Greenham Barton is a 15th century manor house with later additions in the civil parish of Stawley, at Greenham, west of Wellington in Somerset, England. It has been designated as a Grade I Listed building[1]

The Domesday manor of 'Grindeham' ([[[Greenham]]]), which had been granted in 1068 to 'Bretel St. Clare', under the 'Count of Mortain', was held throughout the 13th and early 14th centuries by a Norman or Saxon family, who had taken the name de Grindeham. During the 13th century they had acquired the adjacent manor of 'Kydeford' [Kittisford] and an extensive estate around 'Frome' in North Somerset. Richard de Grindeham (died circa 1270) was succeeded by his two sons, both knighted by 'Edward I' (1272-1307), Peter de Grindeham[2] inheriting the Frome estate and his younger brother, Simon de Grindeham, being given Greenham and Kittisford. After the death of Sir Simon’s two sons, both unmarried, Greenham was inherited by his daughter Christian [Christiana in some records], who in 1329 married 'Walter Bluett', younger son of Sir Ralph Bluett of 'Ragland' in Monmouthshire, South Wales.

In 1401 their grandson, 'Sir John Bluett' (1376-1431), married Agnes Beaupenny, daughter and heiress of 'Sir Thomas Beaupenny', a wealthy Bristol wine and wool merchant. Greenham’s early medieval stone and cob farmhouse, which survived as a farm barn until 1930, was replaced by the existing building that is now known as 'Greenham Barton'. Although much modified over the succeeding centuries, part of the original kitchen wing, the lower part of the Gatehouse Tower and the foundations of the solar wing can be attributed to Sir John Bluett. Following the marriage of his eldest son John, to Matilda Chiseldon, heiress to the 'Holecoma' [Holcombe Rogus] estate of the Roges family, Holcombe manor, subsequently Holcombe Court, became their principal family residence<[3]: Greenham was kept as the dower house or family home of a younger son. Given to 'Sir Richard Bluett' (1483-1523) prior to his marriage in 1501 to Mary Chichester, the Gatehouse Tower was raised, the inner courtyard enclosed to create a magnificent Great Hall with an immense Tudor fireplace, and the solar wing rebuilt. To the west, joining the hall to the old kitchen wing, a new kitchen wing was built, but the soft Somerset sandstone deteriorated and this part of the building was knocked down and rebuilt in the late 19th century.

The Kittisford manor estate included a tenanted farm entitled 'Cotthehee' [Cothay], which had been granted to William de Cotthehee in the early 13th century. His family retained the manor until 1457, when John de Cothay died with no male heir, and the property was returned to the Bluetts. Used as a second family home by younger sons, Cothay was inherited by Richard Bluett (1456-1523) after the death of his nephew Walter Bluett of Cothay in 1500. In place of the early 14th century Cothay hall-house, Richard, who was married to Agnes Verney in 1481, created one of the finest medieval small manor houses in the country. Cothay remained with this branch of the Bluett family for nearly 300 years, before debts forced its sale to William Every in 1605. Greenham was inherited by the four daughters of John Bluett (1603-1634), the family connection being finally lost with the sale of the final quarter share in the late 18th or early 19th century to the Kerslake family of Wellington. Over the next hundred years the property was farmed by the Kerslake family and they commissioned 'Smallcorn of Bath' to create the magnificent plaster ceilings in the Great Hall and Parlour, and the overmantel in the Parlour Chamber; the plaster ceiling in the Parlour Chamber was much earlier being probably added by Arthur Bluett (1573-1612), the eldest son of Richard II Bluett and Mary Chichester, and his wife Joann Lancaster in the early 17th century. During World War I, the condition of the whole property deteriorated. In 1920 the estate, now reduced to 100 acres, was bought by Mr and Mrs Fry, who undertook a programme of restoration. The Great Hall, which had been divided into several separate rooms, was re-opened and a curious turret was built to provide a somewhat precipitous access from the hall to the Parlour Chamber. Their use of concrete and other early 20th century materials has required Mr. E. R. Willis, the present owner, in co-operation with 'English Heritage', to undertake an extensive restoration programme to preserve the structure and to save the building for future generations.


  1. ^"Greenham Barton" (
  2. "Greenham archive" primarily held by Mr Richard Willis, the Lord of Milverton Hundred and owner of Greenham Barton and by Mr P. M. Greenham, descendant of Sir Peter de Grindeham.
  3. >Scott-Fox, C. Holcombe Court - A Bluett Family Tudor Mansion, Exeter 2012