Historical manor house
The Old Parsonage is a Grade II* sandstone house built in the 1680’s. It was originally called The Elms. It was built by Henry and Mary Hole and on Henry’s death in 1708 it was passed passed on to their son John. John married into the Champney family from Orchardleigh Estate near Frome. This coincides with The Old Parsonage having a new façade and two wings added around 1715. This addition turned the house around to give it a new smart and imposing ‘front’ and a new staircase.
When John's children died without heirs, the property came into the ownership of The Duchy of Cornwall and in 1764 a local farmer George Mogg whose family were Lords of the Manor, was living at the property.
It was not until the 19th century that the house was used and became known as The Parsonage when the Rev Henry Hodges Mogg, vicar of High Littleton, took up residence. It was last used by the clergy in 1891.
In 1892 Harry Blinman took a lease on the property He was an auctioneer, valuer and insurance agent. In 1893 a fire broke out destroying the stables, coach houses and outbuildings which he then re-built. Starting in 1897, cattle sales were held at the property one day a month and by 1910, two days a month.
The cattle market closed after becoming unprofitable and in 1972 was rented to Mr W Gofton-Watson who turned the house into a hotel and restaurant.
While the Old Parsonage was owned by the Duchy of Cornwall it was regularly used to receive Royalty (see pictures; Dec 2nd 1937 King George VI inspected a guard of honour at the local branch of the British Legion at The Old Parsonage & 1934 Prince of Wales, later King Edward V111, Duke of Windsor).
In 1993 with The Old Parsonage in disrepair, the Duchy sold the property.
For a more detailed history of The Old Parsonage and photographs written by the historic building consultant J Robert Sutcliffe, download his article.