The Old Vicarage

The Vicarage

The Vicarage at Burnham for St Andrew’s parish.

The Old Vicarage has not been occupied by any ecclesiastical body for many years.

There is evidence that the current building dates from the 17th century. A document of 1623 mentions a mansion or dwelling house adjoining the churchyard.  Before that time the Vicar was probably accommodated in a parishioner’s residence. There are references to a ‘vicarage’ in the 14th century but these may mean to ‘vicarage’ as in the earlier sense of the ‘jurisdiction’ of a vicar.

In 1637 the vicar, Will Taylor,  wrote:

“There are in the vicaridge howse, a hall, a kitchen, a butterie, a milke howse, and a little roume to Wash and fower chambers. The glebe is only a portion of land from the East end of the Churchowse reaching neare to the sea on the west, on the south of the vicaridge a parcell of land called Griges Bower, and so – reaching and abutting on the parsonage land, and the northwest corner of the churchyard”

It is thought that the later building standing on Victoria Street at the eastern end of the Vicarage  was once the carriage house .

The account of Burnham by the wife of the Rev Theodore Crane Dupuis describes the Vicarage when they took up residence:

“The Vicarage when Theodore entered it was very dilapidated, Mr Williams having died insolvent. Moreover a part of the lawn had to be bought.”

“1867. The Vicarage was in a very dirty condition. Theodore made a few alterations. The study, dning room & two rooms over, seem to be the most ancient & so to speak the nucleus of the rest. The West  End was a recent addition about 1820 (guess work). Blind Bishop King & his Curate Davis  [scarped?] the bank out of sandhills.”

“In 1897 an aged Parishioner Emma Dunn said she remembered three wells in Burnham The Vicarage one the best & she used to fetch water, down the little steps 70 years ago.”

Watercolour of Vicarage (Drawing Room Window) possibly by Rev. Dupuis.

In 1914 the incumbent, Revd. Prebendary Roger Hayes Robinson, wrote to the Bishop of Bath and Wells asking that the building be condemned, demolished and the land sold. However it appears that the reply was negative. It may be that the building ceased to be used as a vicarage shortly after this time.


The Old Vicarage 1986

More detailed research by Roy Louis Cox here

See information about the Old Vicarage as a guest house here

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