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churchwardens of Stoke St. Gregory and North Curry, in
the years 1664, 1673, 1680, and 1698, the first of which is
curious : —

Gregory Stoke — The presentment of the churchwardens
and sideman of Gregory Stoke, made at the visitacon of
the Wor^^ William Peirs, Doctor of Divinity, officiall to
the Right Wor" the Deane and Chapter of the Cathedrale
Church in Wells, the fourteenth day of October, 1664.

Imp"^ wee p'sent ye Church Leads to be in some defect
and out of reparacon.

Item wee p'sent wee have no white linnen cloth for ye
Cornunion Table.

Item that wee have no booke of homilies.

Item that wee have no Surplice.

Item that wee have no booke to write the names and
licences of strange preachers.

Item that wee have no Herse cloth for ye buriall of ye
dead.

Item wee p^sent that ye Minister hath not yet pTormed
his office in Cathechising the children because he hath two
cures to serve.



52 .TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

Item wee p'sent Thomas Leaky and Emme his wife for
incontinency before marriage, and ther of there hath been
and is a coinon fame in this the s^ V^^

Item wee p'sent Marvell Jent the wife of Christopher
Jent for causing of strife between her neighbours and for
that she is a raylor.

Item wee p^sent Joseph Hancock for not paying his rates
to the Church being four behind. William Sain for the
like being 2s. 2d. behind. William Pocock for the like
being 6 behind. Thomas Coombe, senr., for the like being
4d. behind, Elizabeth Ley, widdow, for the like being
8d. behind. Jane Powell, widdow, for the like being
Ois. 04d. behind. Thomas Godwin for the like being
01s. 02d. behind. Gregory Powell, the elder, for the like
being 01s. 06d. behind. Thomas Coombe, jun., for the
like being 4d. behind.

Item wee p'sent the old Churchwardens for not giving
up of their last Accompts, but they p'mise that it shall be
speedily done.

John Willicomb ? r^ i i
Wm. Clements I Churchwardens.

Gilburd Bray, Sideman.
The following is a presentment from the Churchwardens
of North Curry in the year 1680 : —

Somsett C The P'esentment of the Churchwardens
North Cory < of the Parish Church of North Cory duely
Peculiar (_ elected for the year 1680.
Wee p^sent Herny Ffoster, William Brownsford
Churchwardens for the last yeare, and William Verrier
and Edward Derham als. Ffarmer, Churchwardens for
the yeare before, for that they with the Confedracy of
John Ffox, John Sanddy, Thomas Owen, and Robert
Hill, jr. did take downe a bell out of the Tower of the
parysh church of North Cory aforesd, and the same bell
did carey away and refuse to bring it againe to the damage
of the p'shionrs of the sayd parish fForty pounds.
Robert Handall
Hennery Nurton.



ON PARISH REGISTERS. 53

The President observed that Mr. Coleman had opened
an important mine of information, which revealed traits
of character and local feeling, and enabled historians in
future days to draw pictures which the}' would not other-
wise be able to present.

Mr. W. E. SuRTEES mentioned that a distinguished
antiquarian of former days published a book of the in-
teresting and curious extracts from the parish registers of
the county of Durham. If Mr. Coleman or any other
gentleman would follow that example in the interests of
Somersetshire, he would confer upon the county a very
great service.

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C.L., remarked that of the
16th century they had in Mr. Coleman's paper exactly-
such a collection of local annals as they might have had
700 or 800 years ago. These notices were the same sort
of things which they found in the shorter and more meagre
annals out of which our history was made. The main
events of Elizabeth's reign were put down without note
or comment, and, supposing that the larger histories were
to vanish, they would be in much the same position in
years to come, with regard to Elizabeth's history, as
they were of early matters. It struck him how the old
names were changing ; this was plain from the records of
Stoke St. Gregory. So also at the present time continual
alterations were being made in the names of the colleges
of Cambridge and streets all over the country, something
grander than the original titles being sought. Every lane
must now be turned into a " street,^' and thus some little
bit of history was wiped out.

