Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1129053.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 27-Feb-2020 at 18:01:26.


Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Somerset (Unitary Authority)
Wraxall and Failand
National Grid Reference:
ST 50646 71505





Large country house. Built 1813 for John Seymour. Extensively remodelled 1863-66 by John Norton for William Gibbs; altered 1885-89 by Henry Woodyer; chapel, 1873-75 by Arthur Blomfield, further alterations c. 1890. Ashlar; Cotswold stone slate, plain tiled and lead roofs; ashlar octagonal stacks on tall bases. Irregular and asymmetrical in the High Victorian Gothic Revival style. The south elevation is an asymmetrical but balanced composition with the core of the older house as a 3 bay central section of 3 storeys. The centre is advanced and has a 3 storey canted bay of 1:4:1 light cross windows with cusped heads, bands of quatrefoils above; thin octagonal corner turrets; panelled parapet with a tall, central 2-light attic window; steeply pitched, pyramidal lead roof with ornamental cresting; flanking clustered stacks. The outer bays of the centre terminate in gables with finials: 4-light cross windows under square hoodmoulds; to the right is a tourelle supported on a buttress and terminating in a conical lead roof; the left bay has a thin octagonal turret and one bay of a veranda of c.1885. The veranda extends, for 3 large 4-centred arches and 2 small pointed arches, in front of the single storey drawing room wing. This wing has an arcaded parapet, 3-light windows with cusped ogee heads and buttresses terminating in pinnacle. The arches of the veranda are supported on clustered granite columns; open arcading in the spandrels; double row of quatrefoils to the parapet. At the right [east] end the single storey library wing is of 3 bays with 3-light Perpendicular style windows under hoodmoulds; pierced quatrefoil parapet. The east elevation begins with the gable end of the library: canted bay of 2:4:2 lights, cusped tracery, and a pierced quatrefoil parapet with pinnacles. Central part is 3-storeys and attics in 4 gables with cusped lancet windows: three 2 storey bay windows of 1:3:1 light cross windows with cusped ogee heads and a pierced quatrefoil parapet (1885). At the left, adjoining the library wing, a corridor projects, ending in gabled porch with a moulded arch, under a dripmould and resting on squat granite columns on ashlar plinths; the tympanum bears a carved panel of arms and an inscription. To the north a double pitched servants' wing projects: 4 bays of 3-light Gothic style windows with an oriel to the second bay and a projecting square tower corbelled o,ut at the end. An archway from the rear of the servants' wing carries an enclosed bridge to the Chapel: ashlar on a coursed rubble base; plain tiled roof with a crested ridge and behind an open arcaded parapet with pinnacles. The details are in a Geommetrical style: three 2-light windows to the nave with trefoil heads; buttresses with off-sets between; gable transepts or side chapels project slightly and have smaller 2-light windows; 5 sided apse with a blank arcading on the lower part and 2-light windows with deeply cusped circles to the upper part; rose window to west gable; octagonal tower with a spire on an arcaded base to the south-west corner. INTERIOR retains a remarkable number of its original fixtures and fittings by Crace, Norton, Blomfield and Woodyer. The porch and entrance corridor have stone vaulted roofs, panelled doors and Minton tiled floors. The Library (1860's) has an arch-braced collar beam roof with windbraces; panelled walls and inscribed frieze; coloured marble Gothic fireplace with twisted columns and an ogee head. Dining Room (1880's): stone carved pointed-arched outer doorway (dated 1889); panelled ceiling and dado; parquet floor; pink polished granite fireplace in the 'muscular' Gothic style with a segmental head and carved wooden overmantel with inset mirror; 'lincrusta' wallpaper by Morris and Co; 4 octagonal granite piers. The Staircase Hall (1860's, remodelled 1880's): large open well stone staircase and galleries with decoration of fleurons and paterae; decorative wrought iron balustrading with twisted columns; large ashlar fireplace with quatrefoil parapet and pinnacles and inset statues; large open timber lantern to the roof; stencilled walls. Drawing Room: panelled and stencilled ceiling and elaborate carved frieze now covered in later wall paper, late-nineteenth century Venetian marble fireplace. Billiard Room; panelling including fitted seatsand scoreboard; heated billiard table carved by James Plunket; inglenook fireplace; elaborate timber roof. The smaller rooms also contain many important fittings: parquet floors; stencilled walls; panelling, fireplaces and doors, carved or moulded in a Gothic style. Chapel: Nave has quadripartite rib vaults, all stencilled, and blank arcading to the walls; the glass is very fine (designed by H.E. Wooldridge in the Nave) and made by Powell's; mosaic floors and walls of apse, by Salviati (designed by Wooldridge); fine decorative ironwork by Hart, Son, Pearce and Co. The bedrooms, service rooms and servants rooms all retain most of their original features including doors, doorcases, shutters, skirting boards and plaster ceilings. Many of the bedrooms retain their original early-nineteenth century 'Tudor' Gothic style decoration, especially their doorcases, doors and marble fireplaces. Most of the service rooms retain all their original fittings and cupboards; some with tiling. Service court to rear has various outbuildings including a dog or hound cage with iron bars. This important High Victorian country house survives remarkably well with almost all its original Victorian fittings. It also still retains much of its original hot-air heating and ventilation system. SOURCES. The Builder, 10.II.1866. Country Life, 17.V.1902. N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England : North Somerset and Bristol, 1958. M. Girouard, The Victorian Country House, 1979).


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Girouard, M, The Victorian Country House, (1971)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (1958)
'Country Life' in 17 May, (1902)
'The Builder' in 10 February, (1866)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic interest in England, Part 1 Avon,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 24 Jun 2006
Reference: IOE01/15849/07
Rights: Copyright IoE Lorna Freeman. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].