Please note: This house does not offer free entry to Historic House members.
For alternative options please see other opening options.

Other opening

Overview

A Palladian frontage and stone mullioned rear windows are two of the external features which enclose finely proportioned rooms, original fireplaces and a magnificent heavily-carved Jacobean openwork scroll oak staircase.

Originally built as both a family home and the visible expression of the wealth of a branch of the Strode dynasty, which owned the late medieval sheep farm after which the locality is named, the house saw a tempestuous history in the Civil Wars, during the 18th and 19th centuries and when occupied by the Navy in the second world war.

Today, the house is very much a family home, having been lovingly renovated by the Keys family and has been featured in both Period House and Period Living magazines as well as on BBC Radio Somerset. An unexpected tapestry of wool, wars, Huguenots and a ghost or two.


Opening
Opening

View by Private Tours only.

Find Us
Find us

The house is ½ mile outside Shepton Mallet off the road to Wells and about 20 miles south of both Bath and Bristol. Turn into Forum Lane opposite Bowlish House Hotel. Parking is limited on Forum Lane so please park on St Peter's Road if you are able.

It is served by bus routes which run between Shepton Mallet and Wells. The nearest train station is Castle Cary, approximately 10 miles to the south-west and a car journey of about 20 minutes. The closest airport is Bristol, a journey of about 40 minutes by car.

Please check the website for further information, admission times and details for our special events

Visit website

Forthcoming Tours

2 Jul 2020
2PM - 5PM | £15.00

11 Aug 2020
2PM - 5PM | £15.00

16 Sep 2020
2PM - 5PM | £15.00

8 Oct 2020
2PM - 5PM | £15.00

21 Dec 2020
2PM - 5PM | £20.00

Tour Overview

Owner-narrated tour of the exterior: five moderate-sized gardens, (each with its own challenges including a large ruin); workers’ homes; former industrial buildings and other remains in the hamlet; and interior: lots of original features, fine furniture and memorable art, as well as a thoroughly-researched architectural, locality and occupant history.

Tour duration

2.5 - 3 hours

Tour prices

£15.00 per person dependant on tour.

£20.00 per person dependant on tour.

Refreshments

Tea or coffee and home-made cakes.

Access notes

Ground floor only. Access to the 2nd and 3rd floors is via stairs and to the upper levels of the garden via quite steep steps. Tour includes a walk around the building remains in the hamlet, up a hill for a hundred yards or so and on level ground for a similar distance. For those who cannot climb stairs, there is a  booklet which has a summary of what they are missing. There are chairs throughout the house and gardens. On the ground floor of the house and the ground floor level garden, the largest step/change of level is 2 in, so a rollator here should be fine. Visitors can be dropped off outside and the owner will move his car to ensure this if advance notice is given.

Special restrictions

No dogs.

Weddings


Opening
Opening

View by Private Tours only.

Find Us
Find us

The house is ½ mile outside Shepton Mallet off the road to Wells and about 20 miles south of both Bath and Bristol. Turn into Forum Lane opposite Bowlish House Hotel. Parking is limited on Forum Lane so please park on St Peter's Road if you are able.

It is served by bus routes which run between Shepton Mallet and Wells. The nearest train station is Castle Cary, approximately 10 miles to the south-west and a car journey of about 20 minutes. The closest airport is Bristol, a journey of about 40 minutes by car.

Other opening


Old Bowlish House's history and features

Classed as grade II* listed building, various features are singled out as being of special interest – the original Mendip lead drainpipes at the front carry the crest of the original owners and the year of completion, 1732. The walls and pillars with urns topping them which formed the entrance of the old gardens are also singled out for specific mention.

Stone for the construction of the 4ft thick "rubble" walls was taken from an outcrop in what is now the garden or, to put it differently, the house was probably built where the stone was to reduce haulage by slow and primitive methods.

A small spring rises under the cellar of Bowlish House and links up with an underground stream routed diagonally across the cellar floor just under the old flagstones. Thus the temperature of the large cellars is more constant than otherwise and varies by no more than 2 or 3 degrees either side of the ideal 50 ºF, which is perfect for the storage of fine wines.

Built on the site of a former farmhouse (the kitchen, Room 5 and the boiler room are from the original building) the house became L-shaped with the Georgian addition at the front. The old barn interior wall can still be seen in the garden on the right hand side with the arched exit now being encompassed in the slope of the garden.


Things to See

Fun Facts

The estate was confiscated by Parliament in the Civil War as the then owner, Thomas Strode, fought on behalf of the Crown.