Mr. G. T. Clark said there were not many parish re-
gisters which contained annals, but there was one valuable
bit of information which could be derived from them —



54 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

the classification of the names. There was no body of
men more active than rural clergymen, but there were
times in the winter when they could find an opportunity
to take up the registers and make a classification of the
names, and draw certain conclusions as to the length of
time names remained in the parish. They would thus
derive a vast amount of information as to the transitional
state of the rural population.

The President said tliat although names might not
remain many years in a certain parish, they remained an
enormous time in one neighbourhood.

Mr. F. H. Dickinson suspected it would be found that
our names were curiously local.

Mr. E. Chisholm-Batten thought that names were
very permanent in this neighbourhood. He had been told
that the descendants of the people who took the body of
William Rufus into Winchester were still in the same
position of life, and bearing the same name.

Mr. M. J. C. Buckley said that the common names of
many of our English flowers had been changed after 1 530.
In many of the present names of plants we retained part
of the original name and cut off the rest. It would be
a very interesting and useful thing to rescue those names
from the neglect into which they had fallen.

The Kev. Thos. Hugo, M.A., then read a paper " On
the Hospital of St. Margaret, Taunton," which is given in
Part IL, page 100.

At the conclusion of the reading, a vote of thanks was
passed to Mr. Hugo, on the motion of the President.

Mr. John Batten proposed that the Annual Meeting
for 1873 should be held at Sherborne.

Mr. Jones stated reasons why it should be held at Wells,
but promised the attention of the Council to the subject.



SECOND EXCURSION — OLD KOAD TO BATHPOOL. 55

The members left Taunton in the morning on a second
Excursion. After a brief halt to inspect the remains of
St. Margaret's Hospital, on the outskirts of the town,
the party proceeded to walk through the

mil load to iatlijJooL

At a point where the pitched causeway rises high above
the road, a stoppage was made, and

The liev. Prebendary Scarth said his knowledge of
Roman roads only extended to this country, many of which
were in deep hollows like this, but whether formed so, or
worked by the lapse of ages, no one could say. They had
the advantage of Mr. Parker's company, however. He
knew the ancient roads in Italy, and might be able to say
something to determine what were original Roman roads
in this country. There were certain places where the
roads were worn into deep hollows as this was, but they
could be traced best over hard hills where the plough had
not been. In many places these roads were 16 feet wide,
had a trench on each side in order to carry off the water,
were formed of the materials of the country, and were
perfectly hard. Then, chiefly in descending hills, they
were found worn into deep hollows like this, but which
unfortunately had been in the progress of improvement
very much filled in. In the neighbourhood of Bath some
of them had been completely filled in. He hoped, how-
ever, that this one would be preserved intact, for it was
well worthy of preservation. Happily where he was at
present residing he had a portion of glebe containing an
old road very similar to this, on the road from Bridgwater



56 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING,

to Bristol. He prized it far more than the other portions
of the land, and would take care that it should never be
filled up while he could help it. These roads were among
the most curious remains in England, and he had long
wished for a perfect map of the Roman roads in Britain.
One was a far too cautious map, and only represented
those roads which every one knew. They had no doubt
about the great military roads, but as there are certain
turnpike and bye-roads used now, so there were in the
times of the Romans. He had often pressed it at their
meetings that there should be a good map made of Roman
Britain, Each county society might take up the matter,
but no single man could attempt to do justice to it. Two
or three men in each county might undertake the task.

The Rev. T, Hugo said he had always thought that
this road was constructed anterior to Roman times, by the
original inhabitants of the country. There could be very
little doubt at all events that it was used by the Romans.
A road from this, running through Holloway, went not far
from Castle Neroche ; another diverging to the west car-
ried them by Galmington and Wellington into Devonshire.
By-and-bye they would get to a still more interesting
point of the road. Here of course it was quite clear that
the lapse of ages had resulted in the very worn and hollow
way, but he was sure that for many years all the traffic
of the west between Taunton, London, and Bristol came
along this road. The pitched causeway was evidently in-
tended for the use of foot passengers, and he should like
to know the date of it.

