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HER Number:MDV33886
Name:Manor house at Great Bidlake, Bridestowe


16th century manor house with earlier origins, altered in the 17th century and extensively restored in mid-19th century with some additions made. Complex plan with some medieval fabric surviving in the main left cross-wing. The main build of the house dates from circa late-16th century, possibly from 1594, the date on a reused window head. Two storeys apart from tower, which is three storeys.


Grid Reference:SX 494 886
Map Sheet:SX48NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBridestowe
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIDESTOWE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX48NE18
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX48NE/17/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (Built, Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 1987, Bridestowe, 37-38 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV338897.

Manor house. Great Bidlake. 16th century with earlier origins, probably with some alterations, in 17th century, extensively restored in mid-19th century with some additions made. Local stone rubble walls with granite dressings. Scantle and grouted slate roof with decorative 19th century ridge tiles; numerous gables.
Complex development of plan. Some medieval fabric survives in the main left cross-wing but the main build of the house dates from circa late-16th century, possibly from 1594, the date on a reused window head - at which time an E-shape would not be unusual in a manor house. Three storey tower with a short wing behind was built, possibly for accommodation of the servants. Numerous mullion windows added or replaced. Two storeys apart from tower. Many different features (see List for full details).

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 211 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Arnold, A. + Howard, R., 2011, Great Bidlake, Bridestowe, Devon. Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers, 6 (Report - Scientific). SDV347966.

Prior to tree-ring analysis being undertaken at Great Bidlake, the Central and East ranges were thought to be the earliest surviving parts of the building, dating to the sixteenth century. Although the roof over the Central range had been replaced in the nineteenth century, that over the East range was believed to be a survival of the sixteenth century. This East range roof contains three oak trusses, the two at the front of the range (Trusses I and 2) at one height and the third, located towards the rear of the range (Truss 3) at a different height, although it is possible that all three are contemporary. A description of the house during the ownership of Thomas Bidlake (died AD 1531) shows that it had a first floor, in parts at least, by this period.
Timbers from two ceilings, the sitting room in the Central range and the breakfast room in the East range were dated. Two timbers from the breakfast room ceiling have been dated to AD 1574 and three from the sitting room ceiling to AD 1599 (a fourth is likely to also have this felling date). This suggests that both these ceilings date to the second half of the sixteenth century, with the ceiling of the breakfast room being some 25 years earlier than that of the sifting room. If these two ceilings date to the latter part of the sixteenth century, then they cannot be those referred to in the description of pre-1531. However, it may be that these ceilings were replacements for earlier ones. Alternatively, the pre-1531 'chambers above' may refer to the rear of the cross-wing, now the kitchen on the ground floor and a bedroom on the first floor. Unfortunately no timbers from the ceiling in this part of the cross-wing could be dated.

2011, Tree-Ring dating lists (Article in Serial). SDV361611.

Tree ring dates noted from Great Bidlake, including for the east range, breakfast room ceiling joists; felling date: 1574 and central range, sitting room ceiling joists; felling date: 1599.

Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

Depicted on the modern mapping.

Historic England, 2018, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

See Designation record for full details.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 211.
SDV338897List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Bridestowe. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 37-38.
SDV347966Report - Scientific: Arnold, A. + Howard, R.. 2011. Great Bidlake, Bridestowe, Devon. Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers. English Heritage Research Department Report. 13-2011. A4 Grip Bound + Digital. 6.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #88108 ]
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV361611Article in Serial: 2011. Tree-Ring dating lists. Vernacular Architecture. 42. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV1624Part of: Great Bidlake farm Bridestowe (Monument)
MDV33884Related to: Gate piers and wall south-west of Great Bidlake (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5417 - Dendrochronological Analysis, Great Bidlake

Date Last Edited:Jul 26 2018 12:23PM