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HER Number:MDV1890
Name:Dunkeswell Abbey

Summary

Dunkeswell Abbey was founded by the Cistercian order in 1201 and dissolved in 1539. A range of earthworks and cropmark features associated with Dunkeswell Abbey are visible on aerial photographs of 1947 onwards and on digital images derived from lidar data captured in 2016. They have been transcribed as part of the Blackdown Hills AONB National Mapping Programme.

Location

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

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 188944
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST11SW/3
  • Old SAM County Ref: 228
  • Old SAM Ref: 24841
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: ST11SW1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ABBEY (XII to Post Medieval - 1200 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, Dunkeswell Abbey (Ground Photograph). SDV357484.


Swete, R. J. (Revd), 1792-1801, 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete (Record Office Collection). SDV337942.

The general impression was of a picturesque scene but the architecture itself was described as mean, the ruins appear to have been quite extensive though the description is uninformative in this respect. Three sketches made mainly of the gatehouse area.


Oliver, G., 1846, Monasticon Diocesis Exoniensis, 393 (Monograph). SDV57424.


Unknown, 1869, The Abbey, 337B/8/39a (Plan - measured). SDV359152.


Birch, W de G., 1870, On the Date of Foundation Ascribed to the Cistertian Abbeys in Great Britain, 297, 364, 366 (Article in Serial). SDV241947.

Birch records evidence of Dunkeswell Abbey's foundation in 1201.


Brooking Rowe, J., 1877, The Cistercian Houses of Devon, part 5, 390 (Article in Serial). SDV136139.

Brooking Rowe, writing in 1877, reported that the foundations of the church and some important buildings might be traced in dry summers by the grass above being more quickly scorched. The west tower has fallen recently but portions of the gatehouse remain with fragments of walling. The northern half of the gatehouse (a late perpendicular structure) was fairly intact albeit roofless; the southern half was incorporated in a cottage with arched windows etc. The lower half of the west abbey church wall forms the boundary of the modern churchyard adjoining this.


Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'(Remains of) Dunkeswell Abbey (Cistercian 1201)' shown on 19th century map.


Rogers, W. H. H., 1888, Memorials of the West, 265 (Monograph). SDV136067.


Chanter, J. F., 1910, Christianity in Devon before AD 909, 491 (Article in Serial). SDV870.

Chanter notes the abbey's dedication, anciently, to the celtic saint, St. Petrock.


Radford, G. H., 1914, Tavistock Abbey, 148-149 (Article in Serial). SDV136050.

An indenture of 1539 allowed John Heydon of Ottery St. Mary to take away materials from the dissolved abbey, including stone, glass and tiles, within ten years. The glass of the lower part of the cloister, and two freestone windows had already been sold to someone else.


Michell Whitley, H., 1914 - 1915, Dunkeswell Abbey, 34 (Article in Serial). SDV136068.


Chapple, W. E. P., 1914 - 1915, Dunkeswell Abbey, 8-9 (Article in Serial). SDV136043.

A dry summer, with consequent grass marks, revealed lines of some of the foundations of the abbey. Other details: plates, plan.


Watkin, H. R., 1918, A Great Devonian, William Briwer. Presidential Address, 167-169 (Article in Serial). SDV136126.

William Briwer was buried at Dunkeswell Abbey in 1226.


R. B. M., 1928 - 1929, Dunkeswell Abbey, 120 (Article in Serial). SDV136046.

The existence of a confirmatory charter, dated 9th May 1215, in the Calendars of Charter Rolls, is noted.


Masterman, J. H. B., 1931, Address of the President: The Monasteries of Devon, 71 (Article in Serial). SDV136066.


Thomson, G., 1932 - 1933, Exeter and the Russell Earls of Bedford, 13 (Article in Serial). SDV136047.

The house and site of the late abbey passed to Lord John Russell in 1539.


Stephens, J., 1935, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV136070.


Rose-Troup, F., 1936 - 1937, Lead from the Dissolved Religious Houses in Devon in 1549, 122-126 (Article in Serial). SDV7422.

