The Old Manor House has had a long and varied history over about 400 years.  

 

It is not known exactly how old the property is but the Lord of the Manor of Compton Bishop, William Prowse, records in his own book of lands purchased that in 1647 this building was returned to his Manor, suggesting it had at one time been sold away or sequestered by the Crown. At that time this building was The Kings Arms Coaching Inn, Cross.   

 

The oldest known documented record of this building is in the accounts of Axbridge Church, back in 1621.  

 

Cross, now bypassed by the A38, was once the hub of the coaching trade that used the Bristol to Bridgwater Turnpike Road.  Three Coaching Inns served the travellers, where wheelwrights, farriers, coachmen and ostlers earned their living.  These three coaching inns were The White Hart and The New Inn (both of which are still pubs in Cross) and The Kings Arms – this building. 

 

The golden age of coaching came to an abrupt end nearly overnight with the coming of the railway and the extension of branch lines. This was unfortunately the fate of the Kings Arms, which ceased trading in 1861 and became Manor Farm, Cross. 

 

There is an aerial photo in our lobby showing Manor Farm still in operation in the 1960s with cows visible in the courtyard behind our building.  Since then it has operated as a farm with horse riding stables and guesthouse accommodation.   In 2002 the farm and all its buildings were renovated and the estate split.  This building became the ‘Old Manor House’ and the property behind retained the title of ‘Manor Farm.’