Otterhampton: Manors and other estates

Pages 105-107

A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and Neighbouring Parishes). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1992.

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There were three holdings called Otterhampton in 1066. The first, held by Edwin, had passed to Roger de Courcelles by 1086 when it was held of him by Robert. The second, whose owner was unnamed in 1066, had been divided by 1086, two thirds passing to the royal estate of Cannington and the remainder to the previous owner's son Osmer. The third, and the only one that can be traced further, had been held by Estan in 1066 and was held by Herbert of Alfred d'Epaignes in 1086. (fn. 1)

The estate held by Herbert of Alfred d'Epaignes came to be known as OTTERHAMPTON manor, and was held of the honor of Nether Stowey until 1577 or later. (fn. 2) William, son of Terry of Mudford, held a fee of Nether Stowey in 1166, and was succeeded by his son Terry and by Terry's son Henry. (fn. 3) In 1216 Henry's lands were given to William of Eston, but in 1225 Henry laid claim to land in Otterhampton. (fn. 4) Beatrice of Otterhampton, probably widow of Robert of Eston, held a fee of Nether Stowey in 1262, (fn. 5) and her daughter Sarah held Otterhampton with her husband William Trivet c. 1285. (fn. 6) The estate descended with Cock in Stogursey until 1433 and may have been sold by William Trivet to Alexander Hody (d. 1461). Thereafter it descended with Newnham in Stogursey until 1650. (fn. 7) In 1651 the manor was held by Hugh Hody, who had purchased it from Gilbert Hody. In 1664 Hugh settled it on his son Gilbert. Hugh died c. 1670 and Gilbert by 1697 leaving as his heirs Anne, wife of Hugh Pomeroy, and Joan, both probably his daughters. (fn. 8) It was settled by Joan in 1713 and 1714 on her marriage to George Chudleigh. (fn. 9) Sir George Chudleigh, Bt., died in 1738 and the estate was held by his second wife Frances Davie (d. c. 1748). (fn. 10) Margaret Chudleigh, one of their four daughters, sold the manor to Robert Evered in 1755. (fn. 11) Robert was dead by 1766 and his son John died in 1782 leaving the estate in trust for his son John, a minor. (fn. 12) John died in 1848 and was succeeded by his son Robert who settled the manor on his son Andrew upon his marriage in 1865. (fn. 13) Andrew died in 1925 and was succeeded by his son Robert who was described as lord of the manor in 1931. Lordship was not recorded again and the estate was broken up and sold, mainly to tenants, in 1946. (fn. 14)

A capital messuage was recorded in 1316. (fn. 15) It was let during the 18th century, in 1729 to Robert Evered. It continued to be recorded until 1782. (fn. 16) It was probably the house known in the 19th century as Otterhampton Farm, (fn. 17) which lies immediately south-west of the church and is now known as Manor Farm. It is a late 17th-century, three-bayed house with extensive 19th-century alterations. (fn. 18)

Part of Otterhampton manor, (fn. 19) known later as OTTERHAMPTON RUMSEY manor, was held in 1286 by Walter of Romsey, son and heir of Sir Walter of Romsey. Walter or another of the same name died c. 1333 and his son Sir John died in 1334 leaving a son Walter under age. (fn. 20) Sir Walter died in 1403 having settled Otterhampton on his wife Alice (d. 1404) and on his grandson Walter, son of Thomas Romsey, who had predeceased his parents. (fn. 21) Walter died probably without issue as the estate was held by his elder brother Thomas (d. 1420) and Thomas's wife Joan (d. 1441). Their daughter and heir Joan married Thomas Paine but died childless c. 1447 having granted her Somerset estates in 1443 to Henry Champeneys and his wife Elizabeth, probably widow of Walter Romsey, for life. (fn. 22) Joan's heir to her Somerset estates was Joan wife of Roger Wyke, granddaughter of Sir Walter Romsey (d. 1403). Joan and Roger settled certain lands on Joan, wife of John Cayleway and possibly their daughter, but remained in possession of most of the former Romsey lands in 1462. (fn. 23)

William Cayleway and his wife Anne sold an estate described as one third of Otterhampton Rumsey manor in 1542 to John St. Clere who in 1547 sold it to James Bowerman. (fn. 24) James died in possession in 1548 leaving a son Andrew who sold it later that year to his brother Henry. (fn. 25) Henry died in 1589 leaving it to his brother William who died in 1591 leaving a son Andrew. (fn. 26) In 1620 Andrew Bowerman sold the manor, sometimes described as one third of Otterhampton manor, to William Bacon and thereafter it descended with Maunsel in North Petherton until c. 1733 when Alexander Seymour left it to his brother William, a minor. (fn. 27) By 1752 it was held by William's nephew Alexander Seymour Gapper who sold it to John Evered the elder in 1759. The estate, also known by then as Hill, was settled in 1774 by John on his son Robert, who held it in 1809. (fn. 28) Robert appears to have sold part to his cousin John Evered c. 1812, possibly for the construction of Hill House, and by 1838 he had sold Hill Farm and most of the land. There is no record of a sale of lordship, which was not recorded after 1809. (fn. 29)

The capital messuage called Twyhouse, recorded in 1620, and possibly in 1608, was the residence of the Bacon family and was probably William Bacon's mansion house at Hill recorded in 1609. (fn. 30) By the 18th century the house was known as Hill Farm. (fn. 31) Hill Farm is of the early or mid 17th century and has a long central range, which may incorporate part of an earlier building, with cross wings which project southwards and a near-central rear wing. The principal groundfloor room in the western, parlour wing has a compartmented, beamed ceiling which was subsequently plastered, probably in 1666 when an ornamental plaster overmantel was put in. The house has been divided into three dwellings. The central section was partly refitted in the later 19th century and the west wing was renovated c. 1988.

