normally formed a single tithing which was
linked in 1569 with Durleigh, Huntstile, and
four other places and in 1641 with Huntstile. (fn. 58)
In the 1270s Roger of Goathurst claimed gallows, assize of ale (but not of bread), and waifs
and strays. (fn. 59) Rolls and books for Goathurst
manor court, held once or twice a year, for
1493-4, 1502-4, and 1556-60 record breaches of
the assize of ale, strays, repairs, and tenants'
pleas. (fn. 60) In 1676 the manor claimed money for
harvest work as well as suit of court from a
tenant. (fn. 61) Books for Halswell manor courts survive for 1556-64 and 1611. The court was held
once or twice a year and was concerned with
repairs and strays. (fn. 62) There was a pound at
Andersfield in 1887. (fn. 63)
In the early 17th century the overseers gave
relief mainly in cash and clothing. (fn. 64) The highway surveyors collected money in lieu of statute
labour by 1756 but repairs seem to have been
organized by Sir Charles Kemeys-Tynte's steward, who was paid by the surveyors. From 1762
the surveyors were arranging the repairs and in
1786 financial difficulties led to a decision to levy
a rate. (fn. 65)
A poorhouse, recorded c. 1705 and belonging
to Goathurst manor, may have been the former
church house. (fn. 66) It lay on the south side of the
churchyard at the west end of the village street.
It was let as a private dwelling in 1729, and after
1756 a second house was built in its garden. The
poorhouse was probably demolished in 1780. It
was replaced by a new poorhouse on the site of
the second house, which Sir Charles KemeysTynte let to the parish at a nominal rent. (fn. 67)
During the 19th and early 20th centuries it
housed old people and poor families and was
sometimes known as the almshouse. (fn. 68) It appears
to have been sold c. 1953 (fn. 69) and was divided into
two private dwellings known as Dorford House
and the Almonry. The two-storeyed, sevenbayed house was built in the Gothick style with
Y-traceried windows. Over the original ogeeheaded entrance is a dated panel recording that
Sir Charles provided the house.
The parish became part of the Bridgwater poorlaw union in 1836, Bridgwater rural district from
1894, and Sedgemoor district from 1974. (fn. 70)
S.R.S. iii. 164; xx. 243; Som. Protestation Returns, ed.
Howard and Stoate, 186.
Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 126; Plac. de Quo Warr.
(Rec. Com.), 693.
||S.R.O., DD/X/ELT 1-2; DD/S/WH 210.
||Ibid. DD/S/WH 147.
||O.S. Map 6", Som. LXI. NW. (1887 edn.).
||S.R.O., D/P/gst 4/4/1.
||Ibid. D/PM/gst 6/1/2.
||Ibid. DD/S/WH 25.
||Ibid. 56, 147, 225, 248.
||P.R.O., HO 107/929; ibid. RG 9/1622; RG 11/2372;
S.R.O., D/R/bw 13/1/3.
||S.R.O., DD/X/GST (S/1372).
||Youngs, Local Admin. Units, i. 671, 673, 676.