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HER Number:MDV12615
Name:West Range at Dunkeswell Abbey


Remains of the west range of Medieval ecclesiastical buildings at Dunkeswell Abbey were consolidated in 1975


Grid Reference:ST 142 107
Map Sheet:ST11SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDunkeswell
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishDUNKESWELL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 189002
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST11SW/3/2
  • Old SAM County Ref: 228
  • Old SAM Ref: 24841
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: ST11SW17

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ECCLESIASTICAL BUILDING (XII to Late Medieval - 1200 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Everett, A. W., 1938 - 1939, A Survey of Dunkeswell Abbey, 18-20 (Article in Serial). SDV136049.

Solar and west range of Dunkeswell Abbey. About ten feet (3.5 metres) west of cloister garth wall are remains of east wall of west range. The area between the two now debris-filled, was the west cloister walk.

Ministry of Works, 1948, Dunkeswell Abbey (Schedule Document). SDV345801.

Dunkeswell Abbey includes the remains of a Cistercian Abbey founded by William Bruere in 1201 and colonised from Ford Abbey. The north wall of the west range of Abbey buildings remains almost in its entirety with large fragments of east wall. Foundations of the whole range is visible in the adjoining fields in dry summers Other details: Monument 228.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1962 - 1975, ST11SW1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV136072.

Remains of the solarium and west range at Dunkeswell Abbey. About 10 feet (3.05 metres) to the west of the cloister wall are the remains of the east wall of the west range. The area between the two was the west cloister walk. The north-east angle of this range adjoined the south-west angle of the Abbey Church. The north wall is almost entire and with it a large fragment of the east wall. The exterior face of the north wall has a flat central buttress. The remains of the west range were consolidated in 1975.

Weddell, P. J., 1986, Dunkeswell (Report - Assessment). SDV123603.

Though in generally good condition there does appear to be a little loose masonry in the north wall of the masonry at the north end. It is tentatively suggested that the west range was a long building with substantial structural divisions, traces of which are visible at circa 17 metres and 25 metres. There is a surviving fragment of west wall at the south end which is completely covered by ivy. The farm buildings to the south appear to follow the alignment of the range but the masonry in the west wall is not obviously monastic. The total length of the range based on a map of 1869 could have been about 57 metres. Other details: Plan.

Timms, S. C., 1986, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV129243.

Further consolidation work recently completed.

Blaylock, S. R., 1989, Dunkeswell Abbey, Devon. A Survey of the Standing Remains (Report - Survey). SDV136090.

The west range was a long rectangular building integral with south west corner of church, measuring circa 13.5 metres north to south by 8.2 metres east to west, comprising a single room, possibly subdivided. Early 20th century photo shows more than now survives. The north wall had a massive ground floor fireplace probably spanning most of the wall. The external stack covers only the eastern half of the flue. Original internal ground level possibly 1 metre below present level. The south wall, originally a partition wall within the west range, but now forming the southern limit of site within ownership of preservation fund, survives only as a stump at ground level. The north wall carries the scar of staircase which may belong to a secondary phase.

Gibbons, P., 1993, 134673 (Un-published). SDV123660.

The west range extended to the south of the cloister and south range.

Department of National Heritage, 1994, Dunkeswell Abbey (Schedule Document). SDV345802.

The visible remains of Dunkeswell Abbey exist as a number of ruined and adapted structures laid out in the traditional monastic plan in which a church and ranges of two storied buildings were grouped around the central square open court of the cloister, with ancillary buildings further from the nucleus. the west range extended to the south of the cloister and south range. The ground floor was used, in part, for storage. The first floor would have included the dorter (dormitory) of the lay brothers, and the section extending to the west may be the remains of their rere-dorter (toilets). It is unusual for a room with a large fireplace to be located on the ground floor of the northern end of the range. Along part of the east wall of the west range the cloister walk can be traced. It is about 3 metres in width, its east wall, which contains the scars of five buttresses, now incorporated into the decaying boundary of the orchard. Other details: Monument 24841.

Hunt, A., 2000, An Earthwork Survey of Dunkeswell Abbey, 215-226 (Article in Serial). SDV136064.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 189002 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345806.

Remains of morth and east wall of the West Range and Solarium now consolidated belonging to Dunkeswell Abbey (1201 -1539). Two other fragments of walling survive to the south. Other details: ST11SW17.

English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 87 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Cracking to elevations, mortar failure and instability. Very bad condition. Priority A.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV123603Report - Assessment: Weddell, P. J.. 1986. Dunkeswell. Devon Religious Houses Survey. 11. A4 Stapled.
SDV123660Un-published: Gibbons, P.. 1993. 134673. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Unknown.
SDV129243Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1986.
SDV136049Article in Serial: Everett, A. W.. 1938 - 1939. A Survey of Dunkeswell Abbey. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 20. Unknown. 18-20.
SDV136064Article in Serial: Hunt, A.. 2000. An Earthwork Survey of Dunkeswell Abbey. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 58. Paperback Volume. 215-226.
SDV136072Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962 - 1975. ST11SW1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV136090Report - Survey: Blaylock, S. R.. 1989. Dunkeswell Abbey, Devon. A Survey of the Standing Remains. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 89.05. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV345801Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. 1948. Dunkeswell Abbey. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV345802Schedule Document: Department of National Heritage. 1994. Dunkeswell Abbey. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV345806National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 189002. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV355280Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 87.

Associated Monuments

MDV1890Part of: Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV1892Related to: Dunkeswell Abbey, Bells (Find Spot)
MDV30305Related to: Abbey Church at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV12618Related to: Cloisters at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV1891Related to: COAT OF ARMS in the Parish of Dunkeswell (Monument)
MDV44192Related to: Dunkeswell Abbey, Building (Monument)
MDV63464Related to: Dunkeswell Abbey, Garden (Monument)
MDV1893Related to: Dunkeswell Abbey, Grave (Monument)
MDV13990Related to: Dunkeswell Abbey, Tile (Find Spot)
MDV30306Related to: East Range at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV12616Related to: Fishponds at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV12617Related to: Gatehouse at Dunkeswell Abbey (Building)
MDV30307Related to: South Range at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 24 2014 10:50AM