1-7 St Mary's Court


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Watery Lane, North Petherton, Bridgwater, TA6 6SY


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Statutory Address:
Watery Lane, North Petherton, Bridgwater, TA6 6SY

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

Sedgemoor (District Authority)
North Petherton
National Grid Reference:


Former coaching inn; early C17, extended and altered in late C18, mid-C19 and late C19; and converted to seven houses in the late C20.

Reasons for Designation

Nos.1-7 St Mary’s Court, a former coaching inn of early-C17 origins that was converted to dwellings in the late C20, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as an interesting survival of a former coaching inn dating from the early C17 with C18 and C19 extensions and adaptations which retains its external character and appearance; * the growth and historical development of the building remains clearly legible; * despite losses and alteration, especially to the interior, the historic roof timbers are a significant survival.

Historic interest:

* as a building where petty sessions were held from the mid-C17, and for its expansion into a hotel in the late C19 at which time an assembly room was added.


The George Hotel (now 1-7 St Mary’s Court), a former coaching inn, is situated at a road junction on Fore Street which was previously known as High Street; one of the principal routes (A38) to the South-West. Several inns were established along its route through North Petherton from at least the C14, and their number fluctuated over the centuries. Between the mid-C17 and the early C18 the number of licensed premises, which included The George, ranged between three and ten. The George is first referred to in 1619, and documents (see Sources) indicate that petty sessions were also held there from at least the mid-C17 and up to the late C19. When built, this early-C17 inn occupied the far eastern corner of a triangular-shaped plot of land bounded by Fore Street to the east, Watery Lane to the north, and a stream to the south. The inn was substantially extended in the C18 with additions fronting Fore Street. Several rear extensions, including a long, rectangular north range parallel to Watery Lane and a shorter south range alongside the stream in the north-west part of the site, were added in the first half of the C19 to provide ancillary accommodation such as stabling. Many coaching inns declined during the second half of the C19, generally as a result of the development of the railway, but The George appears to have bucked this trend, and by 1888 had become the George Hotel. Map and documentary evidence indicates that sometime between 1840 and 1904 the south rear range was extended southwards, fully enclosing the rear yard, and alterations were made to part of the north rear range to provide a first-floor assembly room. By the mid-C20, however, the south range was no longer extant. In 1986 The George closed and was sold by its then owners Whitbread Brewery. The following year consent was approved for the building to be converted to seven dwellings. Alterations carried out during the work included the demolition of the west end of the north range, the construction of garages, rebuilding most of the chimneys; one to the front was removed, and the subdivision of the internal spaces, including the addition of mezzanines to the north range. On completion the former inn was re-named 1-7 St Mary’s Court.


Former coaching inn; early C17, extended and altered in late C18, mid-C19 and late C19; and converted to seven houses in the late C20.

MATERIALS: constructed of rendered and painted stone rubble and red brick, variously painted or exposed, with dressings of brick and limestone, under pantiled roofs. There are brick stacks to the gable ends, and a further stack down the slope of the roof. Most of the windows are late-C19 and late-C20 timber sashes, along with some modern casements. There is a C17 stone mullioned window at the north end of the roadside range, and rooflights to the north range. The doors are all late-C20 replacements.

PLAN: it has an accretional, L-shaped plan comprising the early-C17 part of the building, the adjoining C18 additions to the south-west fronting onto Fore Street, and a late-C19 range of several phases of construction to the rear, parallel with Watery Lane.

EXTERIOR: the front (south-east) elevation faces onto Fore Street and is of two storeys and 2:4:1 bays, with a slightly taller and shallower pitched roof to the two bays to the left end. The existing openings are all depicted on a photograph from around 1900, although one of the original doorways was re-instated during the late-C20 conversion. The two left-hand bays (1 St Mary’s Court) have a semi-circular arched opening which was formerly a carriageway through to the rear yard and is now a window, and a sash window and doorway under a late-C20 hood to the ground floor and two sash windows at first-floor level. The ground floor of the central four bays has a canted bay window and a doorway, also with a hood, and four regularly-spaced sash windows above. The right-hand, corner bay has a front-facing gable with a ground-floor canted bay window and a further window to the left of this and to the first floor is a stone mullioned window of three lights with a hoodmould; its cill is late C20. The right return has two bays (part of 3) and is built of rendered stone and red brick. Its only opening is ground-floor doorway that has been infilled. The attached north range is of two storeys and its left-hand, two-bay section (part of 3) has two horned sash windows on each floor. The taller section (4-7 St Mary’s Court) beyond has four bays and a brick eaves cornice. The north elevation has four evenly-spaced windows on each floor; the first-floor openings have been reduced in height, and three of the ground-floor windows are late-C20 insertions. The west gable end has a blocked doorway at first-floor level. The courtyard (south) elevation of the north range has two segmental-arched, former openings at ground-floor level to the two left-hand bays. They have been altered and contain the entrance doors to Nos.6 and 7 and small flanking windows. To the right, an external staircase previously provided access to a first-floor doorway. The staircase was removed during the 1987 conversion, the doorway was blocked, and new entrances to 4 and 5 were created on the ground floor and a new first-floor window was also added. The rear (north-west) elevation of the front range has C19 additions, and the first floor to the left-hand two bays projects over a recessed, open porch. To the right of this is a one-and-a-half storey addition which also forms a recessed porch, and a late-C20 gabled extension containing two garages. Above this is a single sash window.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


North Petherton. A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds, accessed 7 March 2017 from http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/som/vol6/pp278-282
Deeds for George Hotel 1575-1987, Somerset Heritage Centre A\BUG/1/24/15


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

The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building (save those coloured blue on the map) are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act.

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: 18 Dec 2002
Reference: IOE01/09407/11
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Michael Perry. Source Historic England Archive
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