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HER Number:MDV35
Name:Site of Fortified Manor House, Lundy


Substantial defensive structure thought to be a manor house dating from the 12th century. The defences appear to have been strengthened in the early 13th century and the site demolished in the mid 13th century, probably when Marisco Castle was built.


Grid Reference:SS 136 442
Map Sheet:SS14SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLundy
Ecclesiastical ParishLUNDY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 31818
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS14SW/18/1
  • Old SAM County Ref: 745
  • Old SAM Ref: 27645
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS14NW/SW47

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FORTIFIED MANOR HOUSE (XII to XIII - 1101 AD to 1300 AD (Between))

Full description

NMR, SS1344 (Aerial Photograph). SDV7150.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SS14NW/SW47 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV7155.

Other details: Plan.

Gardner, K. S., 1961, Untitled Source, 23 (Article in Serial). SDV890.

Site initially identified and surveyed in 1961 as a mound partially enclosed by a well defined ditch.

Gardner, K. S., 1962, Untitled Source, 23-4 (Article in Serial). SDV1262.

Excavations in 1962 revealed ditch, wall and collapsed granite structures. Finds included a copper disc, perforated shale spindle-whorl, a decorated scrap of iron and iron nails.

Gardner, K. S., 1963 - 1964, Untitled Source, 30-2 (Article in Serial). SDV6881.

Excavations in 1963-4 uncovered lengths of a 7 foot thick wall overlying an earlier occupation surface, and evidence of collapsed cob and masonry structures. A blocked-up flagged doorway was also excavated. Rubble layer contained 13th-14th century pottery.

Gardner, K. S., 1964, Untitled Source, 249 (Article in Serial). SDV7153.

Other details: Interim report.

Gardner, K. S., 1964, Untitled Source, 30-2 (Article in Serial). SDV17867.

Resistivity survey carried out in 1966. Further excavations reveal evidence of refortification and final levelling. Site covered by 13th century and later rubbish.

Wilson, D. M. + Hurst, D. G., 1965, Medieval Britain in 1964, 216 (Article in Serial). SDV6878.

Other details: Interim report.

Ingram, H., 1966, Historical Geography of Lundy (Undergraduate Dissertation). SDV7148.

Other details: University of London unpublished Thesis for MSc (Econ).

Unknown, 1967, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV7149.

Anonymous, 1967 - 1968, Untitled Source, 200 (Article in Serial). SDV7154.

Gardner, K. S., 1968, Lundy Archaeological Investigations 1967, 44 (Article in Serial). SDV6944.

Gardner, K. S., 1968, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV7151.

Possible manor house. A sequence of three phases observed in excavations 1961-7 (Gardner, site 3): (1) a 12th century stone building, which had collapsed into the phase 2 ditch. Pottery: medieval wares as from excavations at Beere, North Tawton (see PRN 1067) (2) in the early 13th century, a thick granite wall with external rock-cut ditch appears to have enclosed an open yard with buildings, including a hearth and a clay lined waterhole (3) mid 13th century;the site was demolished, the walls flattened into the ditches and, waterhole. After subsidence (?), a secondary levelling gave a cobbled surface on which an extensive midden accumulated. This contained bones, metal and stone tools, and weapons. Also a silver venetian coin of circa 1420, and 13th to 15th century pottery, including French and Spanish imports. The site may be interpreted historically as being connected with the Marisco tenancy of Lundy, ie (1) occupation early to mid 12th century (2) defences strengthened 1222 (grant by crown) (3) evicted by Henry III in 1242. The king's constable constructs his own keep (see PRN 41). And this one presumably levelled. Excavations in 1967 identified south wall and ditch, 100ft to south. An open enclosure with 7 foott thick walls and walkway. Lean-to buildings around wall with central free-standing building with hearth. Cross-bow bolts found. Other details: Interim report.

Ministry of Public Building and Works, 1970, Lundy, Bull's Paradise Settlement Site (Schedule Document). SDV7147.

Recent excavations in a field now under pasture near the farm buildings showed that a primary rectangular structure of the 12th century was levelled by a foundation into which a secondary structure of 13th century had been inserted. Pottery similar to that from Jenny's Cove indicates a date of circa 1220 for the foundation of this second period. The site was occupied until the 17th century. A thick rampart round part of the site perhaps demolished when Marisco Castle was built.

Gardner, K. S., 1972, Untitled Source, 255,14-5 (Monograph). SDV5837.

National Trust, 1989, Lundy, Devon. Vol. One, 115-7 (Report - Survey). SDV1275.

