MSO12068 - No 18, Church Street, Dunster (Building)


A late medieval former priest's house, much restored c.1877 by GE Street. Recent investigation confirms that the house contains a late medieval roof structure and part first floor structure.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Former Priest's House. Late medieval structure, much restored in circa 1877 by G E Street. Rubble sandstone and timber framing, tiled roof, tall brick chimney stacks. Two storeys. Two diamond-leaded wood mullion casements to first floor facing Church Street with mullioned window below. Four-centred door to churchyard. [1] English Heritage Listed Building Number: 264659. First Listed on 22/05/1969. [2] [SS 9905 4363 - Ordnance Survey 1:2500 1972] No 18, Grade II, Church Street. Former Priest's House. Late medieval structure, much restored in circa 1877 by G. E. Street. (For full description see list.) [3] "The timber-framed lodge at the entry to the churchyard administers a regrettable jolt. Yet it is genuine. But GE Street restored it into a Home Counties appearance. His are the tiles on the roof and the chimneys." [4] The building is situated in Dunster's Conservation Area. The 2002 Character Appraisal states "there are several other good frontages, most notably the late medieval timber framed former Priest’s House facing the churchyard. It may have fallen into disrepair before being heavily restored by G. E. Street in about 1877. There are tall Tudor style brick stacks, mullioned casements with diamond-leaded panes and a four-centred entrance door." [5] The building was visited in April 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. [6] 18 Church Street was subject to a historic building assessment in 2015. This was in order to understand the date, form, function and development of the building from its origins, with the aim of informing the impact of any proposed development on the historic elements of the building. The report states that the building would appear to have origins in the late medieval period and is thought to have been a two storey, four bay, two cell priest house. Alterations undertaken in the late 19th Century by the architect George Edmund Street radically changed the appearance of the building and introduced a central stair case set between two rooms. However, the building does appear to contain a late medieval roof structure and part first floor structure. Elements of the exterior, principally the west elevation, may contain early timberwork but this may have been reused from elsewhere. [7] The site was subject to a watching brief in June 2015 when an extension was added to the rear of the property in the location of a 20th Century extension and previous coal store. A wall footing for a stone wall was noted aligned roughly east to west. The wall had either suffered from stone robbing or it formed a less substantial structure than the existing house, perhaps representing the structural footprint depicted on the 1840s Tithe Map showing a wider structure than the existing house. The remains of this feature were thought to survive beneath the gardens of the property. A small collection of finds were recovered, including several pieces of pottery, roofing slate and ceramic building material. [8] A map of Dunster dating to the late 18th Century suggests that the present house originally extended much further to the north, towards St George's Church. It may, however, have been set back slightly from Church Street. [9] The Tithe Map shows the footprint of the house much reduced and apparently occupying the whole of the area of house and garden currently depicted on current MasterMap data. There was, however, a small outbuilding to the northeast, which appears to have occupied the northeastern corner of the previous extent of the house (depicted in [9]) and perhaps incorporating some of its fabric. This house is shown as abutting Church Street. [10] The building is depicted on 2018 MasterMap data and labelled "18". [12] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [13]

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <1> Index: 4/8/1983. Twenty-fifth List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. District of West Somerset (Somerset).
  • <2> Unassigned: Webster CJ, Historic Environment Record. 2005. Staff Comments, Somerset County Council.
  • <3> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . DOE (HHR) West Somerset District (Dunster Ph) Somerset 4th August 1983 11.
  • <4> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books. p158.
  • <5> Report: Fisher, J.. 2002. Dunster Conservation Area Character Appraisal. Exmoor National Park Authority. p22.
  • <6> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <7> Report: Humphreys, C., Chapman, S. and Boyd, N.. 2015. 18 Church Street, Dunster, Somerset: Desk based assessment and historic building recording.
  • <8> Report: Bampton, J.. 2015. ENPA HER Report form: Archaeological monitoring and recording at 18 Church Street, Dunster, Somerset during conservation repairs, services upgrade and replacement of defective modern extensions.
  • <9>XY Map: Unknown. 1790. Map of Dunster. 5 chains: 1 inch. [Mapped feature: #43511 ]
  • <10> Map: 1842. Dunster Tithe Map and Apportionment. 6 chains = 1 inch.
  • <11> Report: Brigers, J.L.. 2018. The Parish Church of St George, Dunster, Somerset: A watching brief in the churchyard.
  • <12> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap.
  • <13> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36932, Extant 18 May 2022.
  • <14> Report: Pratt, N. and Thurlow, T.. 2018. Dunster Conservation Area: appraisal document. Exmoor National Park Authority. p 15, 21, 33, 60, 94, Figure 29.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 26/4/27
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO9426
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE31
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36932
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34927



Grid reference Centred SS 9905 4364 (19m by 22m) Historic mapping
Map sheet SS94SE

Finds (5)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Sep 5 2022 2:29PM


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