Clarence House was originally St Paul's Vicarage which was built in the 1890's. The property was purchased from the Diocese of Bath and Wells around 1965 when a new Vicarage was built in what was then part of the gardens.
Preb Alex Cran (Vicar of Congresbury) and a number of people in the Deanery saw the opportunity of acquiring the Vicarage and forming a Deanery Housing Association with the aim of providing high-quality sheltered accommodation for retired people in the Deanery area. They started to negotiate with the Housing Corporation and the Diocese in 1963.
The Locking Deanery Housing Society Ltd was formed in 1964 and converted and extended the Vicarage prior to it being opened in 1967.
Work has continued over the years to upgrade the facilities, install a new lift and improve fire saftey measures. The committee has a continuous programme of improvements to ensure that the facilities provide the best possible standard of accommodation, comfort and safety
In 1993 the Society was able to purchase what was then St Paul's Vicarage. Initially this land was laid out as gardens for the resident's enjoyment.
After an intensive period of consultation with the Local Authority and Housing Corporation the decision was made to demolish the Vicarage and build a purpose designed 3-storey building, which we now know as 17a. There were many and numerous difficulties ranging from obtaining planning permission in a conservation area, obtaining grant aid and removing asbestos from the old building. The total cost was around £370k.
More recently, we have undertaken a major project to completely refurbish Clarence House itself. This has slightly reduced the number of flats but enabled us to substantially improve the remaining ones. We now have 34 flats across the 2 buildings (of which several are suitable for double occupancy). The total cost of this project was £3.1m