This article came from Chronicle published March 1981. Page: 17


Two Yeovil Marsh Field Names

Author: Leslie Brooke


On the Tithe Map of 1842 supplemented by the Tithe Award of 1846, Smoke Acre Orchard is shown south of Marsh Hill Farm, recalling land on which the rendering of tithwood was replaced by the payment of money. So called because the tithwood would have been provided to light the parson’s fires, and would have gone up in smoke – as did the money paid in lieu!

The same source shows Wall Close, a fairly long and narrow field between Higher Close and a series of two orchards and a field lying at right angles to it, The name derives from the Old English word weal – wall, balk, or mere, a thin untilled strip of land between fields. In the open fields these thin strips of unploughed land lay between each man’s strip, giving access to the cultivated strips. The more prominent weals between fields served as grass roads, and were sometimes called the common balks. The name wale in cloth referred to a ridge or streak rising above the next, similarly the wales of a ship are an assemblage of strong planks extending along its sides throughout the whole length.

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