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Historic England Research Records

Axminster Castle

Hob Uid: 449542
Location :
East Devon
Grid Ref : SY2968098600
Summary : Alleged site of a castle and/or hillfort. Conclusion based on sections of flint wall found in buildings and trenches near the alleged site in the C19th, and reported observations of a ditch.
More information : "Axminster Castle, now entirely destroyed", is
included in a list of prehistoric earthworks. (1)

(SY 29689860): 'The Castle' within the town is an open space
occupied by the market place. It is topographically suitable
for a prehistoric defensive work and there are distinct traces
of a ditch. A castle was later erected on the site and though
no vestige of this building remains associated relics may be
the thick walls of the Bell Hotel cellars and the ancient
arched well. In 1824 trench digging in the garden of Castle
Hill House revealed flint walls 10 ft. thick which could be
part of the castle. (2).

Sir William Pole (circa 1600) says he has seen records which
prove there was a castle at Axminster probably a seat of the
lords Brewer (3).

The Yonges had a residence at Axminster (besides The Great
House, Colyton) called 'The Castle' and lived there in the time
of Henry VII. This afterwards became a public house and a
warehouse. (4)

The area alleged by Pullman (2) to be the site of Axminster
Castle is now completely built-up, but the names Castle Hill
and Catle Street (a) are still applied to this locality. Traces
of a ditch, or other defensive structures, were not located
during field investigations, and local enquiry proved negative.
The building formerly known as the Bell Hotel is of probable
18th century date.

Road construction works recently undertaken in the immediate
area (SY 29719868) of what was once Castle Hill House gardens,
did not reveal any features of archaeological interest. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source :
Source details : Rev R Kirwan
Page(s) : 648
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 4, 1871
Source Number : 2
Source :
Source details : Pulman (1875) Book of the Axe pp592-5 & Plan
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source :
Source details : D & S Lysons (1822) Magna Britannia 6 Devon 2 p23
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source :
Source details : R Polwhele: History of Devon vol 3 pp180 271 & 289
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source :
Source details : F1 JWS 20-NOV-75
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5a
Source :
Source details : OS 25" 1972
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Hillfort
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence, Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SY 29 NE 8
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities :
Start Date : 1975-11-20
End Date : 1975-11-20