the grange

the grange

Home of the Petter family


In 1861 the census recorded Joseph Chant living in The Grange and, since he was a successful builder, it is not difficult to imagine that he built the house for himself.

John Petter moved his family to Yeovil around 1865 when he purchased the ironmongery business of Hannam & Gillett in the Borough. In the 1891 census John was listed as a 70-year old retired iron merchant and JP for Yeovil. He was living at his home 'The Grange' - a substantial two-storey, six-bay house in Park Road - with his wife Elizabeth, their unmarried daughter Eliza, married daughter Helen and her husband Samuel Page and their two teenage daughters plus a cook and a housemaid.

John Petter died in Yeovil in the autumn of 1898, aged 77, and The Grange passed to his son, James Bazeley Petter, who, after living briefly in Bristol, lived in The Grange until his death in 1906.

In September 1907 the house opened as the Boarding and Day School run by the Sisters of St Gildas-des-Bois, originally from France but had settled in Langport. However it was not to remain a school for long since in the following year the Sisters bought from the Diocesan trustees the property attached to Devonshire Cottage.

By 1939 The Grange had become a boarding house and during the 1960s it was the offices of the Weights & Measures Officer and the Probation Officer. The Grange was demolished in 1975 as part of the Queensway dual carriageway project.



This map, based on the 1886 Ordnance Survey, shows The Grange, the L-shaped building just right of centre with its long, impressive drive from Park Road and landscaped, tree-lined gardens to the west. The house itself had extensive outbuildings to the west and north.




The original photograph features in my book 'Yeovil From Old Photographs'

James Petter's house, 'The Grange', in Park Road which he inherited from his father.


A colourised photograph, taken just before the house was demolished in 1975 as part of the Queensway dual carriageway project.