Lead taken from Dunkeswell Abbey in 1549 is included in Arundell's contemporary account of lead taken from Devon's dissolved religious houses.


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

Everett reported in 1937 that the north wall of the west range of the abbey buildings remains almost in its entirety with large fragments of the east wall. Foundations of the whole range visible in the adjoining fields in dry summers. There are three fishponds in the vicinity. The modern church is built on the site of an ancient cemetery.


Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1974, RAF/CPE/UK/1974 RP 3296-97 11-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356127.

Earthworks are visible here.


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 Abbey adopted the Bruere Arms of two wavy bands. It was valued at £300 per annum at the Dissolution in 1539 and given to John Russell, Earl of Bedford. Risdon in 1630 stated "Its ruins lie low in the dusk". The north half of the gate house is a late Perpendicular structure and though roofless is fairly intact. The southern half of the gate house is incorporated in a cottage with arched windows etc. The lower half of the west wall of the abbey church forms the western boundary of the modern churchyard with remains of a chamfered plinth and diagonal buttress. A small piece of the south wall is attached to the southern end of the west wall. The Abbey Church measured 185 feet (56.39 metres) by 54 feet (16.46 metres). The founder and his wife, Beatrice de Vaux were buried there in 1227. The walls consist of rubble faced with small roughly squared flints laid in regular courses. Fragments of small Purbeck columns have been found. The chancel floor of the modern church includes some Medieval tiles from the old church with one showing an elephant and castle. In 1877 the western tower had recently fallen. 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 and there are three fish-ponds in the neighbourhood. Later accounts say the ruins are in a poor state only held together by ivy. Other details: Monument 228.


Foster, M. T., 1948, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV345805.

Gate House ruin was purchased on 22nd May 1924 and sold on 27th October 1947. Fragmentary portions of walls and foundations of the Abbey remain. Other details: With Monument 228 Document.


Cambridge University, 1952, CUC/HW, 31-33 (Aerial Photograph). SDV136078.


Youings, J., 1955, Devon Monastic Lands, 4-6,33,54,57,60,62,68,73,78,86,97,100,108,118-9 (Monograph). SDV2117.

Details of the sale of the estates at the dissolution are given.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1962 - 1975, ST11SW1, 1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV136072.

Other details: Plan.


Knowles, D. + Hadcock, R. N., 1971, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales, 112, 118 (Monograph). SDV323253.

Dunkeswell Abbey was founded in 1201 by William Lord Brewere as a Cistercian monastery, bringing a company of monks from Forde Abbey. It is not well documented, but was valued at the dissolution (1539) at £300 pounds per annum, at which time there was an abbot and twelve monks.


Sparks, J. A., 1978, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV129196.

A fairly complete history of the abbey citing documentary references not quoted by previous authors is given, the plan which the author reproduces (copy in Devon Religious Houses Survey archive) is somewhat speculative however in some areas. Much detail about the abbeys estates is given. The grange farms were at Broadhembury, Bywood, Bowerhayes, Dunkeswell, Sheldon and Shapcombe. The abbey was run on typical Cistercian agricultural lines and was richly endowed with lands, in various local parishes including Uffculme, Hemyock, Kentisbeare, Luppit, Awliscombe, Buckerell, Uppottery, Gittisham, Colaton Raleigh and Buckland Brewer and also Ilfracombe in north Devon.


Cambridge University, 1980, CUC/CMN, 29-32 (Aerial Photograph). SDV338506.


Robinson, R., 1982, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982 (Un-published). SDV345608.


Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/CP, 26-33 (Aerial Photograph). SDV35303.


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

See separate records for discussion of individual buildings (listed under 'Relationships'). Archive contains copies of early prints and drawings and details of post-dissolution documents.


Unknown, 1986 - 1987, Devon Religious Houses Survey (Un-published). SDV347681.


Department of Environment, 1987, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV136057.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for rethatching of garage roof.


Griffith, F. M., 1988, DAP/KG, 1-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV136097.


Devon County Council, 1989, DAP 6786, DAP 6786/10 25-JUL-1989 (OZ) (Aerial Photograph). SDV359754.

