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HER Number:MDV14328
Name:Okehampton Castle Bailey

Summary

The bailey buildings at Okehampton Castle were mainly built in the early 14th century with later additions.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 583 942
Map Sheet:SX59SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishOkehampton Hamlets
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOKEHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX59SE/7/2
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)
  • Old SAM County Ref: 21
  • Old SAM Ref: 21705

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BAILEY (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

NMR, SX5894 (Aerial Photograph). SDV233181.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX59SE5 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV233180.

Higham, R. A., 1976, Interim Report, 184 (Article in Serial). SDV233115.

Further excavation shows the structural sequence to extend back to the 12C.

Webster, L. E. + Cherry, J., 1977, Medieval Britain in 1976, 234 (Article in Serial). SDV233116.

Higham, R. A. + Allan, J. P., 1980, Excavations at Okehampton Castle: preliminary report on the bailey, 49-51 (Article in Serial). SDV233111.

The bailey at Okehampton Castle; excavated by Higham. The standing buildings mainly reflect the most extensive building phase in the early 14th century. Earlier features have been noted in excavation; a building of c1250 in the upper fill of the motte ditch; a north curtain wall, predating the 14th century one, which enclosed two buildings roughly perpendicular to it (and to the great hall under which they lay). These are probably 12th century. The layout of the bailey buildings (see PRN 14326) is early 14th century. The north curtain wall enclosed the site and ran from the motte to the gatehouse. On the south side the original intention of building a complete curtain wall was changed, and a short stretch ran from the motte base to join the domestic range. In the later middle ages the former empty spaces were built up to provide extra accommodation. In the early 15th century, a two-storey lodging was added east of the chapel. The kitchen block was extended into the base of the motte and two ovens added. In the late 17th century, the western part of the south range was reoccupied, and the lodging west of the chapel rebuilt as a bakehouse. The adjacent area of the bailey courtyard was turned into a garden,

Unknown, 1980, Slide (Photograph). SDV233184.

Higham, R. A. + Allan, J. P. + Blaylock, S. R., 1982, Excavations at Okehampton Castle, Devon: Pt 2: the bailey, 19-151 (Article in Serial). SDV233077.

Excavations by Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit from 1973-1980 at the west end of the bailey, along the north range of domestic buildings and their adjacent defences revealed a sequence of occupation beginning with the motte ditch in 1068-86 and ending in the late 17C. The most extensive building operations took place c1300. Other details: Plans.

Department of Environment, 1987, Okehampton Hamlets, 68 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV327061.

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

Higham, R. A., 1989, A knight to remember: the building enterprises of Hugh Courtenay(1276-1340)., 154 (Article in Serial). SDV233186.

Higham, R. A. + Freeman, J. P., 1996, Devon Castles (Draft Text), Gazetteer (Monograph). SDV354350.

Gaimster, M. + Bradley, J. + Beaumonth James, T., 2000, Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1999, 259-260 (Article in Serial). SDV361738.

English Heritage, 2003, Okehampton Hamlets (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV324950.

Okehampton Castle. The oldest fabric dates from the 11C with some evidence of 13C, much rebuilt and extended in early 14C. Constructed of a mixture of granite, metamorphic rocks and shale. The earliest structure is the 11C keep standing on its motte, there is some evidence of 13C buildings in the main bailey but most of the surviving structure dates from an early 14C rebuild and extension of the site when the keep was also enlarged. Dating from this time is the hall, the kitchen range, a chapel and priests accommodation, extensive lodgings, a main gatehouse and a barbican gatehouse. Further minor additions were made in the late 14C and 15C and the late 17C. The structure is now ruinous with the extant remains varying in their degree of survival but the external fabric is in places relatively complete. The motte and keep are to the south-west with the bailey buildings ranging down the valley to the north east. This castle holds a strategic point at the head of the valley and as such has great landscape value. From the extensive survival of the buildings a reconstruction of the early 14C layout is possible and it is one of the more complete castle sites in Devon. Other details: LBS No 94344.

Probert, S. A. J., 2004, Okehampton Castle and Park, West Devon: Survey Report (Report - Survey). SDV324949.

The English Heritage survey plan shows most of the bailey buildings added to the keep in the early 14C with a few added in the later 17C. Other details: Plan.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV233077Article in Serial: Higham, R. A. + Allan, J. P. + Blaylock, S. R.. 1982. Excavations at Okehampton Castle, Devon: Pt 2: the bailey. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 40. 19-151.
SDV233111Article in Serial: Higham, R. A. + Allan, J. P.. 1980. Excavations at Okehampton Castle: preliminary report on the bailey. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 38. 49-51.
SDV233115Article in Serial: Higham, R. A.. 1976. Interim Report. Medieval Archaeology. 20. 184.
SDV233116Article in Serial: Webster, L. E. + Cherry, J.. 1977. Medieval Britain in 1976. Medieval Archaeology. 21. Digital. 234.
SDV233180Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX59SE5. SX59SE.
SDV233181Aerial Photograph: NMR. SX5894.
SDV233184Photograph: Unknown. 1980. Slide.
SDV233186Article in Serial: Higham, R. A.. 1989. A knight to remember: the building enterprises of Hugh Courtenay(1276-1340).. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 121. 154.
SDV324949Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J.. 2004. Okehampton Castle and Park, West Devon: Survey Report. English Heritage Report. AI/03/2004. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV324950List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2003. Okehampton Hamlets. Historic Houses Register.
SDV327061List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Okehampton Hamlets. From Celtic Settlement to XX Century Hospital: The Story of Poltimore House. 68.
SDV35428Un-published: Laithwaite, M.. 1987. Report on the Tiverton Castle Project 1987. A4 Stapled. 15.
SDV354350Monograph: Higham, R. A. + Freeman, J. P.. 1996. Devon Castles (Draft Text). Devon Castles. A4 Unbound + Digital. Gazetteer.
SDV361738Article in Serial: Gaimster, M. + Bradley, J. + Beaumonth James, T.. 2000. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1999. Medieval Archaeology. 44. Unknown. 259-260.

Associated Monuments

MDV14326Part of: Okehampton Castle (Building)
MDV14329Related to: Okehampton Castle Moat (Monument)
MDV14327Related to: Okehampton Castle Motte (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV3474 - Earthwork survey of Okehampton Castle and Park
  • EDV8674 - Survey of castle motte, Okehampton Castle
  • EDV8676 - Recording at the East Lodgings, Okehampton Castle during repair works

Date Last Edited:Mar 19 2021 2:04PM