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HER Number:MDV64826
Name:Ilton Castle, Malborough

Summary

Ilton Castle, a medieval quadrangular castle was licenced to John de Cheverston in 1315. Described in 18th century as sub-rectangular with square towers at the corners. Earthworks and parchmarks have been recorded as showing the positions of the towers but little earthwork evidence is identifiable on aerial photographs or visualisations derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 726 404
Map Sheet:SX74SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishMalborough
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishMALBOROUGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX74SW/38/1
  • Old SAM Ref: 33788
  • Pastscape: 444537
  • Tide Project: 22/09/2020

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CASTLE (XIV to XVIII - 1335 AD to 1780 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 1977, Deserted Medieval Settlement North-west of Ilton Castle Farm (Schedule Document). SDV343433.

Site visit 31st March 1977. Earthwork remains of a deserted medieval settlement stretch for circa 600 metres along the slope running down to the stream, consisting of a series of rectangular platforms parallel to the valley bottom, and a number of banks at right angles to these platforms. The two most easterly fields are under 'permanent' pasture: the two westerly are under pasture but have suffered from ploughing. Other details: Map.

Environment Agency, 1998-2017, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor, LIDAR SX7240 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017 (Cartographic). SDV361470.

Rectilinaer mounds possibly corresponding with the north-west and north-east corners of castle are visible.

Waterhouse, R. E., 2000, Keynedon Barton, Sherford, Kingsbridge, 195 (Article in Serial). SDV336355.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2002, Medieval Settlement, Site of Quadrangular Castle and Relict Garden Between Ilton Farm and Ilton Castle Farm (Schedule Document). SDV343435.

A medieval quadrangular castle was licenced to John de Cheverston in 1335 and stood on a terrace towards the east end of the monument. The terrace measures 30 metres east to west by 25 metres north to south. A description made when the castle walls were demolished in 1780, states that it was sub-rectangular with square towers at the corners. Slight earthworks show the positions of the towers and parchmaks confirm its location.

Waterhouse, R., 2003, Garden Archaeology in South Devon (Article in Monograph). SDV343452.

A revision of a survey made by Exeter University students in 1976 is reproduced in figure 36. Dating is uncertain as very little documentary evidence survives. The only useful reference is a description of the castle when its standing remains were cleared in 1780, as a quadrangular structure with square towers at the corners. Other details: Plan, figure 36.

English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West, 108 (Report - non-specific). SDV342694.

Generally satisfactory condition, but with minor localised problems.

English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West, 101 (Report - non-specific). SDV344777.

Barrett, R, 2018, The Spanish Armada 1588: Salcombe Maritime History Paper No. 3 (Website). SDV363847.

The San Pedro el Mayor was one of the Spanish casualties of the Armada. She was the 581 ton hospital and was the only Armada vessel to be wrecked on the English coast. After circumnavigating the British Isles, she came to grief at Hope Cove, five miles west of Salcombe. There were 158 survivors. One of them recounted that ‘after they had sailed round the islands of England, Scotland, and Ireland, they were pursued by continual tempests; they were in want of food, and the ship was unseaworthy, and on the 6th November, 1588, was driven ashore and wrecked at a place called Hope, belonging to Sir William Courtenay.

Sir George Cary and Anthony Ashley, a clerk sent down by the Privy Council, were given specific instructions for dealing with the Spanish survivors. Those prisoners of ‘quality and calling’ were to be sent to London to be ransomed and the rest of the soldiers and common people were to be executed. Ten prisoners ‘of the best sort’ were sent to Kingsbridge and a further eight, were left in the charge of Sir William Courtenay, to be guarded both day and night. Sir William Courtenay’s prisoners were sent to his fortified mansion, Ilton Castle, one and a half miles north of Salcombe. By December the Council had countermanded their order to execute the common prisoners and as some of them were ‘greatly diseased’, ordered that they should be conveyed to ‘certain barns and outhouses, standing apart from dwelling places’. Twelve Spaniards, including the captain of the ship and the army captain, were now being held by Courtenay at Ilton. One of them, Gonzalo Gonzales del Castillo, later reported: On the 24th November 1589, the Spanish prisoners were liberated by the Queen, with the exception of the twelve men whom she had given to Sir William Courtenay. We were kept in close confinement by him, and he demanded 5,000 ducats for our ransom, which sum we could not pay, as we were all poor men. On the 11th August 1590 we were informed by Sir William Courtenay that he required 12,000 ducats for our ransom, and as we could see no remedy for our trouble, we wrote to the Queen, praying that, as she had released all the other Spaniards in England, she would order us also to be liberated for a like sum. This letter came into the hands of Sir William Courtenay, who thereupon imprisoned us closely, feeding us only on bread, pottage, and water. Seeing ourselves in these straits and in danger of death, we resolved to break out of prison and to appeal to the justices for redress, but they told us that they were unable to help us, as our owner was too powerful a person for them to meddle with. We were therefore sent back to our prison, where we remained suffering great hardship for seven months. By 1592 the avaricious Sir William had increased his ransom demand to 25,000 ducats, five times the original sum, and as a result a Spanish envoy informed Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth’s Secretary of State, that by way of retaliation he had arrested some English merchants as hostages for the release of Courtenay’s prisoners. The Spaniards were eventually set free but when and on what terms is not known.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2019-2020, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP) (Interpretation). SDV362982.

Little evidence of the quadrangular castle at Ilton is identifiable on the sources available to the survey. Exceptions are subtle rectilinear mounds identifiable as earthworks on visualisations derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017, at circa SX7266640477 and SX7270940505, that might mark the north-west and north-east corners of the demolished building.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336355Article in Serial: Waterhouse, R. E.. 2000. Keynedon Barton, Sherford, Kingsbridge. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 58. A5 Paperback. 195.
SDV342694Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2009. Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West. English Heritage Report. A4 Bound +Digital. 108.
SDV343433Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1977. Deserted Medieval Settlement North-west of Ilton Castle Farm. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV343435Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2002. Medieval Settlement, Site of Quadrangular Castle and Relict Garden Between Ilton Farm and Ilton Castle Farm. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV343452Article in Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2003. Garden Archaeology in South Devon. The Lie of the Land. Photocopy.
SDV344777Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2010. Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West. English Heritage Report. Digital. 101.
SDV361470Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2017. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SX7240 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017.
SDV362982Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2019-2020. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363847Website: Barrett, R. 2018. The Spanish Armada 1588: Salcombe Maritime History Paper No. 3. https://salcombehistorysociety.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/3.The-Spanish-Armada-1588.pdf. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV13071Part of: Possible deserted Settlement at Ilton, Malborough (Monument)
MDV64827Related to: Gardens at Ilton Castle (Monument)
MDV7237Related to: Mansion at Ilton Castle Farm (Monument)
MDV64828Related to: Two Ponds at Ilton Castle Farm (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)

Date Last Edited:Sep 28 2020 5:01PM