Kingskerswell Manor House


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Teignbridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 87550 67836

Reasons for Designation

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.


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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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