Torweston Manor, Sampford Brett

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameTorweston Manor, Sampford Brett
Alternative NamesTorneston
Historic CountrySomerset
Modern AuthoritySomerset
1974 AuthoritySomerset
Civil ParishSampford Brett

In 1316 Adam Brett had licence to crenellate his dwelling at Torweston. This may have give rise to the field names Back Castle and Castle Coppice which lay on the south and west slopes of Castle Hill but quarrying may account for the stones said to have been found on the hilltop. Torweston Barton was the name given in the mid C18 to the farmhouse which stood in the garden of the present Torweston Farm. The latter is a large, late C19 house with a two-storeyed cider house, office, coach house, and stables beyond. To the north, on lower ground, is an extensive group of contemporary farm buildings ranged around two open yards. The central range contains a mill (PRN 33978) driven by water supplied by two small ponds. (Somerset HER–ref. VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

Gatehouse is of the opinion it is likely that Brett's house was at the location occupied by the later Barton rather than on the hill, and the lack of remains is explained by these being hidden under later building. Castle Hill will, in this case, have taken its name because it was in the demense holding of the manor (That is it was the hill belonging to the 'castle'). It would seem unlikely that Brett's house was anything other than a manor house decorated with crenellations and the castle name a reflection of this decorative style rather than anything seriously fortified.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST093407
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Calculate Print


  • Dunning, Robert, 1995, Somerset Castles (Somerset Books) p. 66-7
  • Dunning, R.W. (ed), 1985, VCH Somerset Vol. 5 p. 173 online transcription
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 407 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1898, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1313-17) Vol. 2 p. 480 online copy


  • Price, G., nd, Licences to Crenellate. Instruments of the transition to the New Medieval Castle