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TEMPLECOMBE TEMPLARS PRECEPTORY

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Site of Templars and Hospitallers Preceptory at the 17th century Manor House. A long non-domestic wing may incorporate medieval fragments. Site held as a Preceptory by the Knights Templars until 1300. From then until 1540 it was owned by the Knights Hospitallers; after that various lay owners modified it. The remains of a chapel of circa 1200 survived until circa 1980 just East of the return wing. The Manor House and Manor Farm were investigated by a multi-disciplinary research team to provide information for the `Time Team' TV programme. The previous recording for the site may be summarised as follows: the Manor House and the area adjacent to Manor Farm have been previously recorded as the site of a Knights Templars Preceptory founded in 1185, which passed to the Knights Hospitallers in the early 14th century and was finally dissolved in 1540. The Manor House is recorded as being essentially 17th century in date but incorporating remains of the earlier preceptory: to the east, ruins of a 13th-century Templar chapel survived until the 1980s before being demolished. Earthworks have been previously recorded close to the site, immediately east of the chapel, and have been variously described as fishponds, moated enclosure or `cockpit' (these appear on 19th-century 1:2500 scale OS maps and OS Archaeology Division records). Earthworks have also been noted in the field immediately north. A further probable fishpond has been recorded some 90m to the east. Following the Time Team's archaeological field survey, it is possible that the area of the preceptory extends 100m to the north of the site of the chapel into an area occupied by a redundant Works which is now abandoned and overgrown, as well as 20m south of the chapel under the farm and farmhouse. This may indicate an area for the preceptory some 130m approximately north-south by 70m east-west.

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