The golden Ham stone manor house of South Petherton is located in a tranquil setting on the NE edge of the village. This is a residential site in low-lying Somerset countryside near the main road S through Yeovil and Crewkerne.
A probable performance venue. No Daubeney household records survive but entertainers under the family's patronage performed in the SW in the 15th and 16th c.
The house is now divided into 3 residences. Privately owned.
by 1243 Manor owned by the Daubeney family.
15th c. Manor house built. Later associated with the part of the manor that became known as South Harp by 1475 (VCH: Somers 4.177).
early 16th c. Cross-wing added to the hall block.
1540 Henry Daubeney, 1st Earl of Bridgwater, sold South Harp manor to the Seymour family.
1553 Reverted to the Crown on the Countess of Bridgwater's death. Leased to and then purchased by the Arundell family.
1618 Rented to the Sandys family.
1761 Purchased by Thomas Bridge.
ca. 1802 Sold to William Gifford. Subsequently used as a residence by several poor families but an 1836 article reports: 'It is deserted and shut up, its inmates having been driven from their abode by the dangerous condition of the walls, on which the steep gable roof imposes a fearful weight' ('Ancient Mansion' 489).
ca. 1840 Owned by John Batten. Period images indicate that the house was neglected and the hall used as a barn.
1862 Restored and extensively remodelled by Edmund Escourt Gale, the owner at the time. The roof was raised and 2 gables added. Outbuildings added or rebuilt at the NE end. By this time it had become known as King Ina's Palace, a romantic association with the 8th c. king of Wessex whose capital was at Somerton.
1959 The owner, Colonel Hoskyns, bequeathed the house to a nephew in Rhodesia who sold the estate. Subsequently the house was divided into 3 separate residences, The Manor House, King Ina's Palace and the Chapel. The lodge and the coachman's and gardener's cottages are also individually owned (from notes by Elspeth A. Pooley, a current resident).
REED Bristol 44; Devon 38, 94; Somers 1.43