Middle Lodge and detached outbuilding


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Middle Lodge, Hestercombe, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8LG


Ordnance survey map of Middle Lodge and detached outbuilding
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Statutory Address:
Middle Lodge, Hestercombe, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8LG

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

Taunton Deane (District Authority)
Cheddon Fitzpaine
National Grid Reference:


A gate lodge to Hestercombe Park, with detached outbuilding, of late-C19 date.

Reasons for Designation

Middle Lodge and detached outbuilding, Hestercombe, Somerset, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest: * as a well-executed example of late-C19 gate lodge, its restrained style is a counterpoint to the contemporary eye-catcher lodge at the south gate, and strongly representative of the hierarchy of building design on late-C19 country estates; * the materials and craftsmanship are of high quality; * the building survives well with an accompanying detached wash house and store.

Historic interest: * Hestercombe is one of England’s outstanding country estates. The late-C19 Portman phase is of considerable significance. This lodge was of importance to the operation of Portman Drive and access to Hestercombe Park, as illustrated by the surviving park gate operating mechanism fitted to the front porch.

Group value: * the lodge is a notable feature of Hestercombe, a Grade I Registered Park and Garden, with which it has group value along with the other listed buildings at Hestercombe; * although not quite intervisible with South Lodge, it has a strong association with it, being of similar date and function. Both lodges stand on Portman Drive as part of the late-C19 reconfiguration of Hestercombe and its principal entrances.


Middle Lodge was built in the mid-1890s to serve the country estate centred on Hestercombe House (listed at Grade II*). Coplestone Warre Bampfylde designed and laid out new gardens at Hestercombe from 1750 and Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll were commissioned to design new garden structures and planting in 1904 (the gardens are Registered at Grade I). The Lutyens/Jekyll work formed part of Hon. E.W.B. Portman’s extensive redevelopment of the Hestercombe Estate which began in 1892 and included the construction of a model farm, as well as garden and barn buildings by Lutyens (listed at various grades). Portman’s remodelling included re-routing Hestercombe Lane, which originally bisected the park, and a more prestigious south entrance to the estate, connecting to the park via a drive now known as Portman Drive.

Middle Lodge was built on Hestercombe Lane by its intersection with Portman Drive where splayed stone walls with piers and gates were placed on both sides of the lane at the entrance to the park. The Lodge controlled access through the park gate. It is shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1904 on its current footprint with the adjacent wash house. Part of the rear garden is shown as being in separate occupation. The design of the lodge may have been the work of architect George Bere Jewell of Yeovil, whose designs for the gate piers to the park are said to be deposited in Somerset Heritage Centre.

The Hestercombe Estate was requisitioned by the British and US armies in the Second World War and in 1944 the freehold was sold to the Crown Estate. A garage was built at the end of the rear garden to Middle Lodge in the late C20 and the lodge was sold by the Crown Estate in the early C21. Hestercombe Gardens are managed by the Hestercombe Gardens Trust, which plans to reopen Portman Drive to pedestrians and cyclists.


A gate lodge to Hestercombe Park with detached outbuilding, built in around 1895 for Hon. E.W.B. Portman.

MATERIALS: of sandstone construction with limestone dressings and timber sashes. The roof is tiled and the rainwater goods are cast iron.

PLAN: built on a T-plan the lodge is of two storeys with a central stair.

EXTERIOR: built in the Domestic Revival style the main elevations have gables with coped verges and kneelers, quoins and mullioned openings with eared architraves and fitted with horned sashes. The steeply-pitched roof has two chimneystacks and decorative ridge tiles. To the west front is a canted stone bay with a tiled roof. Set back to its right is the timber front door with overlight set in a projecting porch with the canopy supported on a low wall and short column. Facing the park gate, the iron operating mechanism formerly used for opening the gate is in the porch wall and fixed to the ground to its south. The rear elevation has a mullioned opening to the left of a central timber kitchen door. Cast-iron pipes to either side of the door serve the first-floor bathroom above.

INTERIOR: the ground floor principal rooms have cast-iron fireplaces with decorative tiling (and one has a stone chimneypiece). There are wood block floors and across the building are late-C19 doors. The stair has stick balusters and turned newels and at half-landing level the wall and bulkhead is timber-lined where it extends into a first-floor room (currently a bathroom). The three first-floor rooms have cast-iron fireplaces. Some of the pine floorboards are modern replacements.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the outbuilding to the east includes a wash house. It is rectangular on plan and constructed of sandstone with dressings to match the lodge, although the interior is brick-lined and has brick floors. To the façade, a wide central opening has a timber plank wall and a timber plank door to the left, which leads into the main wash house with a partitioned privy to the left. The south end of the building is a workshop and has a separate plank door to the end bay with a sash window to its left. The rear elevation has an opening to the right.


Books and journals
Orbach, J, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England. Somerset: south and west, (2014), 355
Parks and Gardens UK – Hestercombe, Taunton, England, Record ID: 1705, accessed 14/05/2018 from http://www.parksandgardens.org/places-and-people/site/1705/history


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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