You are here: Home > Details for IoE Number: 483591  

Print Page



© Mr John Barker

IoE Number: 483591
Location: CLAVER MORRIS HOUSE, 19 THE LIBERTY (east side)
  WELLS, MENDIP, SOMERSET
Photographer: Mr John Barker
Date Photographed: 28 April 2006
Date listed: 12 November 1953
Date of last amendment: 12 November 1953
Grade II*

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

WELLS ST5446 THE LIBERTY 662-1/6/308 (East side) 12/11/53 No.19 Claver Morris House GV II* Detached canonical house, now part of Wells Cathedral School. Built in 1699 by Dr Claver Morris, at a cost of »807/14/6. Local stone rubble, partly rendered, with ashlar dressings, hipped Welsh slate roof, rendered chimney stacks. PLAN: symmetrical double-depth plan with central hall, projecting porch and fireplaces to centre spine. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys with attics and basement, 5 bays, of which the narrow centre bay projects as a full-height porch. Heavy modillion cornice with brackets, incorporating eaves gutter. Basement windows (actually above ground) of 2-lights, having plain stone mullions and moulded architrave. At ground and first-floors all windows are 12-pane sashes in bold stone bolection-mould architraves; those to the ground floor also have moulded cornices. The glazing-bars are too thin for sashes of 1699, which must have been replaced in the mid or late C18. There is a small hipped dormer with a glazed narrow door central to the steep hipped roof with interior valley. In the returns of the porch at first-floor level are circular windows with bolection mould surrounds; entrance from 14 steps, almost fully glazed door with 9 panes, with 3-pane transom-light over, set in moulded eared architrave with pediment hood over frieze of acanthus leaves. Flat roofed extension at basement level on south side, above on the south flank of the house a pointed arched single-light window with square head to ground-floor level and to first floor a 2-light ovolo-mould mullioned window with moulded hood. Similar windows on the north side, and also an oval recess having a square label. Rear windows similar, but some larger windows with mullion and transom. INTERIOR: retains considerable detailing corresponding with 1699 date, including bolection-moulded panelled doors, doorcases and fireplaces, including one very large fireplace in a rear room. The first floor left room has an Adamesque fireplace, with, to its left a triple opening with central elliptical arch, with architraves, keystones and imposts. Shutters remain to front windows. The staircase has heavy turned painted balusters, and a moulded handrail. There are various enriched cornices, including one with bamboo-based detail, and one plastered ceiling has very large panels with raised mould surrounds. In the basement is a central very wide beam. HISTORICAL NOTE: in 1620 '... a little garden 46 feet wide and 66 feet long...' was granted to Roger Bourne, but the first recorded house is that now on the site. There were several proposals by the Dean and Chapter to take it over as a canonical house, but these were not followed through, and, after a brief period from 1940 to 1943 as a school, the property was leased to the Cathedral School in 1955. It is a very good example of a house of its period, given added dignity by raising the main floor on a half-basement as a 'piano nobile'. (Bailey S: Canonical Houses of Wells: Gloucester: 1982-: 178; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 327).

Please note that the inclusion of a listed building on this website does not mean it is open to the public.