Mr. R. K. M. King pointed out one great peculiarity
in regard to the pitched way. The Society, in walking
through, would observe what had been noticed by the
inhabitants for a great length of time — that whoever con-



SECOND EXCURSION — OLD ROAD TO BATHPOOL. 57

structed the pitching, whether Romans or people anterior
to them, very great pains indeed were taken to construct a
permanent way. It was true that much of it was formed
from the material of the parii?h, the hardest of the sand-
stone, but a large quantity of flint was also introduced,
evidently from the Blackdown Hills, the very place from
which they still obtained flint for their roads.

JSIr. F. H. Dickinson agreed that they ought to have
some account taken of the old roads. Hollow roads oc-
curred in all parts in the oolitic strata, because they would
naturally sink.

Mr. W. A. Jones mentioned that they had a map in
the Museum on which they had marked in blue what they
considered to be the British roads and camps, and the
Roman in red.

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said no doubt these hollow
ways wei'e used by the Romans, but existed before their
time. All over Gaul they were found very similar. They
were in the fashion of the world 1,000 years before the
Christian era, and remained in vogue to the first century.
One of the discoveries which he had made in Rome was,
that the roads were made in the hollows, and about the
second century they began to raise the roads. Thus the
Arch of Augustus had been filled up to the shoulders,
while some of the arches stood at full height. The pitching
of this road was mediaeval entirely. Hollow ways were
convenient, because every soldier carried a light shield
upon his arm, and the wind made it very troublesome.

Advancing to a lower part of the road.

The Rev. Tnos. Hugo said that at various times en-
croachments had l)een made. The old road had been
much altered since he was there last. The bridge on
which tliey were standing was now not above half its
VOL. Xviii., 1872, part I. h



58 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

former width, and the last time he saw it the abutments
were visible. The trees, too, which are now in the field
were then in a line of hedge alongside of the road.

The walk was then resumed until the old road disappears
at Bathpool Mill, near the bridge, where the carriages
were waiting, and the party proceeded to

The stocks and whipping-post remain in the churchyard
in a good state of preservation.

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C.L., said the church was to
some extent a carrying out on a very much smaller and
plainer scale of the type seen at Taunton, Bruton, and
Martock — the clerestory with a large window. They also
found, what w^as not very often discovered, the clerestory
and the compass-roof together. It would be very much
improved by the simple process of making a string-course
between the arcade and the clerestory. There were earlier
bits preserved, but the general history was a common one.
The tower had been added to an earlier building ; then
afterwards the nave was rebuilt, between the new tower
and the old chancel.

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., thought it pretty clear that
the church was earlier than the generality of Somersetshire
churches. The tower was of the date of Eichard II, and
the nave was later. The chancel ai'ch, as very often hap-
pened, was one of the earliest parts of the church, and
supported the roof on both sides. The probability Avas
that it was Early English, of the same date as a window
at the west end — about 1 240 or 1250. The nave, probably,
was built in the middle of the 15 th century. Whether

* An engraving of tlie tower is given in the volume of the Society's
Proceedings for 1852.



SECOND EXCURSION — CREECH CHURCH. 59

the east window was genuine was doubtful ; if it was, it
was clearly one of Edward Ill's time; but it looked
supiciously modern. The tower was a good one of its
kind, and not so elaborate as usual. The west door was-
particularly good, of the Early Perpendicular style.

was next visited. In a niche over the porch is a mutilated
representation of the Trinity, and a handsomely-carved
reading-desk bears the date 1634.

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., looked upon it as a very puz-
zling church to make out at a few minutes' notice. There
was a great deal of the Early English, and much of the
Perpendicular character, which might almost be called
Transitional. Early English arches remained under the
tower. The Perpendicular arch was an insertion, and the
chancel arch had also been introduced. It was pretty
clear that the greater part of the old walls remained, not-
withstanding that the character had been changed. There
was a very beautiful waggon-roof, with a remarkably rich
cornice. It was one of the richest things he had seen for
a long time. The roof of the chancel was pointed, that
would indicate an earlier period. There were very curious
arrangements in the little chapel, where the passage
leading to the rood-loft had evidently been carried along
the wall. There was also a corbel, as if there had been a
wooden gallery. The rood-loft often was an extensive
fabric in these buildings, and it might have been carried
over the Early English arch. The tower was remarkably
good Early English transitional work, and there was an
additional story of the 15th century added.

