East Orchard Castle

Has been described as a Rejected Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameEast Orchard Castle
Alternative NamesNorchete Manor
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthorityVale of Glamorgan
1974 AuthoritySouth Glamorgan
CommunitySt Athan

Manorial complex, loosely disposed out two courts over an area, c.75m square. The principal range comprises a hall with 2/3 storey ranges at either end, there are remains also of a kitchen, large barn and other structures, including: chapel (Nprn307687), barn (Nprn37528), dovecote (Nprn37529). The main fabric is thought to be 14th c. with later additions, the house being dismantled from 1756. (Coflein)

On the eastern boundary of the Community and about 1100m east of the Church of St Athan. It stands on the low cliff on the west side of the River Thaw and is approached via the lands of Rock Farm.

Built for domestic use, and probably a hall for the East Orchard retainers but later converted to a barn It is one of the two most complete survivals of the East Orchard great house (see also Dovecote) owned by the Stradlings of St. Donat's Castle from 1411-1756 and was probably built by them in the early C16. The new owners, the Jones of Fonmon Castle (qv Rhoose Community) allowed East Orchard to fall into ruin, but a later owner re-roofed this building as a barn in the C19. It is shown as being in use on the Tithe Map of 1839, but has, however, been disused for many years.

There is no evidence of internal divisions or of a fireplace. C19 seven bay queen strut roof with iron reinforcement on the struts.

Built of coursed, roughly squared local lias limestone rubble pierced by putlog holes, battered base to the walls, corrugated asbestos sheet roof. Long rectangular single storey range aligned north-south which divided the upper and lower courtyards of East Orchard. Opposed doorways of which the east one survives intact. This has a pointed head of chamfered dressings, but the jambs are square and unchamfered. To the north of the doorway is a small square window with another in the north gable and one above it which is recorded in 1869 as having a trefoil head with dressed quoins and openings. Slit vent in the south gable

(Listed Building Report)

Medieval manorial complex including a hall, free-standing chapel, and various farm buildings. Collapse of a partition wall showed surviving later gypsum floor and underlying debris in section. The sealed debris yielded a large crested ridge tile fragment, green window-glass fragments, an ornamented bronze buckle, iron scissors and a few medieval potsherds. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Said to be a possibly fortified manor house of the Berkerolles. King and Spurgeon rejects the site as a castle writing domestic house only. The separate chapel and other buildings were unenclosed so not even a fortified manor although the remains are of strong walls.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic Wales CADW listed database record number
The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST028680
Latitude51.4031600952148
Longitude-3.39769005775452
Eastings302890
Northings168040
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Books

  • Newman, J., 1995, Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan (Yale University Press) p. 548-9
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 174 (reject)
  • Davis, Paul R., 1983, Castles of Glamorgan (Alun Books) p. 39
  • RCAHMW, 1982, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 3 Part 2: Secular Non-defensive Monuments (London: HMSO) MH13 p. 151-55
  • Hague, D.B., 1971, in Pugh, T.B. (ed), Glamorgan County History Vol. 3 The Middle Ages (Cardiff) p. 440
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy

Journals

  • Spurgeon, C.J. with Roberts, D.J. and Thomas, H.J., 1999, 'Supposed Castles in Glamorgan; A review' Archaeology in Wales Vol. 39 27-40
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • Clark, G.T., 1869, 'East Orchard Manor House' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 24 p. 63-78 online copy