Cossington Park is situated in the picturesque Somerset village of Cossington. The village might have been part of the ancient Polden Estate of Glastonbury Abbey.
The house initially consisted of a two-room dwelling, which is thought to have been constructed at some point during the 16th Century. However, it is possible that the early foundations were laid down in the century before this. The oldest part is delineated by four sets of dark oak rafters concealed in the loft. Evidence of the easternmost set of these can be seen in the Chaucer bedroom, just beyond the bathroom.
The northern wing comprising the old Kitchen and, above it, the Trusty Servant bedroom, were probably added in the 17th century, perhaps at around the same time as the eastern extension which increased the size of Chaucer and the old Drawing Room; in the latter, the extent of the original building can be seen from the change in the pattern of beams.
The pretty French windows in the Drawing Room and Dining Room were probably added in the first half of the 19th century.
The feature fireplace to be found in the Drawing Room is testament to various modifications as it does not fit against the boundary beam and the brickwork is evidently a later addition.
The most substantial alterations to the house were made in 1901 by my great grandfather the Rev. Allen D Graham [link to blog about him]. Previously he lived in Cossington Grange but sold this manor, together with much of the family silver and paintings, to pay for the 100 disadvantaged children that he looked after. He founded the Invalid Children’s Aid Association in 1888, known today as I-CAN, the national charity that helps children communicate. The founding of the charity is commemorated by a small bronze sculpture, the work of a local artist, sited in the garden. The same artist painted the trompe l’oeil near the children’s play area which imagines the view to Cossington Grange as it might have been previously.
Although Cossington Park has been owned by ancestors of the present family for some 400 years it has sometimes been passed down through cousins rather than direct lineage. It came to the Graham family through Sarah Graham (nee Paul) (1779-1845) who inherited the estate from her childless cousin Thomas Hobbs in 1839. At that time the estate comprised 150 acres including Cossington Grange and what became Cossington Park. Portraits of these and many other ancestors are to be found in the house.
Graham Wason (current owner and guardian of Cossington Park)