Lee Barton

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameLee Barton
Alternative NamesNorthleigh
Historic CountryCornwall
Modern AuthorityCornwall
1974 AuthorityCornwall
Civil ParishMorwenstow

Fragments of a possible moat also survive at Lee in Morwenstow. (Preston-Jones and Peter p. 173)

Lea, on the site of which is now a mean farm-house, belonging to Lord Carteret, is described by Norden as a seat of the Copplestones: the last trace we find of the family, in this parish, is the burial of John Copplestone, Esq., in 1611. (Lysons)

At SS 23101228 is a large flattish area, roughly rectangular, bounded on the west by a break or 'step' in the ground, which may have been the site of a mansion though there is no positively identifiable building platform. At 23131227 is a deep, moat-like feature which, however, shows no traces of having extended beyond its present limits, 50.0m long on the east and 30.0m long on the north side. It is 14.0m wide and 3.7m deep at its maximum. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The partial moat is on the side of the probably building which faces the road from Kilkhampton. Although the site is fairly level it sits of a ridge and building a complete moat would have been a difficult project and, if intended to be water filled, the source of water is not obvious. The moat feature lies below the house platform and may just be on the springline. The rest of the site seems to be above the springline. The conclusion is that this is a water feature for show rather than a defence, although that is probably true for almost all moated sites. The modern Lee Barton is at the back of the house site and, presumably, started out as farm buildings.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSS231122
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  • Salter, Mike, 1999, The Castles of Devon and Cornwall (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 47 (slight)
  • Lysons, D. and S., 1814, Magna Britannia Vol. 3 Cornwall p. 243 online transcription


  • Preston-Jones, Ann and Rose, Peter, 1986, 'Medieval Cornwall' Cornish Archaeology Hendhyscans Kernow Vol. 25 p. 135-185 online copy