A HISTORIC gate post part of a Grade II listed building where an iconic BBC comedy was filmed has been damaged by a car.

Last Sunday (February 11) a car hit the historic post of one of the lodge houses part of the Cricket St Thomas Estate, where ‘To The Manor Born’ was filmed back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Avon and Somerset Police said officers who attended the scene on Sunday afternoon found an abandoned silver Volkswagen Polo.

A spokesperson for the force said the car was abandoned and enquiries are ongoing.

Chard & Ilminster News:

Jeremy Taylor, one of the owners of the estate, and whose uncle Peter Spence wrote the sitcom, said: “I have been here 56 years, I was born here. It was very upsetting, we grew up here.

“I am sure it can be mended and put back together but it was rather sad to see. It was my uncle who wrote the TV series. At one time, it was the best British comedy series in history.”

Mr Taylor also explained the gate post, situated next to the house inhabited by Audrey Forbes Hamilton, portrayed by the esteemed actress Penelope Keith, stood as a symbol of English heritage and the charm of rural life.

He also said: “The gate post featured prominently in the exterior shots of the manor house served as a visual anchor for the picturesque setting of the series.

“Its destruction marks the loss of a tangible connection to a bygone era of British television.

“A fibreglass replica of the gate post was made by the BBC to be used when they wanted to make the lodge look closer to Cricket House or Grantly Manor as it was called in ‘To the Manor Born’.”

The police spokesperson also said: “We were called shortly after 2.10pm on Sunday (11 February) to a report that a car had collided with a gateway in Cricket St Thomas.

“Officers attended and found a silver Volkswagen Polo had been abandoned.

“The car was recovered and enquiries are ongoing.

“If you have any information which could help our investigation, call 101 and quote reference 5224036773.”