Cropmarks of former structures are visible. Map object partly based on this source.


Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/OZ, 9-15 (Aerial Photograph). SDV136098.


Robinson, R., 1989, Dunkeswell Abbey (Correspondence). SDV348151.

Site visit by Field Monument Warden to Dunkeswell Abbey on 25th July 1989 found the ruins to be in a good state. Parch marks visible in field to south of church. Concern expressed over hole dug for fish pond in garden of Abbey Cottage which lies in the scheduled area and for which the warden was unware, at the time of writing, of any consents granted.


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


Nenk, B. S. + Margeson, S. + Hurley, M., 1991, Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1990, 139-140 (Article in Serial). SDV24914.


Department of National Heritage, 1992, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV136061.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for repairs to the abbey gatehouse.


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

Site lies in permanent pasture. The monument includes the known extent of the upstanding and buried remains of a Cistercian abbey in occupation between 1201 and 1539. Visible remains exist as a number of ruined and adapted structures laid out in the traditional monastic plan in which a church and ranges of two storeyed buildings were grouped around the central square open court of the cloister, with ancillary buildings further from the nucleus. They include the remains of the abbey church incorporated into the graveyard of a Vctorian church, the west range of the cloister in part incorporated into the buildings of Abbey Meadows Farm, the gatehouse in part incorporated into Abbey Cottage, and the fishponds. Other details: MPP/134673.


