Clarendon House, union street

Clarendon House

A long-forgotten, large house in Union Street


In the 1840s there was a terrace of houses in Grope Lane (today's Wine Street) on the southeast corner of what would become the junction of Union Street and Peter Street although these houses would have fronted onto Union Street.

This run of houses was demolished and replaced by a single, much larger building, Clarendon House, during the 1850s. This new building, with a crenellated parapet (see Gallery), projected into Union Street, significantly reducing the width of the road. Its garden ran along Peter Street and, with outbuildings, stretched as far as Trinity House.

It was the home of ironmonger and Mayor of Yeovil Henry Stiby who, together with his mother, lived there for over twenty years before moving to The Park. Clarendon House was then occupied by bookseller and stationer Frederick Whitby, son of Ebenezer Whitby of Princes Street.

From references in various newspapers, from around 1898 (and until at least 1917) John Mann (late of Frome), owner of the Wine Vaults, and his family were living opposite the Wine Vaults in Clarendon House.

By 1927 Clarendon House had been demolished and the site cleared. The present run of buildings from Union Street to Trinity House was built by 1928.




Edward Bullock Watts' map of 1806 focusing on Grope Lane. At this time the site of the future Clarendon House (at the 'e' of Lane) was occupied by a run of houses along the southern leg of Grope Lane. These houses were still being shown on Hickes & Isaac's map of 1858.


Map based on the 1886 Ordnance Survey. Originally Wine Street ran all the way to South Street as Union Street only came into existence in the 1830's and it wasn't until the 1870's that the southern half of Wine Street was renamed Union Street.

Note the large Clarendon House on the southwest corner of Peter Street projecting into Union Street and reducing the width of the road by half. Along its south side, the tiny writing says Albany Court.


An enlargement of the 1927 Ordnance Survey showing the site of Clarendon House now cleared and ready for the construction of the present buildings.


The 1928 Ordnance Survey shows that the current buildings occupying the site of Clarendon House had just been built.




Courtesy of Rob Baker

Peter Street blocked by 'The Great Snow' of 1881 as seen from Union Street. This photograph was almost certainly taken by Henry Stiby who was a keen amateur photographer and left a good record of photographs of Yeovil. He lived in Clarendon House, seen at extreme right with the crenellated parapet, on the corner of Peter Street and Union Street, at the time.