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:MDV12618
Name:Cloisters at Dunkeswell Abbey


The Medieval cloisters at Dunkeswell Abbey lay to the south of the Abbey Church


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

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 188997
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST11SW/3/5
  • Old SAM County Ref: 228
  • Old SAM Ref: 24841
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: ST11SW16

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CLOISTER (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Chapple, W. E. P., 1914 - 1915, Untitled Source, 34-36 (Article in Serial). SDV123675.

Other details: Plan.

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

The cloisters of Dunkeswell Abbey lay to the south of the church where cropmarks were visible of parallel north-south foundations about ten feet apart, suggesting the east cloister walk. West wall of meadow has a number of buttresses on the east face. This wall is the lower portion of that which bounded west side of cloister garth. West of this are remains of east wall of the west range.

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

Dunkeswell Abbey includes the remains of a Cistercian Abbey founded by William Bruere in 1201. Foundations of the whole range is visible in the adjoining fields in dry summers Other details: Monument 228.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1962, ST11SW16 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV129116.

The surface of the meadow is uneven but investigation was during period of wet weather so no cropmarks visible. The west wall of the meadow and its buttresses are in poor state of repair.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1962, Untitled Source, 1:4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV129107.

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

The buttresses noted above were not visible. T he area of the cloister would,on the basis of the plan recorded in Chapple 1914, have been about 30m north-south by 22m east-west. There is a rubble filled area at the north west end which appears to be the remains of the cloister walk.

Gibbons, P., 1993, Untitled Source (Un-published). SDV129109.

The cloister stood to the south of the abbey church and had sides of about 28m square. This is at variance with Weddell's reconstruction of 30m north-south by 22.5m east-west. The main problem here is that of trying to relate the drawing of the parchmarks to the present church and graveyard. The 1987 plan of the north west corner of the cloister, depicts the angle between the nave and the west range as less than 90 degrees. This would make the cloister trapezoidal in plan; it may be the result of a surveying error. Other details: MPP/134673.

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

The cloister stood to the south of the Abbey Church and had sides of about 28 metres square. The west range of the cloister is about 42 metres long by 8.2 metres wide, surviving as several substantial sections of walling up to 1.3 metres thick. The best preserved section is the north gable-end which stands to a height of 8.1 metres and incorporates a large ground floor fireplace and a chimney with an internal dividing wall and external buttress. The adjoining section of the east wall is 13.2 metres in length, with the north room being 11.2 metres. The interior of the gable has the chasing of a lean-to roof dating from the Post Dissolution use of the building. The south end of the range lies in an orchard and consists of a further section of the east wall, about 11 metres in length and an estimated 7 metres high. Its southern part is incorporated into the west wall of a small farm building; it retains the wall scar of part of the south wall of the south range and ends with a wall return to the west along the line of the southern boundary wall of the orchard. A section of the west wall of the range survives to 4.7 metres in length and has, at its north end, a wall extending 3.3 metres to the west. Other details: Monument 24841.

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

An earthwork survey undertaken in 2000 identified two curvilinear features to the south of the church probably related to the cloisters.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 188997 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345810.

Remains of west wall of cloister belonging to Dunkeswell Abbey (1201-1539). Only fragmentary remains of the east and west walls survive.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV123603Report - Assessment: Weddell, P. J.. 1986. Dunkeswell. Devon Religious Houses Survey. 11. A4 Stapled.
SDV123675Article in Serial: Chapple, W. E. P.. 1914 - 1915. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 8. Unknown. 34-36.
SDV129107Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962. ST11SW. 1:4.
SDV129109Un-published: Gibbons, P.. 1993. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset..
SDV129116Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962. ST11SW16. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
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.
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. [Mapped feature: #4568 ]
SDV345810National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 188997. National Monuments Record Database. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV1890Part of: Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV1892Related to: Dunkeswell Abbey, Bells (Find Spot)
MDV30305Related to: Abbey Church 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)
MDV12615Related to: West Range at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 16 2010 10:26AM