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

Dunkeswell Abbey is situated to the south of the Blackdown Hills in the hamlet of Abbey, some 3 kilometres to the north of the village of Dunkeswell and the parish church. It lies in permanent pasture on the west side of the wide shallow valley of the north flowing Madford River, a tributary of the River Culm. The monument, which falls into two areas, includes the known extent of the upstanding and buried remains of a Cistercian Abbey in occupation between 1201 and 1539 and its associated fishponds. The visible remains of the 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. They include the remains of the Abbey Church incorporated into the graveyard of a Victorian church, the west range of the cloister, in part incorporated into the buildings of Abbey Meadows farm, the gatehouse, in part incorporated into Abbey Cottage, and the fishponds. The walls are of random rubble construction utilising local chert and flint, roughly squared into blocks, with ashlar and carved details in sandstone, and Ham and Beer limestone. The abbey church was of cruciform plan, aligned east-west, and about 56 metres in length. The south-west corner of the nave joins with the north-east corner of the west range. Sections of the west front, up to 1.4 metres in height, are visible in the boundary walls of the graveyard, and include the north-west corner of the church and a 7.5 metre length of the north wall. The width of the nave was 17.2 metres. The position of the north transept is marked by a raised area in the field to the north of the Victorian church. Part of the north wall of the presbytery is visible, some 2 metres in height, at the east end of the north wall of the graveyard. The east wall of the graveyard is on the alignment of the east wall of the presbytery. The dimensions and alignments of these walls indicate that the nave of the Abbey Church was aisled on its south side. 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. The retaining wall forming the south side of the orchard includes a section of wall that is some 5 metres south and parallel with this offset. These two walls indicate that the south end of the west range had an extension to the west. The west wall and offset now form two sides of a shed. The area of the west range appears to be buried to a depth of about 1.5 metres in debris from the buildings. Other buildings of Abbey Meadows farm may incorporate Medieval fabric.In keeping with the layout characteristic of Cistercian abbeys, 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. The layout of the rooms forming the east range and most of the south range has been revealed as parchmarks in the grass in exceptionally dry summers. The south transept extends about 13 metres from the Abbey Church and is about 12 metres in width. The east range is uniformly of the same width, and extends about a further 40 metres south of the transept. Traditionally the ground floor rooms of the east range included the sacristy (vestry) and chapter house, which was usually vaulted. The first floor was occupied by the monks dorter (dormitory). The exact layout of the south range is less clear, in the characteristic Cistercian layout it would have included the frater (dining hall), aligned north-south. The locations of the monks rere-dorter and the infirmary are not known, but traditionally would have been to the east of the east range.
The gatehouse stands some 70 metres to the west of the Abbey Church. It is a rectangular structure, of some 15 metres by 8 metres overall, consisting of a symmetrical layout of a single wide gate-passage, aligned east-west, flanked by two small, two storied dwellings. The southern dwelling was subsequently incorporated into a cottage. The gatehouse is of late 15th century date, and its fabric includes all of the observable in-situ moulded architectural detail on the site. The north gable-end of the ruined northern dwelling survives to a height of 7.1 metres. The ground floor room was entered from the gate passage, and was furnished with a fireplace and a spiral stair, partly housed in an external multi-angular turret, projecting from the rear, east wall. The outer north west corner of the gatehouse retains the scar of the precinct wall. This formed the outer wall of a roofed, two storied passage, of 1.5 metre internal width, extending northwards, and with a door opening into the upper room of the gatehouse. This structure is an unusual feature. The garages to the north of the gatehouse may incorporate associated medieval fabric. Within Abbey Cottage the rear wall of the ground floor room retains a moulded doorway with the passage through the wall angled to the south, indicating that it originally gave access to a stair turret. The gate-passage only retains sections of an arch on its outer, west side. The land forming the monastic precinct was traditionally enclosed behind a wall and contained, in addition to the nucleus of the church and cloister, all the buildings and structures, both agricultural and industrial, associated with the degree of self sufficiency that the Abbey was capable of sustaining. Many of these structures would have been of timber construction. At Dunkeswell part of the western line of the precinct is defined by the straight property boundary extending north and south of the gatehouse. In the pasture to the east of the Abbey there is a slight terrace which lies parallel with the river and curves around the north east of the abbey church. This earthwork defines the western limit of the area liable to flooding and probably represents the line of the precinct to the east. The land in the vicinity of the Abbey contains a number of earthworks.. An essential part of the design of all Abbeys was the provision of a supply of fresh running water. At Dunkeswell the main water source appears to have been the stream supplying the fishponds. The water supply would have been taken from the stream by a leat at a point above where it could have been contaminated by overflow from the fishponds. This consideration places the probable location of the head of the leat at the south-east corner of the ponds. North of the Abbey the stream runs in a stone-lined canal, the bed of which is paved for its eastern 9 metres.
The Abbey was founded in 1201 by William Brewer, an influential figure in the Plantagenet court, following his granting of all his lands in Dunkeswell parish to the Cistercian order. It was colonised by monks from Forde Abbey in Dorset and dedicated to St Mary. Documentary evidence suggests that William Brewer was buried in the abbey on his death in 1226. By the end of the 13th century the Abbey had gained substantially in wealth from grants that included land and churches, mainly in east Devon. In 1291 18 estates are recorded. In 1290 it was granted weekly markets at Buckland Brewer and Broadhembury. The Cistercian order in general inclined toward the pioneer cultivation of areas of waste or difficult land and documentary evidence suggests that this policy was followed at Dunkeswell. An associated practice was the creation of grange farms which the Abbey established on a number of its holdings, the most important being located on the land in adjacent parishes. In 1539 there was an abbot and nine monks in residence. The abbey was dissolved in 1539 following an Act of Parliament of 1538 in which the largest and wealthiest religious houses were surrendered to Henry VIII. A condition of the subsequent sale of the buildings was that they were to be rendered unfit for monastic use, and this was greatly assisted by the Crown's sequestration of the roofing lead. Following their disposal by the Crown, parts of the buildings were often converted to habitable use and this appears to have been the case at Dunkeswell. In 1539 Lord Russell bought the most valuable parts of the estate and sold the Abbey buildings to John Haydon for the salvage of building materials. In 1541, Russell exchanged the Abbey site which was then returned to Crown ownership and was leased. At the end of the 18th century the Dunkeswell estate came into the ownership of the Simcoe family. The sale indentures and lease inventories give some indication of the process of destruction and reuse of the Abbey. In 1539 the church, chancel, tower, cloister, dorter (dormitory), frater (dining hall) and houses are referred to. The division of any treasure found in tombs or elsewhere was also mentioned at this time. In 1635 an oven house is mentioned, in 1656 houses called `The Seller' and `The Chapel', and in 1672 the `Circuit and Precinct'. In 1794, Swete recorded the ruins of the gatehouse, with the cottage to the south and abutted on the north side by a larger ruined building. In the mid-19th century the Simcoe family made sketches of the ruins and were instrumental in building the present church on the site of the Abbey Church in 1841-2. This involved the clearance of parts of the ruins and the reuse of the stone. During the construction of the present church the Simcoe family made a plan of the exposed foundations of the Abbey Church. The plan is difficult to understand and interpret. Two burials were disturbed at that time. In 1913, parchmarks were recorded that show the extent of the east cloister range. In 1959, the Dunkeswell Abbey Preservation Fund was founded to preserve, repair and restore the ruins of the abbey. In 1989 a detailed fabric survey was undertaken of the gatehouse, north end of the west range, and parts of the west front of the Abbey Church. The following are Listed Buildings Grade II: the ruined gatehouse, the Church of the Holy Trinity, Abbey Cottage and Abbey Meadows Farmhouse. The scheduling comprises two areas enclosing what is currently recognised as the extent of the Abbey and fishponds. Within the designated areas the following are excluded: the church and graveyard extension; all dwellings, modern farm buildings, made-up roads and tracks; power-cable poles; garages, sheds and footbridges; and gate and fence posts, although the ground beneath all these features, with the exception of the graveyard extension, is included.
Dunkeswell Abbey is situated in an isolated rural location. The surrounding area contains a series of earthworks which have the potential for locating the Abbey in a wider context of landscape history, and which may provide information on the improvement of difficult land traditionally undertaken by the Cistercian order, particularly, at Dunkeswell, in relation to water management schemes. The history of the Abbey is well documented and the design of the buildings include some unusual features. The buried remains are extensive and relatively undamaged by subsequent activity. The associated fishponds will contain deposits providing artefactual and environmental evidence relating to the abbey, its surrounding environment and the economy of its inhabitants. Other details: Monument 24841.


