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HER Number:MDV19521
Name:Bickleigh Castle Gatehouse


A large gatehouse of pink sandstone with a fine vaulted passaged. It is dated, on its architectural style, to the 15th century.


Grid Reference:SS 936 068
Map Sheet:SS90NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBickleigh (MD)
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBICKLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS90NW/1/6
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 96619
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV177625.

Bickleigh castle, gatehouse. A mighty gatehouse of pink sandstone with vaulted gateway. The vault 15th century, the imposts of the gateway perhaps norman (pevsner).

Department of Environment, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV327388.

Vaulted entrance is circa 1400, and was reconstructed in 17th cent by the carews. Bases of the gatehouse imposts 12th century (hoskins). Vis=3/8/1967 (os) the gatehouse is of outstanding architectural interest. Vis=gatehouuse range of fortified manor house. Circa early c15 with c16 and c17 aterations and renovations of the 1920s and 30s. Volcanic trap rubble with some beerstone dressings; asbestos slate roof behind parapets; end stacks and front lateral stack. Two storeys but with the remains of a third storey in an additional tier of windows in the parapet, rear elevation 2 storeys. Approx symmetrical 2 window front. Arms of carew impaling courtenay over the gateway. See doe list for full details (doe).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV58136.

Pevsner, n. /south devon/(1952)50.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV58137.

Hoskins, w. G. /devon/(1954)334-335.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV58138.


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

The gatehouse is a substantial rectangular sandstone building with a fine vaulted passage. It is dated, on its architectural style, to the 15th century.

Waterhouse, R. E., 2009, Report on Visit to Bickleigh Castle, Bickleigh (Site Visit). SDV359732.

Gatehouse block built, of three storeys with large chamber on first floor. Possible bridge over river may date from this period.

Gatehouse modified with addition of four corner turrets and at least one side turret. South side turret contained a large spiral stair, accessed from outside at ground floor level, with doors accessing first and second floor chambers

Gatehouse severely damaged during Civil War of 1642-46.

The gatehouse range seems to have ceased to be used for residential purposes after the Civil War, with a replacement residential building (the north range) being attached to its west.

The gatehouse has attracted the attentions of a surprising number of artists in the C19 who have provided important images of its ruined state before the 1920s-30s reconstruction

Period in which property was owned by Colonel Jasper Henson. Main period of alterations was 1927-39, during which gatehouse block was re-roofed and various modifications were made to it.

The greatly reduced mansion was presumably not very attractive to the Carews as a residence, and when Sir Henry's granddaughter Dorothy West married her cousin Thomas Carew in c.1710, the family appear to have moved in their entirety to his seat of Haccombe House, near Newton Abbot, where they lived until 1944.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV177625Migrated Record:
SDV327388Report - Survey: Department of Environment.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82520 ]
SDV354350Monograph: Higham, R. A. + Freeman, J. P.. 1996. Devon Castles (Draft Text). Devon Castles. A4 Unbound + Digital. Gazetteer.
SDV359732Site Visit: Waterhouse, R. E.. 2009. Report on Visit to Bickleigh Castle, Bickleigh. Digital.
SDV58136Migrated Record:
SDV58137Migrated Record:
SDV58138Migrated Record:

Associated Monuments

MDV1202Part of: Bickleigh Castle, Bickleigh (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7047 - Site Visit, Bickleigh Castle, Bickleigh, Mid Devon

Date Last Edited:Apr 9 2020 4:22PM