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Barnstaple Town Wall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SS559331
Latitude 51.07986° Longitude -4.05884°

Barnstaple Town Wall has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.


No remains of saxon earth and stone wall utilized post-Conquest. Mentioned by Leland as nearly all fallen down. No contemporary documentary evidence. Several small excavations and watching briefs have located the wall and ditch.

A town wall and ditch at Barnstaple is recorded in a charter of Joel (of Totnes), 1107-1137, and is described as decayed in one of about 1140 and by Leland (1535-43). No visible remains exist of it or its four gates (SS 53 SE 23, SS 53 SE 26, SS 53 SE 28 and SS 53 SE 30) but North Walk, Boutport Street, Maiden Street and Castle Street appear to define the outer lip of the town ditch. R D Gould, borough surveyor, exposed some parts of the wall, 7-8 feet thick, between Paternoster Row and Joy Street, north of Joy Street and 200 foot length aligned on the North Gate (Gribble; Cotton). The possible course of the town wall (A: SS 55813346 to C: SS 55903316) was indicated by Bruce Oliver who stated that part of the wall, built on a cobbled base, had been found about 1933 at the County Garage. Nothing could be found to verify this and the wall footing (A: SS 55813346 to B: SS 55813345) is only 8.0m long and 1.5m wide. It is improbable that the wall followed Maiden Street, as stated by Gribble, as the site of the South Gate has since been determined (Field Investigators Comments-F1 GCS 15-OCT-53). (PastScape)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:04

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