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Photographer: John C. Trotter

Mells Park House

Gazetteer No. G0406

Date 1925

Address Mells, Somerset BA11 3QB England


Mells Park House was added to a cloistered service court of the old house and is a fine ashlar stone house with Doric pilasters and a large hipped roof. The interior decorations are by Sir Herbert Jekyll. (Amery et al, 1981, Cat no.265)

Mells Park, 1 m. wsw. The deerpark was enclosed from 1604 for the Horner family. A lodge was replaced c. 1725 with a house by Nathaniel Ireson, as the Horners vacated the manor house (above).* The Horners returned to the manor house c. 1901, and after a fire in 1917 Mells Park was rebuilt 1922–5 by Sir Edwin Lutyens for the McKenna family.† It is in the restrained and sober classicism he preferred for country houses after 1900 (e.g. The Salutation, Sandwich, Kent), by contrast with his early Picturesque designs. Some details (e.g. the Gibbs door surround) exhibit his characteristically playful treatment of classical forms. Of fine ashlar stone and two storeys, seven bays by four. Giant Doric pilasters, coved eaves and a hipped roof, reminiscent of c17 Commonwealth houses. Tall windows with shutters, and raised aprons below the first-floor sills. Lutyens incorporated the surviving c18 service court with its arcaded way leading n to the Stable Court of 1761, probably by John Wood the Younger.

Gardens on the e, s and w sides, c. 1926, arranged around stone-walled terraces connected by steps. Designed by Lutyens with Gertrude Jekyll, who was Pamela McKenna’s aunt. To the w, paths and terraces, part of improvements by W. S. Gilpin, 1825–32. The Gothic lodge w of Mells is early c19, probably by Chapman of Frome. Some of the Georgian park layout is discernible. (Foyle & Pevsner, 2011, pp.556-7)


Amery, C., Richardson, M. and Stamp, G., (1981) Lutyens, the Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): Hayward Gallery London, 18 November 1981 – 31 January 1982. London: Arts Council of Great Britain.

Foyle A & Pevsner N (2011) Somerset: North and Bristol. Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Also Cited In

Pevsner, N. (1958) The Buildings of England. North Somerset and Bristol. London: Penguin Books.

Listing Grade


Listing Reference



Rt Hon Reginald McKenna