MSO9464 - Grabbist House, 34-36 West Street, Dunster (Building)


Originally a house named Happy Valley, this building became The Dunster and Minehead Village Hospital in 1867. It then became the Happy Valley Hotel after 1920, before becoming a private house in the mid to late 20th Century.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Nine bed cottage hospital of 1867. Funded by the 6d charged for entry to Dunster Castle grounds. [1] The building is situated within Dunster's Conservation Area. The 2002 Character Appraisal states "To the rear of nos. 34-36 West Street is Grabbist House, well concealed from the main street frontage. This became the Minehead and Dunster Hospital during the latter part of the 19th century, and map evidence suggests it was built in the 1860s and incorporated two earlier buildings." [2] The Cottage Hospital was opened in 1867 in a property leased rent-free from Mr Luttrell and was financed by subscriptions, donations, collections and special events. It accepted both in-patients and out-patients, with laboureres, farm servants and the needy recommended for treatment by subscribers who could recommend one out-patient a year for 10s donation and two out-patients and an in-patient for £1 a year. The hospital catered for parishes as far away as Porlock and Luxborough and the clergy could recommend people from these parishes. It was run by a matron, with a surgeon and dispenser appointed annually. [3] The Tithe Map depicts two smaller square buildings in this location, with various enclosures also shown. The buildings and enclosures are labelled 91, which the accompanying Apportionment describes as "Happy Valley: House Garden etc", owned and occupied by John Barnes. The relationship of these buildings with the current structure is not clear. [4] Grabbist House is depicted and labelled at SS 9889 4343 on 2018 MasterMap data. [5] A large house on West Street known as Happy Valley, owned by John Crump of Minehead, was acquired after his death in 1868 by GF Luttrell. The Dunster and Minehead Village Hospital was established here in 1867, funded by subscriptions, church collections and small payments from patients. In later years funds were raised from opening the Castle grounds. Later additions included a mortuary, a male ward (1901) and operating theatre (1904). The building was inadequate for the patient numbers using the service and it was merged with the Luttrell Memorial Hospital in Minehead in 1920. The building became a hotel known as Happy Valley and then a private house. [6] The building is labelled "The Happy Valley Hotel" on the 6 inch 1962 Ordnance Survey map. [7] The building is labelled "Grabbist House" on the 25 inch 1972 Ordnance Survey map. [8] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Collection: RCHME. 1991-1995. DUNSTER COTTAGE HOSPITAL, WEST STREET.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Fisher, J.. 2002. Dunster Conservation Area Character Appraisal. p25.
  • <3> Monograph: Binding, H.. Discovering Dunster. The Exmoor Press. p20.
  • <4> Map: 1842. Dunster Tithe Map and Apportionment. 6 chains = 1 inch.
  • <5>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap. [Mapped feature: #39184 ]
  • <6> Unpublished document: Siraut, M.. Undated. Dunster Hospital. pp 2-3.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1972. 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1061218, Extant 12 October 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 9889 4343 (32m by 14m)
Map sheet SS94SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO9463
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE55
  • NBR Index Number: 100772
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1061218

Record last edited

Oct 12 2021 2:47PM


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