Department of National Heritage, 1994, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV136062.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted concerning remedial work.


Department of National Heritage, 1996, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV136063.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for construction of a timber frame to support the roof of the garage.


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

An earthwork survey was undertaken in 2000 in three fields surrounding the remains of Dunkeswell Abbey. The survey traced part of the monastery precinct boundary with some internal divisions. It showed the location of the cloisters and probable areas of rubble spread from the destruction of the abbey buildings. Other details: Figures 1-6.


Robinson, D. M. + Harrison, S., 2006, Cistercian Cloisters in England and Wales. Part 1, 176 (Article in Serial). SDV361751.

Dunkeswell, Devon 1201 - 1539. Summary: south; form of garth known in conjectural form; no information on arcades (citing Robinson, Cistercian Abbeys of Britain, 107).


National Monument Record, 2007, NMR 24533, NMR 24533/10 25-JAN-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV359677.

A range of earthworks are visible. Map object partly based on this source.


National Monuments Record, 2010, 188944 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345803.

Cistercian Monastery and Abbey founded in 1201 dissolved in 1539. A number of earthworks within the Abbey precinct survive. These include two fishponds seperated by a substantial bank west of the church. Earthworks to the east of the church may represent an inner precinct boundary. These earthworks are visible on aerial photgraphs


Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

'Remains of Dunkeswell Abbey (Cistercian founded c AD1201)' shown on modern mapping.


Bluesky International, 2016, LiDAR DTM data (0.5m resolution) Blackdown Hills and East Devon AONBs: 3 transects, LIDAR ST1410 Bluesky International DTM 05-MAY-2016 (Cartographic). SDV359714.

A range of earthworks are visible. Map object partly based on this source.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2016-2018, The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV359463.

