Barnwells House and Garden
Grade 1 listed house c. 1500, Arts and Crafts garden c. 1925
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Barnwells, built in about 1500, is a grade 1 listed property. It is of jointed cruck and stone and flint construction under a stone tile roof.

Front view of Barnwells c. 1939
A Survey and Inventory by the Royal Commission
Rear view of Barnwells c. 2009

It is described in Historic Monuments England – West Dorset: Range of houses on West side of Abbey Street is of two storeys; the walls are of stone and timber framing and the roofs are covered with stone slates. The whole range was built c.1500, the individual tenements being separated by stone party walls with elaborately moulded corbelling at the level of the upper storey….No. 2 (Barnwells [now no 9]), formerly the Nags Head Inn, has a similar front to No. 1 [now no 15], but has curved brackets under the first floor projection. It has 18th-century alterations including the bay window, staircase and entry. Inside the building there are two original four-centred heads fireplaces [plus one other] and some plank-partitions.

Joseph Benwell Clark
 in front of four centred fireplace  c. 1927
Barnwells – Medieval slip tiles

Plank partitioningPart of 15th century reredos from Cerne Abbey in the West wall 2009

Barnwells has been one of Cerne Abbas’s 13 inns, The Nag’s Head. It was here that, in 1589, Walter Raleigh and his son Carlew are said to have been tried for apostacy.

The Symonds family held it for at least 50 years and it passed by marriage into the Barnwell family for another 70 years. It has a barn (formerly stabling) in the garden and extensive flint cobbling, now hidden under lawns, obviously formed a busy back yard to the inn.

The Clark family lived in Cerne from the early seventeenth century. Joseph Benwell Clark was born in 1857 in the Nag’s Head which was run by his father's brother Edwin. When Edwin died in about 1890 the business closed and the inn became a house. The house was then tenanted by a Mr Short until 1923.

Barnwells was a part of lot 38 in the Pitt-Rivers Estate sale of 1919.

1919 Sale CatalogueDescription of Lot 38 containing Barnwells (Cottage 4)

JBC had a career as and artist in London but retired to Cerne in the 1921 and lived with his sister Alice in Barnwells from 1923 until his death in 1938. Apart from the garden that he made he also made a number of changes to the house including designing the front door. Alice, continued to live in the house until her death in 1955. The house was then bought by Mr & Mrs Lance Moore they made a lot of changes to the house in th 1950's style. This included converting the pantry into a sitting room and adding French windows into the garden. Lance died in 1966 and Cecily continueed to live at Barnwells until 1983 when she moved into a nursing home. In 1984 Bob and Sue Foulser took care of the house and garden.

Front door designed in Arts and Crafts style by Joseph Benwell Clark.Pantry c 1927

The house and garden are registered with the Historic Houses Association.