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Latitude: 51.2122 / 51°12'43"N
Longitude: -2.6427 / 2°38'33"W
OS Eastings: 355205
OS Northings: 146083
OS Grid: ST552460
Mapcode National: GBR MN.3Y0Q
Mapcode Global: VH89S.4SSL
Entry Name: Plumptre with Front Boundary Wall
Listing Date: 12 November 1953
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1383175
English Heritage Legacy ID: 483593
Location: Wells, Mendip, Somerset, BA5
Civil Parish: Wells
Built-Up Area: Wells
Traditional County: Somerset
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset
ST5446 THE LIBERTY
662-1/6/310 (East side)
Plumptre, with front boundary wall
Canonical house, now part of Wells Cathedral School. Probably
1737, for Dr Francis White, porch and detailing to front of
early C19. Rendered with ashlar dressings, Welsh slate roof
between coped gables, ashlar chimney stacks.
PLAN: symmetrical double-depth plan with central hall through
to staircase at rear.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys with attics, 5 bays. Plinth, rusticated
quoins, eaves cornice with secret gutter. Twelve-pane sashes
in moulded architraves, with flat hoods to ground-floor
windows. Entrance in bay 3, with a flat-roofed open stone
porch with paired neo-classical pilasters carrying an
entablature with cornice, on 2 steps, over a 6-panelled door
in architrave. Hipped slated-roofed dormers with 9-pane
sashes. The rear has, at centre, a large 30-pane arched sash,
with thick early glazing bars.
INTERIOR: a splendid open-well staircase has 3 balusters to
each tread, the central one twisted, scrolled carved
tread-ends, and painted dado panelling. The large arched
window has panelled reveals. The ground floor left room has a
niche with elliptical head, and multi-facetted cornice; the
room to the right has tall fielded panels above a dado, and a
wide elliptical arched opening with keystone. In a back room
is one Gothick window, and the kitchen has a large fitted
painted dresser. The upper floors not inspected.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: extending from the south-west corner of
house to front, then northwards along front boundary, a stone
boundary wall in random rubble with ashlar pitched copings,
averaging approx 1.1m high, having gateway opposite entrance
door with plain square pilasters, adding to setting of house
and the important streetscape.
HISTORICAL NOTE: there are various references to C15 tenancies
on the site, and to a new house of c1470. On 4 January 1737
the Dean and Chapter considered '... a plan modell (sic) or
draught of a design for new building or repairing the
canonical house now ... in possession of Dr. White...', and
although there is no direct evidence that this was carried
out, the detail of the current fabric would tend to confirm
that as likely. After a brief period as Dean Edward's
residence from 1963, the house was leased to the Cathedral
School in 1966.
(Bailey S: Canonical Houses of Wells: Gloucester: 1982-: 76;
The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and
Bristol: London: 1958-: 327).
Listing NGR: ST5520546083
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