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. It has been suggested that in the early 20th century King George V commissioned
restoration work on the house with the intention that it would become a home for his epileptic youngest son Prince John,
however the Prince never moved in. While some sources state that John died following a seizure before he could take up
residence, it is also possible that the First World War scuppered the plan as the house was used as a military hospital.
However no documentary evidence has been found linking Prince John to Gournay Court and it may have been a local
legend that has perpetuated. 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.