Volume 1. No.6     March 1981

In This Issue

Read  Inside front cover – Society details
Read  Editorial
Read  Meetings reviewed – R.J.Clynick
Read  Thoughts on a talk – Arthur Denner
Read  Museum Working Party
Read  Field Survey Work
Read  SUMMER EXCURSIONS – 1981 Programme
Read  60 years of Public Library Service in Yeovil – Mrs.P.A.Swetman
Read  Ascent of a 13c priest – Brian and Moira Gittos
Read  Ringing St John’s church bells for Dr Henry Sacheverell – Leslie Brooke
Read  ‘The Great Day’ – Mrs.I.L.Brice
Read  Retracing a Roman road – Arthur Denner
Read  Bell-cage of East Bergholt – Mrs.M.Craig
Read  Roman Invasion of the South-West – W.T,J,Chapman
Read  Report on Pottery Recovered by W.T.J.Chapmpn
Read  Some More Ice Houses at:
           Compton House – Mrs.M.A.Brooke
           Hawkmoor House Farm – Isabel Rendell
Read  Tintinhull Project – Churchyard Survey – Mrs.Pat Knight
Read  The Society’s Library
Read  Book News and Notices – Mrs.Pat Knight
Read  Two Yeovil Marsh Field-Names – Leslie Brooke
Read  Society Publications


Inside Front Cover – Society details


Founded 1954

Affiliated to

Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society
The Council for British Archaeology

Subscriptions are under review for submission to the Annual General Meeting on 3 October – please contact Hon.Secretary

Individual – £2.00
Husband and Wife – £3.00
Family – £3.50
Junior – £1.00


Chairman Miss Isobel Rendell
152 Hendford, Hill, Yeovil.
Telephone Yeovil 6570.
Hon.Secretary W.T.J.Chapman
68 Carisbrooke Gardens, Yeovil.
Telephone Yeovil 21713.
Hon.Treasurer R.G.Gilson
The Cottage, Dinnington, Hinton St. George.
Telephone Ilminster 2950
Committee R.J.Clynick
Hon. Librarian Mrs P.A.Knight
Netherfield, East Street, West Coker, Yeovil
Telephone West Coker 2120.
Publications Editor L.E.J.Brooke
18 Stiby Road, Yeovil, BA21 3EF.
Telephone Yeovil 27991.

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Contents freely available to members, details from Mrs.Knight at meetings. Mrs.Knight will be pleased to receive further donations of books, pamphlets, etc., either as gifts, or on loan.


Articles and communications regarding the Society’s journal should be handed or sent to Hon.Editor, Leslie Brooke, as soon as possible for inclusion in the next issue.

Articles, etc. which appear in ‘Chronicle’ are the copyright of the respective contributors and must not be reproduced, without prior consent.

Facts, opinions, and observations expressed by contributors are their responsibility alone, the Editor and Committee holding themselves in no way responsible for errors or mis-statements, though every effort is made to ensure correct
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This issue – the largest so far – sees the completion of volume one of ‘Chronicle’, and a short index appears at the end. Since the success and continuance of this publication depends largely on contributions from members, it is necessary to have a steady flow of material coming in – analysis shows that to date there have been twenty different contributors.

In reviewing the first six issues, which comprise volume one, it is gratifying to note the diverse nature of subjects which have appeared, and especial thanks are due to the two contributors of regular features, namely Mrs.Pat Knight for her book lists and reviews, library notes, and reports on the churchyard survey at Tintinhull; and to Mr.R.J.Clynick who has so assiduously recorded the activities of the Society, not only for ‘Chronicle‘, but for the local press.

Contributions in this number continue to be of widely differing topics. Of especial interest, in view of our indoor meeting-place, is Mrs.Swetman’s review of library services in Yeovil. The difficulties experienced in moving an effigy at Shaftesbury are recounted by Brian and Moira Gittos (apologies for having misspelt the surname previously); Mrs.Brice recounts a memorable day from her child hood when the Prince of Wales came to Yeovil and it rained!; Arthur Denner not only retraces a Roman road in Dorset, but also has some thoughts on Frank Hawkin’s most recent talk to us: while our indefatigable secretary has provided a detailed account of the Roman invasion in our area. Finally, Mrs.Craig draws attention to the unique bell-cage at East Bergholt in Suffolk, and Mrs.Brooke and our Chairman add two more ice-houses to those which have been noticed previously.

Our next issue will be Number 1 of Volume 2, due to appear in time for the first meeting of our indoors winter session in October. In the mean-time, please remember that contributions for that issue should reach the Editor not later than the last of our summer outings on 5th September – this is the final date, not the only one! – and it would be appreciated if copy could be sent or handed to the Editor well beforehand,

Finally, suggestions for improvement will be welcome, and, taking a leaf from Mrs.Brice’s notes, what about some recollections of a past event? The remark made by our Chairman in the inaugural number of ‘Chronicle‘ is worth repeating; ‘Do not say to yourself “This is only a detail, not important enough”, for history is made up of little, everyday details that someone, somewhere, has remembered and recorded’.
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Meetings Reviewed


At the Society’s Annual General Meeting held on 3rd October at our usual venue, Yeovil Reference Library, the customary election of officers for the ensuing year was postponed until December for an amendment to the Society’s Constitution to be discussed and then adopted.

Reports of the preceding year’s activities were given by the principal officers. Our Chairman, Hiss Rendell, expressed warm appreciation for the facilities so ably and willingly provided by Mr.Dove and Mrs.Swetman. She said the season’s lectures had been of high standard and well attended, but regretted that the outings had not been as well supported as in previous years. She thanked the officers and committee for the work they had put in to ensure the success of the Society’s proceedings.

In his statement, the Secretary, Bill Chapman, underlined the Chairman’s, remarks in respect of the meetings and outings, raring that future outings would have to be on a more economic basis, and that only one all-day excursion was likely – and that there would most likely be a trip to Blenheim Palace in the summer in conjunction with The Art Group of Yeovil,

The churchyard survey at Tintinhull, under the direction of Mrs.Pat Knight, was making good progress, and it was hoped that more members would join in the project when renewed next season.

Leslie Brooke reported on the success of the Society’s publications, mentioning that the latest of these, ‘Bygone Yeovil’, is now available, and that the profits from its sale would go towards the church restoration fund. ‘Chronicle‘, he said, is doing well and seems to be appreciated, but continued contributions from members was necessary to ensure its continuance.

Our Librarian, Mrs.Knight, spoke of the work at Tintinhull and gave details of books and literature available to members.

