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Description: Dartington Hall
Date Listed: 11 November 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 101033
OS Grid Reference: SX7982062668
OS Grid Coordinates: 279820, 62668
Latitude/Longitude: 50.4515, -3.6942
Explore more of the area around Dartington, Devon at Explore Britain.
SX7862 - SX7962 DARTINGTON HALL
12/120 Dartington Hall
Medieval mansion in educational use. Built 1388-1399 by John Holland, Earl
of Huntingdon and later Duke of Exeter; altered in 1560-1, C17 and 1740 and
restored 1926-36 by William Weir for L K Elmhurst. Limestone and shale
rubble with Beerstone dressings. Slate roofs with raised gable end verges.
Large courtyard plan. Hall range on south side has porch to screens
passage, 3-storey low east end with chambers above buttery and pantry and
central axial passage to large detached kitchen. At high end of hall large
fireplace and block of apartments partly rebuilt and (or) raised to 4
storeys in 1560-1. On west side of courtyard range of 10 pairs of lodgings
and on east side remains of range which probably comprised 14 pairs of
lodgings. On north side of courtyard the so-called 'gate-house' range
(probably workshops and dormitory). At east end of north range large 14-
bay barn (circa C15) with later engine house on north side. Hall range has
battlements, 4 large pointed arch hall windows (C20 copies of C18) with
buttresses between, entrance to left of centre with large 3-storey porch
with moulded pointed arch, polygonal stair turret in left angle and
bellcote (1737 bell). Rear (S) elevation of hall range has similar hall
windows, high left end 4 storeys and projects and at low right end detached
kitchen (now attached), square plan with high level lancets.
West lodgings range, 2 storeys and attic, 18 window bays, mostly 1740 and
C20 fenestration but some original 2-light stone mullion transom windows
with shouldered head lights and 2-storey porches with 4 centred arches and
stairs to chambers; 2 porches on right (N) largely unaltered but others
lost stairs and centre porch missing; at rear of west range row of lateral
stacks. North range centre porch missing; at rear of west range row of
lateral stacks. North range has rough stone round archway and C20 windows
and barn on east has steeply pitched roof and semi-polygonal engine house
on outer north side. Surviving north end of east range has 2 gabled wings
and lateral stack at back. Detached wall of former south courtyard has
seven 4-centred arches and overlooks so-called 'tiltyard' (AM113)
Interior: Hall porch has ribbed vault with Richard II's arms (1390). C20
hall roof by W Weir. Large fireplace unusually situated at high end of
hall. Rebuilt screen with gallery above. 4 doorway in screens passage
serving stairs to chambers, buttery and pantry and central axial passage to
detached kitchen which has 2 enormous fireplaces and rebuilt roof by W
Weir. Lower end chambers have some early C17 panelling, moulded plaster
emblems and C20 roof, but with impression of original roof in end gable.
High end apartment block remodelled circa 1740 but C16 roof survives; circa
1740 stairhall and staircase. South end of lodging range has corridor
behind suite of C18 panelled rooms on first floor, large chamfered cross-
beams below. 9 bays of roof at north end of lodgings survive, but
restored, and closed-truss at centre. Drawing of contemporary galleon
scratched on plaster of partition. "Gate-house" range has 6 bays of arched
brace raised cruck trusses with king-posts and collar purlins, square-set
clasped purlin and wind braces.
Note: Although the north range is believed to be the earlier hall of the
Fitzmartins there is evidence for it being contemporary, or nearly so, with
Holands hall range, since the lower gable end wall of hall range has
impression of a roof truss similar to that of north range. East and west
lodging ranges were probably added circa 1393-1400, the east side of hall
has remains of circa late C14 wall which seems to be semi-defensive and
probably had private quarters for John Holland's family, but circa late C13
foundations were discovered during excavations (1962) which may be remains
of the Fitzmartin's manor house. In 1740 Arthur Champernowne remodelled
part of the interior of the apartments at the high end of the hall. Little
alteration to the plan until early C19 when part of east range was
demolished. The work carried out by the elmhurst's between 1926 and 1936
was largely restoration, including reconstruction of hall roof which had
been dismantled in 1813, but the barn in the north range was converted into
a theatre in 1933-8 by R Hening and Walter Gropius.
Sources: 1. C Platt, excavation report Archaeological Journal CXIX, pp208-
2. A Emery, Dartington Hall (1970)
3. A Emery, Dartington Hall, Devonshire, Archaeological Journal CXV,
4. C Hussey, Country Life, Vols LXXIII, p548; LXXXIII, p590, CXLV, p178
and CXLV, p232.
5. V Bonham-Carter, Dartington Hall, 1925-56, a report in the Dartington
Listing NGR: SX7999462650
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.