A range of earthwork and cropmark features associated with Dunkeswell Abbey are visible on aerial photographs of 1947 onwards and on digital images derived from lidar data captured in 2016. The features recorded during this survey are concentrated towards the eastern extent of the Abbey precinct, within a single pasture field on gentle northeast facing slope. Defining the eastern extent of the Abbey is the East Range (MDV30306) which is intermittingly visible as cropmarks of a former structure on specialist oblique aerial photographs. The cropmarks define a northwest to southeast aligned building measuring approximately 45m in length by 12m in width and which is sub-divided into a series of five rooms, or partitions or varying size. Other additional, but less well-defined, cropmarks associated with this building were also observed to the immediate north and west. No obvious above ground earthworks of this structure survive, so appears to have been completely levelled. It is, however, sited on what appears to represent a levelled earthwork terrace, with a second terrace also possibly visible to the west of this. Approximately 15m to the east are a cluster of broadly rectilinear shaped earthwork platforms of between 6m to 15m in length and which likely mark the location of an additional range of structures. Amongst these possible building platforms is a well-defined circular pit, approximately 5m in diameter with an outer bank. The function of this feature is, however, uncertain. Earthworks which form part of the eastern precinct boundary are also clearly visible, although are quite complex in nature. These comprise a series of curvilinear and linear earthwork ditches flanked by earthwork banks on one or both sides. The main north to south aligned boundary ditch of this precinct boundary appears to utilise a natural scarp which bounds the river floodplain. Other possible earthworks visible include a possible rectilinear earthwork platform, approximately 43m in length by 22m in width, on the eastern side of this ditch and a cluster of possible mounds, or natural undulations to the west. Possible extraction pits which are irregular in shape are also visible to both the northwest and southeast, although it is unclear whether these are associated with the Abbey or not.

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.
SDV129196Monograph: Sparks, J. A.. 1978. In the Shadow of the Blackdowns. Unknown.
SDV136043Article in Serial: Chapple, W. E. P.. 1914 - 1915. Dunkeswell Abbey. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 8.1. Unknown. 8-9.
SDV136046Article in Serial: R. B. M.. 1928 - 1929. Dunkeswell Abbey. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 15. Unknown. 120.
SDV136047Article in Serial: Thomson, G.. 1932 - 1933. Exeter and the Russell Earls of Bedford. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 17. Unknown. 13.
SDV136049Article in Serial: Everett, A. W.. 1938 - 1939. A Survey of Dunkeswell Abbey. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 20. Unknown. 18.
SDV136050Article in Serial: Radford, G. H.. 1914. Tavistock Abbey. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 46. A5 Hardback. 148-149.
SDV136057Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1987. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV136061Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 1992. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV136062Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 1994. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV136063Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 1996. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV136064Article in Serial: Hunt, A.. 2000. An Earthwork Survey of Dunkeswell Abbey. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 58. Paperback Volume. 215-226.
SDV136066Article in Serial: Masterman, J. H. B.. 1931. Address of the President: The Monasteries of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 63. A5 Hardback. 71.
SDV136067Monograph: Rogers, W. H. H.. 1888. Memorials of the West. Memorials of the West. Unknown. 265.
SDV136068Article in Serial: Michell Whitley, H.. 1914 - 1915. Dunkeswell Abbey. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 8. Unknown. 34.
SDV136070Monograph: Stephens, J.. 1935. Ancient Religious Houses of Devon. Unknown.
SDV136072Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962 - 1975. ST11SW1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. 1.
SDV136078Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1952. CUC/HW. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 31-33.
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.
SDV136097Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. DAP/KG. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1-5.
SDV136098Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/OZ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 9-15.
SDV136126Article in Serial: Watkin, H. R.. 1918. A Great Devonian, William Briwer. Presidential Address. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 50. A5 Hardback. 167-169.
SDV136139Article in Serial: Brooking Rowe, J.. 1877. The Cistercian Houses of Devon, part 5. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 9. A5 Hardback. 390.
SDV2117Monograph: Youings, J.. 1955. Devon Monastic Lands. Devon Monastic Lands. Unknown. 4-6,33,54,57,60,62,68,73,78,86,97,100,108,118-9.
SDV241947Article in Serial: Birch, W de G.. 1870. On the Date of Foundation Ascribed to the Cistertian Abbeys in Great Britain. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 26. Unknown. 297, 364, 366.
SDV24914Article in Serial: Nenk, B. S. + Margeson, S. + Hurley, M.. 1991. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1990. Medieval Archaeology. 35. Unknown. 139-140.
SDV323253Monograph: Knowles, D. + Hadcock, R. N.. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales. Unknown + Digital (part). 112, 118.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337942Record Office Collection: Swete, R. J. (Revd). 1792-1801. 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown + Digital.
SDV338506Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1980. CUC/CMN. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 29-32.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV345608Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1982. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
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: #82372 ]
SDV345803National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 188944. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV345805Correspondence: Foster, M. T.. 1948. Letter. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV347681Un-published: Unknown. 1986 - 1987. Devon Religious Houses Survey. Devon Religious Houses Survey. Mixed Archive Material.
SDV348151Correspondence: Robinson, R.. 1989. Dunkeswell Abbey. Letter to Dunkeswell Abbey Preservation Trust. Digital.
SDV35303Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/CP. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 26-33.
SDV356127Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1974. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1974 RP 3296-97 11-APR-1947.
SDV357484Ground Photograph: Devon County Council. Dunkeswell Abbey. Devon County Council Conservation Section Collection. Photograph (Paper) + Digital.
SDV359152Plan - measured: Unknown. 1869. The Abbey. Plan + Digital. 337B/8/39a.
SDV359463Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2016-2018. The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. Historic England Research Report. Digital.
Linked documents:2
SDV359677Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 2007. NMR 24533. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR 24533/10 25-JAN-2007.
SDV359714Cartographic: Bluesky International. 2016. LiDAR DTM data (0.5m resolution) Blackdown Hills and East Devon AONBs: 3 transects. Not applicable. Digital. LIDAR ST1410 Bluesky International DTM 05-MAY-2016.
SDV359754Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1989. DAP 6786. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DAP 6786/10 25-JUL-1989 (OZ).
SDV361751Article in Serial: Robinson, D. M. + Harrison, S.. 2006. Cistercian Cloisters in England and Wales. Part 1. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 159. Digital. 176.
SDV57424Monograph: Oliver, G.. 1846. Monasticon Diocesis Exoniensis. Monasticon Diocesis Exoniensis. Unknown. 393.
SDV7422Article in Serial: Rose-Troup, F.. 1936 - 1937. Lead from the Dissolved Religious Houses in Devon in 1549. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 19. Unknown. 122-126.
SDV870Article in Serial: Chanter, J. F.. 1910. Christianity in Devon before AD 909. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 42. A5 Hardback. 491.