‘A falling balance’ was the theme of the Treasurer’s report; loss on the outings, an unrealistic annual subscription, and increased costing, due to ever-rising inflation, all contributing to the need for an increase in the subscription rates. In addition a insurance scheme to provide ‘cover’ for members on Society’s activities, was essential and would make further inroads on the finances. This report, given by Mr.Ron Gilson, together with those of the other officers was then adopted.

The Chairman then announced the intention of setting up a fund to provide for an annual lecture to be known as the ‘Edgar Silcox Memorial Lecture’ in recognition of Edgar’s outstanding services to the Society, and she hoped as many members as possible would contribute to it.

Following the coffee break members were entertained by a series of humorous readings given by Mr.Dove and Mrs.Swetman. Two subjects were dealt, with, the first dealing with the Hospital in the 19th century, and the second with the ‘Battle’ of Babylon Hill during the Civil War of 1642. This diversion which proved to be hilarious rounded off a very satisfactory evening, and the speakers were warmly thanked by Miss Rendell.

The meeting held on 7th November, was the first of the ‘Edgar Silcox Memorial Lectures’ and before commencing copies of a Testimonial to him were distributed to those present. The speaker, appropriately enough, was his close friend and colleague, Mr.L.C.Hayward, who had prepared the testimonial. The subject of his illustrated lecture was the discovery and subsequent excavations of the Roman Villa at Lufton, covering a period from the late 1940s to the 60s. Mr.Hayward’s expertise and enthusiasm for his subject, coupled with the superb slides, held the meeting enthralled, and a hearty vote of thanks proposed by the writer was carried with acclaim, Special visitors to the lecture were Mrs.Silcox and their son, John, to whom a warm welcome was given, and Bill Chapman, on behelf of the Society, presented Mrs.Silcox with a bouquet at the close of the meeting.

The postponed Annual General Meeting took place on 5th December when the new Constitution was adopted with only one amendment, namely:- ‘To investigate by fieldwork, excavation and research, or any other means, the archaeology and history of Yeovil district’, This amendment, proposed by Mr.L.C. Hayward, and severally seconded, was approved by those present.

Election of officers followed, resulting in the following appointments. Chairman, Miss I.Rendell; Secretary, Mr.W.T.J.Chapman; Treasurer, Mr.R. Gilson, Editor of Publications, Mr.L.E.J.Brooke; Librarian, Mrs Pat Knight; Committee, Mrs.M.Eedle, Mr.R.Clynick, Mr.B.Gittos.

Following the election, Mr.Brooke gave a talk on St.John’s Church, Yeovil, illustrated by many excellent slides. He dealt in great detail with the fabric of the building from end to end and from weather-cock to crypt, including most of the internal fittings. We were able to see stories portrayed in the Victorian stained glass windows and close-up views of the many grotesques and bosses in the roof, which few of us ever bother to look for. Other features we were able to see were the church plate which, for security reasons is generally locked away, and some unusual tiles in the floor which are now covered by carpeting. In short, the talk was quite an ‘eye-opener’ which none of us is likely soon to forget, and which is typical, of the energy and research for which ‘Les’ is justly acclaimed. He was warmly thanked by the Chairman for his fascinating talk.

Our Secretary, ‘Bill’ Chapman, was the speaker at the January meeting, his subject being ‘The History and Glory of York Minster‘. Illustrated by superb slides and historical plans, the latter being shown on a separate screen by means of an overhead projector, he traced the development of York from the time when the Romans fortified a strategic site in North-West England. Over the succeeding centuries, which included the Dark Ages, the Viking occupation, and, later, the Norman Conquest, Christianity had become established with varying degrees of success. The Norman Conquest saw the start of the building of large abbeys, minsters, and cathedrals, and York Minster was one of the greatest, built over the foundations of the Roman settlement. The slides showed the greatly strengthened Roman foundations, completed in recent years, underpinning the Minster, the world-famous stained glass windows in great detail, and the very many additions and alterations to the fabric during succeeding centuries. Mr.L.C.Hayward, in thanking the speaker, spoke of his zeal and research undertaken in the preparation of his talk.

Few members who were present at February’s meeting, would have guessed beforehand, from the title of the talk, that we should be entertained to one of the most fascinating and unusual discourses we have had. Brother Angelo from Batcombe Friary, is a witty and polished raconteur, dealing with a subject outside our usual run of talks. He outlined the story of the life of St.Francis of Assisi from his youth to his conversion to a spiritual life, becoming the founder of a, religious order. With the aid of splendid slides, including aerial photographs of Assisi, we were shown archaeological and architectural treasures of this hill-top city. Also shown were interiors of many of the medieval churches with their frescoes, and with both rich and quite elementary furnishings. On the religious aspect of his talk, Brother Angelo dealt very carefully with the legends and superstitions surrounding the Saint’s life, and, above all, the ‘miracles’ with which he is associated. It was an evening which will be long remembered, not only for the excellent talk and slides, but also for the striking personality of the speaker – sincere, serious, and humorous in turn, tongue in cheek at times, but with a passion for the subject he has made a life’s work. Warmly thanked by the Chairman, he was acclaimed by an unusually large and appreciative audience.

Mr.Frank Hawtin addressed the Society at the Meeting held on 6th March, his subject being Lead Mining in the Charterhouse area of the Mendips. Extensively carried out by the Romans during their occupation in the early centuries A.D. the industry had resulted in a considerable export of this valuable metal, said the speaker, and archaeological excavation had confirmed this in finds of inscribed ingots and artifacts, cisterns, and water conduits, wherever Roman settlements occurred. Following the Romans’ departure the industry seemed to have suffered complete decline until more recent centuries. Shallow mining started up again in the form of ‘grooves’ – allied to open-cast Tinning. This was not. very efficient, and the form of smelting left a considerable amount of ‘slag’ which still contained some lead and even small quantities of silver. The maximum yield was achieved in the 17th century after which the industry seemed finished. However, in the 19th century mining was resumed, slag being resmelted to the extent of making the industry viable. The influx of Cornish tin-miners to the Brendons and Mendips, coupled with greatly improved methods of working, with furnaces, engines, and smelting techniques, and above all deeper workings, resulted in a greatly-revived industry.

Recent excavations carried out in the Charterhouse area – some of it done by school-children – have resulted in the discovery and opening up of old buildings associated with the settlement, including condensation flues, foundations of workers’ cottages, stables, chimneys, and engine houses.

Some remarkable slides, including a few by aerial photography, and some taken in early morning light, vividly showing the contours of primitive workings, and many other features of this bleak landscape, accompanied Mr.Hawtin’s racy commentary, ensured this to be a most fascinating study, as was confirmed by the audience’s acclamation when Mr.Hayward expressed thanks to the speaker.

