Travis Perkins, Mayor's Avenue, Dartmouth, Devon. Desk-Based Assessment and Updated Historic Building Recording (OASIS ID: southwes1-370966)

Natalie Boyd, 2020

Data copyright © Dr Samuel Walls unless otherwise stated

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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https://doi.org/10.5284/1076945
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Natalie Boyd (2020) Travis Perkins, Mayor's Avenue, Dartmouth, Devon. Desk-Based Assessment and Updated Historic Building Recording (OASIS ID: southwes1-370966) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1076945

Introduction

Travis Perkins, Mayor's Avenue, Dartmouth, Devon. Desk-Based Assessment and Updated Historic Building Recording (OASIS ID: southwes1-370966)

South West Archaeology Ltd. was commissioned to undertake historic building recording at Travis Perkins, Mayor's Avenue. This work was undertaken in advance of repairs to the property and to set the buildings in their historical and archaeological context.

The Travis Perkins depot is located on Mayors Avenue in Dartmouth, on land that was reclaimed from the foreshore in stages, from the late medieval period. The depot contains five structures and a small yard; these buildings have always been warehouses, and in the 19th century there were shipyards operating from the site.

The phasing for these structures is complex, but in essence Building 1 started life as a late 16th century warehouse consisting of six barrel-vaulted chambers. The internal walls are each pierced by three arched openings, and the vaults were each originally served by wide arched doors in the west wall with small windows with ferramenta above. This building was raised to two storeys in the 17th century and partly rebuilt in the 18th century, and Building 3 was built. In the later 18th century Building 1 was re-roofed with very wide (c.8m) kingpost trusses, the yard wall to the east was raised and roofed over to form Building 2. Building 4 was replaced at some point in the 20th century by a large modern shed, and in the 1980s the structure fronting the road was demolished and a new office and shop of brick and concrete block was built.

Internally, the warehouses have largely been stripped all but structural historic features. However, some good period features survive (e.g. the in-out doors with sheerlegs; evidence for corn storage and processing) and the reused ships timbers (e.g. masts used as joists in Buildings 2 and 3) are noteworthy.

Building 1 is the only Listed structure (Grade II), but the evolution of the other historic structures is important to our understanding of the development of Building 1 and together the buildings form an important survival and testament to shipbuilding and commerce in Dartmouth. Individually, and with the exception of Building 1, the buildings are of no great architectural merit and have been compromised by many modern alterations. However, they remain exceptionally authentic and still operate as warehouses, retaining a functional mercantile appearance.


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