Mr. E. K. M. King drew attention to two or three
points, with regard to family history in the parish. They



60 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

could see a very fine monument of one of the oldest fami-
lies in the county. The name was Robert CufFe, and he
had reason to believe that the only living descendant of
the family held land at the present time with Colonel
Pinney. The date of the burial was 1597. Mr. CufFe
left two daughters, and at the time of his death he was
owner of this large and rich parish, constituting the Manor
of Creech. One of the daughters and co-heiresses, named
Ann, married Sir Francis Warre, alluded to in Mr. Hugo's
paper, and Sir Francis thus became entitled to one moiety
of the manor. Thomas Warre had previously added to
the domain of Hestercombe the adjoining Manor of West
Monkton. The other daughter married a person of the
name of Key t. Attention having been called to some very
perfect arms in the north chapel, they were pronounced
by Mr. King to be those of a very ancient family named
Ceeley, now extinct.

Mr. Batten said there had been alterations and im-
provements in the decorations made from time to time
with no sparing hand, and these could hardly be accounted
for otherwise than upon the hypothesis that the church
was one of the earliest possessions of the Abbey of
Montacute.

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., standing in the churchyard,
called attention to the remarkable tower. Many, he
said, would call it Norman because of the flat buttresses,
but he should not go so far back. Very likely the work
was Early English. It was possible that the windows
might have been altered, but there was no evidence of
this. The upper belfry story was evidently an addition of
the 15th century. The staircase seemed to have been so
arranged as to afford access to the tower and the rood-loft.
The west front was good Perpendicular, and there was a



SECOND EXCURSION — NORTH CURRY CHURCH. 61

very rich Decorated cross over the chancel. The outer
arch of the porch might be Norman, but the interior was
Early English.

After a long drive the excursionists arrived at North
Curry, and proceeded first to Moredon, the residence of
Major Barrett. Here the Society, by previous invitation,
Were entertained most hospitably in a marquee erected on
the lawn. The President and Mr. Jones tendered the
thanks of the Society for the reception accorded them,
and Major Barrett, in response, declared that it had given
him very great pleasure to receive them, and though it
was the first visit he hoped it would not be the last, for he
should be happy at any time to welcome the Society. A
walk across the valley led to the church on the opposite
eminence.

IJortli djuiirir Chuiich.

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C.L,, remarked that it was
more than 20 years since he was at the place, and he was
glad to have before him to refresh his memory an ex-
ceedingly accurate ground plan and minute account of the
building, provided by Mr. Foster, a native of the place.
The church was one of the earlier types of the county,
very much altered, but less so than many. That cruciform
shape was very common in Somersetshire in earlier, but
rare in later times. The central towers had been fre-
quently pulled down and erected at the west end, but so
great a change had not taken place in this church. There
seemed to have been a much earlier church here, of which
a small fragment was still left. In the north aisle there
was a good Norman doorway, with a segmental arch, and
the President had shown very plainly that it was as it had
been from the beginning. Setting aside that small remain,
the church was a building of the middle of the 14th cen-



62 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

tury, largely recast in the 15th, but not so much so as to
alter the original character, because they had left the
central tower. As it stood in the 14th century it was a
cross church, with very low walla and very high roof,
keeping somewhat more of the character of an earlier time
than was usual in the middle of the 14th century. They
could trace pretty well the height of the walls by the low
buttresses. He liked the north transept front exceedingly.
The change which had been made in the north transept
was the lowering of the roof, which must have been of an
enormously high pitch, with very low walls. The east end
of the choir was stuccoed, so that they could not trace the
ofables. The east window and side windows of the tower
were, probably, of the 15th century. The tower remained
untouched, and was the original octagonal tower of the 14th
century. These towers were rather a feature in Somerset-
shire, although few, while in other counties they might
never see one. They met with it again in Northampton-
shire, but with this difference — the Somersetshire octagon
was one with a square base. They could see that at
Bishops Hull, Somerton, Puddymore, and Barton St.
David's ; while in Northamptonshire the octagon was
set upon a square tower. There was another octagon at
" Gregory Stoke,^' but that was more slender than this.
The bold porch formed a feature of the church. The
original roofs seemed to have been all of one level, but
when the 15th century people touched the choir in the
transept they raised the walls somewhat. There was no
need, however, to have brought in any clerestory windows.
There was a little window at the east belonging to the
earlier church, showing the height. The porch was
altogether an addition, and the west front had been
recast in the Perpendicular. It very often happened in



