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 partitioning||Part 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
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 Catalogue||Description 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.