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


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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 47930 71894


ST 47 SE WRAXALL TOWER HOUSE LANE (south-west side)

3/193 Birdcombe Court and Birdcombe 13.10.52 Court Farmhouse - II*

Manor or court house. Probably C14, altered and extended mid - late C15 (tower and south wing), C17 and early - mid C19 (probably c.1834). Rendered - pantiled and double Roman tiled roofs, hipped to the left with a moulded cornice; rendered stacks. A T-plan building, formerly with an open hall to the north and a solar cross-wing to the south; later extensions to each side. The front elevation is dominated by the highly unusual 5-stage porch and stair-tower: probably mid - late C15, although the upper stages terminating in an ogee-domed lead roof are probably later; 2-stage buttress with off-sets to either side of a wide 4-centred archway which has a double ogee moulded surround; the second and third stages have 2-light windows with hollow chamfered mullions and cusped heads, above are 2-light windows in hollow surrounds; the porch has a tierceron vault with heraldic bosses (possibly the Courtenay and Perceval families) and springing on male and female heads in C15 head-dresses; further, partly blocked, wide 4-centred arch to north; the front door to the cross passage is off-set and has a moulded and pointed surround and a hoodmould with diamond stops. To the left of the tower is the 2 storey, single bay end of the cross wing: 2:3:2- light C19 bay window on the ground floor with gothick cusped pointed lights; 4-light cross window on the first floor in ovolo moulded surrounds and mullions. To the right of the tower is an early - mid C19 extension: 3 storeys, two 3-light casement windows with wooden cusped tracery heads and under dripmoulds. The south elevation of the cross-wing has 4 buttresses with off-sets: 3 bays; to the east is a 2-light window, in the centre a single light window both with cinquefoil heads; to the west is a C19 bay window with cusped lights on the ground floor and above is a 2-light window with a hollow moulded surround and pointed heads. Setback to the west is a C17 - C18 extension: rubble, 2 storeys; 3 bays, 2- and 3-light casement windows (one chamfered on the first floor); central projecting C20 porch flanked by buttresses which support a gable. At the far left (west) is a projecting 2-storey wing (formerly a barn): two 2- and 3-light casement windows and a central C20 door. Interior. Cross passage with a gallery above: to the south wing are two doorways with chamfered surrounds and 4-centred heads; the head beam of the screen survives, and is moulded with an embattled upper edge; rear doorway is plain chamfered and has a 2-centred head; beyond the rear door is a small room (possibly formerly having a stairway) with a 2-centred, hollow-step-ogee moulded doorway. Hall: inserted late C16/early C17 fireplace; raised cruck truss with an arch-braced, cambered collar beam (windbraces removed). Tower: the doorway to the first stage has an ogee-hollow moulded surround and a 4-centred head; chamfered fire surround in first room; newel stair; stop-chamfered surrounds to doors on second and third stages. South or cross wing was formerly 2 rooms (now subdivided into 3, with the west one being in Birdcombe Farmhouse: C19 stair; first floor west room has a hollow-ogee moulded stone doorway and a fireplace with a moulded surround and mantelshelf; the room below has hollow-double ogee moulded beams; the roof has 4 arch-braced collar beam trusses (the principals have curved feet as raised crucks), butt purlins and 2 tiers of windbraces, (the lower one with incised cusping), embattled wall plate. (N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England : North Somerset and Bristol, 1958. M.R. Bismanis and N. Cooper Archaeological Journal, 134, 1977. E.H.D. Williams and R.G. Gilson, Unpublished Report, Somerset and South Avon Vernacular Architecture, 1980).

Listing NGR: ST4793071894


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (1958)
'Archaeological Journal' in Archaeological Journal, (1977)
Williams, E H D , 'Report of the Somerset Vernacular Architecture Group' in Report of the Somerset Vernacular Architecture Group, ()


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

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Date: 23 Aug 2007
Reference: IOE01/16301/02
Rights: Copyright IoE Michael Bass. Source Historic England Archive
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