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HER Number:MDV19528
Name:Hemyock Castle House


Located within the walls of Hemyock Castle the house is largely constructed out of the remains of the castle. The earliest surviving features probably date from the 15th century but the house was substantially altered in the late 18th century by General Simcoe, and in the 19th century.


Grid Reference:ST 135 132
Map Sheet:ST11SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHemyock
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishHEMYOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST11SW/4/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (XV to XIX - 1401 AD to 1900 AD)

Full description

Chalk, E. S., 1928-29, Hemyock Castle, 207 (Article in Serial). SDV58056.

The carved doorway on the farmhouse was brought from Cornwall in 19th century.

Ancient Monuments, 1953, Untitled Source (Schedule Document). SDV58055.

An inhabited farmhouse with 16th century features.

Department of Environment, 1959, Tiverton RD, 21 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV54004.

Castle house located within the walls of Hemyock Castle. Largely constructed out of the remains of the castle, probably in 17th century. Rubble built, slate roofs, modern brick stacks. Two storeys, wooden casements. Medieval pointed doorway. Open fireplace in kitchen.

Campbell, J., 1978, Untitled Source (Plan - measured). SDV58057.

Plan and section of Castle House.

Department of Environment, 1987, Hemyock, 31 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV36975.

Detached house, originally the principal manor of Hemyock, and later used as a farmhouse. The house is situated within the late 14th century curtain walls of the castle bailey but the earliest surviving features look considerably later, probably late 15th century. It was substantially altered in the late 18th century by General Simcoe, and in the 19th century. Random rubble flint with some limestone; hipped and half-hipped symmetrical tile roof.

Plan: the original layout is difficult to reconstruct because the house has undergone radical remodelling. Probably a three-room through-passage-plan house with service end to the right of the passage. The present principal doorway with a carved stone archway (late 15th or early 16th century but brought from Cornwall in the late 19th century) does not mark the site of the passage, remains of which survive behind the second door of the range (to the right). The medieval hall lies between these doorways, and was originally open to the roof which shows evidence of smoke-blackening. The service end and the inner room have been largely reconstructed, possibly circa 1800. The stacks and the first floor of the hall look like very late insertions, possibly 18th century; the stacks are not in the customary positions; that to the hall is at the higher end, that to the service end backs on to the passage. Brick shafts. Two storeys.

Exterior: front: Two roof ridge levels, that over the inner room (and part of the hall) higher than the rest; Four window range, all the windows have late 20th century timber casements. Rear outshut; all fenestration to rear and right hand and elevations late 20th century. The left-hand end is apsidal with one large pointed window, and several smaller pointed entrances, which are now serving as windows, but were probably designed as rather gothick embellishment in circa late 18th century when the house was remodelled by General Simcoe.

Interior: hall with rough cross beams; the fireplace lintel with a shallow chamfer and scroll stop. All these features look 18th century. Remains of a partition with unchamfered posts is visible below the present rear stairs, at the lower end of the hall. Inner room was derelict until recently, and is largely a late 20th century reconstruction using some original materials.

Roof: Two medieval trusses, probably jointed crucks to either end of the hall; threaded purlins and threaded diagonal ridge piece, yoke, and cranked collar with chamfered archbraces; one tier of wind braces. These old timbers are very badly eroded, but there is evidence of smoke-blackening.

Historical note: General Simcoe, the first Governer General of Canada bought the house, lived in it briefly, and was probably responsible for much of the remodelling.

Blaylock, S. R., 1989, An Archaeological Survey of Hemyock Castle (Report - Survey). SDV58058.

The house was examined as part of an archaeological survey of the castle (see PRN 1894). It was found to have a late medieval core, with two trusses of a late medieval roof surviving. Smoke blackening is said to have been observed in the past, but none was seen. Other elements of the building (detailed in the report) demonstrate continuing development of the structure. A range of outbuildings to the east of the gatehouse show gothick detail and probably relate to Simcoe's occupation, though some elements are plainly earlier.

Beverley, S. M. + Nenk, S. + Margeson, S. + Hurley, M., 1992, Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1991 (Article in Serial). SDV58456.

Gaimster, M. + Haith, C. + Bradley, J., 1999, Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1998, 240 (Article in Serial). SDV361737.

Hemyock Castle (ST135133). Summary of excavation and fabric recording carried out by S. R. Blaylock and T. H. Gent during consolidation works.

Berry, N., 2004, Untitled Source, 3 (Report - Assessment). SDV47938.

Allum, C., 2009, Land to the East of 'Castle Dene', Culmstock Road, Hemyock, Devon, 5, 6 (Report - Excavation). SDV344454.

Ordnance Survey, 2015, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV357601.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV344454Report - Excavation: Allum, C.. 2009. Land to the East of 'Castle Dene', Culmstock Road, Hemyock, Devon. Context One Archaeological Services Report. COAS/EXC/07/CRH. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5, 6.
SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #82524 ]
SDV361737Article in Serial: Gaimster, M. + Haith, C. + Bradley, J.. 1999. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1998. Medieval Archaeology. 43. Unknown. 240.
SDV36975List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Hemyock. Historic Houses Register. 31.
SDV47938Report - Assessment: Berry, N.. 2004. The Market Square, Hemyock: An Archaeological Assessment of the Development. 3.
SDV54004List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1959. Tiverton RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 21.
SDV58055Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1953.
SDV58056Article in Serial: Chalk, E. S.. 1928-29. Hemyock Castle. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 15. 207.
SDV58057Plan - measured: Campbell, J.. 1978.
SDV58058Report - Survey: Blaylock, S. R.. 1989. An Archaeological Survey of Hemyock Castle. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 89.03. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV58456Article in Serial: Beverley, S. M. + Nenk, S. + Margeson, S. + Hurley, M.. 1992. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1991. Medieval Archaeology. 36. PDF.

Associated Monuments

MDV1894Related to: Hemyock Castle (Monument)
MDV19529Related to: Hemyock Manor (Monument)
MDV40541Related to: Linhay and Stables at Hemyock Castle (Building)
MDV40542Related to: Outbuildings at Hemyock Castle (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV3056 - An Archaeological Survey of Hemyock Castle
  • EDV4619 - Excavation and Watching Brief, Castle Dene, Hemyock

Date Last Edited:Nov 23 2023 2:41PM