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The Wright News

Historic Building with Secret Tunnel SOLD!


The Wright Property is pleased to confirm the sale of one of Barnstaple’s most historic properties.

The Old Priory, on the corner of Boutport Street and Coronation Street, is a landmark building that has been used as a dental surgery for around a hundred years but started out life as an important family house. Grade 11 listed, the property dates from the late 17th/early 18th century and in its day would have been an expensive, high status home. Above the front door is a distinctive shell carved door hood and internally there remain many architectural features including the lovely moulded oak panelling, fireplaces, cut string staircase and fitted window seats with panelling.

“Whilst the building has been used as a surgery, this has probably prevented too many ‘improvements’ taking place,” comments Tim Hickman from The Wright Property. “Thankfully The Old Priory escaped the tender embrace of the 1970’s and the penchant for flush finishes and consequent stripping out of all things of character.”

The property’s name derives from the fact that it was built on the site of the former St Mary Magdalene’s Priory – a Norman Priory decommissioned during the reign of Henry V111 and there still remains a rear wall from this time complete with ‘arrow slit’ window. Being over 300 years old, The Old Priory has clearly seen a lot of history. “An elderly Gentleman informed us that he worked there during the late 1930’s and believes that when repair work was carried out to a floor at the front of the property, a tunnel was discovered leading towards Pilton,” added Tim.

The Old Priory has been purchased by a family who will be renovating the property and re-instating it as a private family home. Hopefully then, this venerable old building will still be here in another 300 years.


Are you looking to sell a former Dental Surgery with a secret tunnel? The Wright Property would like to speak with you!

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