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HER Number:MDV11469
Name:Reredorter at Canonsleigh Abbey

Summary

Roofless remains of a strongly buttressed building, possibly the latrine block, part of the reredorter of Canonsleigh Abbey. The stream running through the building has led to speculation that it was a mill.

Location

Grid Reference:ST 068 174
Map Sheet:ST01NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBurlescombe
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBURLESCOMBE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST01NE/15
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 95854
  • Old SAM County Ref: 296B
  • Old SAM Ref: 296B
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: ST01NE 4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PRIVY HOUSE (XIII to XV - 1201 AD to 1500 AD (Between))

Full description

Ministry of Works, Canonsleigh Abbey (Schedule Document). SDV343188.

Des=os 6" (1903-4)30nw.


Devon County Council, Mill at Canonsleigh Priory (Ground Photograph). SDV50579.

Other details: 4/10.


Clements, H. A., Report on Buildings at Risk in the Devon Part of the Blackdown Hills, 20, 62, 108 (Report - non-specific). SDV344049.

Risk level 3. Unoccupied. Poor condition (B.A.R. 2.1.3). Other details: Photo.


Swete, J., 1880, 564 M/F 17 Devon Tour, volume 20, 90-101 (Record Office Collection). SDV343205.

Isolated ivy covered ruin; square building, buttressed at the angles, and on its west front a doorway and window with pointed arches. The interior consisted "merely of two narrow passages, through one of which a stream ran, by whose rapid current, in the open space of the meadow fronting the house, an undershot grist mill was set in motion". Other details: Illustration.


Tanner, T. C., 1892, Canonsleigh Abbey, 347-350 (Article in Serial). SDV343189.

Eastern wing, supposed to have been the kitchen and scullery, for ages roofless.


Elworthy, F. T., 1892, Canonsleigh, 359 (Article in Serial). SDV343190.

Massive, with strong buttresses on east and south-east angles. Described in detail and identified as the garderobe block. Interior in "perfect condition" window openings suggest 13th century.


Buckle et al, 1892, Canonsleigh, 41-43 (Article in Serial). SDV50556.

Owes its preservation to its plainness. Contained the garderobes which were always placed at the end of the dormitory block which extended from the south transept of the church. In answer to a question, Mr. Buckle stated that he didn't believe in the mill wheel.


Stephan, J., 1935, The Ancient Religious Houses of Devon. Adapted from the 'Historic Collections' and the 'Monasticon Dioec. Exoniensis' of George Oliver, D.D., 69 (Monograph). SDV343186.

A square structure with strong buttresses, probably part of a flanking tower at the east end of the convent. This tower was connected with the main residential buildings of the abbey, as may be seen by the remains of massive walls still standing.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 359 (Monograph). SDV17562.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1955 - 1967, ST01NE 4, 4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV343202.

2. This feature is roofless but the walls remain intact to a height of approximately 20 feet.
5. Priory Mill. Late medieval, two storey building ruined and featureless. Grade II.
6. Site visit 6th March 1967. Much of this ruined building still stands to its original height. Other details: Photograph.


Unknown, 1965, The Cartulary of Canonsleigh Abbey (Monograph). SDV343210.

Ruins of a soundly built mill beside the stream and a stretch of strong, high wall.


Griffiths, D. M., 1982, Canonsleigh Abbey Reredorter (Personal Comment). SDV343232.

An ivy covered ruin, with original window openings now blocked with modern bricks. Possibly used subsequently as a mill, as it is served to the east by a leat.


Devon County Council, 1982, Untitled Source, 1 (Ground Photograph). SDV50569.

Other details: Film 542.


Griffiths, D. M., 1983, Canonsleigh Abbey (Un-published). SDV343233.

