MSO10846 - Sydenham House, High Street, Dulverton (Building)


Sydenham House is likely to be of late medieval or early post-medieval date and may originally have been a three room and cross passage house, with an open hall at the centre and storeyed elements at either end.

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Full Description

Sydenham House was a farmhouse, and is now a dwelling with later buildings abutting either end. It dates to the 16th century and possibly earlier. It was refenestrated in the late 17th century and altered internally in c.1820. The roof was raised and partly refenestrated in the mid 20th century. This is an interesting house whose evolution is unclear. [1] Sydenham Hall was possibly the original manor house of the Sydenham family. Its grounds covered a large part of the triangle between High Street and Market (Bank) Square. [3] There is a priest hole at Sydenham House. [6] The house was subject to rapid survey in May 2011. It is likely to be of late medieval or early post-medieval date and is very well preserved, consisting of a long low range of buildings parallel with the street. It may originally have been a three room and cross passage house, with an open hall at the centre and storeyed elements at either end. The northern end preserves evidence of secondary partitions and was heated by a large fireplace, which may suggest this was the service end of the house, with the cross passage roughly in the position of the existing entrance hall. The southern end has early plasterwork at first floor level, perhaps the great chamber of the house that overlay a ground floor parlour in the position of the existing large drawing room. Two small closets may represent the position of a stair turret and garderobe chamber. The house has been refurbished on several occasions. The secondary partition and plasterwork of the chamber, together with the naïve classical fireplaces, doors and mullioned windows suggest a refurbishment in the third quarter of the 17th Century. Some 18th Century features exist but the next serious alteration seems to have been the remodelling of the drawing room and ground floor rooms in around 1800. The eaves line was then raised and dormers on the garden elevation (and possibly elsewhere) were removed. Much of the early roof of the house remains and appears to include jointed crucks, with a secondary partition of a late 15th to 17th Century date infilling an earlier truss and defining the northern rooms. [7] The building was visited in February 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . District of West Somerset. 36th List. 04/08/1986.
  • <2> Monograph: Aston, M. and Leech, R.. 1977. Historic Towns in Somerset. Committee for Rescue Archaeology in Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset. Survey Number 2. P.42.
  • <3> Monograph: Binding, H. + Bonham-Carter, V.. 1986. Old Dulverton and Around: Dulverton - Bury - Brushford - Exebridge. The Exmoor Press. P.49, 59, Photo.
  • <4> Article in monograph: Gathercole, C.. 2003. English Heritage Extensive Urban Survey: An Archaeological Assessment of Dulverton. The Somerset Urban Archaeological Survey. English Heritage. P.7, 10.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Fisher, J.. c.2003. Dulverton Conservation Area Appraisal. p9, 14, 16, Photo.
  • <6> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Dig Dulverton. Day, J. 23/02/2011.
  • <7> Report: Parker, R.W.. 2011. Historic Building Surveys of Buildings at Dulverton, Somerset. 17-20.
  • <8> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.



Grid reference Centred SS 9147 2793 (24m by 28m) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS92NW

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Related Events/Activities (2)

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Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (5): 1648/15/75
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31406

Record last edited

Mar 10 2021 4:08PM


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