QR South Street & Town Centre

The row of adjacent shops to your left, on the west side of the square, from the Blackhorse pub up to the former Bank House were the premier retail spaces in the town, known as ‘The High Street’. Most of these shops sold leather goods in the medieval and 17th century, which was the main manufacturing activity in the town. Many of the shops now have fine Georgian, Regency or Victorian shop fronts, reflective of Torrington’s revival in the 18th and 19th century and the wealth of the town; however these frontages often hide fine medieval features:

  • One shop survives with its original narrow panelled frontage and pointed gable, now occupied on the ground floor by Obsessions hairdressers.
    The Grade II Listing ID for the shop (1332995) the Listing text for the shop is:
    Probably C17 with alterations. 2 storey 1 window gabled front. Upper storey stucco on timber frame. Flush frame sash windows with glazing bars. Ground floor with C19 plain wood shop front. Corbelled overhang at one angle left.
    The National Record is: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1332995
  • Another original building, the frontage of which has been altered is the Black Horse Pub. This actually occupies two town-plots, which would have been shops in the medieval period but it was already a public house by the English Civil War in the 1640s. It had to be substantially rebuilt nd repaired after the battle in the 1680s, when the town received some grant money form the King Charles II.
    The Grade II Listing ID for the pub is (1104763), the test is:
    1681 and 1931 dates on rainwater heads. 2 gabled front, very much restored. Lower storey refaced with rustic brickwork and oak-mullion bays inserted. Oversailing upper floors roughcast, and have modern or much restored slightly canted mullion transom windows. New barge boards, eaves cornice &c, and new slate roof. One doorway has genuine heavily moulded frame the curved braces springing from it suppert the 1st floor overhang. Ancient door. Front entry has cobbled margins and on right a stud and plank panelled partition. Front room, plaster panel above fireplace inscribed “TD SD 1681”. Hewn chamfer beams.
    Link to National Record: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1104763
  • Another important historic building and former shop is on South Street, Nos 6-8, which has a good regency shop front, of early 19th century date which faces onto the street but is in fact an important Tudor or Elizabethan building, with moulded compartment ceiling with fine carving and Tudor roses.
    The Grade II Listing ID for the shop is (1332986) and the text is:
    Part C17 or earlier, with alterations. Stucco fronts, painted. 3 flush frame sash windows, at 1st floor, with centre glazing bars. No 6, ground floor splay bay, 6-panel entrance door with sunk upper panels, wider way through under, right, with 6-panel door with fielded upper panels under same lintel. No 8, mid C19 wood shop front, loft, with carved mullions, 4-panel door with fanlight and ground floor sash window, right, now without glazing bars. Interior, No 8, ground floor ceiling of 9 square panels formed by massive beams and cross-beams with same roll-and ogee-mouldings probably in wood, with plaster panels with central rosettes, perhaps Tudor roses.
    Link to National Record: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1332986
  • Another very original shop, with later Georgian/Regency accommodation above is No.23 South Street. This has a very fine shop front with pilasters and a covered walkway to a courtyard, a modernisation of a medieval form.
    The Grade II Listing ID for the shop is (1104739) and the text is:
    Early C19, 3 storey 3 window rendered front. Ground floor continuous entablature anti half-round Tuscan columns. 6-panel door in 2 leaves, with fielded upper panels and lozenged fanlight. Shop front left with central entrance and fanlight.
    The National Record is: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1104739
  • An altered jettied medieval shop survives at No.25 South Street; this retains the visible thick stone burgage plot walls with heavy quoins.
    The Grade II Listing ID for the shop (1332995) the Listing text for the shop is:
    Probably late C16 altered. Overhang and corbel to side wall at 1st floor level. 2 storey 2 window front, plastered, rusticated quoins. Flush frame sash windows at 1st floor with glazing bars. Delicate moulded eaves entablature. Central glazed doors. Door at left. Interior: massive shop-chamfered beams, very wide stone fireplace with herring bone tile back. House was formerly 3 storey with front gable.
    The National Record is: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1332984