Gournay Court in West Harptree, Somerset. The de Gournay family owned one of the
two manors in West Harptree from not longer after the Norman conquest. They also gave
their name to nearby Farrington Gurney and Gurney Slade. Sir Thomas de Gournay was one
of the men accused of murdering King Edward II at Berkeley Castle on 21st September 1327,
and this may be the reason why the estate reverted to the Crown at around this time. The estate
was later leased to the Buckland family by the Duchy of Cornwall, and the present mansion
was built in the 17th century by Francis Buckland and his son John. The mansion was used as
a military hospital in the First World War and was later prepared for the ailing Prince John, the
youngest son of King George V. Unfortunately the Prince died in an epileptic fit in 1919
before taking up residence. In 1928 the mansion was bought by Sir Edward Geoffrey
Hippisley-Cox, but his family were obliged to sell it after his death in 1954.
The above photograph was taken in the 1930s.