Ilsington Manor House

Parish Tour Events Clubs Churches P.Council History Services Days Out

Four years work by local people, Church representatives and Dartmoor National Park Authority has seen the remains of a once vast Elizabethan manor house preserved in Ilsington. For many years an overgrown wall in the churchyard of St. Michael’s Church, was said to be the remains of a manor house, and although there was some evidence for windows, a fireplace and dressed granite features, no one was certain what these remains actually represented and, if they were part of the manor house, what it might once have looked like.
With the general clearance of ivy growth carried out by parishioners, the extent and potential significance of surviving masonry became clear and in order to better understand the meaning of what had been exposed, it was agreed to appoint Stewart Brown to undertake an archaeological survey of the remains, and Dr. Anita Travers to research the history of the manor house. This work was funded through Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Historic Features Grant Scheme.
Research confirmed that the wall did indeed represent the remains of a former 16th century building and that interpretation of evidence gathered suggested a substantial building based on an E-shaped Elizabethan house. An 1852 description of the Manor describes it as ‘The remains of a mouldering mansion house once vast and venerable, which form a very pleasing object from the precinct of the church..... the tourist cannot but muse and ponder on the dim prestige of a house mullioned and bracketed and embayed all over, though all that is left is a mere skeleton phantom of the past.’
As a result of a detailed understanding of the various surviving parts of the wall and the complexity of preservation requirements it was agreed that the National Park Authority’s Conservation Works Team should undertake work to preserve the structure.

The conservation work has been completed and, by agreement with The Venerable John Rawlings, Archdeacon of Totnes, a small interpretation board (picture below), mounted in a wooden frame, has now been discretely located near the repaired wall for visitors to enjoy and learn more about this once proud building.

 

Parish Tour Events Clubs Churches P.Council History Services Days Out