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The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
 
 
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Weycroft Hall, Axminster

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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

In the civil parish of Axminster.
In the historic county of Devonshire.
Modern Authority of Devon.
1974 county of Devon.
Medieval County of Devon.

OS Map Grid Reference: SY307998
Latitude 50.79408° Longitude -2.98319°

Weycroft Hall, Axminster has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.

Description

Early C15, and C16 and C17 with great hall of circa 1400. Restored in C19. The existing house is the greater part of former Manor House. Stone rubble with freestone, dressings and slate roofs. Gabled three storey north east wing with corner buttresses and external stone stack to side. Square tower over porch in the angle with the three storey range. Great hall of circa 1400 to south east with range of three larger three-light stone mullion windows each side, the lower lights have cusped arches. Chimney stack over gable end. Generally stone mullion-windows with dripmoulds and leaded panes. In the tower over the porch is single-light window with cusped arch and the adjoining wing has small window with cusped ogee arch and two-centred arch chamfered doorway. One storey and attic wing to north west with three-light window with reticulated tracery in end gable and two stone mullion windows at side, one with four-centred arch lights, the other ovolo moulded. Interior: The great hall has an open timber roof, a contemporary gallery like a rood-loft and with carved bressummer. Large fireplace at opposite end of hall. Remains of newel staircase. In 1417 the Bishop of Stafford licensed a private chapel the remains of which are probably incorporated into the garden wall, and in 1426 a royal license was granted to crenellate the house and enclose the park. (Listed Building Report)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1427 May 20 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

The licensed to crenellate and empark was granted to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester and others, the trustees of Brooke family. This licence was granted after William Bonville of Shute had broken into Thomas Brooke's house at Weycroft, assaulting servants and causing damage, earlier in 1427, Emery suggests the attack by Bonville was because of Brooke's Lollard sympathies, although there seems to have also been some poaching in the already existing deer park. Clearly the defensive value of this licence (a patent letter) was in showing the strength of support Brooke had rather than any crenellation or other defensive features the house may have had. However, this does also demonstrate that resorts to violence did happen and there was reason for medieval houses (with or without licences) to have some defensive features from thieves of all social status.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/07/2016 11:11:44

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