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23, the Liberty

A Grade II* Listed Building in Wells, Somerset

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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

Plus Code: 9C3V6965+R2

Entry Name: 23, the Liberty

Listing Date: 12 November 1953

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1383176

English Heritage Legacy ID: 483594

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: Building

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662-1/6/311 (East side)
12/11/53 No.23


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
central porch.
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
John Soane.
(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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