In concluding this review to date for ‘Chronicle‘ it should be stated that the meetings of this winter’s session have all been well-attended, and the speakers throughout, have been of an exceptionally high standard and greatly appreciated by all.
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Thoughts on a Talk

Arthur Denner

I much enjoyed Mr.Hawtin’s talk to the Society on March 6th about the old lead mining works on the Mendips. The slides so well illustrated the evidence of Roman and later mining, also the more technical and industrialized activity of the mid-19th century. A great deal of information has been collected about the latter period, and there are many industrial remains to back it up, as many of our members saw when the Society walked the area under the guidance of Mr.Gilson in the Summer of 1979•

On reflection, however, it surprises me that. there seeds to be so little trace left of the habitations of the workers who were employed between 1860 and 1860 on what must, have been quite a labour-intensive operation.

I much enjoyed Mr.Hawtin’s talk to the Society on March 6th about the old lead mining works on the Mendips. The slides so well illustrated the evidence of Roman and later mining, also the more technical and industrialized activity of the mid-19th century. A great deal of information has been collected about the latter period, and there are many industrial remains to back it up, as many of our members saw when the Society walked the area under the guidance of Mr.Gilson in the Summer of 1979•

On reflection, however, it surprises me that. there seeds to be so little trace left of the habitations of the workers who were employed between 1860 and 1880 on what must, have been quite a labour-intensive operation. No doubt some unskilled labour was found locally, as agricultural depression of that time would have made many farm workers unemployed, but we are told that quite a number of the skilled men came from Cornwall. If they came in any number one would expect to find evidence of permanent housing near the refining plant, and some tradition of intermarriage with local families. Surely there must be people still living in the district who have heard their grandparents speak of ‘goings-on’ with the Cornishmen at the Miners Arms on pay-day? ‘Folk-memory’ can often help put flesh on the dry bones of historical fact. How interesting it would be if someone in Cornwall could find some letters written home by one of the workers, describing his work and life among the foreigners in Somerset

Inevitably, when it was no longer profitable to continue refining the waste slag, the works were abandoned and the workers drifted away, probably a gradual process. The same thing happened to the iron ore mines on the Brendon Hills, which the Society visited a few years ago, but on that site there is still a lot of evidence of a workers’ settlement.

These thoughts lead me nearer home to wonder if some time in the next century a younger edition of Mr Hawtin will be seen with a band of school-children scratching about on the banks of the stream between Hendford and Pen Mill looking for traces of Yeovil’s oldest industry, Half a century ago there were at least a dozen busy factories between Newton Road and Hendford. I wonder how many readers can name them ? – no prizes offered!
No doubt some unskilled labour was found locally, as agricultural depression of that time would have made many farm workers unemployed, but we are told that quite a number of the skilled men came from Cornwall. If they came in any number one would expect to find evidence of permanent housing near the refining plant, and some tradition of intermarriage with local families. Surely there must be people still living in the district who have heard their grandparents speak of ‘goings-on’ with the Cornishmen at the Miners Arms on pay-day? ‘Folk-memory’ can often help put flesh on the dry bones of historical fact. How interesting it would be if someone in Cornwall could find some letters written home by one of the workers, describing his work and life among the foreigners in Somerset

Inevitably, when it was no longer profitable to continue refining the waste slag, the works were abandoned and the workers drifted away, probably a gradual process. The same thing happened to the iron ore mines on the Brendon Hills, which the Society visited a few years ago, but on that site there is still a lot of evidence of a workers’ settlement.

These thoughts lead me nearer home to wonder if some time in the next century a younger edition of Mr Hawtin will be seen with a band of school-children scratching about on the banks of the stream between Hendford and Pen Mill looking for traces of Yeovil’s oldest industry. Half a century ago there were at least a dozen busy factories between Newton Road and Hendford. I wonder how many readers can name them ? – no prizes offered!
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Museum Working Party

The Yeovil Museum working Party has continued its activities under the leadership of Mr.L.C.Hayward, and these have included arranging a further display of christening robe and other baby clothes, mounting a display in excess of 150 old photographs of Yeovil in the Print Room, and in progress at the time of this report is a display of school memorabilia.

Duplicate record cards of recent acquisitions have been made both for the museum file and the District Council Technical Officer’s Department, and a strong case prepared for the retention of the museum for the town, in view of reports of possible closure which have appeared in the press.

There has also been continued (and continual) conservation and care of costume, conducted tours of the museum, and the answering of queries and identification of artifacts, etc., brought in by the public.
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Field Survey Work

As will be seen from the Summer Programme, as detailed Here, two Saturday afternoons, on 11 April and 20 June, have been devoted to field work studies. It is hoped that those participating in this exercise will find it both interesting and informative.

Your committee feel that. by this means members might come to a greater awareness of the landscape around us and acquire, too, the means of identifying archaeological sites by
(a) visible surface contours (earthworks);
(b) crop marks;
(c) pottery and other artifacts located on the surface or stratified in trenches; and
(d) from documentary evidence supported by subsequent field-work study.

It should be stressed, at this, stage, that the type of study and field-work outlined above, need not be confined to the relatively young members of the Society. Valuable evidence can, and is, located with no more exertion than that generated by walking the dog!

Our first afternoon will be more theoretical than practical, with an outline being given of the types and approximate dates of pottery likely to be found in our area. Also demonstrated will be how simple plans can be prepared of earthworks and. archaeological sites.

The second afternoon will emphasize the more practical aspects of field survey work with a visit to a deserted medieval village.

Details of additions to our own library since our last issue can be found Here
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Summer Excursions – 1981 Programme

11 April – Saturday Afternoon
Archaeological Field Survey – A practical exercise, Part I.
Meet in car park adjacent to Bull Inn, Ilchester, 2 p.m. Cost 20p per head.
Some walking involved.

A Tour of Bath. Cost £2.30 (Coach only)
Coach leaves Old Station Car Park (back of Tesco’s & Key Markets) 8-30 a.m.

22 May – Friday evening
A Tour of North Dorset Churches, Cost 30p per head.
Meet at Long Burton Church, 6 p.m.

6 June – Saturday ALL DAY COACH OUTING
Blenheim Palace. Cost £2.80 per head. (Coach only)
Combined Archaeological & Local History Society & Art Group of Yeovil trip.
Coach leaves Old Station Car Park (back of Tesco’s & Key Markets) Please
Note time – 8 a.m.

