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Latitude: 51.212 / 51°12'43"N
Longitude: -2.6425 / 2°38'32"W
OS Eastings: 355218
OS Northings: 146067
OS Grid: ST552460
Mapcode National: GBR MN.3Y21
Mapcode Global: VH89S.4SWQ
Entry Name: 23, the Liberty
Listing Date: 12 November 1953
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1383176
English Heritage Legacy ID: 483594
Location: Wells, Mendip, Somerset, BA5
Civil Parish: Wells
Built-Up Area: Wells
Traditional County: Somerset
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset
ST5446 THE LIBERTY
662-1/6/311 (East side)
Detached house, now part of Wells Cathedral School. Built for
William Parfitt, Chapter Clerk, 1819. Doulting stone ashlar,
hipped Welsh slate roof behind parapet, ashlar chimney stacks.
Neo Classical style. A symmetrical double-depth plan with
central hall and lateral staircase to the left, with a bold
EXTERIOR: 3 storeys, 3 bays, the centre bay brought forward
slightly. Plinth with ground and first-floor sill strings,
cornice between first and second floors, pilasters to cornices
and between bays, panelled at second floor level, attic storey
and parapet. Ground floor has large 15-pane sashes with
architrave and hood moulds, the first floor has smaller
12-pane in plain reveals, and the second floor has 6-pane
casement windows, that to bay 2 altered. The enclosed porch,
on 5 steps with end plinths, has a pair of narrow panelled
doors under a plain transom-light, with thin architrave and
moulded cornice, between flat pilasters in antis, and panelled
end pilasters, carrying an entablature with slightly
pedimented centre blocking; the returns have 8-pane sashes. To
the N is a projecting flat-roofed section containing the
INTERIOR: partly inspected. A square entrance hall has a rear
wall with canted corners, with 3 arched openings and paired
panelled doors. To the left is the open geometrical stair with
plain stone treads, and a decorative wrought-iron balustrade
to a wreathed hardwood handrail with wreathing. The
ground-floor rear left room has bowed ends and a very large
tripartite 4:12:4-pane sash. A secondary stair has a solid
string and stick balusters. The stone-flagged basement has an
apsidal rear corresponding with the hall layout, with 3-light
segmental-headed lights to grilles.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the site was for long occupied by a house
belonging to the Abbot of Muchelney. The building, which stood
on the front of the site, was said to be 'decayed' in 1469,
and there were later sub-divisions of the property, which for
a long period was used by the Vicars Choral. In 1819 a large
new house was built for William Parfitt, the Chapter Clerk,
and at this time remains of older buildings were removed. The
Ecclesiastical Commissioners bought the house in 1933 from a
butcher who, it was feared, might spoil the property by
turning it into a garage with forecourt petrol-pumps. It was
leased to the Cathedral School in the 1960's.
A very formal facade, demonstrating the designer's
acquaintance with current architectural fashion as led by Sir
(Bailey S: Canonical Houses of Wells: Gloucester: 1982-: 169;
The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and
Bristol: London: 1958-: 327).
Listing NGR: ST5521846067
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