National Trust Clevedon Court

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Outstanding 14th-century manor house and 18th-century terraced gaden.

Clevedon Court is a manor house in Clevedon, North Somerset, England, dating from the early fourteenth century. It is now owned by the National Trust.

The house was built in the early 14th century, possibly on the site of a Roman dwelling, and incorporating remnants of a 13th century building which lie at an angle to the rest of the house. It was situated a couple of miles inland from the parish church of St Andrew (which predates it slightly) and the village of Clevedon, which was then a small collection of cottages. The builder was Sir John de Clevedon, a descendant of the Norman Ildebert who was given the manor of Clevedon after the Norman Conquest. Because of the distance to the parish church, the manor house included a chapel dedicated to St Peter. The house has undergone considerable change since it was built, almost every century seeing structural alterations, but it still largely retains the character of a mediaeval manor.

The de Clevedon family line ended in 1376, and the manor passed to the Northamptonshire family of Wake, who were Lords of the manor until 1630. John Wake made major additions to the house in the late 16th century, including additional rooms on either side of the porch, and a new west wing. The manor was sold by Sir Baldwin Wake to Sir John Digby in 1630. Digby’s estates were confiscated after the English Civil War, but were recovered after the Restoration by his heir. In 1709 the house was bought by Abraham Elton, a merchant from Bristol.

The Eltons were a prominent Bristol family, and Abraham had been a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers and Sheriff of Bristol. In later years he was Mayor of Bristol, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, and Member of Parliament for the five years preceding his death in 1727. He was created a Baronet in 1717. The family wealth came from the slave trade and other commerce, and property (including mining in the Mendip Hills).

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