20.June – Saturday Afternoon.
Archaeological Field Survey – A practical Exercise, Part II.
Meet at Sparkford Church, 2 p.m. Cost 20p per head.
Some walking involved.

18 July – Saturday afternoon.
A Village Walk led by Mr.R.Gilson. Cost 20p per head.
Meet at South Petherton Church at 2 p.m.

8 August – Saturday ALL DAY COACH OUTING
Salisbury and Breamore House. Cost £2.30 per head (Coach only).
Coach leaves Old Station Car Park (back of Tesco’s & Key Markets) 8.30 a.m.

August – date to be advised.
Halstock Roman Villa – Evening meeting on site to view season’s excavations.

5 September – Saturday Afternoon. (Car sharing suggested)
Hardy’s Dorset. Cost £1 per head.
Meet outside Dorset County Museum, Dorchester, at 2 p.m.

COACH TRIPS. Early reservation is advised since bookings will be taken in strict rotation, and it will be a case of ‘first come, first served.’ Please use separate booking form enclosed with this issue of ‘Chronicle‘, extra forms may be had from Hon.Secretary. BOOKINGS WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED ON RECEIPT OF MONEY WITH FORMS.

For Notes on FIELD SURVEY WORK Go to index

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60 years of Public Library Service in Yeovil


In 1902, the American philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, offered Yeovil £2,000 to found a public library on condition that the council would provide a site. The offer was not taken up and was withdrawn in 1914. Eventually, however, in 1920 the Public Library Act was adopted and Yeovil’s, first Public Library was planned.

The first Library Committee ‘found itself hedged in by difficulties on every side. People grew impatient at the apparent inaction, but free libraries do not grow like mushrooms in a Devon meadow’. The difficulties must have been almost insurmountable – there were no premises, no books and very little money but a ‘small single room’ in George Court (now the Borough Arcade) was acquired and with a donated nucleus of 3,000 books from ‘Everyman’s’ subscription library, Yeovil’s first public Library got off to a shaky start.

Although it has been said, with some justification, that as far as library provision goes Yeovil ‘has always provided too little, too late’ there is no doubt that the service, despite its shortcomings, was, and still is, much appreciated. There were 1,747 registered readers in 1922/3 who used that ‘small single room’ to choose a total of 47,676 books.

By 1928 the library was housed in new premises in King George Street but after only ten years it was reported that the service operated under ‘severe handicaps’ and that the shelves were ‘taxed to capacity’. It was, however, ‘confidently expected that a new Town Hall, offices, library and museum would shortly be erected on the Hendford Manor site’. There was an architectural competition and the winning design ‘hung for years in the library entrance hall, prompting the innocent to ask whereabouts in Yeovil all this grandeur was to be found, and cynics to express disbelief in its ultimate translation into reality’.

The cynics were right. The war put a stop to this particular plan for a new library, More plans were drawn up in the early 1960s and again ten years later, but Yeovil’s new library never got further than the drawing board. There were some improvements over the years. The Reading Room became a Reference Library and a separate Children’s Library was provided, but despite this the 1980 service still operates under ‘severe handicaps’ and the shelves are still. as ‘taxed to capacity’ as they were in 1938.

Mr.E.A.Batty, Borough Librarian and Curator from 1935 to 1969 closes his last, report with these word: ‘. . . the library is today providing more readers than ever before with better service than they have ever enjoyed before, despite the fact that nearly all its activities are carried out in what is often described, and not inaccurately, as ‘that funny little place’. The ‘funny little place’ is, in fact, a cultural asset of immense importance to the town which has, in the past, been often undervalued. Surely it is not too much to hope that this time there will be no weakening of the will to go forward and a building will be provided of which the citizens of Yeovil can be proud?’

Sorry, Mr.Batty, we’re still here! – only now the ‘funny little place’ copes with around 19,900 registered readers who, last year, borrowed almost 450,000 books!

With acknowledgements to the annual reports of Yeovil Borough Librarians especially those of Mr.E.A.Batty who held the post from 1935 – 1969
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The Ascent of a 13c Priest

Brian and Moira Gittos

Since 1817 the medieval effigy of a priest has been preserved in the south porch of Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury. The church is Victorian (by Gilbert Scott, 1842) and has recently been declared redundant. It was acquired for a community centre and arrangements were made to transport a number of wall monuments to the second floor of the tower, with the object of establishing a small museum. Fortunately it was decided that the mid 13th century priest should be preserved in the same way. However, this way to prove no easy task, as the effigy had been cemented into the porch floor and probably weighs in excess of five hundredweight.

In November 1980, the cement around the figure was loosened by a local archaeologist and the effigy was man-handled into an upright position just outside the porch by a willing band of stout-hearted helpers. After posing for photographs, the priest was wheeled by porter’s barrow to the west door and into the base of the tower. The final stage was the most difficult. Parts of the Pubeck marble figure were in a fiable condition due to exposure to damp, and because of this it was necessary to swathe it in sacking before roping it to the barrow. Thence, with the aid of a block and tackle, the swaying corpse-like figure inched its way through the trapdoor and up the tower, There was a tense moment as the effigy went into an impromptu spin, but it finally reacted its destination after a safe, if not entirely dignified, journey.

The figure is incomplete, the face, hands, and feet are missing, but it is otherwise in good condition with much original surface remaining. It will need care in the future to prevent further deterioration and Mr.J. Larson of the Victoria and Albert Museum has been consulted about its preservation.

It is probable that the effigy originally came from Shaftesbury Abbey and, according to the Rev.J.J.Reynolds, it was for some time ‘built into a wayside wall on Toothill’ (The Wiltshire Arch.& Nat.Hist.Mag.Vol. VII 1862 p.261). A tablet in the porch records that it was placed in Holy Trinity Church in 1817. It is illustrated in its former position in R.C.H.M. Dorset Vol.IV North plate 15, and there is a drawing by Dru Drury in the Proceedings of the Dorset Nat.Hist.& Arch.Soc.,Vol.LIII 1931, plate 6.
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Ringing St John’s church bells for Dr Henry Sacheverell

Leslie Brooke

St.John’s churchwardens paid the astonishingly large sum of £3 in 1709 ‘for Ringing 2 dayes upon an Extraordinary occasion for Dr.Sacheverell’.

