A brief history of Barrington Court

Barrington Court early autumn

Take a look through the timeline of Barrington Court to find out about its history from potential Roman origins, through Elizabethan architectural fashions, a 1920s restoration and Gertrude Jekyll influences in the garden, to the opening of the Court House to visitors in 2009.

The chapters in this visual timeline encapsulate an ever-changing story. Expand each point for more information as you read through the timeline below.



Roman villa

There is some evidence for a Roman villa at Barrington, which lies only a few miles from the important Fosse Way. Archaeological investigations over many years have found walls and ditches, and fragments of tile, pottery and animal bone.


The Daubeney family

Little is known about Anglo-Saxon Barrington, and it was not mentioned in the Domesday Survey. By 1236 and for 200 years the Daubeney family were the owners. In 1483 the manor was confiscated from Giles Daubeney (1451–1508) for his part in the Duke of Buckingham’s rebellion. It was soon recovered, and his son Henry Daubeney (1493–1548) mortgaged Barrington in 1538, at around the time William Clifton become the tenant.  


William Clifton

William Clifton (c.1510–1564) was a wealthy London cloth merchant and possibly the same Master of the Merchant Taylors Company of 1555. He purchased Barrington in 1552 and constructed the Court House by 1559. Built from local honey coloured Ham Hill stone, it is an early example of the classic E-shaped Elizabethan house, with projecting wings and a central porch.

The South front of Barrington Court, Somerset.