SECOND EXCURSION — NORTH CURRY CHURCH. 63

the cruciform parish churches that the west end had
nothing of an artistic design, but here it had still a certain
degree of design about it which was pleasing and satis-
factory. The parapet was pierced throughout, except in
the transept. The church was under the care of his friend
Sir George Gilbert Scott, and he was very glad to see
that he did not mean to do any mischief. He had looked
at the designs throughout, and did not see that anything
would be destroyed, but the only doubt in his mind was
whether it was quite wise to place a low spire on the
tower. There was something to be said on both sides,
but now that the high roofs were gone he doubted whether
it was wise to put on the tower a feature which belonged
to a past state of things into which the builders of the
15th century brought it. Still, he wished that other
churches were likely to suffer as little harm as North
Curry.

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., thought that an octagonal
wooden spire would be an immense improvement.

The President remarked that they had here a very
large chancel, with a central tower. In the great number
of instances a large chancel was connected with some re-
ligious house, and he should like to know whether it was
so or not in this case. Such was the case at Dunster and
many other places.

Mr. Freeman said that it belonged formerly to the
church of Wells.

The Vicar (Rev. F. Harrison) said there were at one
time four chapels belonging to the parish, and in a farm-
house the other day a roof was discovered which evidently
belonged to one of those chapels. He said in reply to Mr.
Freeman's enquiries about King John's connection with
the parish, that the only fact known was the confirmation



64 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

by King John of the gift by Richard I of the naanor and
domain to the church of Wells.

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C L. (the party having entered
the church) observed that the changes which had gone on
could be seen there, but not so plainly as outside. It vva3
plain that inside as well as outside the ground plan had
been untouched. In the great central lantern they found
the four arches of the earlier building, and it had been
intended to fill in with stone. That was one of the com-
monest things to find a vault which was begun and never
finished. The reason was this : it was much better to let
the wall stay a bit before putting in the stone vault, and It
frequently happened that this was never done, but that a
wooden vault had been put on as here. If there was any
reason why the walls would not bear a vault of stone, he did
not see why they should not have one of wood, supposing
that it did not pretend to be anything else. The builders
seemed to have been satisfied with putting in a row of
clerestory windows without adapting them In any way.
The lack which they saw at West Monkton was visible
again here. Evidently there was a great want of a string-
course between the arcade and the clerestory, and the want
was felt more here than at West Monkton.

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., called attention to the corbels
of the roof in the transept, which seemed to Indicate that
there had been a diflferent roof there. In the arcade
the continuous imposts, without moulding, were very com-
mon on the Continent, but very rare In England. There
was a tradition that the tombs in the chancel came from
Athelney.

In the vestry is a marble tablet, with a long Inscription,
relating to certain privileges and grotesque revelries, known
as North Curry feast.



SECOND EXCURSION — THORN FALCON CHURCH. 65

The Vicar, in reply to Canon Meade, said he was happy
to state that these proceedings were not kept up now, but
ceased about seven years ago. The feast was attended
with a good deal of excess, and those interested in the
"charities" were induced to give up their rights to the
Ecclesiastical Commissioners. He pointed out the un-
common perfection of the registers.

The Eev. Prebendary Scarth made a few remarks con-
cerning the proposed transfer of parish registers from the
custody of the clergy to a central department at London.

Mr. Jones asked whether the entries were transcripts
from an old register.

The Vjcar thought they must be, the caligraphy was
so uniform.

The President asked whether any explanation could



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