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Latitude: 51.2125 / 51°12'44"N
Longitude: -2.6426 / 2°38'33"W
OS Eastings: 355209
OS Northings: 146114
OS Grid: ST552461
Mapcode National: GBR MN.3Y0M
Mapcode Global: VH89S.4STD
Entry Name: Claver Morris House
Listing Date: 12 November 1953
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1383173
English Heritage Legacy ID: 483591
Location: Wells, Mendip, Somerset, BA5
Civil Parish: Wells
Built-Up Area: Wells
Traditional County: Somerset
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset
ST5446 THE LIBERTY
662-1/6/308 (East side)
Claver Morris House
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).
Listing NGR: ST5520946114
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