Babington House

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Babington House
Babington House by Sean Gannon.jpg
Babington House
LocationBabington, Somerset, England
Coordinates51°15′28.7″N 2°25′30.3″W / 51.257972°N 2.425083°W / 51.257972; -2.425083Coordinates: 51°15′28.7″N 2°25′30.3″W / 51.257972°N 2.425083°W / 51.257972; -2.425083
Listed Building – Grade II*
Designated11 March 1968[1]
Reference no.267924
Babington House is located in Mendip
Babington House
Location of Babington House in Mendip

Babington House is a Grade II* listed manor house, located in the village of Babington, between Radstock and Frome, in the county of Somerset, England.

Converted to a private members club and hotel by Nick Jones, it is currently owned by Soho House Ltd. Since 1999 it has hosted many celebrity weddings.


The village of Babington dates from medieval times. Its name derives from the Babington family, who were once associated with the village,[2] but it appears to have been for the most part demolished to make way for the house around 1705.[3]

The manor was sold by Thomas and Mary Mankham to Joan Elcode, a widow, in a deed dated Easter 1572. The estate then contained 7 messuages, one cottage, 10 tofts, 1 water mill, 10 gardens, 14 orchards, 300 acres (121 hectares) of land, 120 acres (49 ha) of meadow, 160 acres (65 ha) of pasture, 20 acres (8 ha) of wood, 120 acres (49 ha) of furze and 4s annual rent and 1 pound (450 g) of pepper.[4]

The estate passed through several hands until it was forfeit to the Crown in 1593. By the late 17th century, the manor belonged to Thomas Pacey who left it to his sister, Margaret. She was married to a Bristol alderman, William Crabb, and subsequently passed the manor on to their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, wife of Henry Mompesson of Corston, Wiltshire (1633–1715) who was Sheriff of Somerset in 1698.[3]

The current house was built around 1705 for Henry Mompesson, probably on the foundations of an earlier building which would have been owned by the Babington family.[2] It has since been extensively altered and extended, including in 1790, possibly by John Pinch the elder, for Captain Charles Knatchbull, who had inherited it via Mrs Elizabeth Long the Mompessons' niece.

Babington was inhabited by successive members of the Knatchbull family, until the house and immediate grounds were sold following the death in 1951 of Mrs Knatchbull. Better known under her maiden name as the pianist and composer Dora Bright,[5] she was the widow of Wyndham Knatchbull (1829–1900), a captain of the 3rd Dragoon Guards.[6] In April 1939, BBC Radio broadcast a concert of her playing from Babington House.[7]

Close to Babington House is the Grade I listed Church of St Margaret,[8] The Grounds of Babington House are listed Grade II in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.[9]

Hotel and private members club[edit]

In 1998, Nick Jones who had founded the Soho House club in Soho, London bought the property. He converted it to a hotel, club and wedding venue for the London members of Soho House club, as well as new Somerset members. The property is also part-owned by actor Neil Morrissey.

In that year, Nick Jones was cautioned by police after eleven Polish illegal immigrants were found working at the hotel.[10]

Wedding ceremonies are performed in St Margaret's Church or in the orangery. Weddings for non-members are allowed.[11]

Notable weddings held at Babington House[edit]

Church of St Margaret and Babington House


To the north of the House are lawns planted with 19th-century specimen deciduous and coniferous trees and ornamental shrubberies. From here there are views north and northeast across the park beyond the former northwest drive towards the grounds of Ammerdown House, Kilmersdon.

