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Tonacombe Manor

A Grade I Listed Building in Morwenstow, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.9022 / 50°54'7"N

Longitude: -4.5481 / 4°32'53"W

OS Eastings: 220925

OS Northings: 114507

OS Grid: SS209145

Mapcode National: GBR K2.RFN6

Mapcode Global: FRA 16CQ.7YK

Plus Code: 9C2QWF22+VP

Entry Name: Tonacombe Manor

Listing Date: 26 September 1951

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1231185

English Heritage Legacy ID: 64892

ID on this website: 101231185

Location: Morwenstow, Cornwall, EX23

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Morwenstow

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Morwenstow

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Tagged with: Manor house

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3/81 Tonacombe Manor


Manor house. Early C16 core, late C16 refurbishing, circa early C18 additions, C20
addition. Stone rubble with slate roofs with gable ends, polyphant and granite
dressings, chimneys of local brick, some repaired with C19 or C20 brick. Complex
development. The early C16 plan may have been a double courtyard plan with main
range of 3 rooms and through passage with unheated room at lower end and open hall
and heated parlour at higher end, hall heated by rear lateral stack, parlour by
rear lateral stack. Some evidence of kitchen wing to rear of unheated lower end
room. Second smaller parlour with solar above formerly reached by newel stair to
rear of large parlour. A rear range, demolished in the C19, is said to have had
heated rooms and may have been a service range, possibly contemporary with the main
range. Parallel to the front of the main range is a narrow 2-storey south range
with gatehouse, porter's lodge and service rooms, forming a narrow south courtyard
at the front of the main range. This south range probably contemporary with the
main range. Late C16 refurbishment of the interior. 2 parlours were added to the
rear right of the main range, probably in the early C18, re-using some granite
dressings from the earlier build. Walls surrounding the house on all sides, and
forming a pleasaunce to the east; a carriageway to the south known as "the
street", and a lower courtyard to the west are likely to be of C17 or earlier
origins, although renovated in the C18 and C19, the C18 renovation probably
incorporating materials from Stowe, dismantled circa 1739. In the C18 the kitchen
wing was remodelled as part of a separate building to the rear left. C20 addition
to the rear of the small parlour wing has roof with hipped end. Outer walls and
gatehouse range give Tonacombe Manor a fortified appearance. Gatehouse range
entered through chamfered elliptical arched granite doorway with door of studded
moulded cover strips with wicket inserted. Gatehouse chamber entered from south
courtyard up flight of stone steps in lean-to projection with massive granite
monolith used as jamb. Asymmetrical south front of main range is 2 storeys to left
of front door, open hall to right. Off-centre chamfered arched doorway on front at
left under slated canopy carried on carved granite corbels and granite lintel,
corbels carved with heads. 3-light stone mullioned window to left of door, first
floor windows to left of door, one 3-light stone mullioned window under moulded
lintel, one similar 2-light window. 2 hall windows, each a 3-light granite
mullioned window with hollow-chamfered arched lights. Leaded panes C19 pattern
throughout. East front of house, facing pleasaunce has enlarged circa early C20 3-
light mullioned windows to east gable end of main range under concrete lintels.
Gabled circa early C18 stair projection has circa early C19 8-pane sash. Stone
mullioned windows to parlour wing.
Interior. Open hall with gallery at west end has 5 bays of moulded arched brace
trusses with slightly cambered collars and 2 tiers of threaded purlins. Trusses
reinforced with metal ties. Moulded square-headed stone fireplace probably with
chimneypiece missing. Screens gallery formerly reached by newel stair, now has
timber stair. Partition wall of screens passage has heavily-moulded verticals.
East end of hall has 1578 wainscot panelling terminating in frieze below a moulded
cornice, frieze divisions formed by fluted pilasters. Panelling brought from
bedroom beyond the gallery in the mid C19 when the gallery was opened up. Early
C18 moulded timber pediment above doorway into parlour. Parlour has massive
moulded cross beams and moulded joists of the early C16; walls panelled throughout
with late C16 panelling of similar design to bedroom overlooking pleasaunce.
Parlour frieze contains armorial bearings. Early C18 stair with turned balusters
and moulded handrail in stair projection. Bedroom above the small parlour has
canted ceiling and is also panelled throughout with late C16 panelling and retains
sleeping recess and contemporary cupboards. Bedroom over lower end of main range
has first quality panelling and a date of 1578. Contemporary panelled bed recess
and applewood inlay to cupboard doors. 2 roof trusses over lower end of main
range, westernmost arched brace without mouldings, easternmost without braces has
cambered collar. Roofspace over east end of gatehouse range has collar rafter
roof, collars mortised into principals, trenched purlins. "Blue Parlour" to the
north of the main range has sash windows and bolection-moulded panelling.
Tonacombe Manor is an outstanding late medieval manor house preserving its open
hall and many other features intact. It has remained in the hands of one family
since the early C16. The main build of the present house may date from the
marriage between Thomasin Jourden of Tonacombe and John Kempthorne in the early
C16. Tonacombe Manor passed through the female line to the Waddons in the mid C17,
and the Martyns in the late C18. Dennis Waddon (1697-1764) was land agent to the
Grenville lands in Cornwall from about 1739, during the period just after Stowe,
the Grenville house in Kilkhampton parish, was dismantled. It seems possible that
materials from Stowe were used at Tonacombe.
The house is very unaltered since Christopher Hussey's article of 1933. Country
Life, Nov 11th, 1933, pp.500-506. Source for family history, Mr W H Waddon-Martyn.

Listing NGR: SS2092014503

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