The History of The Greenwood

The large ancient parish of Huntspill occupies half of the western end of a broad and shallow valley. Perhaps since the late 12th century the river which flows through it, known variously as the Fishlake, the Brent river, or since the later 18th century the Brue, has drained a large tract of low-lying land between the Mark causeway and the Polden hills. To the west of the parish the river Parrett follows a course whose occasional changes have resulted in serious flooding. The main settlements are West Huntspill and its northern extension, Alstone. The extreme north of the parish has the appearance of a suburb of Highbridge. East Huntspill, to the east of the parish, is a collective name for several smaller hamlets including Bason Bridge, Hackness, and Cote. The Huntspill river, a man-made channel which serves both as a drain and a reservoir, runs through the south of the parish, and both a railway and a motorway cross its centre. In 1840 the large parish measured some 10.5 km. (6.5 m.) from east to west and 4 km. (2.5 m.) from north to south.

The Greenwood B&B in Somerset

The original cottage (currently the dining room, kitchen and bedrooms 1 and 2) dates back to circa 1725. We are not sure how much land was attached to the property at this stage.

The National Archives shows that Thomas Greenwood of Brean, purchased the property in 1794 and developed the property by putting the Georgian front onto the original cottage. Thomas Greenwood was the turnpike for the area and was responsible for putting a hard tarmac-type surface on the road we now call the A38. The land was obviously farmed even back then as the old barn on the southern boundary dates back to circa 1760.

According to my architect it is an impressively-built structure of excellent quality and workmanship. It has not been possible to follow Thomas Greenwood's career as all trace of him disappears in the early 1800s. A March 1800 obituary in the British Register states, "At Huntspill, Mr. Tho. Greenwood, jun. surgeon of that place, highly distinguished for his professional abilities . . ."

The house was turned into a doctor's surgery and was passed down from one practitioner to the next until the 1920′s when the daughter of one of the doctors and her husband (Emily White) took over the property and ran it purely as a farm. I have been advised that the land stretched down Church Road (now houses and bungalows).

During World War II The house was used as a first aid post. The last piece of land to be sold off (1980) was to the south of the house and is now known as Greenwood Close. At that time the incumbent farmers (Howe) sold the house to Blackmore who got permission to run it as a residential home for the elderly. In 1987 the house and barn were given a Grade 2 listing by Sedgemoor Council. In 1990 the Blackmore's sold the property on to the Lees who continued to operate a residential home. In 1994 the annex was built behind the garden wall to the north side of the main house. The residential home was closed in 1998 and I bought the property in 2000 and got permission to operate as a guest house.

In addition to the listing there are several trees in the grounds which are the subject of a tree preservation order.