Slapton Ley Bridge defence

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Bridge

There are no visible remains

NameSlapton Ley Bridge defence
Alternative NamesPool Farm; Pole; Poole
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityDevon
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishSlapton

Slapton Manor had a gatehouse at the landward end of the bridge over the freshwater lagoon of Slapton Ley. This is shown on the Cotton MS map in the British Library which is a pictorial map of the 1540s showing the sea defences of south-west England. While most of these defences are blockhouses, the Slapton Bridge defence is shown as a barbican with two tall drum or D shaped towers flanking a drawbridge. How much for show this was, is uncertain, but it guarded the only way of crossing the Ley dryshod. A collegiate church was built at Slapton in 1372 and it is possible that the gatehouse was related to it as well as the manor, which belonged to Sir Guy de Bryan. (Robert Waterhouse 2007)

Gatehouse Comments

The gateway is shown as on the waters edge. The manor seems to have a little outside the village and inland (at Poole) and, whilst this feature may have been associated with the college (itself fairly inland), it should be noted that this Cotton map does include a number of planed but never built structures and is difficult to interpret. There are no archaeological remains and while the area will have had some road development and may have been subjected to erosion from storms it has not been overbuilt so whatever may have been there was probably not substancial.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSX827443
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Pevsner N., 1952, Buildings of England: North Devon p. 264 (about manor)
  • Lysons, D. and S., 1822, Magna Britannia Vol. 6 Devon p. 452 (about manor) online transcription


  • Reichel, O.J., 1911, 'The Hundreds of Devon, XII. The Early History of the Hundred of Colridge' Transactions of the Devonshire Association Vol. 43 p. 196 (about manor)


  • Robert Waterhouse, 2007 March 28, pers. corr