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The Cedars

A Grade II* Listed Building in Wells, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2125 / 51°12'45"N

Longitude: -2.6435 / 2°38'36"W

OS Eastings: 355145

OS Northings: 146123

OS Grid: ST551461

Mapcode National: GBR MN.3XRT

Mapcode Global: VH89S.4SBB

Plus Code: 9C3V6974+2H

Entry Name: The Cedars

Listing Date: 12 November 1953

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1383170

English Heritage Legacy ID: 483588

Location: Wells, Mendip, Somerset, BA5

County: Somerset

District: Mendip

Civil Parish: Wells

Built-Up Area: Wells

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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662-1/6/305 (North side)
12/11/53 No.15
The Cedars


Former house, now part of Wells Cathedral School. c1758, for
Charles Tudway; extensions at each end, and c1860 a
conservatory to the left; a deep wing to the rear of late C20.
Doulting ashlar stonework, Welsh slate roof between coped
gables, behind parapet, ashlar chimney stacks.
PLAN: a symmetrical deep double-depth plan, formerly entered
from the Liberty, now from the rear (N side). The wide central
salon or entrance hall backed by the lateral top-lit staircase
with an entrance lobby offset to the W is flanked by secondary
rooms with a further large salon to the W of the staircase;
later wings, slightly set back, are attached at each end, with
a connection from the left-hand room to the former orangery.
The long C20 rear wing is a dining room and kitchen.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys, with basement and attics, 7 bays, of
which the 3 centre bays are recessed slightly, and single-bay
set-back extensions each end in simplified detail, but
containing C18 plasterwork. Plinth, cornice, balustraded
parapet. Large sash windows with thick glazing bars in moulded
stone architraves, 12-pane to ground floor and 9-pane above.
Central entrance, on 4 steps, with a pair of part-glazed doors
in a stone surround having unfluted Ionic attached columns,
full entablature and pediment. Segmental-arched basement
windows in plinth, attic windows have hipped-roofed dormers
with sash windows, being largely hidden by parapets. Side
extensions rendered, with plain parapets, and hipped lean-to
roofs, 9-pane sash windows in plain architraves.
On the west side, an 1866 single-storey extension linked by a
high wall crowned with balustrading, possibly intended as an
orangery; ashlar, sheet metal roof between copings, behind
parapets, four bays, with C20 glazing, frieze and cornice
over, and with richly carved stone urns in centre and on front
The return to College Road includes a first floor canted oriel
above a 12-pane sash, a glazed door on 2 stone steps, with a
Gibbs surround including a prominent triple keystone, and
further sashes; to the right, the lower wing has 2 wide-spaced
segmental-headed sashes above 2 oculi with radial bars, all in
plain stone architraves. Beyond this the late C20 extension in
rubble with sheet metal low-pitched roof.
The rear of the main range is in 5 bays, with hipped dormers
behind the balustrade, and 9-pane above 12-pane sashes below,
with central doorway. Slightly set back to the left are 2 bays
with 12-pane sashes above an extension, and to the right, set
back, with balustrade, one bay with a 9-pane sash over a wide
arched opening with idiosyncratic voussoirs, to a glazed door
on stone steps, with side lights under a 2-stage fanlight with
radial bars; to its right a single storey bay, with balustrade
above a similar wide arched opening, but with 6-pane light
contained in a series of small circular panes. To these 2 bays
is a moulded string at the arch springing level.
INTERIOR: the suite of rooms to the ground floor has very fine
rococo plasterwork by Thomas Stocking. The former entrance
hall has a lofty central white marble fireplace with eared
architrave and central apron panel with swags and mantelshelf
on consoles. Above is a circular panel with raised plaster
figures of Aeneas and Anchises, flanked by slender dropped
swags with further figures, and a series of panels with
delicate raised mouldings, plus oval panels with musical
instruments and other devices. There are four panelled doors
in architraves and panelled linings and the windows, with
panelled shutters, have eared architraves swept at the feet.
The large rear room, the headmaster's study, is a
double-square with a plastered ceiling with central sunburst,
good wall panels, and a C19 white marble fireplace. The room
to the right of the central hall has a modillion cornice, and
large panels, including window shutters and linings, with
ovolo-mould framing, a moulded dado rail, and a C19 white
marble fireplace with Jacobean overmantel with coat of arms
and the motto 'Thinke and Thanke'. The door to the central
salon has a pulvinated frieze. The room to the left is square,
with a rococo ceiling with 4 goddesses and intertwined
decoration, an enriched modillion cornice, and two 6-panel
doors with enriched fielded panels, eared architraves, and
modillion cornices; a further door in a very deep lining opens
to the added conservatory.
The long lateral stair with winders at the foot has a moulded
and swept handrail with 2 turned-on- square balusters per
tread, under an octagonal rooflight set to a deep cove with
rich plaster embellishment, and a modillion cornice with
rosettes. The walls have large panels with cable-mould
surrounds. The lobby and ante-room includes arched openings on
fluted pilasters, and with keystones; a quadripartite plaster
groin vault has decorative corner brackets. There is a deep
plain niche to the W, and a Minton tile floor. To the E of the
main stair is a large secondary staircase, a dog-leg with
solid string, turned-on-square balusters, Doric newels, and a
moulded handrail, all painted.
The main first-floor landing has arched openings in 3
directions on Doric pilasters. This floor has many original
panelled doors; the front centre room includes a rococo frieze
to the fireplace, and the end room to the E has an C18
fireplace in eared architrave. One door at the W end of the
corridor has diagonal panels, and an open pediment.
The attic is plain, but all doors are original fielded
There is an extensive basement with a series of groined vaults
on square piers with impost, on a slate floor; a spiral stone
staircase in the NW corner was removed c1980.
HISTORICAL NOTE: a paved forecourt fronts The Liberty, with an
enclosing kerb, formerly with railings and gates; the paving
is in setts, with stone flag surround and central path. The
house stands on the site of the former College of Montroy, a
house of Chantry Priests, 1430, abandoned in the C16. Charles
Tudway bought the land with the remains of the Chantry in
1761, although building was already under way, and
subsequently extended the site with other purchases, including
land to the S where the cedar trees were planted. The building
is entirely of the C18 or later, and the finest of its period
in the city.
(Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol:
London: 1958-: 328; Bailey S: Canonical Houses of Wells:
Gloucester: 1982-: 53-; Town and Country Planning Working
Papers: Scrase AJ: Wells: A Study of Town Origins: Bristol:
1982-: 30).

Listing NGR: ST5514546123

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