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The Old Armoury, Boundary Railings, and Rear Outbuilding, Somerton

Description: The Old Armoury, Boundary Railings, and Rear Outbuilding

Grade: II
Date Listed: 30 September 1985
English Heritage Building ID: 263011

OS Grid Reference: ST4913728708
OS Grid Coordinates: 349137, 128708
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0555, -2.7271

Location: North Street, Somerton, Somerset TA11 7NY

Locality: Somerton
Local Authority: South Somerset District Council
County: Somerset
Country: England
Postcode: TA11 7NY

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Listing Text


508/9/203 NORTH STREET
30-SEP-85 The Old Armoury, Boundary Railings, a
nd Rear Outbuilding

(Formerly listed as:


House (formerly The Old Armoury and Jacob's Well) in row. Probably late C18 with C19 additions and modifications.

MATERIALS: Local lias stone cut and squared; clay pantile roof between coped gables. There is a brick stack to the right hand end and a re-built axial stack to bat three.

PLAN: The principal range is of two storeys and four bays, incorporating a passageway behind double doors which gives access direct to the rear courtyard and garden. At right angles to the rear is an attached former stable range which was added in the C19.

EXTERIOR: Sash windows of sixteen-panes in plain openings with dovetailed stone lintels in bays one to three; C20 doorway set in a deep recess in bay two and, to bay four is a tall three-centre arched opening with double boarded doors, no window over. The rear elevation of the main range has been extended with a single storey outshut which is in keeping with the rest of the building. The weatherboarding to the rear of the carriage arch has been renewed and a sash window inserted above the archway in the early C21. The rear wing, formerly the stable range, has early-C21 timber casements to its south elevation and rear gable end; a window in the west elevation marks the position of a former doorway.
INTERIOR: The ground floor has a central hallway with moulded doorcases and panelled doors. The principal rooms to the front retain picture rails dating from the second half of the C19; the fireplaces have been replaced. Beyond the original rear wall are the former stable range and a C20 lean-to addition housing a single room. The stair is enclosed, with plain newel posts and plain stick balusters to the first floor landing. First floor doors are four-panelled examples similar to those on the ground floor, with slender moulded surrounds. The roof timbers comprise A-frame trusses, some with collars, and single purlins. The smaller ground floor room in the rear wing (former stable range) has a fireplace with a stone lintel. The roof structure is exposed to the upper floor: it is steeply-pitched with trusses formed from principal rafters, tie beam and single purlins.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The house is bounded to the front by iron railings which extend beyond the carriage arch with short returns to the building. The railings have bud finials, matching gates, and are set into a low stone kerb. In the rear garden is a detached outbuilding, possibly a barn. It is built of similar materials to the house and has a wide plank door with re-used strap hinges, and a two-light window to its north elevation. There are no internal divisions to the building and the roof is of machine-cut timber.

HISTORY: By the end of the C18 the town of Somerton was described as having an 'air of neatness and respectability'. One of the earliest references to North Street occurs in 1624-5, although many of the houses in the street date mostly from the earlier C19. The Old Armoury on the east side of North Street is a four-bay townhouse, running along the street frontage. It is believed to date from the late C18 and is depicted on an 1806 map of the town. During the C19 an attached stable range and a detached outbuilding, possibly a barn, were to the rear. Historical sources indicate that G Company of the 3rd Voluntary Battalion of Prince Albert's Somerset Light Infantry was stationed at the house for a number of years from 1894. It is understood that the stable range was converted to a separate dwelling known as Jacob's Well in circa 1962, but now forms the rear wing of The Old Armoury.

SOURCES: Somerton Local History Group, The Old Houses of Somerton (2004)
R. W. Dunning (editor), A. P. Baggs, R. J. E. Bush, Margaret Tomlinson (1974) 'Parishes: Somerton', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 3, pp. 129-153. URL: Accessed on 20th April 2010.
Map of Somerton - part of Enclosure Act (1806) Accessed on 20th April 2010

REASON FOR DESIGNATION: The Old Armoury, its rear outbuilding, and boundary railings are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: the principal elevation, fronting onto North Street, is a good late-C18 composition with pleasing proportions; it is little altered
* Historical Interest: the survival of the former stable range, now incorporated into the house, and the detached outbuilding in the rear garden provide evidence for the historical development of the house
* Fittings: the interior of the house retains a range of late-C18 and C19 joinery such as the staircases, architrave and panelled doors. Externally, there are elegant railings to the front boundary
* Group Value: with numerous other listed buildings in the immediate vicinity

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.