The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Curry Mallet Manor

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Mallet Castle

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

OS Map Grid Reference: ST32852184
Latitude 50.99200° Longitude -2.95840°

Curry Mallet Manor has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


Manor house situated on the site of a Medieval motte and bailey castle. The house comprises a great hall or barn constructed in the 15th century or early 16th century and a manor house dating to the late 16th century or early 17th century. These buildings are linked by a two storey wing. Construction is of local lias and Ham Hill stone with tiled and double Roman tile roofs and ashlar chimney stacks. The house was restored and extended by Clough William Ellis circa 1939. (PastScape)
The Manor House is probably on the site of William Mallet's castle of the late 1060s, and is said to occupy the keep, while boundary walls to the north and east of the house, with an associated ditch, are said to represent the perimeter of the castle and the remains of its moat. The present manor house is in two parts, a great hall of 15th-16th century and a small irregular manor house of 16th-17th century. The castle could have been a wooden one. (PastScape–ref. listing description)

Gatepiers and boundary walling. The walls stated to be part of William Mallet's Castle, but much rebuilt from C16 onwards. Local lias stone walls of varying heights from approximately 1 to 5m high with coping; extends for about 40m along the east side of Headwell, turning eastward for about 150m along the south side of Marshway, the wall then turns southwards bounding the east side of the garden of Mallet Court (not listed). Several gateways; adjacent to the Manor House are C18 gatepiers, ashlar with ball finials, incorporating C16 or early C17 moulded stonework. Portion of wall bounding Marshway with a small doorway in wooden frame, plank door, 2 further gateways with plank gates, C20 piers, this section also with a number of buttresses. Ditch bounding parts of the walling said to represent part of the Moat of Mallet's Castle. (Listed Building Report)

None of the usual castle authorities include this as a castle site. Presumably, if aware of this site, they felt the source of the of assertion of this being a castle site was unreliable (It may well be a later invention to aggrandise the family, although the C12 Mallets were significant military figures who could be expected to have built themselves houses in a military style.). However it seems likely that this was the site of the manor house of Curry Mallet from probably pre-Conquest times. What is much less certain is if this manor house was ever significantly fortified or otherwise called a castle. Certainly there seems to be no actual evidence of a motte and if this was a motte castle site, as asserted in PastScape, then must have been of the low building platform type - a ringwork enclosure is just as likely.
Despite the lack of supporting castle studies authorities the tenurial history is suggestive of a castle here, but this has to be considered speculative on the existing evidence. It is also probably the later C13-C16 manor house occupying the site was moated and/or otherwise fortified reflecting the status of the site as a caput of the Mallet and Poyntz families. However in both cases the earthworks of these potential fortifications are unlikely to have been particularly strong since they appear to have been both removed and to have left no fossil features in the road and boundary layout.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
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.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*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 26/07/2017 09:21:32

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact