MSO9477 - The Arches, Conygar Wood (Building)


A folly in the form of a ruined gatehouse on Conygar Hill, part of the 18th Century landscaping around Dunster Castle. It comprises a length of curtain wall, pierced by two openings, and two unroofed towers.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A ruined gatehouse lies on the northwestern edge of Conygar Hill, north of Dunster, at SS 9891 4423. It comprises a length of curtain wall, angled to cross two tracks. The wall is pierced by two openings, with two towers, one at the angle and the other at the western end of the wall. It is constructed of mortared local stone with ashlar blocks used for buttresses. The two circular towers are incomplete. They measure 2.9m in diameter and have walls 0.8m thick, with loophole openings. The towers were not roofed. The western opening is a round-headed arch, buttressed on each side with a ruined top. It is 3m wide at its base and some 4m high. The northern opening is smaller and Gothic in style. It is 2.5m wide at its base and some 3m high. The gatehouse was constructed as a ruin, and was the approach to Conygar Tower, on the southeast end of the hill. Both of these structures were part of the 18th century enhancement of the landscape carried out by Richard Phelps for H F Luttrell, the owner of Dunster Castle. [1] The site was photographed in 1999. [2] The site was visited in March 2013 and was noted to be in poor condition. [3] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [4] The gateway is mentioned in the 2018 Conservation Area Appraisal for Dunster. [5] The heritage asset was assessed for inclusion on the Exmoor Local Heritage List in November 2022. It was decided to add the asset to the Local Heritage List. [6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1998.
  • <2> Photograph: Hesketh-Roberts, M.. 1999. Job: Ruined Gatehouse. Colour. Negative.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. N Pratt, March 2013 (see associated files).
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1145456, Extant 19 May 2022.
  • <5> Report: Pratt, N. and Thurlow, T.. 2018. Dunster Conservation Area: appraisal document. Exmoor National Park Authority. p 7, 76, 96, Figure 84.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Dove, C.. 2022. Exmoor LHL Panel Meeting 28 November 2022. Exmoor National Park Authority.

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10027
  • Local Heritage List Status (Listed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE101
  • NBR Index Number: 99/01184
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1145456
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 13464



Grid reference Centred SS 2989 1442 (16m by 10m)
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Dec 13 2023 11:25AM


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