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Donyatt Park Farm Moat

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Doneyate

In the civil parish of Donyatt.
In the historic county of Somerset.
Modern Authority of Somerset.
1974 county of Somerset.
Medieval County of Somerset.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST34301447
Latitude 50.92593° Longitude -2.93615°

Donyatt Park Farm Moat has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

Description

Donyatt Manor House a building now used as a barn, which is in a very good state of preservation,
Mr. Parker said that it was a building of two stories in height, and portions of the fine old place still remained. It appeared to him to be one side of the quadrangle, and not a part of the regular establishment of the house, but chambers attached to the house. The date of it was 1345. The second Earl of Salisbury built the house without a license from the King, and he had to apologise and pay a certain amount to the crown. There was, therefore, no doubt as to the date. The windows looked real, and were, no doubt, fourteen-century work. Mr. Parker said that a pointed arch was only one sign of gothic architecture, and a great deal too much importance was given to that particular sign. One of the windows in the barn was of the decorated style.
Mr. Munckton explained that in the 18th year of the reign of Edward III. the manor of Donyatt belonged to William de Montacute. He had a capital seat and manor at Donyatt. In the 22nd year of Edward III. he caused the house to be forfeited. Having, done so he was obliged to sue the King's pardon. He was created Earl of Salisbury on the 13th of March, 1337.
Through the courtesy of the occupier the Members went through the manor house, which contains a very fine old kitchen with magnificent windows.
Mr. Parker said that the house was built in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It was a fine Elizabethan house of the period, not possessing any particular interest.
Mr. Munckton said that in 1552 Edward VI. gave the manor of Donyatt, in Somerset, to William Herbert, the first Earl of Pembroke. In 1625 the manor belonged to Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chief Justice of England, by whom several alterations were made in the premises. (PSAHNS 1867)

The society visited the manor house in 1866, and a building dated 1345, described as having been a chamber attached to the manor house on one side of a quadrangle, was then in use as a barn. It had windows which appeared to be of 14th Cent. date, probably part of the original building. One window was of the Decorated Style. The main house was then Elizabethan (PSANHS 1867).
The last remaining part of the manor house built in 1345, was recently pulled down (c.1900) and the material used in adjacent farm buildings (OS Object Name Book 1902-28 7 A W Hellian Agent).
There are now no remains of either building described by PSAHNS. Bothare illustrated in Braikenridge (Mss. Braikenridge's illustrated Collinson (Somer A & NHS Library)) and a comparison of these drawings with the Tithe Map suggests that the earlier building was at ST 34301447 and the Elizabethan house at ST34321445.
The remains of a dry moat can be traced on three sides of this site and it is said that the moat could be seen on the fourth side until the present farm buildings were erected c.1900. A large pond within the moated area may be a fishpond. (PastScape)

A royal pardon and licence to crenellate was granted in 1329 Aug 31 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

Pardon for crenellating without licence granted 1329 to William de Montacute. The pardon here has little to do with the house and much to do with political intrigue at court where Montacute was a prime agent for the young King against the regency of his mother. Collinson also mentions a licence to empark and this fairly isolated house clearly functioned as a hunting lodge.
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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