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Newton St Loe

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
St Loes Castle

In the civil parish of Newton St Loe.
In the historic county of Somerset.
Modern Authority of Bath and North East Somerset.
1974 county of Avon.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST69406397
Latitude 51.37403° Longitude -2.44095°

Newton St Loe has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are major building remains.

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


Site of a fortified manor house and deer park, occupied possibly from the 12th century. The fortified manor house consisted of a rectangular courtyard with square corner towers and connecting ranges behind a curtain wall, surrounded on at least three sides by a ditch. Excavation has identified three main medieval building phases, the principal one being during the first quarter of the 14th century, and a ceramic sequence from the 12th/13th centuries to the 18th century. The gatehouse was built in the mid 15th century. During the 16th century alterations were made to the defences and domestic buildings. The mound lying north of the keep was proved by excavation to be the remains of a tower at the termination of the east curtain wall. Most of the complex was demolished during landscaping of the park in the 18th century. (PastScape)

A large, fortified tower, formerly known as a keep, but actually part of a fortified manor house. C14, altered and remodelled C16 and late C17, restored C19, porch added C18. Rubble, freestone dressings, hipped slate roof set back and concealed behind a tall, embattled ashlar parapet which is inset with shields of arms, moulded string and gargoyles. Irregular L-plan with C16 extension to north and C18 projecting porch. 3 storeys and vaulted basement. South Elevation. Three 4-light cross windows in hollow chamfered surrounds and with segmental heads, and under dripmoulds. West Elevation. In the centre is a part square and part circular stairtower with a quatrefoil parapet and 2-light windows with cusped heads. Blocked windows at south end. Single storey, C18 projecting entrance at north west: 2 large 4-centred arches, one blocked and embattled parapet. Inverted V-mark of former wing. Lower, 2 storey wing at north has two 2-light casement windows in hollow surrounds and with segmental heads, under dripmoulds. Interior. Chamfered and 4-centre headed doorway leads to a vaulted chamber at the south end: adjoining chamber with a garderobe. Stone newel stair. The room on the 3rd floor has a C17 freestone fireplace in a moulded surround and with a 4-centred head and a moulded overmantel. (Listed Building Report 1129476)
Gatehouse. C15, altered late C18 - early C19. Coursed rubble with freestone dressings, hipped slate roofs concealed behind plain and embattled parapets. 2 storeys. West Elevation. Central, heavily moulded, 4-centred archway with portcullis groove. Large studded plank doors with strap hinges and wicket door. Flanking square buttresses (C18 - C19) with embattled tops and embattled parapet on moulded corbels between the buttresses. The right hand buttress partly obscures a single light window in a double chamfered surround. East Elevation. 2-light casement windows in double chamfered surrounds, to 3 stages. Buttresses with off-sets flank the archway. The archway has a 2 bay tierceron vault springing from clustered triple shafts and enriched capitals, bosses carved with foliage, arms, Tudor roses and heads. The north wall is pierced by 2 segmental headed openings. (Listed Building Report 1136324)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
  • Websites (Gatehouse is not responsible for the content of external websites.)
  • Books
    • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 600-2
      Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of Wessex (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 79
      Dunning, Robert, 1995, Somerset Castles (Somerset Books) p. 61-2
      Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 222
      Dunning, Robert, 1991, Some Somerset Country Houses p. 105-9
      King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 444
      Pevsner, N., 1958, Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol (Harmondsworth) p. 234
      Cooke, R., 1957, West Country Houses p. 166-8
      Collinson, J., 1791, The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset (Bath) Vol. 3 p. 342-5 online copy
  • Periodical Articles
    • Arnold, C.J., 2001, Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society Vol. 143 p. 57-115
      Iles, R., 1984, Bristol and Avon Archaeology Bristol and Avon Archaeological Society Vol. 3 p. 63
      Iles, R., 1983, Bristol and Avon Archaeology Bristol and Avon Archaeological Society Vol. 2 p. 55
      Youngs, S.M. and Clark, J., 1982, 'Medieval Britain in 1981' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 170 online copy
      Youngs, S.M. and Clark, J., 1981, 'Medieval Britain in 1980' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 25 p. 200 online copy
      Kenyon, J.R., 1981 'Early Artillery Fortifications in England and Wales: a Preliminary Survey and Re-appraisal' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 138 p. 227
      Arnold, C.J., 1980, 'The fortified manor house at Newton St Loe: interim report on the excavations' Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society Vol. 124 p. 77-86
      Iles, R., 1978, Bristol Archaeological Research Group (B.A.R.G.) Bulletin Vol. 6 No 5 p. 117
      Kenyon, J.R., 1977, 'Early Gunports' Fort Vol. 4 p. 83
      Webster, L.E. and Cherry, J., 1977, 'Medieval Britain in 1976' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 21 p. 233 online copy
      Tipping, H.A., 1910 Jan , Country Life
      Strachey, Edward, 1867, Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society Vol. 14 p. 82-102
  • Antiquarian (Histories and accounts from late medieval and early modern writers)
    • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 429
      Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1910, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 5 p. 103 online copy
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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