History of Durslade Farm
Durslade Farm is situated on the edge of the town of Bruton. It consists of a group of Grade II listed farm buildings including a farmhouse, stables, cow sheds, piggery, threshing barn and several other outbuildings with distinctive features. Initially built as a ‘model farm’, it sits within 100 acres of fields and woodland.
The manor of Bruton was owned by Bruton Abbey until the dissolution of the monasteries (1536 – 1540). In 1546 it was sold to the Berkeley family who built the first farm buildings on the site at Durslade in the 1760s and owned the farm until 1776. It was then sold to the Hoare family who also owned the nearby estate of Stourhead, now managed by the National Trust. Durslade was maintained as a tenanted farm until it was taken over by the Gilling family in 1918.
The earliest and perhaps most striking building is the threshing barn, as well as the farmhouse (which bears the Berkeley family coat of arms) and the stables, both with Gothic façades. A number of additional buildings were added to the farm complex in the late 19th century and early 20th century, including a piggery, cow sheds, engine house, machine house and cart shed.
The farmhouse and outbuildings at Durslade were used during the filming of ‘Chocolat’ (2000) starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Binoche and Dame Judi Dench.