Yarlington Manor

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameYarlington Manor
Alternative NamesYerdlyngton
Historic CountrySomerset
Modern AuthoritySomerset
1974 AuthoritySomerset
Civil ParishYarlington

Rogers says that there was a moat to the E and S of the church and manor house. This was cut through higher ground in a loop, or half circle, from a lake some 14 acres in extent, extending along the low ground to the N and W Access was by a drawbridge over the moat where the road by the black- smiths shop leads to the church. (The moat is not shown on OS maps). It is not known where Rogers obtained the information but there is little evidence for a moat in the accepted sense. A shallow depression 25m wide extends for a short distance at ST65502931 along the E side of the churchyard, but on the S the ground is at churchyard level. The depression to the E of the church is being infilled. Nothing seen on APs. (Somerset HER–ref. Os record 1979)

The fortification at Yarlington consisted of a moat on the east and south sides of the church and Manor-house, which is still plainly visible, and which, being cut through higher ground in a loop or half-circle from a lake of some fourteen acres, which extended along the low ground on the north and west sides of the church and Manor-house, placed them in a small island, completely detached from the rest of the village, from which the access was by a draw- bridge over the moat, where the road by the present blacksmith's shop leads to the church. Where this moat again joined the lake, on the west side of the bridge, was 'the pond-head'; and here, in after-days (1562), a mill was built, with a good fall from the water of the stream, which was here bayed back to form the lake. The island was itself so small that the Manor-house could at no time have been very large. But all the offices, stables, and the like, were on the other side of the water, where the farmhouse now stands. This is shown by the names of the fields — Court Field, Pigeon-house Field, and (of course, much later on), Potatoe Sleight

In 1875, when the old farmhouse, which had been burned down, was being rebuilt, the contractor, knowing nothing of its history, came to inform me that, to his surprise, there were evident remains of a stable in the old house. There was also a very extensive deer-park on the whole of the north and east sides of the Manor, and fields bear the names of Buck Park and Hind Park, which latter, however, has lost its name and place within my memory, having been thrown into a larger field of a different name. (Rogers)

In 1313 Simon de Montagu obtained a licence to crenellate his house at Yarlington. In 1540 the site included hall, chapel, and gatehouse, and later a fishpond possibly created from a moat mentioned in 1485. A house called Yarlington House was said to have been built by Sir Henry Berkeley (d. 1601) and in 1705 comprised parlour, hall, dining room, kitchen, buttery, cellar, and 13 chambers including the old, new, long, and gallery chambers. When the house was sold in 1782 it was described as 'picturesque but damp' and was demolished soon afterwards. Yarlington farmhouse was said to have been constructed out of the stables but was rebuilt in 1875. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

No remains. Rogers was a local historian not an archaeologist so his description may want for some critical acumen but it would seem this was a moated house and the 1540 reference to a gatehouse also suggests some degree of fortification. However the moat was small and the ease of demolition does not suggest a house with massive masonry.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST654293
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Currie, C.R.J. and Dunning, R.W. (ed), 1999, 'Yarlington' VCH Somerset Vol. 7 p. 64-71 online transcription
  • Dunning, Robert, 1995, Somerset Castles (Somerset Books) p. 70
  • Rogers, T.E., 1890, Records of Yarlington (London: Elliot Stock) p. 4-7, 85, 95 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 407 online copy


  • Aston, M. (ed), 1976, 'Somerset Archaeology 1974-75' Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Vol. 120 p. 73
  • 1936, Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Vol. 82

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1898, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1313-17) Vol. 2 p. 31 online copy
  • The National Archives SC 6/974/6 (available via online copy)
  • Gairdner, J. and Brodie, R.H. (eds), 1896, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII Vol. 15 No. 73 p. 112 online transcription