MSO10498 - Nettlecombe Court (Building)


Now the Leonard Wills Field Centre, this was originally a medieval manor house. It may have been the home of Simon Raleigh who retired to Nettlecombe after Agincourt. It has good examples of plasterwork for five different periods.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

[ST 0564 3775] Nettlecombe Court (NR) (School) (NAT). [1] Nettlecombe Court carries the date 1599 and 1601 with documentary evidence for further rebuilding in 1602. Possibly the home of Simon Raleigh who retired to Nettlecombe after Agincourt. An inventory of 1526 shows that his mediaeval house had not then been enlarged in keeping with 16th Century practice. [2] The west front was remodelled in the Georgian style before 1768, and the south front has buttresses, which would point to the masonry being that of a house earlier than 1599. [3] See GP AO/65/66/4. [4] (ST 05643775) Nettlecombe Court (Field centre) (NAT). [5] ST03NE NETTLECOMBE CP Leonard Wills Field Centre (formerly listed as Nettlecome Court) 5/33 22.5.69 GV I Shown on OS map as Nettlecombe Court (school). Manor house, now field studies centre. Late medieval hall, cross passage and wing, now kitchens and pantry, 1599 entrance front, porch, great hall and parlour, circa 1641 addition to rear of great hall, 1703-7 South West front extended and staircase added in angle, plasterwork on stair 1753, South West wing decorated 1787-8, house stuccoed and North East service range added early C19, stucco removed mid C20. Squared and coursed red sandstone, moulded plinth, coped parapets, finials, slate roofs, hipped right. See listing for full details (DEM3221). [6-8] Additional bibliography. [9-15] Nettlecombe was granted by the King to Hugh de Ralegh in c.1160 and Nettlecombe Court was inherited by the Trevelyan family in the 1440s. The building is shown on a variety of historic maps. [16,17] The Historic England Archive contains a number of photographs and other collated documents about the site. [18-20] The building was visited in December 2013 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. [21] A remarkable display of plasterwork spanning dates from c.1600 to c.1700. Hall - Ceiling Jacobean style; grotesque narrow frieze as in the hall at Montacute; huge overmantel with elaborate central panel with achievement of arms and supporters (Trevelyan impaling Chichester) - all early 17th Century; Wing Dining Room - Ceiling has four panels between moulded beams on acanthus brackets; frieze between the brackets is an unique large scale stylised angular meander; overmantel includes a coat of arms (Trevelyan impaling Strode) with initials MS and date 1641 (George Trevelyan married Margaret Strode in the 1630s); Wing Chamber Over - Ceiling has oval wreath enclosing Trevelyan crest, enriched ribs and corner panels with horses heads; overmantel includes a strapwork cartouche between acanthus brackets and the coat of arms of Margaret Strode's parents (Strode impaling Wyndham), c.1640; Southeastern parlour, adjacent study and chamber over - Ceilings all c.1700 with high relief naturalistic wreaths of husks, foliage etc; the Study also has central heavily moulded putto in palm fronds. [22] An update was undertaken for the Parkland Plan published in 2003 (see [17]). This included newly incorporated historic mapping and documentary evidence and research and restoration work on the landscape, as well as the results of a walkover survey undertaken in April 2015. [23] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [24]

Sources/Archives (24)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Monograph: Tipping, H.A.. 1927. English Homes: Period III 1558-1649. 87-96.
  • <3> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books. 254.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Mid 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 4 May 1965.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1976. 1:10000 Map, 1976. 1:10000.
  • <6> Article in serial: Bush, R.J.E.. 1970. Nettlecombe Court. I. The Trevelyans and Other Residents of the Court. Field Studies. 3.
  • <7> Serial: Country Life. 1 February 1908, p162-9.
  • <8> Index: 21/12/1984. Thirty-first List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Distict of West Somerset (Somerset). pp 19-22.
  • <9> Serial: Dunning, R. W. (editor). 1985. A History of the County of Somerset. Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research. 5. 114-115.
  • <10> Monograph: Turner, T.H.. 1859. Some Account of Domestic Architecture of England From Edward I to Richard II, with Notices of Foreign Examples, and Numerous Illustrations of Existing Remains from Original Drawings, by the Editor of the Glossary of Architecture. James Park and Co.. Vol. 3. 2. Part 2, 343.
  • <11> Monograph: Delderfield, E.R.. 1968. West Country historic houses and their families. Volume 1 : Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset . David and Charles Limited. 1. 101-104.
  • <12> Article in serial: Unknown. 1869. Second Day: Excursion. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 15. Part I, pp 6-22. p 7.
  • <13> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Vol 54 (1908) 77-85.
  • <14> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Vol 77 (1931).
  • <15> Photograph: Unknown. 1965. ILLUSTRATION OF NETTLECOMBE COURT. OS65/F64/2. B/W.
  • <16> Report: Nicholas Pearson Associates. 1992. Nettlecombe Park and Pleasure Grounds: Historic survey and restoration plan. 5.
  • <17> Report: Nicholas Pearson Associates. 2003. Nettlecombe Park and Pleasure Grounds: Historic survey and restoration plan.
  • <18> Photograph: Messers. Cox Sons & Co.. 1900-1925. Nettlecombe Court and St Mary's Church, taken from the south-east. Unknown. Unknown. Postcard.
  • <19> Collection: Corbett, S. et al. 1908-1970. Volume: Nettlecombe Court, Nettlecombe.
  • <20> Photograph: Hesketh-Roberts, M.. 1999. Job: Nettlecombe Court. Unknown. Colour. Negative.
  • <21> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <22> Monograph: Penoyre, J. and Penoyre, J.. 1994. Decorative plasterwork in the houses of Somerset 1500 - 1700: A regional survey. Somerset County Council. 17,19,21,37,77; figs 18,22,43,72,77,83,96.
  • <23> Report: Unknown. 2016. Nettlecombe Parkland Plan. Nicholas Pearson Partnership LLP.
  • <24> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 188307, Updated 25 May 2022.



Grid reference Centred ST 0564 3775 (58m by 48m)
Map sheet ST03NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (6)

Related Events/Activities (5)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 375/5/33
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7693
  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 NE1
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NBR Index Number: 41866
  • NBR Index Number: 99/01498
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 188307
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 30731

Record last edited

May 26 2022 11:16AM


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