Associated Monuments

MDV1892Parent of: Dunkeswell Abbey, Bells (Find Spot)
MDV30305Parent of: Abbey Church at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV12618Parent of: Cloisters at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV1891Parent of: COAT OF ARMS in the Parish of Dunkeswell (Monument)
MDV44192Parent of: Dunkeswell Abbey, Building (Monument)
MDV63464Parent of: Dunkeswell Abbey, Garden (Monument)
MDV1893Parent of: Dunkeswell Abbey, Grave (Monument)
MDV13990Parent of: Dunkeswell Abbey, Tile (Find Spot)
MDV30306Parent of: East Range at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV12616Parent of: Fishponds at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV12617Parent of: Gatehouse at Dunkeswell Abbey (Building)
MDV17554Parent of: Shapcombe Farm, Luppitt (Monument)
MDV30307Parent of: South Range at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV12615Parent of: West Range at Dunkeswell Abbey (Monument)
MDV1842Related to: Bywood Grange (Monument)
MDV10611Related to: Dotton Mill, Colaton Raleigh (Building)
MDV11513Related to: Dunkeswell Grange (Monument)
MDV116043Related to: Earthworks of a Possible Former Settlement, Dunkeswell Abbey, Dunkeswell (Monument)
MDV1523Related to: FIELD SYSTEM in the Parish of Dunkeswell (Monument)
MDV1516Related to: GRANGE in the Parish of Dunkeswell (Monument)
MDV30308Related to: Holy Trinity Parish Church at Dunkeswell (Building)
MDV1451Related to: The Grange, Broadhembury (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5561 - Site visit to Dunkeswell Abbey
  • EDV7508 - The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme (NMP) project (Ref: ACD1228)

Date Last Edited:Sep 6 2018 1:18PM