Crowcombe Court, Taunton, Somerset
Crowcombe Court was built as a statement of wealth and a house to entertain in by Thomas Carew. Completed in 1739 to a design by Nathaniel Ireson, who also built Stourhead and Van House, the style is described as English Baroque and sits between the Queen Anne and Georgian periods. The house was owned by the Carew family until the 1960s and, following a number of incarnations, has been saved and restored to its former glory over the last 15 years. The Great Hall makes for a grand entrance with fine examples of Italian plasterwork throughout. The Ballroom, re-modelled in 1870 by Edward Barry, is a riot of Victorian colour and style. The superb marble fireplace is thought to have come from Stowe.
The dining room floor is painted with the arms of the Carew family. The house also benefits from vaulted undercrofts, which would have held the winter stores for the household. The tour includes access to the two principal bedrooms as well as the private drawing room of the owners, David and Kate Kenyon, (dependent on the size of group). The house holds a number of significant items of furniture and paintings. The principal reception rooms are hung with later tapestries alongside Tudor paintings.
The chatelaine Kate Kenyon is a direct descendent of James Morrison, subject of a recent biography entitled ‘A Genius for Money’. Morrison was described as the richest commoner in England in the 18th century and his wealth allowed him to build or purchase a number of great houses including Basildon Park and Fonthill. Later generations have held property in Herefordshire and the Hamptworth estate in Wiltshire. Crowcombe Court is the most recent manifestation of the inheritance, which has come down the generations. The gardens at Crowcombe Court, which run to over 10 acres, have been neglected for more than 60 years. The Kenyons have begun a project, currently in its early stages, called ‘See the Garden Grow’, which will restore these grounds. They include, in various states of restoration, a walled kitchen garden, a wild garden, an arboretum and a small lake. The tour includes the gardens and visitors are welcome to continue to enjoy them after the tour.
Ground floor, elements of first and second floors. Undercroft. External courtyards. Gardens and grounds.
Thank you for a marvellous visit. We had to tear ourselves away and everyone loved it.
The village of Crowcombe is approx. 9 miles west of Taunton on the A358. Follow the signs to the village. The drive entrance is right beside the church. Alternatively from the north, leave the A39 and come over the top of the Quantocks to enjoy the spectacular views. This road enters the village by the church.
The drive is not suitable for a 52-seater coach, so passengers would need to disembark and walk up the drive, which is about 250 metres long.
Tea, coffee and cakes.
No stiletto heels. Because our properties are old and fragile, unfortunately we cannot include children under 14.
Wheelchair accessible on the ground floor and the undercroft floor – unfortunately not accessible for the bedrooms.