The formal opening of The Great Long Barn at The Manor, Gerbestone Lane, West Buckland, took place this week in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Taunton, Councillor Dave Durdan and his wife, together with invited guests from the local business community.
The Great Long Barn is a working water mill forming part of The Manor Estate which dates back to 1235 when Bishop Joceline of Wells exempted Gerebert, a Knight of Wellington, from paying hay taxes. The suffix ‘ton’, meaning either a settlement or second home, was added to create Gerbestone.
A further connection with Somerset heritage occured in 1612 when Thomas Frances moved into Gerbestone with his bride, Suzanna, daughter of George Lutterell of Dunster Castle. A later owner was Sir John Ewell of Exeter, whose grandson was Aide to the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo.
The current owners of The Manor bought the barn – which is adjacent to the magnificently preserved and renovated main house – a year ago to extend the facilities they are able to offer for parties, weddings, corporate events and for filming. A further building alongside the delightfully scenic duck pond has been converted to provide luxurious accommodation for up to 14 guests. The Manor itself retains all of its original character but with every modern convenience provided.
Set in 8 acres of idyllic secluded woodland, The Manor and The Great Long Barn can now claim to be one of the very best local event venues.