Rare books and hand-drawn maps owned by Weston family to be sold at auction

PUBLISHED: 17:30 20 September 2017

A medieval book from Aldwick Court, which has an estimate of �2,000-3,000. Picture: Hansons

A medieval book from Aldwick Court, which has an estimate of �2,000-3,000. Picture: Hansons


Historic objects from two houses owned by a prominent Weston-super-Mare family will be sold at an auction next week.

Aldwick Court. Picture: HansonsAldwick Court. Picture: Hansons

The items, which include 19th century drawings of Weston, hand-drawn maps and rare books, came from Aldwick Court in Blagdon and Glebe House in Lower Church Road, Weston.

The properties were owned by the Baker family of solicitors, who have a street named after them in Weston.

They lived in the Grade II-listed manor house Aldwick Court, which was built by Samuel Baker in 1791.

This children’s learning aid from 1743 has an estimate of £40-60. Picture: HansonsThis children’s learning aid from 1743 has an estimate of £40-60. Picture: Hansons

The family ran the largest legal practice in the area, and in 1779, Samuel became the High Sheriff of Somerset.

The 150 items available at the auction capture what life was like for the Baker family in the 1800s and 1900s.

Plan of the Manor of Aldwick and lands. Picture: HansonsPlan of the Manor of Aldwick and lands. Picture: Hansons

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Items now going up for sale include five antique maps of Somerset and a hand-drawn plan from 1815 of Aldwick Manor and its lands within Butcombe, Blagdon, Burrington and Wrington, which has an estimate of £200-300.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers. Picture: HansonsCharles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers. Picture: Hansons

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers which is organising the sale, said: “When the Great Western Railway arrived, Mr Baker refused to sell his land to allow trains to pass nearby.

“The line was diverted eight miles away but when trade from passing coach traffic faded, the family had to open offices in Weston to avoid extinction.

“Sadly, the family was practically wiped out by World War One, losing two sons, a son-in-law, brother and three nephews.

“In 1919 Ernest Baker, a solicitor, local historian and author, was resident at Aldwick Court but he was forced to sell the house in May that year along with numerous cottages and 700 acres of land.

“The Bakers of Aldwick moved to Glebe House in Weston, one of the oldest buildings in a town which named Baker Street after the family.”

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Many of the items in the auction have been passed down through the generations, but are being offered for sale following Ernest Baker’s granddaughter dying last year, aged 93.

Other items include rare signed books, furniture and silverware.

The auction will take place on September 28-30, and bidding can be done online at www.hansonsauctioneers.co.uk

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