Copyright Christine Matthews and licensed for
                    reuse under this Creative Commons Licence



Otterton History - Old Manor House

Manor House 2000

Otterton Old Manor House (c. 2000), St. Michaels Close

Tithe No. 1222 – School House & Garden
Listed Building

In the 12th. century a Priory was founded and the Priory building was erected on the north side of Otterton Church. In 1414 Henry V confiscated the monks and the building fell into ruins, chambers underground, possibly the Priory kitchens, remained. Henry gave the Otterton Priory lands to Syon Abbey. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 the Parish of Otterton was bought by Richard Duke and he built the present house as his Manor House on the underground chambers and his armorial bearings are still over the front porch.

The Dukes lived in the Manor House until 1785 when they sold their properties and land in the Otter Valley including Otterton to Denys Rolle of Stevenstone. The Rolle family had been living in Bicton House since the 1600’s creating the beautiful gardens and woodlands there. Otterton Manor House became vacant. By 1821 Bishops Visitation  “There is a boys school and Sunday school” in the House. This is confirmed by the Tithe Award 1843/46 “ School House & Garden”.

The 1851 Census gives more detail. The Manor House had been divided into 6 units/cottages – 2 units as School House with school master and mistress and 4 units with retired Alms people.

 In 1870 the Church, which is adjacent, was demolished (apart from the tower) followed by the 2 units of the Manor House on the southern end. A new School building was built at that end, leaving 4 Alms Houses in the Manor House owned by Clinton Devon Estates (St.Michaels Close).
In the 1950’s the Old Manor House was sold by the Estate to the District Council. In the 1970’s the tenants were offered the freeholds and the Constable family bought theirs at the School end. They later sold it to the School.

Manor House

Old Manor House (c. 1900)

Clinton Devon Estates Archives
Devon Record Office
Otterton, A Devon Village by E. Michael Harrison 1984
All About Otterton by G. Millington & R.H.Jones 2000

Passages under the Manor House
( From notes by Roz Hickman)
The remains of Otterton Priory still exist in the “very large chamber, which ran the length of the building having three passage underground leading from it. 1) In the NW corner leading to Church Cottage and a cellar under the cottage, 2) In the SW in the direction of Otterton Barton, 3) In the SE led to the Church ‘Stoke Hole’.

© Otterton Village 2021