Within the grounds are a chain of five informal pools situated in a shallow valley about 70 metres (230 ft) west of the House. The pools are surrounded by mixed specimen trees and shrubberies. A walk on the western side of the pools leads to a kitchen garden southwest of the House.[3]


The house of mainly Georgian architecture has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building.[1] The 18th-century stable block and coach house have now been made into three separate dwellings.[38] The grounds also contain a listed ice house[39] and two sets of gates, which are Grade II listed.[40][41]


  1. ^ a b "Babington House". Images of England. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  2. ^ a b Copographica Genealogica, Vol VIII, John Bowyer Nichols and Son. BABINGTONIA.
  3. ^ a b c "Park, Babington House, Babington". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  4. ^ "Deserted medieval village, Babington". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  5. ^ Powell, Violet (1998). The Departure Platform: An Autobiography. London: Heinemann. pp. 25–26. ISBN 0-434-00507-X.
  6. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (1999). "Brabourne". Burke's Peerage and Baronetage. 1. Switzerland: Burke's Peerage. pp. 348–349. ISBN 2-940085-02-1.
  7. ^ Wenzel, Silke (7 November 2011). "Dora Bright". Musik und Gender im Internet (MUGI). Musikvermittlung und Genderforschung (in German). Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Church of St Margaret which is owned and operated by the St. Margaret's, Babington, Charitable Trust". Images of England. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  9. ^ "Babington House". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  10. ^ Savill, Richard (3 February 2001). "Celebrities' hotel risks fine over immigrants". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  11. ^ "Babington House, Somerset". Condé Nast Traveller. Condé Nast. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  12. ^ Williams, Gill (6 February 2005). "Holidays: Bed and bawd". Sunday Mirror.
  13. ^ Cooke, Rachel (13 April 2003). "Wanna be in my club?". The Observer. London. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  14. ^ "Nervous Kirsty makes wedding news.(News)". 1 October 1999. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  15. ^ Jones, Liz (7 November 2009). "I spend money to fill a hole in my soul... now I'm £150,000 in debt". Daily Mail. London.
  16. ^ "Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal: Me & Missus Jones". The Independent. London. 2 April 2006. Archived from the original on 21 April 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 September 2012. Retrieved 2010-01-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Natasha Kaplinsky". Rex Features. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  19. ^ "Mirror Online: The intelligent tabloid. #madeuthink". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Cutting It star ties knot". The Sun. London. 17 May 2007.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ S Times, 10 January 2010.
  24. ^ Oddy, Jane (1 September 2013). "TV presenter Jenni Falconer on marriage, motherhood and how her love of running helped her stay in shape after childbirth". Daily Record. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Duffer gets over the Hand of Henry by taking Elaine's hand in marriage -". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  26. ^ Somerset Guardian, 24 June 2010
  27. ^ Hendry, Steve (10 November 2013). "I'm building a happy family, says TV presenter Amanda Lamb". Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  28. ^ "Latest Somerset Shepton Mallet news - Somerset Live". Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  29. ^ metrowebukmetro (16 September 2012). "James Corden ties the knot to Julia Carey in lavish £250,000 wedding". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  30. ^ Greenstreet, Rosanna (9 February 2014). "Actress Katherine Kingsley shares her treasures". Daily Mail. London.
  31. ^ Flint, Hanna (10 September 2013). "Here's to Mr and Mrs Manderson! Millie Mackintosh embraces new husband Professor Green at countryside wedding". Daily Mail. London.
  32. ^ "Grazia Daily UK Official - Fashion News - Celebrity - Hair - Magazine". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  33. ^ "It's OFFICIAL! Actor Eddie Redmayne marries Hannah Bagshawe in Winter Wonderland ceremony at Somerset's Babington House". Daily Mail. London. 15 December 2014.
  34. ^
  35. ^ "YouTubers Tanya Burr and Jim Chapman get married". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  36. ^ "Broadway Boys Andy Mientus And Michael Arden Got Married". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  37. ^ Archived 28 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ "Stables and coach house adjacent to Babington House". Images of England. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  39. ^ "Ice house in grounds to south-west of Babington House". Images of England. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  40. ^ "Gate piers and flanking walls with secondary piers at former driveway entrance to Babington House". Images of England. Archived from the original on 18 November 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  41. ^ "Pair of gate piers at former entrance to driveway to Babington House adjacent to Charity Cottage". Images of England. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2007.

External links[edit]