Site visit 27th May 1983. The 'mill' building is now covered in ivy and probably needs repointing. It is under threat from a dead elm which lies across the top of the 'wheel pit'. Interpretation of the building as a mill is in some doubt. There is a long narrow slit which obviously had a stream running at the bottom, directed there by a stone leat. There is however no hole/slit in the side walls of the pit which would support a wheel or machinery. Immediately west of the 'pit' is a large garderobe flushed by the same stream.


Devon County Council, 1983, Untitled Source (Ground Photograph). SDV50573.

Other details: Film 586.


Griffiths, D. M., 1984, Untitled Source, 7 (Report - Survey). SDV50576.

Probably 13th century, it consists of a squarish buttressed block entered by a narrow passage, at right angles to the door in the west corner. Internally this block is sub-divided into three sections, the centre one of which has a stream flowing through it. This is obviously the garderobe block or reredorter, with provision for at least one latrine at ground floor level. The upper floor is obscured by vegetation and its connections to the garderobe pit or stream are unclear. The building was described by Swete in 1880 as being or having been a grist mill with undershot wheel, and may have served a secondary use although there is no apparent housing for a wheel visible. Other details: Plan, site18.


Griffiths, D. M., 1985, Canonsleigh Abbey Reredorter (Personal Comment). SDV343231.

Abbey reredorter, with evidence for walls extending to north (the claustral range) and southwest (enclosing wall). Block set at an angle to line up with stream. Main part entered by narrow passages from north, and is itself divided into three narrow rectangular areas, the centre one housing the latrines and being washed by the stream, and the other two providing flanking access passage/rooms. Lancet windows. Entrance passage has fireplace (possibly inserted) on first floor.


Devon County Council, 1985, Canonsleigh Abbey Reredorter, 25A-32A (Ground Photograph). SDV343234.

Other details: Film 622.


Devon Religious Houses Survey, 1986-7, Devon Religious Houses Survey 1986/87. Premilinary Assessment Form. Canonsleigh Abbey (Un-published). SDV358420.


Devon Religious Houses Survey, 1986-7, Devon Religious Houses Survey. Canonsleigh Abbey (Archive - Survey). SDV358421.


Department of Environment, 1988, Burlescombe, 3 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV50563.

Cannonsleigh Priory Mill. Ruined remains of the east end, possibly part of the reredorter, of Canonsleigh Abbey. 14th or 15th century. Coursed blocks of local chert with ashlar quoins and voussoirs. Plan and description: although roofless the walls remain intact up to approximately 6 metres, almost their full height. A short length of a stream on a north-east to south-west alignment runs through the south-east side. Alongside (north-west) there is a corridor which turns at right angles north-westwards at the south west end. From this short lengths of wall run at 45 1/3 and one includes the reveals of a tall window with a pointed arch. It is strongly buttressed on the outside angles and the inside walls are plastered. This is probably the latrine block attached to the reredorter of the abbey. The latrines were washed by the stream and it is this that has led to the speculation that it was a mill. There is, however, no evidence for a wheel here. The entrance corridor contains an (inserted?) fireplace at first floor level. Other details: LBS 95854.


Department of Environment, 1988, Canonsleigh Abbey (Schedule Document). SDV343211.

Of the two buildings that formerly comprised this monument, the westernmost, The Gatehouse, has been de-scheduled. The Rere-dorter and approach remain scheduled as before.


Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 7 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Other details: 53.


Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 39 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Documentary references to Grist Mills from 1667-1882 in Devon Record Office. The building supposed to be Canonsleigh Priory Mill is/was a large building and some have suggested that it was not a mill but the abbey's reredorter. Other details: Draft Report.


Scott Wilson, 2008, Hanson Town Farm, Devon. Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment, 10 (Report - Assessment). SDV344495.

Other details: Site 12.


English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West, 102 (Report - non-specific). SDV342694.

