MSO9432 - Conygar Tower, Dunster (Building)

Summary

A circular hollow tower built as a folly in the late 18th century to enhance the landscape around Dunster Castle. It was designed by Richard Phelps.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 9918 4410] Conygar Tower [NAT] [1] A hollow tower and other artificial ruins were built on Conygar Hill in about 1775. [2] Conygar Tower is a navigator's aid and prospect tower of two four-windowed storeys [2, 3] Conygar Tower, Grade II. Erected in 1775. Folly. (For full description see list.) [4] Built c.1760-70 as part of the 18th century improvements of Dunster Castle. [6] Conygar Tower lies on the southwest edge of a small hill immediately to the north of Dunster, at SS 9918 4410. The tower is circular, and 7.9 metres in diameter with walls of mortared local stone some 0.8 metres thick. It is hollow, ie there are no internal features, floors or roof. The top of the walls are crenallated. The tower has three sets of arched windows, which decrease in size as the tower ascends. The windows give a panoramic view of the surrounding country and sea. The tower was approached by a ruined gatehouse, some 500m to the northwest (MSO9477). [11] Conygar Tower was built around 1775. It was designed by Richard Phelps to enhance the landscape around Dunster Castle, which was then owned by H F Luttrell. It cost £76 11s 1/2d to build, £4 2s 6d in scrumpy for the workmen, and an entertainment when it was complete cost £2 5s. [7] Erected in 1775. Folly. Embattled circular random rubble red sandstone shell. Three storeys, four pointed-arched openings to each floor with two-stage buttresses between. Prominently sited on summit of wooded hill. Important landscape feature overlooking village. [9] English Heritage Listed Building Number: 264747. First Listed on 22/05/1969. [10] The tower is included in Dunster's Conservation Area. Its importance as a landscape feature overlooking the village was particularly noteworthy. [12] The building was visited in April 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 5A. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) . OS 1:10000 1974.
  • <2> Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Dunster Manor Office, Box iv.
  • <3> Serial: Royal Archaeological Institute. 1844 onwards. The Archaeological Journal. HC Maxwell-Lyte, Volume 37 (1880), 403.
  • <4> Monograph: edited Sir Hugh Casson. 1963. Follies .
  • <5> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . DOE (HHR) West Somerset District (Dunster Ph) Somerset 4th August 1983 45.
  • <6> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books. p157.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. Riley H 1998 RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1981. Worksheet in Devon HER. Binding, H nd Discovering Dunster, a history and guide.
  • <9> Index: 4/8/1983. Twenty-fifth List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. District of West Somerset (Somerset).
  • <10> Unassigned: Webster CJ, Historic Environment Record. 2005. Staff Comments, Somerset County Council.
  • <11> Map: 1/6/1998. SS94SE Site visit.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Fisher, J.. 2002. Dunster Conservation Area Character Appraisal.
  • <13> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9917 4410 (9m by 8m)
Map sheet SS94SE
Civil Parish DUNSTER, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (5A): 26/3/115
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12152
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE38
  • National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36941
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33578
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35019

Record last edited

May 27 2014 2:42PM

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