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Kingskerswell Manor House

A Scheduled Monument in Kingskerswell, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.4995 / 50°29'58"N

Longitude: -3.587 / 3°35'13"W

OS Eastings: 287544.002994

OS Northings: 67834.446919

OS Grid: SX875678

Mapcode National: GBR QS.FVFY

Mapcode Global: FRA 37CQ.Y50

Entry Name: Kingskerswell Manor House

Scheduled Date: 12 March 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020875

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34450

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Kingskerswell

Built-Up Area: Kingskerswell

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Kingskerswell St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument includes a manor house and associated pound house situated
adjacent to the parish church in Kingskerswell. The manor house survives
as a series of low earthworks through which substantial walls protrude in
places. Much of the southern part of the building survives as visible
walled masonry, whilst elsewhere the original wall is now buried below
material from the collapse of the structure. To the north of the house is
an isolated standing structure which in later years served as a barn, but
may have originally been a kitchen. Excavation work in the early part of
the 20th century by Watkin revealed the ground plan of the manor house.
The building in its final form measures 47m long by a maximum of 19m wide,
but much of the southern part may have been added at a later date. A
short distance east of the manor house is the pound house which originally
comprised two parallel buildings separated by an open courtyard. The
northern building is subdivided into two rooms and in one of these there
once stood granite rollers used for crushing apples. The largest room in
this building measures 10.2m long by 5.6m wide and is denoted by a
substantial limestone wall. The northern wall of the southern building is
no longer visible but may survive as a buried feature. This building is
originally thought to have measured 13.8m long by 5.3m wide and the
remaining three walls stand up to about 3m high. The courtyard between the
buildings measures 13.8m long by 7.8m wide. A "powndehouse" is mentioned
in a survey of the manor in 1566 and it is considered very likely that at
least some of the surviving buildings date to or before this time.
The date at which a manor house was established on this site is not known
with certainty. It is known however that a house belonging to the De
Moeles family, who owned this manor in 1329 was granted a licence to
celebrate Mass. This house may therefore date to this time or may have
been constructed towards the end of the 14th century when the Dynham
family took over the estate. There are similar uncertainties concerning
the demise of the house. In 1681 it was certainly still in use, but by
the middle of the 18th century it had been abandoned and 100 years later
the area had become an orchard.
The manor house is Listed Grade II.
All modern fences and benches are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval manorial settlements, comprising small groups of houses with
associated gardens, yards and paddocks, supported communities devoted
primarily to agriculture, and acted as the foci for manorial administration.
Although the sites of many of these settlements have been occupied
continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were
abandoned at some time during the medieval and post-medieval periods,
particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. The reasons for desertion
were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land-
use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of
widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their
abandonment, these settlements are frequently undisturbed by later occupation
and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits, providing information on
the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy, and on the
structure and changing fortunes of manorial communities.

Despite partial excavation and some robbing, Kingskerswell Manor House and
associated pound house survive comparatively well and will contain
archaeological and architectural information relating to their
construction and occupation through the later part of the medieval and
early part of the post-medieval periods. In recent years, considerable
local interest in the site has enhanced its profile and it is becoming a
focus for visitor attention.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Turton, S.D., Archaeological assessment of land adjacent to St Mary's Church, EMAFU Report 91.42, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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