MSO8026 - Medieval gatehouse at Holnicote (Building)


A 15th Century gatehouse, altered during the late 19th century. It served the now demolished Holnicote House.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 91074623 - sited from HHR map) SS9146 SELWORTHY CP HOLNICOTE Gatehouse and Gatehouse Cottage adjoining (formerly listed as 2 separate items) 26/103 22.5.69 II* Gatehouse to demolished house to south; C15, altered late C19. Gatehouse Cottage; C16-C17, altered C19 and C20. Gatehouse: local stone random rubble part rendered, timber framed upper storey hung with wooden shingles on south front, renewed timber lintels, curved wooden jambs, slate roof, louvred ventilation cap. Plan: single cell, stairs and cottage abutting to west, set over gateway with double doors on north front. Cinquefoil headed 2-light mullioned window, much restored with external glazing on south front, similar to north, large ribbed and framed studded double doors with wicket. Chamfered arched stone doorway to stair on west inner wall, C19 cinquefoil headed wooden window to right. Interior: stone stairs to upper room containing 3 pairs of long tenon jointed cruck trusses, 2 purlins on either side, renewed cambered collars, small fireplace with chamfered stone lintel, no chimney surviving, peaked door frame to cottage. Cottage: rendered over rubble, slate roof, circular roughcast stone stack rising from below ridge to right, another square stone stack in similar position to rear, external stack left gable end. Plan: 3 cell and cross passage abutting gatehouse right. Two storeys, north front 4 bays, C19 casements, 2 below eaves left, 2 rising through eaves right, ground floor two 3-light casements, entry end bay right, half glazed many-paned door, also lit right return ground floor. Interior: room adjoining gatehouse with cambered lateral beams, blocked fireplaces either side of wall, central room with fine heavy ovolo moulded beams, steeply chamfered beams with step and runout stops to kitchen beyond cross passage, chamfered lintel to fireplace with window inserted into probable oven space. Five pairs of heavy jointed cruck truss with cambered collars and steeply chamfered wall plate. Built after the gatehouse, the exact evolution of the cottage is not clear. (Photograph in NMR; VAG report, unpublished SRO, September 1979). [1] The "noble old mansion" of Sir Thomas Acland at Holnicote was accidentally destroyed by fire in 1779. [2] The front gate posts were dated to 1489-1521 and 1493 - 1525 using dendrochronology. The rear gate posts (which have been reused) dated to 1439 - 1473. [3] The building was visited in May 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 3A. [4] The building is depicted but not labelled on 2020 MasterMap data. The abutting house is labelled "Old Gateway Cottage." [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . HHR: West Somer Dist (Exford et al) (2 January 1986) 55.
  • <2> Monograph: Collinson, J.. 1791 (2006). The History and Antiquities of Somerset. Archive CD Books Ltd. 41.
  • <3> Unassigned: 2004. Dendrochronology Project: Stage V.
  • <4> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <5>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #41124 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 9107 4624 (5m by 5m)
Map sheet SS94NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (3A): 1076/26/103/1
  • Exmoor National Park Authority HER number: MSO10736
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NW34
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36847
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31233

Record last edited

Feb 8 2021 5:20PM


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