Stonehouse Town Defences

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Manor House, and also as a Questionable Artillery Fort, and also as a Certain Urban Defence

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameStonehouse Town Defences
Alternative NamesStone Manor, East Stonehouse; Estonehouse
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityPlymouth; City of
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishPlymouth

Stonehouse town wall is located on a limestone ridge overlooking Stonehouse Pool to the south, and defended the town of Stonehouse to the north. It was erroneously identified by Worth as the wall to Stonehouse Manor. It existed in 1540 and was demolished between 1725, when it was extant, and 1779. It extended from a blockhouse on Stonehouse Pool in the west, and in the east joined an earlier park boundary just to the west of Millbay, at or near the junction of Emma Place Ope and Barrack Place. It seems to have formed part of a defensive scheme emplaced by Sir Piers Edgecumbe in the late C15/early C16. Henry VIII granted a licence to crenellate in 1515. The wall was crenellated and included a bastion and main gate as well as the blockhouse. A 110m length of wall survives although the western blockhouse has been demolished, as has the gatehouse which was at the junction of Durnford Street and Emma Place. There are remnants of the bastion to the west of the gate and a small late medieval gunport just to its west. The wall is built of roughly coursed rubble limestone and survives to near its original height in the central section where it retains a parapet and sentry walk. The wall has recently been surveyed and small-scale excavations have been undertaken, 1994-5. (PastScape)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSX461542
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Gardiner, J. (ed), 2000, Resurgam! Archaeology at Stonehouse, Mount Batten and Mount Wise Regeneration Areas, Plymouth (Plymouth archaeology occasional publications 5) p. 52-62
  • Higham, Robert A., 1999, 'Castles, Fortified Houses and Fortified Towns in the Middle Ages' in Kain, R. and Ravenhill, W., Historical Atlas of South-West England (University of Exeter Press) p. 136-43
  • Salter, Mike, 1999, The Castles of Devon and Cornwall (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 87 (slight)
  • Pye, Andrew and Woodward, Freddy, 1996, The historic defences of Plymouth (Exeter: Exeter Archaeology Fortress Study Group South West) p. 151
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 121 (as possible castle)
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1952, Buildings of England: Devon p. 240


  • Higham, R.A., 1988, 'Devon Castles: an annotated list' Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society Vol. 46 p. 142-9
  • Kenyon, J.R., 1981 'Early Artillery Fortifications in England and Wales: a Preliminary Survey and Re-appraisal' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 138 p. 219
  • 1979, Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Publications Vol. 5 p. 32

Primary Sources

  • Brewer, J.S. (ed), 1864, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII Vol. 2.1 p. 172 No. 642 online copy
  • Plymouth Map of c. 1540 online copy [online copy >]


  • Historic England, 2016, Heritage at Risk South West Register 2016 (London: Historic England) p. 183 online copy
  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk South West Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 184 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 194 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 185 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 196 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 180 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 176 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 179 online copy