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Gournay Court 1487

Short Description

Gournay Court has a mock-Jacobean garden dating from the 1930s.

Detailed Description

To the north of the house is a lawn with a mature mulberry, an acacia and other trees. To the west there is a large walled garden with an Elizabethan layout. This dates to the 1930s, and includes box hedging and a vegetable garden. Stone pineapples and gates in the walled garden came from Coley Court.

There is also a section of farm buildings including a curved tithe barn (listed grade II). To the east and south are informal gardens with some flower beds. On the west side adjoining the house is a small walled courtyard with a well and new planting.

The garden is well-maintained, with much new planting.



  • Jacobean-Style Garden
  • Mansion House (featured building)
  • Description: The house was built in the 17th century by Francis Buckland.
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  • Courtyard
  • Description: The courtyard has slab paths and steps. The planting is mostly new and includes holly and camellia.
  • Well Head
  • Description: There is thought to be a well in the courtyard.
  • Planting
  • Description: This feature is the walled garden, which was laid out in the 1930s. It has two stone pineapples on the gates which were taken from Coley Court. The main part of the garden is given over to vegetables, but an Elizabethan style box layout was designed in the 1930s and still remains.
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  • Pineapple Finial
  • Description: There are two stone pineapples on the gates of the walled garden, which were taken from Coley Court.
  • Garden Building
  • Description: This feature is the tithe barn. It is an interesting grade II listed building built in a curve. It is surrounded by box hedges, holly and grass.
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: Mature mulberry.

Civil Parish

  • West Harptree


The house was built around 1600 with additions around 1650. There were alterations and renovations to the house and grounds in the early 20th century.

Detailed History

The district was originally held by the Norman families of de Gournay, de Tilly and de Harptree. Gournay Court stands on the site of an Elizabethan mansion. Sir Thomas de Gournay murdered Edward II, partially suffocating him then thrusting a red-hot poker into his bowels, so that there was no means of identifying the cause of death. He was forced to flee the country and was arrested in Spain in 1332. He escaped to Naples, but was re-arrested and died on the way home.

One hundred years later the de Gournay estate passed into the Duchy of Cornwall, and was not in private hands again until 1928. The present house was built in the time of James I, and nothing remains of the original. The land surrounding the house was farmland until relatively recently.

The house was renovated in the early 1900s, and was used as a hospital for soldiers during World War 1. Queen Mary instigated alterations for her youngest child Prince John, but the Prince died in 1919 at the age of 14.


  • Early 20th Century (1901-1932)