There was a mansion on the site of Hill House in 1782, (fn. 32) but the present house dates from the early 19th century, possibly c. 1812. It is sited at the eastern end of a spur of high ground and the principal rooms have extensive views to the south and east. The house is built around an open courtyard which is entered through a central carriageway in the two-storeyed north-west range. The main house forms the south-east range and has a tall stuccoed front of five bays with lateral segmented bays. It has a spacious central hall and staircase flanked by the principal rooms, one of which has a ceiling in Adam style. A small park had been established around the house by 1822 (fn. 33) and there is an early 19th-century stable block. The house was sold c. 1946 and became a school but in 1976 it was bought by the Bristol Christian Youth Trust and is used as a teaching and conference centre. (fn. 34)

MULSELLE, later Moxhill, was held by Alwine in 1066 and by Hugh of Alfred d'Epaignes in 1086. (fn. 35) In 1201 William le Poer sold it to Terry of Mudford (fn. 36) and it continued thereafter as part of Otterhampton manor. (fn. 37)

Stogursey priory received two grants of land in the parish in the later 12th century, one by Helewise, sister of Robert FitzBernard and wife of Hugh Pincerna, and her daughter Cecily, and the other by Alexander son of Viel. (fn. 38) The land was later administered as part of its manor of Monckton in Stogursey. (fn. 39)


  • 1. V.C.H. Som. i. 485, 512, 525.
  • 2. Ibid. i. 512; v. 193-4; P.R.O., C 142/183, no. 70.
  • 3. Red Bk. Exch. (Rolls Ser.), i. 231; S.R.S. lxi, p. 17.
  • 4. Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), 245; S.R.S. xi, p. 86.
  • 5. Below, Stogursey, manors; Close R. 1261-4, 90.
  • 6. Feud. Aids, iv. 281.
  • 7. S.R.S. liv, pp. 6-7; below, Stogursey, manors.
  • 8. S.R.O., DD/ARN 2, 5, 6.
  • 9. Bailey-Everard MSS., in possession of Messrs. Crosse & Wyatt, S. Molton, Devon.
  • 10. G.E.C. Baronetage, i. 207.
  • 11. S.R.O., D/D/B reg 27, f. 14v.; DD/ARN 2.
  • 12. Ibid. DD/X/MCO; DD/ARN 2.
  • 13. Ibid. DD/BR/gh 3. Andrew later changed his name to Everard.
  • 14. M.I. in ch.; Kelly's Dir. Som. (1931); S.R.O., DD/KW 1946/38.
  • 15. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 43.
  • 16. S.R.O., DD/ARN 2, 6; DD/X/MCO.
  • 17. Ibid. tithe award.
  • 18. Ibid. DD/V/BWr 24. 1.
  • 19. Feud. Aids, iv. 308, 353; S.R.O., DD/NW 64.
  • 20. S.R.O., TS/EVD; S.R.S. ix, pp. 188-9; xii. 62, 163, 189; Cal. Fine R. 1327-37, 386-7.
  • 21. Cal. Inq. p.m. xviii, pp. 328-9, 378-9; Cal. Close, 1402-5, 434.
  • 22. V.C.H. Hants, iv. 459; P.R.O., C 138/61, no. 76; C 139/131, no. 26; S.R.S. xxii. 105.
  • 23. V.C.H. Hants, iv. 459; S.R.S. xxii. 110-11, 206.
  • 24. P.R.O., CP 25(2)/36/241/34 Hen. VIII Trin.; CP 25(2)/36/242/38 Hen. VIII Hil.
  • 25. Ibid. C 142/85, no. 35; S.R.O., DD/SAS (C/238) 45.
  • 26. Som. Wills, ed. Brown, i. 68; P.R.O., C 142/228, no. 94.
  • 27. S.R.O., DD/SX 52/1; below, N. Petherton, manors; Som. Wills, ed. Brown, iv. 11.
  • 28. Bailey-Everard MSS., in possession of Messrs. Crosse & Wyatt, S. Molton, Devon; S.R.O., DD/ARN 2.
  • 29. S.R.O., Q/REl 7/5; ibid. tithe award; P.R.O., CP 25(2)/1402/49 Geo. III Trin.
  • 30. S.R.O., DD/BR/hnd 1; DD/SAS SX 60; DD/SAS (C/77) 29.
  • 31. Ibid. DD/ARN 2.
  • 32. S.R.S. lxxvi, map 1782.
  • 33. Ibid. map 1822.
  • 34. S.R.O., Q/REI 7/5; Bridgwater Mercury, 24 Jan. 1989.
  • 35. V.C.H. Som. i. 512, where the identification of Mulselle as Marsh Mills is incorrect: below, Over Stowey, econ. hist.
  • 36. S.R.S. vi. 8.
  • 37. S.R.O., DD/ARN 2, 5; D/R/bw 15/3/20.
  • 38. S.R.S. lxi, pp. 18, 21.
  • 39. Below, Stogursey, manors.