South Lodge


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
South Lodge, Rowford, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8JY


Ordnance survey map of South Lodge
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Statutory Address:
South Lodge, Rowford, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8JY

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

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


An entrance lodge to Hestercombe Park of late-C19 date.

Reasons for Designation

South Lodge, Hestercombe, Somerset, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest: * as a well-executed example of an eye-catcher entrance lodge to a country estate, in the Revival-style; * the materials and craftsmanship are of high quality; * the building survives largely complete with many of its original exterior features and interior fittings, and attached wash-house structures.

Historic interest: * Hestercombe is one of England’s outstanding country estates. The late-C19 Portman phase is of considerable significance and evident in the fabric of this building in the form of the Portman family crest on a plaque to the façade.

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 in and around the park; * although not quite intervisible with Middle 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.


South 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. South Lodge was built by the new south entrance and is shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1904 on its current footprint. It may have been the work of architect George Bere Jewell of Yeovil.

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. 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 the Hestercombe Estate built in around 1895 for Hon. E.W.B. Portman.

MATERIALS: of sandstone construction with ashlar dressings and mullioned casements with leaded panes. The roofs are tiled and have ashlar stacks. The rainwater goods are cast iron.

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

EXTERIOR: built in the Domestic Revival style prominently featuring stone gables with coped verges and kneelers, quoins and mullioned openings with eared architraves, drip moulds and diamond-patterned glazing. The main (south) elevation is of four bays, those to the right set are set forward within a wide gable. The Portman coat of arms in a sandstone panel is set in the gable with diagonally-set ashlar chimneystacks above. To the left is a square flat-roofed projecting porch, built of sandstone and with the front door set well behind. In the roof above is a dormer with timber mullions and carved architraves and bargeboards. The west front is of two bays in a wide gable with stacks to the apex. To the left is a four-centre arched garden gate, constructed of timber plank and braced. Beyond the gate is the rear kitchen yard, which is covered in diamond setts. Set back against the north flank of the west front is single-storey privy and wash house with lean-to roofs and iron rainwater goods. To the left is the kitchen door and under the eaves to the right is a cast-iron extractor fan outlet. To the left is a further timber plank gate with four-centred arch, with some historic fitments and modern bracing and repairs. Beyond this gate is the principal north front, which is a wide gabled bay with chimneys to the apex, and with ashlar corbelling. The east front has three gabled bays, the central one set forward. There are stone ball finials to the gable apexes. The rainwater hopper heads to the lodge have decorative detailing.

INTERIOR: at the front door is a hallway corridor to the kitchen at the rear. At the entrance to the kitchen is an inserted curved section of brick wall. The kitchen fireplace has been sealed and there is a partition and door to a small room to the south. The hallway corridor turns to the east by the kitchen door and there is a stair to the left and a principal room to the right. There is a door to the larder to the left of the foot of the stair. The tiled corridor continues around the stair where there is a small projecting bay to the east front and a part-glazed door to a principal room at the north end of the lodge. Both principal rooms have fireplaces with at least some modification. The stair has a turned balustrade and there are fireplaces and timber cupboards and wardrobes to the first-floor rooms. There is timber detailing to the ceilings. The braced plank doors across the building are of a single phase with chamfers and stops to the timbers. The windows have late-C19 iron fitments. The floors are covered in pine floorboards and encaustic tiles.


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


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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