HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV10176
Name:Columbjohn Mansion, Broadclyst

Summary

Site of mansion built in the reign of Elizabeth I and demolished in the mid 18th century. Several features visible as earthwork banks and hollows were noted on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards and digital images derived from lidar data to the north of Columbjohn, overlooking the River Culm to the west. The earthwork remains include a shallow quarry pit and the possible site of the Elizabethan manor at Columbjohn, or a garden associated with it.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 959 998
Map Sheet:SX99NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBroad Clyst
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBROADCLYST

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX99NE1
  • National Trust SMR: 107342
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX99NE/22
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX99NE1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANSION HOUSE (XVI to XVIII - 1501 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 114 (Monograph). SDV323771.

Site of mansion at Columbjohn. The mansion was built by Sir John Acland in the reign of Elizabeth I. It is said to have been built on earlier foundations, demolished in the mid-18th century. In 1646 it was used as the headquarters of Sir Thomas Fairfax.


Westcote, T., 1845, A View of Devonshire in 1630, 117 (Monograph). SDV227839.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3173-3174 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

Earthwork banks, platform and pit were visible.


Department of Environment, 1952, St Thomas RD, 21 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV129122.

Built by Sergeant Drew in the early 17th century. Traces of the foundations can still be seen.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 352 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Earlier house of the Earls of Devon rebuilt by Sir John Acland in the late 16th century. Demolished mid 18th century.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1962 - 1983, SX99NE1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV341057.

1. The mansion at Columbjohn was built by Sir John Acland in the reign of Elizabeth I. It was demolished in the mid 18th century. It is said to have been built upon earlier foundations. In 1646 it was used as the headquarters of Sir Thomas Fairfax.
2. The arched Elizabethan gateway still stands.
3. Visited 27/07/1962. The gateway is at SX95949973. The site of the mansion is visible on the ground as a depression, the north, east and south sides being formed by a scarp 0.5 to 1.0 metre high. Other details: Photo.


Allden, A., 1979, Survey of National Trust Property in East and Southeast Devon (Report - Survey). SDV127919.

Site of early mansion, ruins and remains of earlier buildings.


Devon County Council, 1986, DAP 5524, DAP 5524/12-13 11-DEC-1986 (Aerial Photograph). SDV358789.

Earthwork banks, platform and pit were visible.


Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GX, 12,13 (Aerial Photograph). SDV57439.


Laithwaite, M., 1987, Report on the Tiverton Castle Project 1987, 15 (Un-published). SDV35428.


Sainsbury, I. S., 1990, Mansion (Site Of) (Un-published). SDV341094.

Site re-surveyed. Rectangular depression 180 metres by 240 metres internally with innter facing scarps up to 1 metre high. Its west side is defined by a larger outer facing scarp 6.5 metres wide and 2.2 metres high which extends to the north. It has been an artificial platform built up over the floodbank of the River Culm. Possibly not the site of the mansion but of a landscaped farden feature, with the actual buildings some 30 to 50 metres upslope to the east. Rectangular parchmarks were reported in May 1990 upslope of the depression.


Griffith, F. M., 1990, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV341093.

Parchmarks seen in the vicinity of the site in the summer of 1990 were not visible from the air.


Griffith + Gibbons, 1994, Untitled Source (Un-published). SDV341096.

Condition of site good. Used for grazing cattle.


Environment Agency, 1998-2012, LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution), LIDAR SX9498 Environment Agency JPEG DSM 27-Feb-2005
& 19-Dec-2005 & 14-20 Feb 2012
(Cartographic). SDV357034.

Earthwork banks, platform and pit were visible.


National Trust, 2000, Killerton Estate Archaeological Survey. Part 4. The Farms: Ashclyst - Elbury, 107408/3 (Report - Survey). SDV337022.

A 1646 inventory of Columbjohn Mansion lists 17 chambers including a hall, little parlour, great parlour, two butteries and a kitchen on the ground floor. The 18 by 15 metre platform at SX95929986 is too small to accommodate more than a three roomed farmouse and it seems likely that it was part of the gardens in front of the house and that the mansion soot to the east of the present track between the gateway and the chapel. Parch marks were seen in 1990 in the field called Warren Field on the 1842 Tithe Map.


Fletcher, M., 2003, The Mansion at Columbjohn, Broadclyst: Survey Report (Report - Survey). SDV339641.

A survey undertaken by English Heritage in 2003 suggest the site of the mansion at Columbjohn may have been further north around the chapel and Pigeon Cottge. The banks and scarps at this National Grid Reference suggest a more recent usage and may have been the site of an agricultural building, a small garden or a civil war gun battery.


Substrata Ltd, 2004, Gradiometer and resistance surveys at Columbjohn (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV341097.