The occasion for such rejoicing was the news that the doctor, who was rector of St Saviour’s, Southwark, had just been prohibited for preaching for three years! The reason was that he had preached a sermon in St.Paul’s in which he had called for the punishment of ‘Dissent and Dissenters’, urging all good citizens to rally round the church which he said was ‘in the ii:ost terrible danger’. Riots resulted and Dr.Henry Sacheverell was put on trial, the Queen herself daily attending; the three-week trial to lend support to his cause. He was found guilty but the sentence banning him from preaching for three years was regarded as a triumph, being of such a light nature. Naturally the established church lent their support, and the mob, which had welcomed the Queen’s support for the doctor by her attending as a private spectator, kept shouting ‘God bless the Queen and Dr.Sacheverell!’ We hope your Majesty is for High Church and Dr.Sacheverell!’ No doubt St John’s churchwardens considered their £3 expenditure well spent.
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‘The Great Day’


As this seems to be the year of our present Prince of Wales, it may not be amiss to remember the visit, of the last Prince of Wales to Yeovil in 1923, when he came to open an extension to the Kingston hospital. It was to be a great day for the town, and preparation went on for this special occasion weeks before the actual date, The town was in a ferment of anticipation, and trade was brisk in bunting and other patriotic emblems. I was very excited about the event, as I was a member of the Baptist. Church Girls’ Life Brigade, and we were to be part of the Guard of Honour, Many organizations were to be represented and our Brigade and the Yeovil Girl Guides dad pride of place at the front of the steps leading to the veranda where the Prince would formally open the new wing.

However, when the great day arrived., the weather had the audacity to be cloudy with a slight chilly breeze,. My mother said ‘You had better wear a coat as it’s going to rain’. As usual she was right as when I reached the Memorial Hall where the girls were assembling the weather had deteriorated and a slight drizzle had commenced. Our Captain, small, elderly, and frail-looking, whose energy belied her looks, marched up and down the line of girls with an air of disapproval. ‘Now, Girls,’ she said, ‘take off those coats, you can’t be a Guard of Honour to our splendid Prince in garments of all shapes, sizes, and colours. Off with them and show your smart uniforms.’

Smart was hardly the right description – it consisted of a dark navy-blue thick serge blouse, full ill-fitting skirt, black stockings, and heavy laced-up shoes. The hat was a flat pancake affair and was most unbecoming. This attire had the ability to make the prettiest girl look like a frimp – except, of course, in the eyes of our Captain who was most proud of this little group of girls, as the Brigade was her creation.

The girls formed and marched out, two by two. The rain was heavier now, and they stopped abruptly and looked at their officer. ‘Don’t you think we ought to wear our coats, Miss?’ asked one girl, braver than the rest. The Captain looked at the rain and then at the girls, and pride overcame misgivings. ‘0, it’s not too bad girls, most probably it will ease off later. You may be sure the Guides won’t be wearing theirs’. And that, is where she was wrong. When we reached the hospital grounds and stood in our appointed places – there were the Guides, buttoned up to their chins in coats and mackintoshes. The rain was now streaming down, and although the crowd jammed in tight behind us kept off much of the weather, the drips from an umbrella held by a woman directly behind me, found their way regularly and remorselessly down between my collar and neck.

The Prince was late, and I had begun. to lose any enthusiasm for his arrival when suddenly there was a rustle in the crowd and voices shouted ‘He is coming’. He is coming.”, and the hoorays grew louder, ‘Stand up smartly’, hissed Captain all along the rank, and between our Guard of Honour hurried a group of men, all swell, protected from the inclement weather. I hardly caught a glimpse of the slight figure of the Prince, and by now was past caring. If the whole Royal Family had miraculously materialized, I doubt if I would have found sufficient spirit to cheer. All I wanted to do was to rush home and change into dry clothes, and to be warm again, and most, of my companions were feeling the same,

The ceremony seemed endless with speeches and prayers, but at last, it was all over. I will not repeat what my mother said when I reached home, about Guards of Honour. However, much to her surprise, I was none the worse for my day on duty.
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Re-tracing a Roman road

Arthur Denner
Thirteen years ago my son and a friend, then both pupils at Sexeys School, Bruton, spent a week-end walking the route of the Roman road from Dorchester to Salisbury. On his return to England on holiday in July last year, he thought it would be interesting to find how many traces of the road had disappeared since 1967, and persuaded me to accompany him on a short walk in Roman Dorset.

We drove eastwards out of Dorchester on the A35, turning right after about half a mile on to the secondary road to Stinsford and Tancleton. According to the Ordnance Survey One Inch map, Sheet 178, the Romani crossed the Higher Rockhampton Lane at Ref.723918. In 1967 there were distinct traces of what appeared to be a dual raised trackway at this point, but growing crops made it impossible to see if these traces still exist.

The route of the road then crossed Puddleton Heath to the south of Hardy’s birthplace, and over what is now Forestry Commission land, So much planting of trees had been carried out during the last forty years that it is doubtful that any traces of the Roman route can now be discerned. We therefore drove on to Tolpuddle, from whence the route of the road can be followed across open fields for several miles. On the Dorchester side of the inn a lane goes north, and having followed this for about a quarter of a mile saw a bridle path sign on the right hand side. According to the map this path seems to follow the road fairly accurately and continues past several tumuli to Ashley Barn Farm, which is on the second class road leading north to Milborne St.Andrew. Looking towards the village we could see the earthworks of Weatherby Castle about half a mile away and several tumuli undisturbed by the plough. On the other side of the road several farm tracks. and paths appear to follow the line of the old road, but on Bere Down, 846970, a lane leading into Winterborne Kingston picks up the direst line. At this point we called a halt, as I had done enough walking for one day.

In any case the map is rather vague about the route taken by the road after this point, it may have led to Badbury Rings or Spetisbury Rings or both. There are traces of many old tracks around, some probably prehistoric, as from the number of tumuli, barrows and earthworks, the area must have been quite heavily populated in early times. I think the best time to explore the area would be in Spring before the crops grow, or perhaps even better, in Autumn if we have had a dry summer.
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Bell-cage of East Bergholt

Whilst holidaying in the Suffolk Stour Valley, we came to East Bergholt, the birthplace of John Constable, R.A., but the house has long since disappeared. His parents are buried in the N.E. corner of the churchyard.

The church dates from about 1350 and was altered in the 15th century. In 1525 a tower was begun at the expense of Cardinal Wolsey, but on his death in 1530 work was stopped owing to lack of funds. Now having nowhere to hang, their bells, a bell-cage was built in 1531 at the side of the church, It is unique that the bells – one of which is dated 1450 are rung not by a rope and wheel, but by the force of hands on the wooden headstocks. Owing to the close proximity to the bells ear-muffs have to be worn by the ringers. It is believed to be the only bell-cage in the country.
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Roman Invasion of the South-West

Picture a small cluster of timber huts nestling in a clearing shrouded in morning mist; wisps of smoke rise vertically from their thatched roofs. A muddy track runs through the settlement which exudes the characteristic dank smell of earth and dung, One becomes aware of numerous sounds emanating from the awakening village, dogs barking, the clang of metal on metal, and the voices of people engaged in early morning chores.

