Who was in charge on the Quantocks in the Middle Ages?

William the Conqueror gave land on the Quantocks to his Norman supporters.

The new Norman lords of Nether Stowey lost no time in building a very well-defended castle. This reminded the defeated Saxons how powerful their new Norman masters were. The family lived here and ran the estate from here, until the late 1400s.

  • The large motte, surrounded by a deep ditch, was topped by a wooden keep with solid stone foundations that you can still see

The descendants of these knights owned and governed the land for centuries. In times of conflict, they led the men of their estates into battle. You can see the houses these families built, and their memorials in the local churches.

For example, William de Mohun (whose descendants are the Luttrells) had land round Dunster, East Quantoxhead and Broomfield

  • Court House, East Quantoxhead, still belongs to the Luttrell family. Their crest is over the main doorway. Part of the house is medieval.

The manor of Enmore was given to the Malet family, who held it for nearly 600 years.

  • This list of medieval Lords of the Manor is in Enmore church

At Cothelstone we can actually see the faces of the medieval lord and lady of the manor.

  • Lady Elizabeth Stawell of Cothelstone and her husband Sir Matthew, who died in 1379.

The Bishop of Winchester owned land at Kingston St Mary, Cothelstone and West Bagborough, but he didn’t have anything to do with running the estates. Bishops Lydeard got its name because it was owned by the Bishop of Wells.