Substantial building remains found in the northwest of the survey area around the chapel and Pigeon Cottage. Possible buildings or garden feature foundations were recorded to the southwest of the chapel and a possible drive from the gatehouse to the mansion house site was also identified.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV356883.

Several features visible as earthwork banks and hollows were noted on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards and digital images derived from lidar data to the north of Columbjohn, overlooking the River Culm to the west. The earthwork remains include a shallow but extensive quarry pit at circa SX95999976, a mound of unknown date and function at circa SX95929980, and the possible site of the Elizabethan manor at Columbjohn, or a garden associated with it at circa SX95929985. The latter is visible as a sunken platform approximately 20 metres square, with possible embankment or spoil spread to the north and east.


National Monuments Record, Post 1982, SX99NE1 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV341095.

1. Site visit by Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 17/11/1982. The site of Columbjohn is within a pasture field owned by the National Trust. A number of features are visible in the field. Several flattish amorphous areas are visible east and west of the tree lined track and may indicate former building platforms centred at SX96019975 there is a very large irregular depression indicative of surface quarrying. The earlier tracks can still be easily seen. Modern footpaths follow the same alignment. At SX95929986 there is a levelled site west of the track and above the river cliff. This clean cut depression some 19 by 17 metres and 1.0 metre deep was noted by the Ordnance Survey Archaeological Division in 1962; it may represent the site of the house but could equally have been a sunken garden with the house to the east at SX95959985 at the head of the tree lined track (citing Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division).
2. Columbjohn, was built about 1590 by the Aclands. It was garrisoned for Charles I and later used by Fairfax as his headquarters during the seige of Exeter. After 1672 when the family had moved to Killerton it was left to fall into ruin. It was finally demolished about 1750. Only the gate house archway and the outlines of foundations in the field now remain together with the chapel that was restored in about 1840 (citing National Trust).


From the collection of N. V. Quinnell, Pre 2008, Untitled Source (Plan - measured). SDV341165.

Draft plan of Columb John showing site of chapel and gatehouse and surrounding earthworks.


National Trust, Unknown, Mansion (Un-published). SDV359063.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV127919Report - Survey: Allden, A.. 1979. Survey of National Trust Property in East and Southeast Devon. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled.
SDV129122List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1952. St Thomas RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 21.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 352.
SDV227839Monograph: Westcote, T.. 1845. A View of Devonshire in 1630. A View of Devonshire in 1630. Unknown. 117.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 114.
SDV337022Report - Survey: National Trust. 2000. Killerton Estate Archaeological Survey. Part 4. The Farms: Ashclyst - Elbury. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 107408/3.
SDV339641Report - Survey: Fletcher, M.. 2003. The Mansion at Columbjohn, Broadclyst: Survey Report. English Heritage Report. A1/13/2003. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV341057Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962 - 1983. SX99NE1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV341093Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 1990. Not Applicable.
SDV341094Un-published: Sainsbury, I. S.. 1990. Mansion (Site Of). Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. A4 Stapled.
SDV341095National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. Post 1982. SX99NE1. National Monuments Record Index. Unknown.
SDV341096Un-published: Griffith + Gibbons. 1994. National Trust Archaeological Site Monitoring Report. Unknown.
SDV341097Report - Geophysical Survey: Substrata Ltd. 2004. Gradiometer and resistance surveys at Columbjohn. Substrata Report. R-COL04-3003. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV341165Plan - measured: From the collection of N. V. Quinnell. Pre 2008. A3 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV35428Un-published: Laithwaite, M.. 1987. Report on the Tiverton Castle Project 1987. A4 Stapled. 15.
SDV354994Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1823. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3173-3174 04-NOV-1946.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV357034Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2012. LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SX9498 Environment Agency JPEG DSM 27-Feb-2005 & 19-Dec-2005 & 14-20 Feb 2012. [Mapped feature: #61477 ]
SDV358789Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1986. DAP 5524. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DAP 5524/12-13 11-DEC-1986.
SDV359063Un-published: National Trust. Unknown. Mansion. Field/Recording (Primary/Detailed) Input Form. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV57439Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GX. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 12,13.

Associated Monuments

MDV21681Related to: Columbjohn Chapel, Broadclyst (Building)
MDV65155Related to: Columbjohn Cottages, Broadclyst (Monument)
MDV19214Related to: Columbjohn Manor, Broadclyst (Monument)
MDV21680Related to: Gateway to Columbjohn Mansion, Broadclyst (Monument)
MDV65336Related to: Pigeon Cottage, Columbjohn, Broadclyst (Building)
MDV10177Related to: RABBIT WARREN in the Parish of Broad Clyst (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Feb 14 2018 12:56PM