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Latitude: 51.2128 / 51°12'46"N
Longitude: -2.6426 / 2°38'33"W
OS Eastings: 355210
OS Northings: 146150
OS Grid: ST552461
Mapcode National: GBR MN.3Y0H
Mapcode Global: VH89S.4ST4
Entry Name: De Salis House and De Salis Cottage
Listing Date: 12 November 1953
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1383171
English Heritage Legacy ID: 483589
Location: Wells, Mendip, Somerset, BA5
Civil Parish: Wells
Built-Up Area: Wells
Traditional County: Somerset
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset
ST5446 THE LIBERTY
662-1/6/306 (East side)
De Salis House and De Salis Cottage
Former house, now part of Wells Cathedral School. Late C14,
C15, various alterations and additions in C17, internal
restructuring C18 and early C19. Random local stone rubble
with ashlar dressings, and all-ashlar porch, Welsh slate
double roof with sawn stone ridge between coped gables, stone
PLAN: a complex plan of accretion; the front C15 range an
E-plan, with former hall to left of entrance porch, but
interior now on 2 floors. Behind this, running the full width
and beyond to the S is an earlier range, with former C14
first-floor hall, and at the left (N) end a late C19 cross
EXTERIOR: partly single storey, remainder 2-storey, 5 bays, of
which bay 1 is a projection with chimney stack on return face,
and bay 3 a projecting porch. Bays 1 and 2 single-storey, with
battlemented parapet with quatrefoil panels to merlons, bay 1
has a 2-centre arched hoodmould of a former window, bay 2 has
a 18-pane sash window set under an older square label having
headstops. The porch to bay 3 is gabled, with angled corner
buttresses crowned with pinnacles. 4-centred outer arch having
carved spandrels and square headstop label. Bay 4 has a C20
door and flanking windows to ground floor and a 3-light
chamfer-mullioned window in chamfered reveal above, bay 5 is a
projecting gable with chimney stack to the crown, with an
18-pane sash window to ground floor with flat hoodmould over,
with a 2-light chamfer-mullioned window without label to the
A later, probably C17, wing projects westwards from the
south-west corner, with C20 modifications, single-storey with
attics, 4 bays.
The rear is in 2 parts, in rendered rubble; to the left are 4
bays with 12-pane sashes, taken to the floor level in the
ground floor, and with a central gable.
The S gable has a small square stack. The right half has a
2-light casement with mullion and horizontal bars, and a coped
gable brought forward over a 2-storey bow, and a 6-light
casement with transom, above a large 4-centred arch with a
deep-set pair of doors.
INTERIOR: the interior generally has C18 or C19 detailing, but
major early fabric remains in the roof structure of both
principal ranges. The porch has a 4-compartment ceiling,
opening to a square entrance hall with a baluster staircase.
The former solar has a 3-light C16 small-pane casement with
4-centred heads to the lights. The rear wall is very thick,
with panelled linings. To right of hall is a blocked doorway
to former service range; door to rear gives to internal
passageway. Rear rooms mainly late C18, front rooms in wing
include a reset stone fireplace with 4-centred hollow-moulded
arch and bread oven, and one C16 beam with deep chamfer.
The left wing much sub-divided, with inserted floor, and C20
iron spiral staircase. Rear range has decorative plasterwork
and detail of later C18 or early C19. The rooms at upper level
also have late detail.
The C15 roof in the front range is of 10 bays and includes 4
bays of heavy arch-braced trusses and chamfered wind-braces,
ridge purlin, and chamfered butt-tenoned purlins; interrupted
by later work on return wing at south end, with early
floorboards. Over the rear range is an extensive (and
remarkable for its type and date) example of a late C14 barrel
roof with curved rafters at c500mm centres, and with some ribs
moulded, with hollow-plus-ogee mould. This roof also cut into
by later work on the return wing.
HISTORICAL NOTE: the first recorded tenant, in the early C12,
was Thomas de Kelmescote, but the house was known for
centuries as Lechlade's (sometimes Lichfields), after Thomas
de Lechlade, a vicar choral, installed here in 1316. The
present name is taken from Bishop de Salis, who was in
residence from 1915 to 1931. A new tenant in 1689 complained
that he was "... at large expense in repairing it...", but on
quitting his tenancy in 1710 was said to have gutted the house
in turn. In 1930 approval was gained to transform the building
into two dwellings, but in 1955 it was leased to the Cathedral
School, which still holds it.
In Pevsner's 'North Somerset' this building is identified as
No.1, East Liberty.
(Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol:
London: 1958-: 327; Bailey S: Canonical Houses of Wells:
Gloucester: 1982-: 62 - 73).
Listing NGR: ST5521046150
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