History | Cothelstone Manor


  • Luxury Bed & Breakfast
  • Private Group Tours
  • Close to Exmoor, Taunton & M5
  • Walking on the Coleridge Way.
  • Bridal Suite- a night to remember
  • Christmas Group Tours
  • Quantock Hills AONB
  • West Somerset Coast
  • West Somerset Railway nearby
  • Riding


Nigel & Finny Muers-Raby
Cothelstone Manor
Nr Taunton

Tel: 01823 433480
Tel: 07709 434411
Email: Click here to email us


Bed and Breakfast
3 Nights 5% discount


We were looking for somewhere special to stay.....Cothelstone Manor couldn't have been a more beautiful and relaxing setting. From the moment we arrived we felt welcome, looked after, and in the most wonderful setting. Thank you for making this a really special weekend and one filled with lovely memories. We will be back....soon !
Sarah, Peter & Christian

Delightful one-nights stay- aside from the gorgeous decor, the gracious hosts, there is also the most exquisite breakfast on offer- including the best scrambled eggs I've ever had in Britain !
Melody & Ian

Thank you for hosting such a beautiful bed and breakfast at Cothelstone Manor...we feel as though we entered a fairy tale here - thank you again for all of your kindness and help anticipating all of our needs and comforts.
Sarah Anne, Holly & Kelly


Just a great big thank you for the wonderful hospitality you afforded Locking Villagers on our visit.
You got it absolutely right with a different kind of talk and good food attractively served up.
Nothing was too much trouble and that is a refreshing change in this modern day society.
My feed back from the day was extremely good --everything positive.
We will be returning, that is if you will have us!
Brian Ashton, Locking Villagers

On behalf of South Dorset National Trust, I would like to thank you for your wonderful hospitality in your lovely home, which you gave us last Thursday.

Everyone enjoyed the visit and said so during the return journey to Dorchester. Thank you again.
Jim Wilkinson, South Dorset National Trust

The Tour was fantastic, the food and tea welcoming and your hospitality the best.
Evaline Oliver, Woolavington WI

What an absolutely splendid time you gave us - thank you so much for all your kindness and thoughtfulness.

You are wonderful hosts, made us all feel relaxed at your home and really involved us in your house and garden and the church.
The lunch was superb. Many, many thanks.
Jennifer Bowen, Friends of the Historic Houses Association



Cothelstone Manor dates back before the Norman Conquest of 1066. A Saxon King and Queen are said to have been its founders and there has almost certainly been a continuous settlement at Cothelstone from around 600AD through to the present day.
The present house is Grade II* listed and dates from the early 1600’s and is notable for its fine Grade I listed Gatehouse dating from the early 1500’s and the Grade II* listed Gazebo built for the wedding of Sir John Stowell in 1619.

The Manor was given to Sir Adam de Coveston by William the Conqueror in 1066 for his support at the time of the Norman Conquest, and his descendants were to live here until 1792.

At some point between 1166 and 1189 the family, having also been granted the nearby Manor of Stawell by William the Conqueror, changed their name to de Stawell. They remained at Cothelstone until the estate was sold in 1792.

In 1633 Thomas Gerard of Trent wrote of Cothelstone in his Particular Description of the County of Somerset that “A place very remarkable for that a long time it hath bin and still is the cheife seate of the right noble and ancient familie of the Stawells which place they long possessed. For the antiquity I may avere that since King Stephen’s time they have florished untill this present. Their mansion house is faire and ancient, pleasantly sceated on the declining of a hill towards the South, and accomodated with a park adjoyninge”.

Following the defeat and execution of Charles II, Oliver Cromwell ordered the destruction of the Manor in 1646, saying that no Stawell should ever live at Cothelstone again.
The Manor was left a partial ruin, eventually being partially restored as farmhouse in 1681.

THE ESDAILES 1791 – 1958
Stewkley Stawell’s death from smallpox at Westminster School in 1731 saw the end of the direct line of descent for this branch of the Stawell family. The estate passed into the hands of his sister Mary and her husband, Henry Bilston Legge eventually put it up for sale in 1792. It was purchased for £70,735 by Edward Jeffries. At the time of its sale the estate consisted of 11 farmhouses, 54 cottages and two dwelling houses.
The Esdaile’s fortune was founded on banking and over the course of the next 100 years they invested heavily in the Cothelstone Estate, starting in 1817 with the building of a grand new Mansion (at a cost of £20,000 including all the furnishings). Ironically, the family subsequently demolished this house in 1968.

For nearly two hundred years the remnants of the Manor House, which had been repaired and reduced in size, probably in 1681, were lived in as a farmhouse. In 1855 Edward Esdaile started work on the restoration of the Manor to its former glory. Discussions between the tenants, Messrs Stuckey and Steed, who wanted the house to be restored on a grander scale, and Edward Esdaile ended in an agreement that the tenants would contribute £500 whilst Esdaile would pay £200 plus the cost of the materials which was thought by the architect, Mr. Clarke, to be ample to cover the cost of the works. In the end the renovation cost £2000.
The last Squire Esdaile never married and died childless in 1956. The estate passed to a niece in whose family the ownership still remains.

The present house is Grade II* listed and dates from the early 1600’s. It is notable for its fine Grade I listed Gatehouse dating from the early 1500’s and the Grade II* listed Gazebo built for the wedding of Sir John Stowell in 1619.
The stone Mullion windows are of architectural significance and are noted by Pevsner as being unique. There is, in fact, only one other house in England with this type of Mullioned window.
Set just behind the Manor is the glorious grade I listed church of St Thomas of Canterbury, still in regular use.
The Manor is now a much-loved family home, which Nigel and Finny with their children Tom, Ollie and Jack took on in 2006.