Flemingston Court

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are major building remains

NameFlemingston Court
Alternative NamesFlemingston Castle
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthorityVale of Glamorgan
1974 AuthoritySouth Glamorgan
CommunitySt Athan

An Early C16 "L" shaped, two-storey, roughcast rubble-built house retaining many original features, but with later additions & alterations. A court on the N-NE is defined on the N & NW by a battlemented wall, with fragments of a building range on the NE and other traces to the E. (Coflein)

On the north boundary of Flemingston Court between it and the Churchyard of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel.

The date of this building is probably contemporary with the main house and is from the first half of the C16, and the secondary building also appears to be C16 or possibly early C17. There is no evidence of any new building after that date. If the house part was indeed a pre-Reformation rectory it may have been downgraded at that time or perhaps became something like the steward or farm manager's house. It is not known when the process of ruination and stone robbing began, but it was clearly long ago, and it seems unlikely that it continued as the Rectory until the C19. The Rectory previous to the Victorian one may not have been this house, but its situation and appearance similar to other such rectories (e.g. Church Farm, Porthkerry, see Rhoose Community) strongly suggests that it was originally built as such. RCAHMW consider the attached walling to be C17 but it is difficult to imagine why it should be necessary at that time.

Interior not inspected at resurvey. The later section is known to have a corner stone stair and a bread oven.

Local lias limestone rubble with dressed quoins and some ashlar features; Welsh slate roof on part. Castellated wall about 3.5m in height running on the boundary between Flemingston Manor and the churchyard of the Church of St. Mark (qv). The wall incorporates an arched doorway with a stile into the churchyard and the remains of an early C16 building, possibly a pre-Reformation rectory. This building is in two sections with a straight joint between

The older section is in a very ruined state and only the rear wall backing onto the churchyard survives reasonably complete. The external face, which is about 4m high, has a small dressed window and two small square vents. The inner face has a large roughly finished fireplace on the ground floor and to the left is a window through the remaining fragment of walling, but this looks into the later building, see below. On the floor above is a 2-centred doorway with the window visible behind, presumably a garderobe and to the right of this is a very large dressed stone fireplace hidden by ivy but demonstrating that this room was an Upper Hall. The secondary building, which is still roofed, has a pointed arch dooway with hollow chamfers on the gable end and a 2-light window with a single light one above on the main wall. Both these windows are insertions and the walling shows evidence of other past openings. The rear wall is blind, but has a projection for the staircase. (Listed Building Report)

The supposed site of Flemingston Castle or medieval fortified manor house, now occupied by the early-16th century Flemingston Court (PRN 600s). It is shown on the 1st ed OS map of 1885. Several persons named Fleming occur in records of the county in the 13th and 14th centuries, and the site is presumed to have taken its name from one of them. Philip le Fleming, who in 1315 who held a knight's fee in the lordship of St Athan, may have been settled at Flemingston, and a 14th century effigy in the south Chapel of the parish church commemorates a Dame Joan Fleming. The Fleming mentioned by Leland in the 1530s as Lord of Trefleming or Flemingston (also Flimston) may have been either William Fleming or his son Christopher. About this time the present house was largely built. Rees suggested that a small fortress, fortified manor house or castle here was abandoned by the 14th century, while Evans records that the embattled walls forming the western boundary of the present courtyard shows remnants of 15th century, and that remains of the castle were believed to exist in the gardens. In 1999/200 the site was rejected by RCAHMW, noting the embattled courtyard was raised in the 17th century and is not defensible. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Described by King as late medieval fortified manor. Spurgeon writes house is early C16 but the embattled courtyard is C17 and, although the walls are 3.5m high they have no wall walk. The nature of the earlier residence on the site is unknown but the lack of substantive earthworks would suggest that whatever fortifications that house had were not major.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

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 ReferenceST017700
Latitude51.4206504821777
Longitude-3.41516995429993
Eastings301700
Northings170030
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Newman, J., 1995, Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan (Yale University Press) p. 349
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 173
  • RCAHMW, 1981, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 4 Part 1: The Greater Houses (London: HMSO) no. 8 p. 135-40
  • Hague, D.B., 1971, in Pugh, T.B. (ed), Glamorgan County History Vol. 3 The Middle Ages (Cardiff) p. 440

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