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The Great Chamber or Solar of Bull Hill House

The Great Chamber or Solar of Bull Hill House /media/flashcomm?action=mediaview&context=normal&id=211

Bull House is an early 15th Century house which was part of Pilton Priory, probably the Prior's Lodging and accommodation for guests. The name may refer to the many documents which were issued from the Priory which had seals (or Papal Bulls) attached to them. A major wing of the house was added some time after 1500, and then, in 1536, the Priory was dissolved and the house sold to the former steward Robert Bret.

Eventually his family sold it to the Bishop of Exeter in 1593. It had numerous owners over the centuries and was used by Cromwell's soldiers in the Civil War in the 1640s. Various additions were made until in 1869 when it was divided into two properties and by 1900 it was in many more units. The last owners, Malcolm and Beulah Corney, bought the property in 1959 and started on a sensitive restoration which lasted decades but returned the building to much of its Tudor glory.

Bull House was left by them to the National Trust in 2010 and, after carrying out repairs to the roof and considering all the options for its future open to them, including making the building available to the Pilton Community, they reluctantly decided that it would have to be sold.

The photograph, by Martin Haddrill, shows the Great Chamber or Solar on the first floor of the 16th Century wing added shortly before dissolution.

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