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Historic England Research Records

Bishops Court

Hob Uid: 448276
Location :
Devon
East Devon
Sowton
Grid Ref : SX9810091800
Summary : Palace and chapel erected by Bishop Bronescombe before 1276. The chapel, dated to circa 1270, and 15th century barn and stables remain although much altered, but a small house of 15th century character depicted in an antiquarian print was demolished in 1803 and a large house built on the site. It remained a bishops palace until 1546 when the bishop was induced to sell it. The house and chapel were rebuilt in 1860. An early 19th century source records that Bishops Clyst, then called Bedford House, was one of the garrisons for the blockade of Exeter in 1645 and fortifications were erected around it; field investigation in 1962 noted a ha ha around the house but nothing that could be identified with the 1645 fortifications.
More information : [SX 981 918] Bishops Court [G.T.]
St. Gabriel's Chapel [G.T.] (Restored) (1)

Bishop Bronescombe had a palace and chapel erected here before
1276. Much medieval work remains including the chapel c 1270, and
15th c. barns and stables, but the house itself was altered
about 1863. (2)

Sir Thomas Fairfax made Bishops Clyst, then called Bedford
House, one of the garrisons for the blockade of Exeter in
1645 and an engineer was sent to draw a line of fortifications
around it. [context infers that Bishops Court is referred to as
Bishops Clyst.] (3)

Nothing of obvious importance remains of the medieval palace
and outbuildings. Mr. Taylor, owner and occupier, has two
prints of Bishops Court. One shows the chapel and a small two
storeyed house of 15th c. character. This house was pulled
down in 1803 and a large house built on the site. A print of 1832
shows house and chapel - the latter greatly altered. In 1860 the
house was almost entirely rebuilt, and the chapel also, though it is
possible that the lower courses of walling are original and
perhaps some walling of the west wing. There are however no
architectural features which are not either Victorian replica's
of Tudor work or Victorian 'baronial'.
The stables and tithe barn to the S.E. of the house have some
mediaeval work but have been much renovated.
For photograph of the S. front of Bishop's Court see
AO/62/144/1.
There is a ha-ha around the north and east side of the
house but nothing that could be identified with the
fortifications referred to by Lysons. (4)

Bishop's Court. Grade I. The Stables and Tithe Barn are also listed Grade I. (5,6)

Vistied as part of MPPA. The tithe barn and stables are adequately protected under existing Listing regulations. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1933
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Devon 1954 479 (WG Hoskins)
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Devonshire 1822, 237 (Lysons)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 30-JUL-62
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Source Number : 5
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Devon Dist of East Devon Mar 1987 23-6
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Cherry B and Pevsner N 1989. Buildings of England: Devon. London: Penguin 181-3
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Source Number : 7
Source : English Heritage Alternative Action Report
Source details : JP Salvatore, MPPA, 28-Apr-1999
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : erected before 1276
Monument End Date : 1276
Monument Start Date : 1276
Monument Type : Bishops Palace, Domestic Chapel
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C15
Monument End Date : 1499
Monument Start Date : 1400
Monument Type : Tithe Barn, Stable
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Until 1546
Monument End Date : 1546
Monument Start Date : 1546
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : rebuilt 1860
Monument End Date : 1860
Monument Start Date : 1860
Monument Type : House, Domestic Chapel
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SX99SE1
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 99 SE 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 99 SE 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1962-07-30
End Date : 1962-07-30