Suddenly there is commotion. A rider has appeared out of the mist, both man and animal show signs of having ridden long and hard. Almost incoherent from exhaustion, the rider gasps out his message – Dunum (Maiden Castle) has been attacked the battle has been lost . . . the Romans are coming!

In this sort of way the news that the romans had arrived in the South West might have been conveyed to our Iron Age ancestors living in the area.

The Romans, to be more specific, were Legio II Augusta, all the way from St.rasbourg.on the Upper Rhine. This legion, one of four selected for the invasion of Britain in A.D.43, was commanded by the future Emperor Vespasian. It had moved into the West via the kingdom of Verica in Sussex, ruled by Cogidummus, one of the first of the native leaders to ask for a treaty with Rome. His allegiance was extremely valuable to the Romans in that it ensured a safe base for operations against the Durotriges and Belgae of Dorsetshire and Wiltshire.

It is interesting to speculate as to the route of the II Augusta through the West. Suetonius speaks only of two very strong tribes, the assault of twenty native fortresses (oppidi) and a successful operation against Vectis (Isle of Wight). This latter aperation clearly indicates the presence of the navy and there is a possibility that this force continued to support the legion as it advanced down the coast. In its movement from Verica for operations against Vectis, one cannot rule out the possibility of action against the Belgae, in the Winchester area. (Winchester later becoming Venta Belgarum ).

There are several sites in our area that have yielded tantalizing information relating to the passage of Vespasian’s army. Preliminary excavations at Lake, near Wimborne, suggest that this extensive complex (possibly of 16 ha.) could have been a temporary base camp dating from the invasion period. If this is the case, one might speculate that its siting could have been influenced by the proximity of an extremely good harbour a few miles to the south,

If one looks at the map of Dorset and follows the line of the Stour valley north from Wimborne, one soon encounters a chain of fortified positions which give some indication of Roman military activity dating from the invasion period.

At Spetisbury Rings (an Iron Age fort of 2 ha.) the construction of the railway during 1857 revealed a mass grave of 120 skeletons. It would appear that this earthwork is in an unfinished state, and that these unfortunate people may have been the victims of a rapid Roman thrust from the south which took them by surprise.

Further north, Hod Hill and Hanabledon Hill would without doubt have been on Vespasian’s list of captured hill forts. Hod Hill, in particular, has shown evidence that at least the chieftain’s hut was subjected to ballista fire by Roman artillery. There is, however, no suggestion of direct assault, which might mean that the occupants were frightened into offering only a token resistance.

On ejecting the inhabitants from Hod Hill, the Romans then proceeded to establish a fort of their own within the Iron Age fort. This new camp was large enough to house a legionary detachment of 600 men and an auxiliary cavalry unit of about 250 men. It is extremely interesting when one visits Hod Hill to compare the geometrical layout of these fortifications with the Iron Age works.

The stabilization of the northern front would have left the II Augusta free to proceed along the valley of the river Frome to attack Maiden Castle. The excavations of Sir Mortimer Wheeler between 1934 and 1938 have vividly revealed the destruction caused by the legionaries when they stormed the east gate, including several hastily buried Durotrigian battle casualties. A visit.to this site is recommended along with a call at the museum in Dorchester to see a selection of the finds from the Wheeler excavation.

In what direction did the II Augusta move after Maiden Castle? All attempts at tracing the route would be pure speculation, but constitutes an interesting exercise. It is possible that it continued along the coast, operating in conjunction with a naval presence at least as far as Exeter, ensuring the passive allegiance of the Dumnonii of Devon and Cornwall.

Excavations carried out in Exeter over the past few years have revealed evidence which suggests that around A.D.50-55 the Second Legion constructed a fortress enclosing approximately 16 ha. This fortress continued in use until A.D.67 when the legion moved to Gloucester. It appears that the only stone-built building within the Exeter fortress was the bath-house which was situated beneath the present Cathedral Close.

At this point it is worth while considering the tactics of the Roman army moving through hostile territory. It is not necessarily correct to assume that the legion and its auxiliary contingent, operated continually in one major body under campaign-conditions. We have seen that at least 600 infantry and a detachment of cavalry were deployed at Hod Hill. The policy of the natives in withdrawing to fixed fortifications when whole areas were threatened, worked to the Romans’ advantage. It meant that auxiliary reconnaissance units could readily assess the strength at each point of potential resistance and therefore only those forces necessary to deal with that resistance were deployed.

It would appear that the terrain in most areas of the West would not have been conducive to the use of chariots in large numbers, hence the use by the tribes of numerous defensive positions. If we assume that the encampment at Lake near Wimborne was a base, then it follows that it could also have been used as a springboard for operating north to Salisbury Plain and then west towards the Mendips. We know that in A.D.49 the legion was in control of the lead mines at Charterhouse. The II Augusta subsequently built the fortress at Glevum (Gloucester) and later, c.A.D.75, took up its permanent headquarters at Isca Silurium (Caerleon) on the Usk, where it remained for centuries.

As far as the Yeovil area is concerned, there is no evidence of military activity during the invasion period. We do know from excavations that there was a military presence of some sort at Han, Hill, segments of body armour having been found. We also have the appearance of what might have been an army working party on South Cadbury towards the latter half of the first century. It is possible that the legions’ task in this area was made easier as they moved northwards by the fact that warriors from all parts of the Durotrigian territory had been neutralized in the initial battles at Ham Hill and Maiden Castle.

Only further excavation of our many oppida will throw more light on this invasion period. However, as one stands on the summit of a hill fort it is not too difficult to conjure up a picture of the legion marching slowly through the countryside.

‘Twenty-four miles in eight hours neither more nor less, head up, spear up, shield on your back, cuirass-cellar open one hand’s breadth, and that’s how you take the Eagles through Britain.?

Bibliography and suggested reading

Roman Britain : I.A.Richmond.

Roman Dorset : John Bugler and Gregory Drew (Proc.Dorset Natural History and Arch.Soc. Vol.95,pp.57-70,1973).

The Agricola and the Germania : Tacitus.

The Great Invasion : Leonard Cottrell.

Still Digging : Sir Mortimer Wheeler.

War Commentaries of Caesar,

Southern England – An Archaeological Guide : James Dyer.

Britain in the Roman Empire : Joan Liversidge.

