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Combe Florey Manor House

In the civil parish of Combe Florey.
In the historic county of Somerset.
Modern Authority of Somerset.
1974 county of Somerset.
Medieval County of Somerset.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST15113115
Latitude 51.07341° Longitude -3.21300°

Combe Florey Manor House has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


Gatehouse. Dated 1591, reroofed when upper two storeys removed circa 1840. Red sandstone random rubble, slate roofs, gabled cruciform tower, steeply pitched on wings, coped verges to left of tower. Plan: 2-storey central gatehouse flanked by single storey wings with attics lit from the gable ends, irregularly placed fenestration; left 4-light ovolo moulded mullioned window under hood mould leaded panes, gatehouse first floor 10-light mullioned and transomed window under hood mould with leaded panes and moulded 4 centred arch below with shields terminating hood mould, right-hand one jambed dated 1591. Projecting gabled latrine tower, lit on left return. Right-hand wing with 3 irregularly placed C20 glazed openings. Interior: fine plaster overmantel with paired figures flanking coat of ares and inscribed below John Frances 1593. Moulded 4-centred arch fireplace with decorative stops and flanking columns. Plaster ceiling. It is thought that the Gatehouse formerly occupied more of the area to the Northwest adjoining the church, but this is not certain. (Listed Building Report)

The great, red stone gatehouse was originally four-storeyed. It contains fine plasterwork in the Great Chamber including an overmantel with an impressive achievement of arms of John Frauncis and the date 1593. The work was probably done by Robert Eaton of Stogursey. Nothing remains of the house to which the gatehouse gave such impressive access. It evidently stood between the gatehouse and the church, whose north aisle belonged to the lords of the manor. (Dunning 1995)

Included by Dunning in a gazetteer of 'fortified houses and moated sites' although no other castle studies author has described it as fortified. It is difficult to see any reason for a C16 fortified house, as opposed to a house with the usual general domestic security, in this area other than prestige.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:53

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