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Crowcombe Court in west Somerset

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With its 18th century intricate Italian plasterwork, it is a lush setting for a civil wedding ceremony.

If a church service is the choice, the unusually named 18th century Church of the Holy Ghost is at the entrance to this country house. Built for Thomas Carew in 1739 as a statement of wealth in a style described as English regional baroque, Crowcombe Court remained in the Carew family until the 1960s.

New faces

Now owned by Kate and David Kenyon, it is a popular location for weddings and corporate events – but the Kenyons also host an annual small antiques fair.

The second of these will run on Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10 with 23 stallholders. The Kenyons say: “We are delighted to host another Top Drawer Antiques and Fine Art Fair at Crowcombe after the great success of the inaugural fair last year. We are welcoming back standholders from last year and a number of newcomers, which is very exciting.”

An interesting piece of social history with a west Somerset connection is coming for sale at the fair with BI Howard, dealer in oak furniture dealers from Taunton.

This is a West Country Friendly Society brass polehead depicting a chough and an anchor resting on a sign marked for the Hood Arms, which Howard has priced at £245.

The inn at Kilve, a village also in west Somerset on the edge of the Quantock Hills, was where the friendly society met. Dating from the 18th century, the majority of friendly societies provided some insurance for their members against sickness or death as well as playing an important part in village life.

The use of brass poleheads was confined to Somerset and the adjoining counties. By the time of the National Insurance Act in 1911, few friendly societies were still in existence, including the Kilve Society which disbanded in that year.

crowcombecourt.co.uk