Tithe No. 1222
– School House & Garden
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.
Old Manor House (c.
Otterton, A Devon
Village by E. Michael Harrison 1984
All About Otterton
by G. Millington & R.H.Jones 2000
Passages under the
( From notes by
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’.