8 Market Place, Shepton Mallet

Built around 1680 by Edward Strode a local wealthy landowner, merchant and friend of the Duke of Monmouth. The property had the merchant's house in its southern aspect and two tenements in its north wing. In the far south east corner of the market place it was surrounded to the south with stabling.

When he died it was left to his daughters with a charitable provision attached to feed the poor of the town with bread financed from the building at ₤8 per annum.

In 1756 it would appear that the charity commissions took the ownership of the building through a legal challenge, we presume through non payment of the funds to charity. They then sold the building to the Dunkerton's after renting it to them for a period.


A family called Kennedy lived there through the 1930s until just after the Second World War. An electrical mechanical engineering business was established within the building apparently where the blacksmiths had operated from. We have had two of the neices who live locally visit and this summer the widow of the Kennedy's son who emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 16 in 1947 will come and visit after hearing about the project in New Zealand.

In 1947 Thomas Pitt de Paravicini bought the property for £500 as the Kennedy family had just secured passage after waiting years for it and had to sell in a hurry; he lived there with his family until they moved back to the family pile in Andover in 1954. After that date Mr. de Paravincini used to stay in the building during the week attending to his business until the mid 1960s I believe. Mr. Paravincini's daughter paid us a visit and looked around the building recently. She could hardly recognise the building now it is in good order. She did state that her memories of it were of being very dilapidated when she lived here.

The building was empty and suffered heavy vandalism and theft until I purchased it and tidied it up and made it secure.

We will be shortly researching the records office to fill in the history with far more detail.