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The Chantry House the Dower House

A Grade I Listed Building in Brympton, Somerset

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Latitude: 50.936 / 50°56'9"N

Longitude: -2.6853 / 2°41'7"W

OS Eastings: 351941

OS Northings: 115399

OS Grid: ST519153

Mapcode National: GBR ML.PCJ4

Mapcode Global: FRA 568M.MPN

Plus Code: 9C2VW8P7+CV

Entry Name: The Chantry House the Dower House

Listing Date: 19 April 1961

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1263253

English Heritage Legacy ID: 263466

Location: Brympton, South Somerset, Somerset, BA22

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Brympton

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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10/16 The Chantry House or The Dower
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).

Listing NGR: ST5194215397

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