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Somerset Cottages

A Grade II Listed Building in Wells, Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.2081 / 51°12'29"N

Longitude: -2.6467 / 2°38'48"W

OS Eastings: 354919

OS Northings: 145636

OS Grid: ST549456

Mapcode National: GBR MN.438K

Mapcode Global: VH89S.2WNQ

Entry Name: Somerset Cottages

Listing Date: 4 September 1984

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1383159

English Heritage Legacy ID: 483577

Location: Wells, Mendip, Somerset, BA5

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Wells

Built-Up Area: Wells

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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Listing Text


WELLS

ST5445 SOUTH STREET
662-1/5/344 Nos.1 AND 2
04/09/84 Somerset Cottages

II

Detached house, formerly semi-detached pair. Dated 1888, for
William Halliday. Coursed and squared sandstone to front,
coursed rubble elsewhere, double pantile roof.
PLAN: a neat double-depth plan with straight stairs from the
rear, and narrow one-storey service wings facing a central
yard; the left gable wall is on a splay, following the line of
Guard House Lane, which returns here to the High Street.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys and attic, 1+1 window, all 4-pane sash;
the attic has high gabled face dormers, and at the ground
floor are splayed bays, under a full-width hipped slate roof
and canopy, with central 4-panel original doors. Between the
doors is a richly carved console bracket in C17 style, with
inscriptions. Windows are dressed in flush stonework, and both
end gables and dormers are coped. At each end is a brick stack
with stepped capping. At first-floor level are 5 small square
plaques set flush, each with a sunk circular centre bearing a
carved head in high relief; the figures are thought to
represent (from left to right): Gladstone, Edward VII, Queen
Victoria, and Queen Alexandra, the last unidentified.
The gable to the right is partly covered by a storage
building, and that to the left has at first floor level 2
small sashes in brick surrounds, under a small cinquefoil
light. Between the windows is a stone plaque, with WH 1888 to
the centre, and around this is carved: ART IS LONG THAT IS
LASTING; LIFE IS SHORT.
The rear has 2 four-pane sashes at each level, and in each
wing a door and a sash. Tablets built in include a square one
with raised shield, and WH 1861 (but the gable date of 1888
seems more likely for the building), flanked by roses on sunk
quatrefoils, also at the eaves a tablet with rounded head and
WHA 1673).
INTERIOR: most of the original detail survives. The two halves
have been linked by arched openings at each level, but both
staircases remain. The ground-floor room to the left has a
fireplace with medieval fragments of bench-ends and cusping as
surround, possibly in part from a former reredos; the rear
room has a fine Art Nouveau fireplace, including some painted
copper detail. Ground-floor right fireplace is in cast-iron,
with guilloche and floral panels, and a mantel with moulded
edge. Doors are generally plank, with blacksmith's fittings,
the wooden staircases start with winders, and are contained in
matchboard partitions.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the small yard is enclosed at the rear by
a high stone wall with wide central opening, now filled, but
formerly giving to a further yard, opening from Guard House
Lane.
An unusual little property, built for a mason/craftsman,
William Halliday, who also owned the former St Christopher's
Inn (335, High Street, qv: later renamed Somerset Inn), and
the stable yard to its rear, connecting through to Somerset
Cottages, presumably built for staff in the Inn. Minor
conversion work has been undertaken with due regard to the
idiosyncrasies of the house.

Listing NGR: ST5491945636

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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