Babington, Somerset

Babington, Somerset

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Babington
latitude= 51.258210
longitude= -2.422126
population =
shire_district= Mendip
shire_county = Somerset
region= South West England
constituency_westminster= Wansdyke to be North East Somerset from next general election.
os_grid_reference= ST706510
Babington is a small village between Radstock and Frome, Somerset, England, which has now largely disappeared.

The village dates from medieval times but appears to have been largely demolished to make way for the manor house around 1705.cite web |url= |title=Park, Babington House, Babington |accessdate=2007-09-03 |format= |work=Somerset Historic Environment Record ] Evidence of the medieval village was found during excavations carried out in 1997. [cite web |url= |title=Evaluation, Babington House (1997) |accessdate=2007-09-03 |format= |work=Somerset Historic Environment Record ]

It is known that the manor was sold by Thomas and Mary Mankham to Joan Elcode, a widow, in a deed dated Easter 1572. The Manor then contained 7 messuages, one cottage, 10 tofts, 1 water mill, 10 gardens, 14 orchards, convert|300|acre|m2|0 of land, convert|120|acre|m2|0 of meadow, convert|160|acre|m2|0 of pasture, convert|20|acre|m2|0 of wood, convert|120|acre|m2|0 of furze and 4s annual rent and 1 lb of pepper. [cite web |url= |title=Deserted medieval village, Babington |accessdate=2007-09-03 |format= |work=Somerset Historic Environment Record ]

Babington House

Babington House is a mansion in landscaped grounds. There is evidence of buildings on the site from medieval times, and it is known that the property passed through several hands until it was forfeit to the Crown in 1593. By the late 17th century, the manor belonged to Thomas Pacey who left it to his sister Margaret. She was married to a Bristol alderman, William Crabb, and subsequently passed the manor on to their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, wife of Henry Mompesson of Corston, Wiltshire (1633–1715) who was Sheriff of Somerset in 1698.

The current house was built around 1705 for Henry Mompesson, probably on the foundations of an earlier building, and has since been extensively altered and extended, including in 1790, possibly by John Pinch, for Captain Charles Knatchbull, who had inherited it via Mrs Elizabeth Long the Mompessons' niece. Babington was inherited by successive members of the Knatchbull family until 1952, when the House and immediate grounds were sold. The House subsequently passed through several hands before becoming a hotel, club and wedding venue in 2000. It has hosted many events including the wedding on 21 August 2005 of Natasha Kaplinsky to Justin Bower. [cite web |url= |title= Natasha Kaplinsky |accessdate=2007-09-03 |format= |work=Rex Features ]

This example of Georgian architecture has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building. [cite web | title= Babington House | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-09-03] The 18th century stable block and coach house have now been made into three separate dwellings. [cite web | title= Stables and coach house adjacent to Babington House | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-09-03] The grounds also contain a listed ice house [cite web | title= Ice house in grounds to south-west of Babington House | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-09-03] and two impressive sets of gates. [cite web | title= Gate piers and flanking walls with secondary piers at former driveway entrance to Babington House | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-09-03] [cite web | title= Pair of gate piers at former entrance to driveway to Babington House adjacent to Charity Cottage | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-09-03]


To the north of the House are lawns planted with C19 specimen deciduous and coniferous trees and ornamental shrubberies. From here there are views north and north-east across the park beyond the former north-west drive towards the grounds of Ammerdown House, in Kilmersdon.

Within the grounds are a chain of five informal pools situated in a shallow valley approximately convert|70|m|ft|0 west of the House. The pools are surrounded by mixed specimen trees and shrubberies. A walk on the western side of the pools leads to a kitchen garden south-west of the House.


The Church of St. Margaret is thought to date from 1748 and was probably built by John Strahan or William Halfpenny,and is considered to be very similar in conception to Redland Chapel in Bristol which was long considered to be by John Strahan but now known to be by William Halfpenny. It is a grade I listed building. [cite web | title= Church of St. Margaret | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-09-03] The interior includes an unusual Royal Arms of the Hanoverians on the Rood. [cite book |last=Reid |first= Robert Douglas |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Some buildings of Mendip |year=1979 |publisher=The Mendip Society |location= |isbn=0905459164 ]

Within the churchyard there are a set of three chest tombs. The monument to John Shute is dated 1688 and that to Thomas Branch 1779. [cite web | title= Group of 3 monuments to east of Church of St. Margaret | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-09-03]

Charity Cottage

Charity Cottage (also known as White Cottage) in Charity Lane dates from the 17th century and was built as three cottages, although they have now been converted into one property. [cite web | title= Charity Cottage | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-09-03]


External links

* [ Babington House Hotel]

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