Regency-style home of the Battens
Hollands House is a Regency-style house originally built for Edmund Batten, local lawyer and banker, who was certainly living there by 1830 and is recorded as the owner in poll books of 1832 and 1834 although the 1829 Land Tax Returns noted Peter Daniell as owning Hollands House. Reverend Samuel Fawcett, a radical and minister at the Unitarian Chapel in Vicarage Street who chaired a meeting in 1831 at the Mermaid Hotel in support of the abolition of slavery and for parliamentary reform lived at Hollands with his wife, a sister of Edmund Batten, and was shown as living at Hollands in the 1832 and 1834 poll books where he was listed by virtue of owning freehold land called Cogan's Orchard.
In the 1861 census it was recorded that Hollands House was the home of Herbert B Batten, a 40-year-old magistrate and banker, who lived there with his wife Elizabeth, son Herbert P Batten and four servants.
In 1901 Miss Evelyn Phelips Batten was listed as in residence, remaining until 1912. After the First World War Colonel Samuel Charles Long occupied the house which was later purchased by Stanley Walter Johnson.
The house was largely rebuilt in the early 20th century. The basement of this building was originally used as a chapel but during the Second World War was adapted as an air raid shelter with the ability to shelter up to 80 persons and known as Public Basement Shelter P37.
Hollands House is now offices of Yeovil College and when I worked as a lecturer at the college during the 2000’s the basement was used as a coffee room.
Hollands House, south elevation, photographed in 2013. The house was largely rebuilt in the early 20th century.