger windows to the bays. The south
elevation is similar but with 3 ground floor 4-light mullioned transomed windows.
The west end of the south elevation has a moulded archway with a studded door leading
into the rear courtyard. The north elevation is not roughcast: the fenestration is
scattered and the stonework indicates considerable repair, much of it probably in
1910, the date of the rainwater heads. The west elevation has 2 tall timber arched
stair windows of circa 1800, a curious l-bay single storey projection on the west
wall of the hall and 3 second floor 4-light timber mullioned windows. All the
fenestration facing the central courtyard is of mullioned windows; the hall range is
crowned by a circa 1800 clock turret with a tent roof and has a central Gothic flat-
roofed porch with an ogee arch and flamboyant tracery in roundels in the spandrels;
the design is said to be copied from Batty Langley.
Interior The 2-storey hall has a late C17 decorated plaster ceiling, a C19 Gothic
chimney piece with carved spandrels and wainscot panelling of C16 and C17 dates with
considerable Edwardian repair. Much of the panelling is likely to have originated
elsewhere in the house and includes carved panels (2 dated 1534), linenfold panels
and some unusual large scale figures in deep relief. The chimney piece includes
caryatids and the overmantel is a relief carving of the Fall. The fine stair hall to
the north of the hall is late C17 with bolection-moulded panelling and a coeval open-
well stair with an open string, barleysugar balusters and ramped handrail. A very
fine inlaid 2-leaf panelled door at the head of the stairs has a swan-necked over
door. In the east wing 2 large rooms have bolection-moulded panelling of the late
C17 and coeval chimney-pieces. In the east wing 3 late C16 decorated plaster
ceilings (Period One, French), have geometrical patterns enriched with sprays. In 2
of the rooms the ceilings have been divided by later partition walls; considerable
late C17 joinery survives. Similar late C16 plaster ceilings and C17 joinery also
survive in the south wing. Gothic plaster friezes and details embellish rooms in the
west, south and east range; the single-storey projecting bay to the hall has a
plaster Gothic vault and the hall window reveals are decorated with Gothic motifs.
The ground floor room on the south east corner of the house is completely Gothic with
pre-archaelogical stained glass and Gothic mouldings applied to the door and
shutters. The former chapel in the east wing retains its late C17 panelling but the
fittings have been removed; some to Dunsford Parish Church (qv) and some probably to
the great hall. There are numerous small service rooms of interest in the west range
with chamfered stopped cross beams and a narrow first floor room with a blocked
squint looking down into the great hall.
No access to west range roofspace at time of survey (1985) but a medieval roof
structure may exist. The south range roof trusses are circa late C16 collar rafter,
mortised at the apex. North range roofspace not thoroughly inspected but appears to
be largely C20 replacement.
The home of one of the oldest families in the County. The manor belonged to the
Priory of Canonsleigh until the Reformation when it was bought by Sir John Fulford
although the family is documented at the house as early as the reign of Richard I.
A large manor house with important late C16 plasterwork and extensive late C17
joinery. The circa 1800 alterations are unlikely to be by Sir Jeffry Wyatville
although this has been suggested. 2 illustrations of the house are in the possession
of the present owner: a line drawing preceding the circa 1800 alterations show the
east range with small gables to the front. A circa 1800 architectural drawing is
A. Tipping, "Great Fulford, East Devon", Country Life (1914), Vol. XXXVI, Aug. 1, pp
"Great Fulford", DNQ (1901), Vol I, pp 1-6
Kathleen and Cecil French, "Devonshire Plasterwork", T.D.A. (1957), Vol 89, pp 124-

Listing NGR: SX7907291710

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

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