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HER Number:MDV54302
Name:Gatehouse at St Mary's College at Slapton


Medieval gatehouse at St Mary's College at Slapton built in the 14th century and destroyed in the 18th century


Grid Reference:SX 821 450
Map Sheet:SX84NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSlapton
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSLAPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 445861
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX84NW/1/3
  • Old SAM Ref: 24844
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX84NW4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GATEHOUSE (XIII to XVIII - 1300 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

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

'Gateway' shown on 19th century map which could be one of several buildings shown.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

'Gateway' shown on early 20th century map.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950 - 1953, SX84NW4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV346566.

Laithwaite, J. M. W., 1987, St Mary's College, Slapton (Report - Assessment). SDV346567.

Polwhele, in 1806,describes the gateway "at the west end we enter, under a vast arch, where the gates were hung: the frame-work of which, of pure oak, was existing in prince’s time". The gateway no longer exists, and it is not clear whether Polwhele thought the tower was a gatehouse; if the west window had been taken out by then it may have looked like one. Immediately west of the tower, on the other side of a high stone wall, is the courtyard of the Tower Inn. The pub itself lies on the north site, the courtyard being approached at the south-west corner through an alley leading off the village street. Spanning this until the 1920’s (according to local information) was a gateway with a room over it. The buildings on either side now shown no trace of it.

Gibbons, P., 1993, 134697 (Un-published). SDV346568.

Department of National Heritage, 1995, Slapton Chantry College (Schedule Document). SDV346574.

The monument includes a chantry college situated on the northern edge of the village of Slapton in a prominent position on the lower slopes of a south west facing hillside. The village is less than 1 kilometre from the coast and the freshwater lagoon of Slapton Ley. The monument consists of the known extent of the upstanding and buried remains of a chantry college in occupation from 1373 until 1547. The visible remains consist of a ruined tower that formed the western end of the chantry church of the college. The church was aligned east-west and lay within a level area of land, of irregular shape, terraced into the natural ground slope. The buried remains of the college are more extensive and are believed to extend throughout the terraced area, the southern part of which is currently occupied by a large house. In the mid 18th century the ruins of the college were described by Milles as consisting of the tower of the church, part of the nave with a small chapel on its south side, and an arched gateway that formed the entrance to the college. In the later 18th century the gateway was destroyed by the villagers who removed the stone to rebuild their houses. By 1878 the tower itself was in use as a gateway. Other details: Monument 24844.

National Monuments Record, 2011, 445861 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV346575.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #34212 ]
SDV346566Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950 - 1953. SX84NW4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV346567Report - Assessment: Laithwaite, J. M. W.. 1987. St Mary's College, Slapton. Devon Religious Houses Survey. A4 Stapled.
SDV346568Un-published: Gibbons, P.. 1993. 134697. Monument Protection Programme. Unknown.
SDV346574Schedule Document: Department of National Heritage. 1995. Slapton Chantry College. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV346575National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2011. 445861. National Monuments Record Database. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV8349Part of: St Mary's College, Slapton (Monument)
MDV54303Related to: Barn at St Mary's College in Slapton (Monument)
MDV8350Related to: St Mary's College Tower at Slapton (Building)
MDV17430Related to: The Chantry at St Mary's College in Slapton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4483 - Slapton Parish Churchyard Survey
  • EDV4491 - Watching Brief at Slapton Ley Field Centre

Date Last Edited:Aug 11 2017 2:49PM