Iron Age Communities in Britain : Barry Cunliffe.

The Roman Army : Graham Webster,

The Roman Army : Peter Connolly,

‘By South Cadbury is that Camelot’ : Leslie Alcock.

South Western British Roman Collections : Max Hebditch, City Museum, Bristol.

Roman Sites in the Mendips, Cotswold, Wye Valley and Bristol Region : Max Hebditch and Leslie Grinsell.

The Mendip, Hills in Prehistoric and Roman Times ; John Campbell, David Elkington, Peter Fowler, and Leslie Grinsell.

Excavations in the Cathedral Close : Exeter City Museum Archaeoligical Field Unit

Exeter in Roman Times : Aileen Fox.
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Report on Pottery Recovered by W.T.J.Chapman

Site: Yew Tree Close, Yeovil. N.G.R. 5420 1480.
Group analysis, The pottery has been divided into three groups, bags marked 1 & 2 both contain shards belonging to two individual vessels, while the third bag contains miscellaneous body shards belonging to many vessels.

(1) Group breakdown.      No.1      No.2
Rim shards      6            4            1
Neck shards    3            2            1
Body shards    20         1            –
Base shards      1            1            –

(2) Descriptions,
No.l. Bell-mouthed cookpot rim (some pieces fitting). Fabric surfaces oxidized to a buff/orange colour with external discolouration. Reduced light grey/blue core. Tempered with quartz and chert.
No.2. Rim, large cookpet/storage vessel, thick and heavily made.
Orange oxidized fabric surfaces, discoloured, with reduced blue/grey core. Coarsely tempered with chert, quartz and flint?

(3) Dating.
The form of the bell-mouthed cookpot (no.1) is common throughout the early medieval period. An example from Becker, Chapel (Rahtz & Hirst 1974,No.24) was thought to belong to an early 11th century date, whereas a similar vessel form from Beer, Devon (Jope & Threlfall 1958,No.5) is from a 12th/13th century context. The Beckery example contained limestone grits, which appears to be a pre-Conquest characteristic. This form of temper is absent in example No.1.

The example No.2 belongs to a form of heavily-made vessel common in the late Saxon and early medieval periods. A number of similar forms have recently been illustrated (Rahtz 1974), belonging to the late Saxon period however, the nearest example of this type are from the group excavated from the Keep at Taunton Castle (Gray 1926-9) belonging to a post-Conquest period.

The overall date of the group.probably belongs to a period of the late llth and 12th centuries.


Rahtz & Hirst 1974 : Beckery Chapel, Glastonbury 1967-8 : Glastonbury Ant. Soc, 1974

Rahtz 1974 : Pottery in Somerset A.D.400-1066 – in Evison Hodges & Hurst Medieval Pottery from Excavations : John Baker, 1974.

Jope & Threlfall 1958 : Excavations of a Medieval Settlement at Beere, North Tawton, Devon – in Med.Arch.2,

Gray : Unpublished material (1926-9)

A preliminary analysis of the pottery from Trent N.G.R. 5920 1857

Synopsis: The group contains of the:

1 Medieval
(i) coarse gritted cook pot type
(ii) smooth tempered cook pot type
(iii) jug (glazed vessel.) types.

2 16th century

3 Post medieval.
17th 18th 19th.

1    (i) Medieval coarse gritted cook pot type.
Fabric: Angular chest and flint grits (dissimilar to Mudford types).
All size temper rates – basic matrix with a few small voids.
1 rim shard, 7 body shards.

    (ii) A Medieval smooth tempered cook pot type.
This sample group is small – the fabric appears to have small voids varying in density character slightly from one another. There is a similarity with the Mudford fine fabric group although it is too early to definitely ascribe this group to the former source.
3 rim shards. 6 body shards. 1 base shard.

    (iii) Medieval type jugs (glazed vessels)
2 body shards. 1 base shard thumbed. Two fabric groups represented.
(a)brick orange red coloured shards slightly micaceous sand temper. Probably local – source unknown.
(b)base shard thumbed similarly in fabric the Mudford group.

2    16th century.
(a)6 body shards with external green glaze. Made at Woodford Farm, Crock Street, Donyatt (Crock Street).
(b)1 shard rim, pancheon. Probably local, similar in form to Donyatt examples of the period.
(c)4 body/base shards unascribable, but probably 16th century.

3    Post medieval – This group is well represented with the Donyatt wares forming the bulk and spanning the period 17th 18th and 19th centuries. There are two groups of local types.
An 18th c Hampshire/Dorset group
(2 sh)
and an 18th century local type.
1 shard Westerwald stoneware c.18th century,,
1 shard German stoneware (of similar type to Bellarmine)
1 plate shard from Leeds or Staffordshire, which has been fire-damaged in a bonfire.

Grateful thanks are expressed to Mr.Terry Pearson for having prepared the two above reports relating to this pottery.
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Some More Ice Houses


Whilst in the.grounds of Compton House to examine an attractive circular building which we think was a granary, we saw in the nearby hillside a stone doorway and part of a wall. The rest of the building was embedded in the hillside and partly hidden by brambles. Mud and a formidable barbed-wire entanglement prevented us from seeing what the interior was like, but its position at the side of the drive and buried in the hill not far from the outbuildings of the house, seems to indicate that this was an ice house.

Isabel Rendell

Hawkmoor House Farm was the counting-house of The Devon Great Consolidated Copper and Arsenic Mines. The ice house is situated in a small coppice about a hundred yards from the house. Basically it is a rectangular box sunk into the earth to a depth of about 1.4 metres and is 8 metres long and 1.7 metres wide, roofed by a barrel-vaulted roof of brick with an arc-shaped opening at each end, reinforced by stone and covered with earth, now much overgrown with saplings. The interior walls and floor below ground level are plastered with fine cement, and there must be a drain in the floor to carry off the moisture, but this could not be seen, as the interior was obscured with rubbish and large stones, some of which may have been used as steps. The ceiling of red brick is in good condition. Inside there were three large spikes projecting from one side, and the remains of five hooks on the other side, all about 1.3 metres from the floor. The structure appeared to be in a very sound condition, and if cleared and restored, would be a pleasing archaeological and historical feature of the 19th century.
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Tintinhull Project – Churchyard Survey

Mrs.Pat Knight

Soon the 1961 recording season will be upon us, so put on your stout footwear and warm clothing and join us in our Saturday afternoon recording sessions in local churchyards!

After two successful seasons working at transcribing the memorial stones at Tintinhull churchyard, we hope to complete our survey of this particular site as soon as possible. Other churchyards in the area demand our attention as many are still unrecorded.

