MSO8307 - Bickham Manor, Timberscombe (Building)


Bickham Manor is an L-plan 17th Century house, with an 18th Century west wing, altered in the 20th Century. It was the home of the Elsworth family. It may incorporate part of the earlier manor and chapel.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 9505 4177] Bickham [NR] [1] Biccombe was one of the manors which were anciently held of the castle of Dunster, and at an early period a family is found here that had assumed the local surname. In 1791 Biccombe was the seat of William Withycombe Esq. [2] Of the medieval manor house at Bickham nothing is now visible from the outside and nothing of interest within. The chapel wing disappeared within living memory. [3] The house at SS 9502 4178 is of no architectural interest. (See G.P.AO/65/124/2.) [4] Manor house. Part of the medieval manor and chapel may be incorporated into the C17 L-plan house, west wing added C18, reroofed, enlarged on south west front early C20 and house roughcast, Roughcast over rubble, plinth to east wing and centre block, slate roofs, gabled fronted overhanging eaves, large external stacks to kitchen gable end and to west gable end. Tall early C20 roughcast stacks. Plan: irregular U-plan; probably 3-cell and cross passage with cross wing, corridor inserted on north west front when entrance resited and balancing cross wing added; facing north west with 2-bay loggia right and walls enclosing garden left. North west front: 2 storeys with attic, 2:3:2 bays, irregularly gabled centre, gabled wings, glazed roundels gable ends, others all 12-pane sash windows, empty semi-circular headed niche above central entrance, 3 X 4 panel door with raised surrounds, early C20 flat roofed porch carried on shaped brackets with dentil moulded cornice, 4 curved stops. To right catslide roof with dormer over 2 bay loggia, right return similarly gabled and fenestrated, 2 windows first floor, 3 ground floor. Rear elevation 2:5 bays, gable end left, irregularly placed 12-pane sash windows, C18 door to cross passage between second and third bays right. Interior: partially viewed. Main feature of interest is dogleg stair with mid-late C18 Chinese Chippendale style dog-gate and short section of balustrade between colonnettes, moulded surround with keystone to semi-circular arched opening to stairwell. Reset t16 panelling with frieze in room beyond. Wall enclosing garden on north east front including 2 bay structure abutting house, red sandstone random rubble, about 3 metres high. This was the home of the Elsworth family one of whom, Richard, endowed the school (not included) at Timberscombe, commemorated by a handsome plaque on the subsequently altered building. The chest tomb of William Withycombe (qv) of Bickham is in the churchyard of St John the Baptist, Carhampton CP. [3,5] The building was visited in June 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 5. [6] The building is depicted on 2018 MasterMap data and labelled "Bickham Manor". [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1892-1906. County Series, 2nd Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1903.
  • <2> Monograph: Savage, J.. 1830. A History of the Hundred of Carhampton. 573-5.
  • <3> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books. 323.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 26 May 1965.
  • <5> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . HHR: West Somerset District (Carhampton et al) (5 June 1985) 54.
  • <6> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <7>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap. [Mapped feature: #40399 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 9503 4179 (47m by 44m)
Map sheet SS94SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (5): 444/7/101/1
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10614
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE22
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36911
  • Somerset SMR PRN

Record last edited

Jun 2 2021 9:56AM


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