Condition generally unsatisfactory with major localised problems.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 359.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 7.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 39.
SDV342694Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2009. Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West. English Heritage Report. A4 Bound +Digital. 102.
SDV343186Monograph: Stephan, J.. 1935. The Ancient Religious Houses of Devon. Adapted from the 'Historic Collections' and the 'Monasticon Dioec. Exoniensis' of George Oliver, D.D.. The Ancient Religious Houses of Devon. Adapted from the 'Historic Collections' and the 'Monasticon Dioec. Exoniensis' of George Oliver, D.D.. Hardback Volume. 69.
SDV343188Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. Canonsleigh Abbey. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV343189Article in Serial: Tanner, T. C.. 1892. Canonsleigh Abbey. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 38. Unknown. 347-350.
SDV343190Article in Serial: Elworthy, F. T.. 1892. Canonsleigh. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 24. Unknown. 359.
SDV343202Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1955 - 1967. ST01NE 4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. 4.
SDV343205Record Office Collection: Swete, J.. 1880. 564 M/F 17 Devon Tour, volume 20. Devon Record Office Collection. 90-101.
SDV343210Monograph: Unknown. 1965. The Cartulary of Canonsleigh Abbey. The Cartulary of Canonsleigh Abbey. New Series 8. Unknown.
SDV343211Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1988. Canonsleigh Abbey. Amendment to Scheduled Area of Monument. A4 Stapled.
SDV343231Personal Comment: Griffiths, D. M.. 1985. Canonsleigh Abbey Reredorter.
SDV343232Personal Comment: Griffiths, D. M.. 1982. Canonsleigh Abbey Reredorter.
SDV343233Un-published: Griffiths, D. M.. 1983. Canonsleigh Abbey. A4 Unbound.
SDV343234Ground Photograph: Devon County Council. 1985. Canonsleigh Abbey Reredorter. Devon County Council Conservation Section Collection. Photograph (Paper). 25A-32A.
SDV344049Report - non-specific: Clements, H. A.. Report on Buildings at Risk in the Devon Part of the Blackdown Hills. Devon County Council Report. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 20, 62, 108.
SDV344495Report - Assessment: Scott Wilson. 2008. Hanson Town Farm, Devon. Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment. Scott Wilson Report. D118857. A4 Stapled + Digital. 10.
SDV358420Un-published: Devon Religious Houses Survey. 1986-7. Devon Religious Houses Survey 1986/87. Premilinary Assessment Form. Canonsleigh Abbey. Devon Religious Houses Survey. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV358421Archive - Survey: Devon Religious Houses Survey. 1986-7. Devon Religious Houses Survey. Canonsleigh Abbey. Devon Religious Houses Survey. A4 Unbound + Digital.
SDV50556Article in Serial: Buckle et al. 1892. Canonsleigh. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 38 pt. 1. 41-43.
SDV50563List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Burlescombe. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 3.
SDV50569Ground Photograph: Devon County Council. 1982. Conservation Section Photograph Collection. Photograph (Paper). 1.
SDV50573Ground Photograph: Devon County Council. 1983. Conservation Section Photograph Collection. Photograph (Paper).
SDV50576Report - Survey: Griffiths, D. M.. 1984. Survey of Canonsleigh Abbey. 7.
SDV50579Ground Photograph: Devon County Council. Mill at Canonsleigh Priory. Conservation Section Photograph Collection. Photograph (Paper).

Associated Monuments

MDV1465Part of: Canonsleigh Abbey (Monument)
MDV1467Related to: Canonsleigh Abbey Gatehouse (Building)
MDV17653Related to: Fenacre Water, Burlescombe (Monument)
MDV1466Related to: Well at Canonsleigh Abbey (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1983 - Site Visit to Canonsleigh Abbey
  • EDV1984 - Site Visit to Canonsleigh Abbey
  • EDV1985 - Site Visit to Canonsleigh Abbey
  • EDV1986 - An Archeological Survey of Canonsleigh Abbey, Burlescombe, Devon
  • EDV4580 - Buildings at Risk Survey
  • EDV4635 - Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment of Hanson Town Farm, Devon

Date Last Edited:May 29 2015 1:18PM