MEM24700 - Melcombe Lodge, Barn and Bungalow, Exford (Building)


Exford rectory was rebuilt by for Rev Joseph Ralph in 1822. It is not clear how much of the original fabric survives, or whether the outbuildings on the site were reused or replaced at this time, or added shortly afterwards.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

In 1822, Rev Joseph Ralph, who became Rector of Exford Church, rebuilt the parsonage house and planted many hedgerows, and made some plantations around the house, "altogether in good taste". The living was originally part of the manor of Eastbury, vested in the family of Percival; in 1706, William Trenchard presented to the living and in 1752 [until at least 1830] it was the college of Peter House, Cambridge. [1] The site is shown on the Exford Tithe Map and labelled "The Glebe". It is accessed by a road linking the site to the main roadway to the north. The main buildings are described 1010, with the main house sited at SS 8581 3827 and associated buildings at SS 8578 3830 (L shaped), SS 8578 3827 and SS 8580 3827 (attached to the house). Two further outbuildings are labelled 1009 (SS 8587 3832) and 1012 (SS 8587 3828, L shaped). A walled garden is shown at SS85853822 and labelled 1014, and garden areas around the house are labelled 1011 (SS 8582 3828) and 1013 (SS 8583 3825). Two ponds are shown at SS 8585 3832 and SS 8583 3823. The area to the north of the house and the access road are labelled 1008. The apportionment describes the site as owned by The Master and Fellows of Saint Peters College, Cambridge, leased and occupied by Joseph Relph. The individual parcels are described as below: 1008: Ornamental ground (pasture); 1009: Linhay and court (barton); 1010: Glebe House Barn Stables; 1011: Garden; 1012: Linhay (barton); 1013: Ornamental ground (pasture); 1014: Garden. [2] The site is shown in a similar layout to that shown on the Tithe Map on the 25 inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. In addition, a well is labelled at SS 8586 3831. The site is labelled "Rectory". [3] The 25 inch 2nd Edition map shows a further small outbuilding had been added at SS 8587 3829 by this time. [4] The 2018 MasterMap data shows a few further buildings have been added to the edges of the site. The main site is now labelled Melcombe, with the house and attached outbuilding shown as Melcombe Lodge and Melcombe Barn and either the L shaped outbuilding at SS 8578 3830 or a new building just to the north labelled Melcombe Bungalow. The outbuildings labelled 1009 and 1012 on the Tithe Map have been removed and the boundary of the walled garden is also not shown. The site now appears to be in normal domestic use; a new building labelled The Rectory is shown at SS 8572 3838. [5] In March 1865 a sale of the effects of the Reverend Joseph Relph, who had died some time before, took place at Exford Rectory. A large number of people attended and when they all gathered in the third bedroom, some had to sit on the window sill to fit in the room. Due to the large volume of people, the floor collapsed, spilling around 60 people into to the room below. A large oak beam had broken off about four feet from the wall. [6] Melcombe may have begun as a one or two celled building, evidenced by the wall thicknesses in the core of the building. A round headed Norman arch was uncovered in 1951, which was suggested could imply an ecclesiastical use for the site. A 13th Century arch noted in one of the garden walls was thought to be purely ornamental. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Monograph: Savage, J.. 1830. A History of the Hundred of Carhampton. 539, 540.
  • <2> Map: 1840. Exford Tithe Map and Apportionment. 1008-1014.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. County Series; 2nd Edition (1st Revision) 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap.
  • <6> Serial: Exmoor Society. 1959-present. Exmoor Review. Volume 51 (2010), "Going, going, gone", p63-64 (P Mansfield).
  • <7> Monograph: Hamilton, C.M.. 1953. A history of Exford. N/A. 1st Edition. 24.

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)



Grid reference Centred SS 8582 3833 (132m by 263m)
Map sheet SS83NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Nov 7 2022 1:13PM


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