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Description: Old Ansford Inn
Date Listed: 24 March 1961
English Heritage Building ID: 261956
OS Grid Reference: ST6418332794
OS Grid Coordinates: 364183, 132794
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0933, -2.5128
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1606/6/23 ANSFORD HILL
24-MAR-61 (West side)
OLD ANSFORD INN
Former coaching inn, private house, school, and now converted to five separate residences. C17 with late C18 additions.
MATERIALS: Coursed, squared local Cary stone with dressings of Doulting stone and brick. The roof is now of clay tiles, but was formerly thatched. There are stone slate base courses to the original C17 structure and coped gables to the extremities. The chimneystacks are of brick.
PLAN: Accretional, multi-phase plan. The C17 part is one and a half storeys; the C18 additions are of two storeys with attics.
EXTERIOR: The front (east) elevation comprises three plus two bays. The right hand two bays represent the C17 part of the building. There are two C19 sash windows on the ground floor, one set below an open pediment, and a four-light and a three-light casement to the first floor. The left hand three bays were added in the late C18 and have sash windows of twenty four panes with keystones and beaded surrounds to both the ground and first floors. Between bays three and four is an entrance porch with Tuscan pilasters and a part-glazed door with a segmental arched fanlight above. This porch dates from the late C20 and replaced a portico that was dismantled in the 1950s. The north gable wall has a blocked opening with stone chamfered surround to the ground floor and a late C19 sash window above. The south side has a similar range of windows, many with brick segmental arched lintels, and some blocked openings. The rear (west) wing appears more functional in character, with large blocked openings to the ground floor, and may have once been a stable and/or storage range. A vertical joint in the masonry of this wing indicates that it has either been extended slightly westwards, or the roof height has been raised. A number of the casement windows in this wing appear to be replacements or later insertions.
INTERIOR: The earlier part of the house retains some C17 features, including exposed chamfered ceiling beams and the remains of part of a winder staircase to the first floor. The roof structure in the earliest part has collared trusses with tie beams; one of which is a closed truss, whilst the roof timbers in the rear wing are partly exposed in the converted attic floor and are of A-frame construction consisting of principal rafters with dovetailed collars. Although there have been some repairs, it also retains some trenched purlins. Most of the other internal features throughout the building date from the late C20 conversion and modernisation.
HISTORY: The Old Ansford Inn is shown on a c.1687 map of Castle Cary and was licensed as an inn until 1878. It was associated with the diarist Parson James Woodforde (1740-1803) who frequented the premises during the C18 and referred to it in his published diaries which provide an insight into C18 rural England.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: The Old Ansford Inn is an interesting and early example of a former coaching inn with two principal construction phases; the C17 and late C18. It is clearly of special interest in terms of its overall architectural quality and substantially intact external fabric. It has additional interest through its historical associations with Parson Woodforde, a renowned C18 diarist.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.