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.

Mendip (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 55209 46114



ST5446 THE LIBERTY 662-1/6/308 (East side) 12/11/53 No.19 Claver Morris House


Detached canonical house, now part of Wells Cathedral School. Built in 1699 by Dr Claver Morris, at a cost of »807/14/6. Local stone rubble, partly rendered, with ashlar dressings, hipped Welsh slate roof, rendered chimney stacks. PLAN: symmetrical double-depth plan with central hall, projecting porch and fireplaces to centre spine. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys with attics and basement, 5 bays, of which the narrow centre bay projects as a full-height porch. Heavy modillion cornice with brackets, incorporating eaves gutter. Basement windows (actually above ground) of 2-lights, having plain stone mullions and moulded architrave. At ground and first-floors all windows are 12-pane sashes in bold stone bolection-mould architraves; those to the ground floor also have moulded cornices. The glazing-bars are too thin for sashes of 1699, which must have been replaced in the mid or late C18. There is a small hipped dormer with a glazed narrow door central to the steep hipped roof with interior valley. In the returns of the porch at first-floor level are circular windows with bolection mould surrounds; entrance from 14 steps, almost fully glazed door with 9 panes, with 3-pane transom-light over, set in moulded eared architrave with pediment hood over frieze of acanthus leaves. Flat roofed extension at basement level on south side, above on the south flank of the house a pointed arched single-light window with square head to ground-floor level and to first floor a 2-light ovolo-mould mullioned window with moulded hood. Similar windows on the north side, and also an oval recess having a square label. Rear windows similar, but some larger windows with mullion and transom. INTERIOR: retains considerable detailing corresponding with 1699 date, including bolection-moulded panelled doors, doorcases and fireplaces, including one very large fireplace in a rear room. The first floor left room has an Adamesque fireplace, with, to its left a triple opening with central elliptical arch, with architraves, keystones and imposts. Shutters remain to front windows. The staircase has heavy turned painted balusters, and a moulded handrail. There are various enriched cornices, including one with bamboo-based detail, and one plastered ceiling has very large panels with raised mould surrounds. In the basement is a central very wide beam. HISTORICAL NOTE: in 1620 '... a little garden 46 feet wide and 66 feet long...' was granted to Roger Bourne, but the first recorded house is that now on the site. There were several proposals by the Dean and Chapter to take it over as a canonical house, but these were not followed through, and, after a brief period from 1940 to 1943 as a school, the property was leased to the Cathedral School in 1955. It is a very good example of a house of its period, given added dignity by raising the main floor on a half-basement as a 'piano nobile'. (Bailey S: Canonical Houses of Wells: Gloucester: 1982-: 178; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 327).

Listing NGR: ST5520946114


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Bailey, S, Canonical Houses of Wells, (1982), 178
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (1958), 327


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: 28 Apr 2006
Reference: IOE01/15327/25
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Barker. Source Historic England Archive
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