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Algars Manor (archive-no permission to use Avon info, new record created from other sources) 72

Brief Description

Algars Manor is a 20th-century woodland garden on a 15th- and 16th-century site which originally incorporated Algars Mill. Features include mature native trees and naturalised spring bulbs.


The derelict building was bought in 1900 by a Mr Gwyune, who renovated the house and gardens.

Visitor Facilities

There is partial public access along a riverside walk south of the River Frome.

Detailed Description

Algars Manor is situated on the River Frome, which flows on the southern side of the site. The house is approached by a short drive, which also leads to the old tithe barn and past the Mill House.

There are lawns adjacent on the eastern and southern faces of the house. One of these is partially walled and leads through to the woodland. The path through the wooded area leads down a slope to the river and water meadow. This is a flat area adjacent to the river. The riverside walk is situated on the other side of the river.

The garden and grounds of Algars Manor are very well maintained. Many of the more mature trees are in good health. Ailing and diseased trees have been cut and replaced. The woodland garden is a good example of this. The previous elm collection has been replanted with a young and vigorous selection of English and exotic trees and shrubs.


Plant Environment

  • Environment
  • Woodland Garden
  • Manor House (featured building)
  • Description: The building may have been a medieval open hall house of the 15th or early 16th century. The house was completely re-modelled in the late 16th or early 17th century, possibly by Johaune Crowther who died in 1624.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Planting
  • Description: The water meadow was drained in 1965 by the water authority, bringing down the level of water by 0.6 metres to improve the drainage. Since then many trees have been planted, including silver willow, Chinese rowan and Brewer's spruce.
  • Tree Feature
  • Description: Along the retaining wall of the manor house there had been elm trees overpowering the house. These were felled and replaced with five species of magnolia.
  • Waterfall
  • Description: Walking along the river's edge in the meadow there is a tiny waterfall, originally a sluice gate. There are many wild birds in this area, including kingfishers, heron, moorhen, woodpeckers and grey wagtail.
  • Tree Feature
  • Description: The original elm woodland had died out and was re-planted with a large variety of English woodland and exotic trees. The shrubs include varieties of broad- and narrow-leaved bamboo, Spanish broom, viburnum, holly and rhododendron. The trees include maple, young and older oak, eucalyptus, sycamore, holm oak, magnolia, yew, ash, horse chestnut, arbutus, scarlet oak, snake-bark maple, hawthorn and wych elm.
  • Walk
  • Description: The woodland walk leads around the top of the wooded slope to the site of what is now the lawn via some old stone steps.
  • Earthwork
  • Description: There is a small quarry in the wood which supplied the stone for the house and garden walls.
  • Garden Wall
  • Description: The garden is partly walled.
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: The garden contains a large mature weeping lime and an Atlantic blue cedar.
  • Pond
  • Description: A small pond, constructed in the 1920s to 1930s.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Walk
  • Description: The present owner has allowed part of his land on the south side of the river to be used by the public as a river walk and nature trail. There is woodland flanking it on one side and the river on the other.
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

There is partial public access along a riverside walk south of the River Frome.

Civil Parish

  • Iron Acton

Detailed History

The site of the house is referred to in the Domesday Book as the Manor and Mill in the Parish of Acton Ilgar, a Saxon thane who died before the Norman Conquest. Later, the site was given to the Bishop of Coutance, and was recorded as being in the Hundred of Grumbold's Ash. Records show that from 1700 to 1900, the Shepherd family owned the site. For a short time there was one brother in the mill and one in the house and farm. There was substantial corn trading. The mill was in use grinding corn until 1898.

The house became rather derelict after being used as a farmhouse for a prolonged period. After 1900 a Mr. Gwyune (a solicitor from Clerk, Gwyune and Press) renovated the house, turning it into a gentleman's residence. The farm buildings were repaired and used as stables for horses.

In 1950 the 28-hectare site (with seven or eight houses) was divided into lots for sale. The present owner of the manor, Dr. Naish, bought the house and 6.5 hectares as lot one. In 1959 he bought a further 16 hectares by auction.




  • S.E. Pearson


  • Avon Gardens Trust