Hatch
Hatch, Loddiswell

NGR:SX 7100 4690

The Domesday Manor of Hache seems to have been named after a hatch or gate in a weir on the river nearby, for the control of fish.  The farm seems to have been held from the Crown in the usual way, being let to various nobles on the Knights' Fee system.  It was actually occupied by local tenants who took their surname from the site name.
Hatch was owned in the mid-late C15 by the Gille family of merchants, who operated out of Dartmouth and were also privateers (licenced pirates).  Thomas Gille obtained a licence from the crown to fortify his manor house at Hatch and to enclose two deer parks, one of which can be identified in the valley to the south of the farm (see map).
Until 1637, the whole group was in one ownership, but was then split between two related families, the Carswells and the Eliots.  A detailed document describing the property at that time was produced for this event, and describes a large and complex mansion.

Description:

A complex group of farm buildings and houses, now in four separate occupancies, on a terrace overlooking the floodplain of the River Avon.  The northern part of the site is level and occupied by three houses, with the valley side sloping steeply down to the north.  The southern part slopes up the hillside and is mostly occupied by farm buildings.  The houses comprise parts of a complex double courtyard mansion facing east across remains of an outer agricultural court with a flanking barn and other buildings.  Documentary evidence describes two medieval deer parks associated with the house, one of which lies in a valley to the south.


Dating:

1C15

Hall range, possibly with chamber-block in agricultural range to its east.  Outer courtyard possibly fortified in 1462, with gatehouse & defensive walls.  A chapel may have existed from 1432.

2Late C15-early C16

Inner court laid out with two-storeyed service & lodgings ranges to north and west, linked by external timber stair.  Chapel built to west, possibly replacing earlier one.

3Later C16-early C17

Porch added to east front of hall range, service building added to north end of hall range.  Possible storage barn built on former mowhay platform to south.

4Later C17

Linhay built to south of possible storage barn, stable built in intermediate court, possibly with other associated buildings.

5 & 6Early-mid C18 & early C19

Large open-sided pillared storage linhay built in early C18 between storage barn and house.  Storage linhay later incorporated in early C19 quadrangle of farm buildings to south of house.

Conclusions:

Hatch has an exceptionally interesting group of buildings, exhibiting a sequence of development over several centuries.  A particular period of wealth is identifiable in the late C15-early C16, characterised by high status outbuildings such as the lodgings and chapel.  Historically, it is a very important site with a medieval licence to crenellate and to enclose deer parks.  It is part of an important group of developed courtyard mansions in the Kingsbridge area.