Columbjohn, Killerton

Walking along the public footpath that eventually leads to Killerton House, from the small hamlet at Columbjohn to Columbjohn Wood you pass Columbjohn Chapel – above.  The chapel you see today is a single roomed chapel built in a Romanesque Revival style in the middle part of the 19th century, but stands on the site of an earlier chapel and the original mansion house that was the home of the Acland family prior to the construction of Killerton House to the east.

Columbjohn ChapelColumbjohn is recorded in 1086 in Domesday as ‘Colum’, by 1316 it is recorded as ‘Colump Johan’ this name is derived from Johannes de Culum who owned the manor in 1234 and literally means the ‘manor of John by the Culm river’ – the River Culm lies to the west of the chapel.  The Aclands acquired the manor in the late 16th century and built a chapel here in the early 17th century.  The mansion at Columbjohn was built in the late 16th century, reputedly on the foundations of an even older building.

A geophysical survey of the field around the chapel has shown that the chapel we see today lies in the middle of the site of the former manor house demolished sometime after 1680 when Aclands moved their residence to newly constructed house at Killerton.

Columbjohn - EarthworksWalking along the public footpath that eventually leads to Killerton House, from the small hamlet at Columbjohn to Columbjohn Wood you pass Columbjohn Chapel – above.  The chapel you see today is a single roomed chapel built in a Romanesque Revival style in the middle part of the 19th century, but stands on the site of an earlier chapel and the original mansion house that was the home of the Acland family prior to the construction of Killerton House to the east.

Columbjohn - remains of stone arch of gatehouse and stone-built barnsThe only above-ground evidence of the former manor that occupied this site for hundreds of years that can still be seen today are earthworks (humps and bumps) in the field and the remains of the stone arch of the gatehouse across the entrance to the field and the stone-built barns opposite the gatehouse both of which were built in the 16th century – though the barn has been partially rebuilt in the 19th century.

Pigeon Cottage behind the chapel (on private land) is reputedly built upon the 16th century foundation of the dovecote associated with the former manor house.

For more information, see the Historic Environment Record information about this site on Heritage Gateway.