Dates planned for Saturday afternoon sessions (weather permitting’.) from Easter onwards are Saturdays, 2 May, 30 May, 27 June – meet at Tintinhull Church at 2.30 p.m. Saturdays 25 July, 22 August, 26 September – venue to be arranged. I will be contacting all those members who helped with the survey last-year, but should any new members wish to come along, please contact me, Mrs Pat Knight at Netherfield, East Street, West Coker (Tel. West Coker 2120). Your help will be greatly appreciated.
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* The Society’s Library

The following volumes have been added to the Society’s Library, and are available for loan to members

All Saints Church, Lullington (guide)

A.H.Bell : Some Account of the Parish,of Poyntington now in the county of Dorset : 1928

F.Bligh Bond : The Glastonbury Scripts VI – The Rose Miraculous – how Joseph of Arimathea came to Glaston, bearing in his bosom the Sangreal : 1924

Holy Trinity, Long Sutton (guide)

National Trust : Montacute House, Somerset – 1961

The Parish Church, Wellington, Somerset (guide)

Official guide to Wellington, Somerset, Rural District : n.d.

L.Over : Visitor’s Guide to Archaeology in Scilly : 1974

W.G.Willis Watson : The Inns of Crewkerne, past and present . . . : 1935

W.G,Willis Watson : A Chronological History of Somerset (Somerset Folk Series) 1925

A Special thanks to all those members of the Society who donated the above items to our Library, Further donations of books, pamphlets, etc., will be most welcome, In order to borrow any of the above, or other Library items listed in previous issues of ‘Chronicle‘, please apply to the Society’s Honorary Librarian, Mrs.Pat Knight, either at Meetings or at Netherfield, East Street, West Coker, Yeovil, BA22 9BG (Tel.West Coker 2120).
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Book News and Notices

Pat Knight

Some recent publications of interest to readers:

J.Ash WEST STOUR IN DORSET – A Journey through the Centuries (Abbey Press, £3.50, 1980)
Interesting story of life and events in a small village since Anglo-Saxon times. A surname index of some 260 countrymen from the 14th century onwards is mentioned in the text. Included are illustrations, photographs, and a copy of a parish map dated 1842.

Francis R.L.Bath : DORSET AND WESSEX HABITS (Sherborne, The Abbey Press, £1-45 1980),
Booklet describing the history and development, of barn buildings and their uses, with details of historic barns in the area from the 15th century to Victorian times, with pen and ink illustrations by the author.

Joan Brocklebank : OLIVER LAWRENCE’S TALE – A Dorset View of the Civil War (Published by the Author at Great Field House, Affpuddle, Dorset DT2 7HR, £3 (p & p 30p extra) 1980)
Story based on historical facts and characters in the form of a journal kept between 1623-1653 by Oliver Lawrence, son of a strongly Royalist family from the Isle of Purbeck.

P.Burgess : CHURCHYARDS (S.P.C.K., 1980, 75p.)
Pocket guide describing the traditional features of English churchyards, memorials, sundials, lychgates, yew trees, etc. their construction, function, and their symbolic. significance.

E.J.Chaplin . SHIPTON GORGE (Published by the author, the Croft, Shipton Gorge, Bridport DT6 4LJ, 1980, £1.25 p & p 25p extra)
51-page history of the parish of Shipton Gorge, 2 miles SE of Bridport, compiled from a wide range of documentary sources.

J.Dixon and E.F.Williams : PARISH SURVEYS IN SOMERSET – CARHAMPTON (Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, 1981, £1) The third completed survey by the SANHS, earlier surveys being on Wambrook and Luxborough.

J.S.W.Gibson : A SIMPLIFIED GUIDE TO PROBATE JURISDICTIONS – Where to look for Wills, (Published by the author, Harts Cottage, Church Harborough, Oxford OX7 2AB; £2.25, 1980)
72-page guide giving the information most family and local historians require on the subject, with maps showing probate jurisdictions in all English and Welsh counties, and in Scotland and Ireland.

A.R.Rumble : LAY SUBSIDY 1327 (Dorset Record Society, 1980, £6) This volume is a companion to the Dorset Lay Subsidy Roll of 1332, published in 1971, and includes the tax assessment of many thousands of property-holders listed under hundreds and manors.

T.Tribe and P.Whatmoor : DORSET CLOCKS AND CLOCK MAKERS, with a supplement on the Channel Islands. (Tanat Books, Oswestry, Shropshire, 1981, £12). Study of Dorset Clocks and the history behind their makers, listing over 600 names of people engaged in the trade. Copies of the book available from Tom Tribe & Son, Bridge Street, Sturminster. Newton, Dorset, with additional 95p postage.

Ralph Whitlock : RARE BREEDS : The Vulnerable Survivors : (Prism Press, 1980) Over 200 rare breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, turkeys, and geese are illustrated, together with their general characteristics, qualities, and present status. At a time when many breeds are becoming extinct, this book records some of the rare examples still extant, and the author comments ‘these breeds are eminently worthy of study – we shall allow them to founder to our immense loss’.

To be published shortly

Peter Poyntz. Wright : THE PARISH CHURCH TOWERS OF SOMERSET – Their construction, craftsmanship, and chronology 1350-1550. (Avebury Publishing Co. Price after publication £20, price of a numbered copy before publication is £25.95 (last date 31 March 1981), non-numbered copies before publication £14.95 – Publication date 30 June 1981.)
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Two Yeovil Marsh Field Names

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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Society Publications

No.1 – THE ROMANS at Ilchester, Lufton, Yeovil and District, 1978 – L.C.Hayward

Liberally illustrated account of the Romans in the neighbourhood of Yeovil, as revealed by excavation and reconstruction. A few copies still available from the author, at £1.30 from local booksellers, or from the author 226 Goldcroft, Yeovil, (by post £1-50).

No.2 – STREET NAMES IN YEOVIL – Leslie Brooke – 1979 – This publication is now out of Print.

No.3 – BYGONE YEOVIL – L.C.Hayward and Leslie Brooke 1980

Profusely illustrated story of life in Yeovil, centred around St John’s parish church from pre-Reformation days, as revealed by church records. Obtainable from St. John’s church bookstall, or at Society meetings.£1.50. Proceeds from this publication are for the church restoration fund.

Journal of this Society.

At present issued twice-yearly for the reporting of our Society events, results of members’ research, excavations, and other activities, contributed articles, book notices, etc. etc.

FREE to members of the Society, extra copies 15p, obtainable from the Hon.Secretary. A few back numbers are also available on application to the secretary.
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