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© Mr Brian Roberts

IoE Number: 263466
Photographer: Mr Brian Roberts
Date Photographed: 31 March 2004
Date listed: 19 April 1961
Date of last amendment: 19 April 1961
Grade I

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ST5115BRYMPTON D'EVERCY CP10/16The Chantry House or The DowerHouse19.4.61GVI

ST5115 BRYMPTON D'EVERCY CP 10/16 The Chantry House or The Dower House 19.4.61 GV I By tradition a chantry priests' house, but probably a dower house for Dame Joan Sydenham, now used as museum. Mid C15, modified early C17. Ham stone ashlar; stone slate roof between coped gables with gabletted finials; stone chimney stacks. Two storeys; south elevation to churchyard 6 bays. Above, cinquefoil-cusped 2-light windows in hollow-chamfer recesses with flat arches and square labels bays 1, 3 and 4, bay 2 blocked, the cusps shaved off bay 4; to bay 5 a 4- centre arched single-light with label, and to bay 6 a 2-light window with uncusped pointed arches and incised spandrils under flat head, these two last also with labels; below, near-triangular arched moulded doorways bay 1 and between bays 5/6; to bays 2, 4 and 6, and two to bay 3, are 2-light semi-circular-arched light windows under flat heads and labels, with matching single-light bay 5: to bay 2 and between bays 5/6 formerly were garderobes. West gable has similar semi-circular arched light window below, with label, and above a deep 2-light cinquefoil cusped window with plain transome, under square label. North elevation of 6 bays: bay 1 has blocked 2-light window below, blank above, with chimney stack with offsets and pair of octagonal stacks with moulded caps; to left of bay 2, and to bays 3, 4 and 5 are 2-light mullioned and transomed windows with pointed arched lights, incised spandrils and square labels, all at upper level, one similar window without transome lower bay 5: to right of bay 2 an octagonal plan stair turret with small doorway in north face, cinquefoil cusped light in north-east face, and above a string 3 pairs of lights with square labels to north-east, north and north-west faces, surmounted by battlemented parapet; to lower bay 2 left a moulded pointed-arched doorway without label, and to lower bays 3/4 and 6 are moulded near-triangular arched doorways, the latter rather wide. North elevation has a segmental- pointed archway with pair of boarded gates below, and above two 2-light mullioned and transomed windows under labels. Inside, the west half was formerly the first floor hall with services below, now one space with gallery around following a 1923 restoration and reshaping; open framed ceiling of 5 bays, collar-trusses with 2 tiers purlins and 2 rows cusped windbracing; gallery has fragments, including balusters, of C17 work; at upper level a wide cambered-arched fireplace in south wall, and nearby a triangular arched doorway to former garderobe. The eastern half appears to have had a solar and a principal bedroom on first floor, reached by the stone newel stair in the north turret, the only former access to first floor, with servants rooms below; here are 4-bays of a different roof type, with some kingpost and curved braced trusses, with 3 tiers arched windbraces, one inverted; above are 2 timber-framed wattle and daub partitions with original doorways and also small sections of plink and muntin partitions: in centre rood on display a fine C14 door - origin uncertain: east rood to first floor has a decorative plaster ceiling of c1625, with central pendant and frieze; an almost flat-arched moulded fireplace of c1520, with overmantel of 4 quatrefoil panels. An unconventional layout for the period, but which is explained by its concept as a dower house, for which purpose it was refurbished c1625; by the early C18 it was used as stabling; currently it serves as a museum, with emphasis on cider-making. (Pevsner, N, Buildings of England, South and West Somerset, 1958; Country Life, 26 November 1898, 30th November, 1907, and articles by Christopher Hussey 7 and 14th May 1927).

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