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Historic England Research Records

Lee Abbey

Hob Uid: 34639
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Lynton and Lynmouth
Grid Ref : SS6979049280
Summary : Lee Abbey is a farmhouse no older than 1850 which lies on the site of a 17th century manor house. In 1921, on the death of the owner the building became a hotel, followed by a boys preparatory school and in 1946 became a Christian conference and residential centre. It is believed to have been converted back to a farmhouse.
More information : (SS 697492) Lee Abbey on Site of (NAT) Manor House
(NR). (1)

The old grange farm at Ley (now Lee) in the manor of Lynton,
formerly in the possession of Ford Abbey was, in 1628, repaired
and enlarged as the residence of the Lord of the manor, Hugh
Wichenhalse. Ley was not the present building called Lee Abbey,
which is no older than 1850, but merely a farm house with gabled
ends and a gabled long porch in the centre with two long
benches in the thickness of the walls inside, all roofed with
thatch. The OS 1" 1809 suggests that the former grange farm or
manor house stood immediately to the north of the present
building at SS 698493. (2-3)

SS 6979 4928. Lee Abbey, a modern group of buildings on the site of an older 17th century manor house.

'Ley', recorded in the Domesday Book, was owned by Forde Abbey a Somerset Cistercian monastery in the 12th century (4) but was never a monastic foundation (5). The Old Grange Farm of Lee, the seat of the Wichelhalse family from 1628 until early in the 18th century (6) was, according to Presland (7), a large, rambling, plain building, with gabled ends and thick walls, thatched roof and tall chimneys. These old farm buildings, are depicted on the 1840 Tithe Map (8) and annotated Ley.

The estate was purchased in 1841 by a Charles Bailey who rebuilt the manor about 1850 to make it look like an old abbey. On the death of his son in 1921 Lee (1) Abbey' became a hotel, later a boy's preparatory school and finally, in 1946, a conference and residential centre for the Lee Abbey Fellowship, a Christian Community (4).

Snell (9) in 1906 says 'traces of the old structure were to be seen in an intermediate building' but the present occupiers have no knowledge of this.

(See also SS 64 NE 29)

(No Survey Action). (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1889
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details : (J F Chanter)
Page(s) : 176-7
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 38, 1906
Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1" 1809
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Bridle H. 1991 Woody Bay
Page(s) : 39
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Devon
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Devon County SMR SS 64 NE 73 16-Oct-89.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Presland J. 1919 Lynton and Lynmouth
Page(s) : 78
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Lynton Tithe Map 1840 Devon Rec Off.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Snell FJ 1906 The Blackmore Country
Page(s) : 170
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Sainsbury IS 16-Jun-93 RCHME Field Investigation.
Page(s) :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Manor House
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Repaired and enlarged 1628
Monument End Date : 1628
Monument Start Date : 1628
Monument Type : Manor House
Evidence : Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built c.1850
Monument End Date : 1860
Monument Start Date : 1840
Monument Type : Farmhouse
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : 20th Century
Monument End Date : 2000
Monument Start Date : 1901
Monument Type : Hotel, Preparatory School, Conference Centre, Farmhouse
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SS 64 NE 5, 5:1, 73
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 64 NE 14
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1462923
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LEE ABBEY HOUSE
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT LEE ABBEY
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2017-01-01
End Date : 2017-12-31