Chapel Cleeve Manor, Nr Minehead, Somerset
Chapel Cleeve Manor started life in the 1450s as a hostel for pilgrims attending the chapel of St Mary, which was built by the monks of Cleeve Abbey in the mid 15th century. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries the house was leased, by Henry VIII to Anthony Busted, however this was revoked and the estate given to Robert Radcliffe, 1st Earl of Sussex for his services to the king. In the early 17th century the property was owned by the Stewkley family, who used it as a family home until 1723. It was then purchased by Sir James Langham, 7th Baronet. In the early 19th century woods were planted on the estate, when the house was extended following designs by Richard Carver.
In World War I the house was occupied by the Lysaght family who added the current main entrance and a ballroom, which is now used as the dining room. It was enlarged in the 19th and 20th centuries when it was a private house and then a hotel. It is a Grade II* listed building.
Subject of Country House Rescue, it cost only £360,000 to buy in 1998 and needs £500,000 spent on repairs. Meet intrepid owner, Jeannie Wilkins, who has taken on the beast and is trying to make it pay, for real life views on the problems of big, old houses.
Tour of the house led by owner Jeannie Wilkins.
Jeannie knows all the history and is unique, doing all the work to the property herself. Very interesting and everyone pleased. The tea was superb ... It was an excellent visit in every way. Jeannie was an excellent hostess and we were extremely well fed.
From the A39 Williton to Minehead: At Washford (nasty left bend, West Somerset Steam Railway station on right) take next right turn to Old Cleeve, Chapel Cleeve. Pass Binham Grange on left. Take second left (look for SLOW on road). Drive bears to left, metal gates open on right. Follow drive to front of house.
Tea, coffee and home-made cakes.
Because our properties are old and fragile, unfortunately we cannot include children under 14.
There are steps into the house.