A Comprehensive range of archaeological, heritage and historical services in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset
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This long-term conservation project, initiated in 2001, included a desk-based assessment and archaeological monitoring and recording of works at Kingskerswell Manor House, Devon, and was completed in 2010. The work was commissioned by the Kingskerswell Manor House Trust in order to undertake an archaeological assessment of the Manor House before and during clearance work prior to opening the site to the public. Until the summer of 2000, the site of the Manor House was hidden in undergrowth and small trees and was used for the grazing of livestock. Shortly after this period, the ruins were cleared by the Manor House Trust. This revealed the remnant structure and was fenced off from the rest of the enclosure in order to protect the site from further damage by the livestock. The work was undertaken to investigate and record any archaeological features and deposits affected by the conservation work. The manor is known to have been a residence of the wealthy Dinham family from the 14th-15th centuries. After the 15th century, the Courtenay family of Powderham held the manor and the buildings probably declined to the status of a tenanted farm. Further evidence suggested that they became ruinous in the 18th century. The ruined manor house at Kingskerswell is of considerable importance to the understanding of manor house development in Devon. It possesses the classic English tri-partite plan of a hall, integrated parlour cross-wing with associated chapel annexe, and services comprising buttery and pantry, divided by a through passage to a detached kitchen in line with the main range of buildings. It is also the only site in Devon where it is possible to move freely through an unaltered 13th-14th century manor house: all others still being in occupation or having their fabric obscured by later alterations and additions.