About This 12th Century Jacobean House For Sale In Somerset England
Originally constructed in the 12th century as a Benedictine Nunnery, this amazing building was believed to have been funded by the Fitzhardinges family, from Berkeley Castle. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, Henry Vlll gifted the property to John Drew of Bristol. In the late 19th century, Barrow Court was sold to Anthony Gibbs, son of William Gibbs of Tyntesfield, who then sold it to his brother Henry Martin Gibbs, High Sheriff of Somerset. He largely rebuilt the Jacobean house and the church into the form you see today.
Gibbs went on to commission the prominent British artist and garden designer Francis Inigo Thomas to layout the much-admired Parterre and formal gardens which featured in the 1902 edition of Country Life. During the Second World War the property was used as a military hospital and shortly after became a college of education from 1949 to 1976. During this time, it remained in the Gibbs family ownership until they sold the property in 1976. Following this sale, the Barrow Court estate was divided into seven separate dwellings.
Barrow Court is a handsome Grade II* listed country house where the principal part of the main house, which is what is being sold, has remained one residence since the 1970s. In 1980, the owner carried out a meticulous restoration of the building with an ambition to revive the house to its former glory and reinstate all the notable features. The house is filled with several exceptional period features and striking architectural style. These include original decorative friezes, ornate stone and wooden fireplaces, fine ceilings, stone mullion windows, delicate plaster-works of Gothic and Renaissance motifs, a first floor chapel and an impressive Jacobean staircase. There is a wonderful blend of magnificent entertaining rooms, together with more restrained spaces for family life. One of the key formal rooms is the Great Hall with its spectacular Corinthian pillar fireplace, with Henry Gibbs coat of arms above. Next to The Great Hall is a more intimate panelled drawing room on a raised dais with rich arabesque patterned ceiling and decorative frieze. The first floor panelled Solar is also remarkable in terms of detail and design.
The first floor comprises the principal bedroom, two further bedrooms, two dressing rooms, a music room, sitting room and two bathrooms. On the second floor the Long Gallery, with its beautiful wide oak floorboards, comprises of five bedrooms, two family bathrooms, a kitchen and a number of storerooms. Within the main house there is a further self-contained apartment and two cellars; a wine cellar, workshop, walk-in safe and a utility room.
The impressive Grade ll listed gardens were designed and laid out by Inigo Thomas in the 1890s and which are co-owned, extend to c. 4.25 acres. They are immaculately maintained and include a number of terraces, vistas, pavilions and a notable obelisk pillar. The gardens are on descending levels leading from a broad terrace to a pond encircled by yew hedging and flanked by formal borders on either side. The sculptures are by Alfred Drury and an elegant balustrade borders a large level lawn with vistas to the valley beyond.
Beyond the formal gardens is a magnificent Arboretum which is home to a wonderful collection of mature trees including Katsura, Cypresses, Judas and Gingko. Much of the surrounding farmland at Barrow Court is owned by members of the Gibbs family.