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West Orchard Manor House

In the community of St Athan.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Vale of Glamorgan.
Preserved county of South Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST00726809
Latitude 51.40240° Longitude -3.42910°

West Orchard Manor House has been described as a Masonry Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry footings remains.

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


Confused ruins of a presumed medieval manor house, set above a marsh to the E, consisting of two loose ranges of buildings, on the E and NW of a central court, c.40m N-S by 30m, which is mostly taken up by quarry pits. There is a further, apparently detached, structure on the SW, whilst c.40m to the N are the possible remains of a dovecote (Nprn41553). (Coflein)

About 400m west of the Church of St Athan.
This house is probably late C16 to C17 in origin and is two units, the Hall and Parlour, of a developed three unit house of which the service end is now a separate property, Aderyn (qv). The house was refurbished and re-windowed probably in the early C19, and has been altered again when it was divided into two properties in 2001.
The interior has three 2-centred headed chamfered stone doorways with pyramid stops. The Hall ceiling has a chamfered beam with pyramid stops. There is a double stair in the north outshut and there are other chamfered beams, but the interior was modernised, probably in the early C19. The roof structure was not seen. The double stair may suggest that the range was in two builds, and there is an additional firestair.
Wholly rendered and painted over local lias limestone rubble, Welsh slate roof with three square rubble ridge stacks. Two storeys, three windows, 8 over 8 pane sashes. The final bay to the right has a gabled stone porch with round-headed outer opening, modern door within. This leads to the cross-passage. There is a stack backing onto the passage for the Hall and two further stacks, one on the ridge, probably a later addition, for the bedrooms and one on the left gable for the Parlour. The rear elevation has a large two storey outshut for a branching staircase and this has a small square window. To the left of this is a modern lean-to to house the new kitchen made necessary by the division of the historic house in 2001. (Listed Building Report)

The monument comprises the remains of medieval manor house. It is situated in a field just east of RAF St. Athans, and consists of a roughly rectangular area of turf covered banks and mounds. To the north of this area the ground is marshy and then there is an area of old quarrying. To the east the ground is also marshy. In the north-east corner a spring wells up from under some masonry at the foot of a mound c. 1.8m high. Along the north side is a discontinuous bank 6m wide, with an external height of 1.8m and an internal height of 1m. There are stones lying on the ground outside it. This bank turns southward at the west end rises and widens slightly to a mound with an external height of c.1m, which is the highest point of the site. East of it is a roughly rectangular area c. 9 x 4m of slightly lower level ground. East of this is another mound and more banks running east and south in curving lines. On the south side of the site are two mounds 1.5m high, with a 1m gap in between them. Further mounds and irregular banks lie to the east. Further north on the east side there are traces of a straight stone wall, with a gap where parallel banks run east - west for a short way. The turf covered banks and mounds are generally 0.5m - 1m high, with steepish sides, sometimes with stones visible in the sides. (Scheduling Report)

West Orchard is a small manor in St. Tathan's, held by knight service under Cardiff Castle. ... A branch of the Berkerolles family are reputed to have settled at West Orchard, and there to have built a castle rivalling that of the elder line. Of this, however, no evidence has been adduced (Clark)

Called a castle by early antiquarians but is now usually rejected as being a domestic site only.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 06/07/2016 18:43:42