Demolished – a memorial to one man’s pique

Yeo Vale House finally demolished

Yeo Vale House in the parish of Littleham is no more. To the end this part-Jacobean,part-Georgian building on the bank of the River Yeo gave from a distance an impression of the stately home it once was. But it had become a danger and eventually Government permission to demolish it was given.

The story of its decline began 40 years ago. One day the owner, Mr Stephen Berrold, having sold all the surrounding land right up to the walls of his home, left by way of the front door, locked it behind him, and disappeared, never returning to the area. It is said that he tangled with an adjoining landowner who had felled a couple of trees. An incensed Mr Berrold claimed that his view had been ruined and vowed that never again would his house be lived in.

Memorial to one mans pique

It became a furniture store and subsequently the owner of the adjoining farm Mr Norman Westaway, stored grain on the ground floor. In 1971 Mr Westaway asked permission to demolish it but was refused as the house was scheduled as a grade 2 listed building, and attempts to trace Mr Berrold or his successors had failed. A second application by Mr Westaway was successful and the bulldozers moved in.

Gazette article 2 March 1973



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