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PENHALLAM MANOR

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The site of Penhallam Manor, a late 12th to mid 14th century moated manor house near Week St Mary. Moated manor houses are rarely found in the south-west, making Penhallam Manor an unusual building. It is visible as four ranges, and excavations have indicated that the surviving plan results from four main building phases. The original entrance was across a drawbridge on the south side operated from an early-13th century gatehouse. Later in the century this was replaced by a fixed bridge. The east range contains the earliest structure dated, circa 1180-1200. It housed, over an undercroft, the domestic apartments of the owner. About 1200 AD, a wardrobe and garderobe were added to the northern end of the domestic apartments. The third and most extensive phase took place in circa 1224 and 1236, resulting in most structures of the north, west and south ranges. This included the hall, buttery, chapel and bakehouse. The fourth building phase of circa 1300 resulted in the rebuilding of the kitchens and service wing. Historical records show that the manor of Penhallam was held by the de Cardinham family. Although Penhallam seems to have been built in various stages, Andrew de Cardinham is assumed to have been responsible for the main (third) building phase, in the 1220s and 1230s. The remains of an earthwork castle at Week St Mary nearby may have been their original family home. Penhallam seems to have been lived in for a relatively short time. Andrew de Cardinham died in about 1256 and by 1270 Penhallam had passed to the Champernowne family, and by the early 14th century to tenants. Partitioning of the manor's lands had begun by 1330 and was complete by 1428. Local people would then have helped themselves to the building materials, quickly reducing the deserted shell to its foundations. The threat of tree planting led to its excavation in 1968-73, when the ruins were consolidated and the outline of the walls restored. It is now in the care of English Heritage.

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