A substantial defensive structure, thought to be a manor house. Present location of small finds from site is unknown. The site is under pasture. Other details: Plan, 101, 133.

Webster, C. J., 1991, A Geophysical Survey of the Archaeology of Bulls Paradise, 66-8 (Article in Serial). SDV898.

Geophysical survey in 1991 traced the ditch surrounding the site. Webster suggests possibility that the water hole may be a misinterpretation of the intersection of fortification ditch and a field boundary (see PRN 46003).

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

The earlier castle of the de Mariscos is believed to have been in a higher position than the present castle as the north end of the present main street.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Bull's Paradise and Giants Graves. A settlement and Burial Ground on Lundy (Schedule Document). SDV344750.

The monument includes earthwork remains of a chapel, a cemetery, a medieval defended homestead and a medieval midden contained in two enclosed paddocks to the west of Barton Cottages and Manor Farm north and west of the present village, on Lundy. The larger area, known as Bull's Paradise, has been partly excavated and subject to geophysical survey, revealing remains of a defended medieval homestead. The defended medieval homestead is believed, from excavation, to have been a strong stone building with an outer ditch and internal yard, dating from the mid 12th century to its deliberate destruction in the mid 13th century. This may then have been replaced by the construction of Marisco Castle. See schedule document for full details of monument.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 31818 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV7164.

Fortified manor house, constructed during the early 13th century and demolished in the mid 13th century when Marisco Castle was constructed. The site was later used as a midden. Excavation of the site revealed evidence for a 12th century stone building along with finds from the midden, including bones, pottery, metal and stone tools and weapons and a silver coin. Other details: SS14SW20. Record last updated: 2003.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV1262Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1962. Lundy Field Society Annual Report. 15. Unknown. 23-4.
SDV1275Report - Survey: National Trust. 1989. Lundy, Devon. Vol. One. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. 1. A4 Stapled + Digital. 115-7. [Mapped feature: #20344 ]
SDV17867Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1964. Lundy Field Society Annual Report. 17. Unknown. 30-2.
SDV344750Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Bull's Paradise and Giants Graves. A settlement and Burial Ground on Lundy. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV354350Monograph: Higham, R. A. + Freeman, J. P.. 1996. Devon Castles (Draft Text). Devon Castles. A4 Unbound + Digital. Gazetteer.
SDV5837Monograph: Gardner, K. S.. 1972. The Archaeology of Lundy. Photocopy + Digital. 255,14-5.
SDV6878Article in Serial: Wilson, D. M. + Hurst, D. G.. 1965. Medieval Britain in 1964. Medieval Archaeology. 9. Unknown. 216.
SDV6881Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1963 - 1964. Lundy Field Society Annual Report. 16. A5 Paperback. 30-2.
SDV6944Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1968. Lundy Archaeological Investigations 1967. Lundy Field Society Annual Report. 19. Unknown. 44.
SDV7147Schedule Document: Ministry of Public Building and Works. 1970. Lundy, Bull's Paradise Settlement Site. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV7148Undergraduate Dissertation: Ingram, H.. 1966. Historical Geography of Lundy. Unknown.
SDV7149Article in Serial: Unknown. 1967. Medieval Archaeology. 11. Unknown.
SDV7150Aerial Photograph: NMR. SS1344.
SDV7151Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1968. Medieval Archaeology. 12. Unknown.
SDV7153Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1964. Medieval Archaeology. 8. Unknown. 249.
SDV7154Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1967 - 1968. Current Archaeology. 10. Unknown. 200.
SDV7155Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SS14NW/SW47. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV7164National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 31818. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV890Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1961. Lundy Field Society Annual Report. 14. Unknown. 23.
SDV898Article in Serial: Webster, C. J.. 1991. A Geophysical Survey of the Archaeology of Bulls Paradise. Lundy Field Society Annual Report. 42. Photocopy + Digital. 66-8.

Associated Monuments

MDV59360Part of: Bulls Paradise and Giants Graves, Lundy (Monument)
MDV1067Related to: Beere Deserted Medieval Settlement, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV14277Related to: Chapel at Bull's Paradise, Lundy (Monument)
MDV27Related to: Coastal Defence Platform, Jenny's Cove, Lundy (Monument)
MDV46003Related to: Field System at Bull's Paradise, Lundy (Monument)
MDV41Related to: Marisco Castle, Lundy (Building)
MDV7115Related to: Midden at Bull's Paradise, Lundy (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV579 - NAIL (Unknown date)
  • FDV578 - SPINDLE WHORL (Unknown date)
  • FDV575 - SHERD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FDV576 - WEAPON (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FDV577 - COIN (XV - 1401 AD to 1500 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 10 2015 3:51PM