Economic history


Victoria County History



R W Dunning, C R Elrington (Editors), A P Baggs, M C Siraut

Year published


Supporting documents



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'Aisholt: Economic history', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6: Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and neighbouring parishes) (1992), pp. 70-71. URL: Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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In 1086 Holcombe and Holt, apparently Aisholt, were each recorded as having been assessed at 1 virgate. Postridge was not recorded. Holt, with land for 1 ploughteam, was all in demesne except for 10 a. occupied by 2 bordars, and had 1½ a. of meadow. Holcombe, where there was land for 2 teams, was divided equally between the demesne, with 1 team on ½ virgate and 2 servi, and 1 team on ½ virgate shared between 1 villanus and 5 bordars. There were 12 beasts, 12 shegoats, 4 sheep, and 3 swine, and 75 a. of pasture. (fn. 82)

By the early 15th century East Postridge manor (fn. 83) appears to have been entirely enclosed and over 400 a. were shared between 14 tenants producing rents of £10 12s. 6d. in 1448. (fn. 84) Farming inventories of parishioners in the 17th century included oats as well as wheat; few holdings were over 30 a. (fn. 85) By 1842 half the parish was arable and there were 138 a. of meadow, mainly at Postridge, and 160 a. of pasture, some at Aisholt possibly former meadow. There were 21 a. of orchards. (fn. 86) Almost half the reduced parish in 1905 was arable, (fn. 87) producing wheat, barley, and roots. (fn. 88)

By the earlier 19th century holdings were being amalgamated. By 1833 Little Postridge was reduced to a landless cottage while Postridge farm included land in Charlinch and amounted to over 200 a. Lower Aisholt farm was then 180 a. and Higher Aisholt 110 a. (fn. 89) A further 9 farms were over 30 a. (fn. 90) By 1851 the three largest farms totalled over 720 a., including land outside the parish, and employed 22 labourers. (fn. 91) Numbers employed on farms had fallen to about 10 by 1881, coinciding with a fall of over 30 per cent in the population since 1871. (fn. 92) By 1919 farms had been further amalgamated; one old farm house was used for storage and a cottage as a fowl house. (fn. 93)

A licence for mining copper and other ores in Aisholt was granted in 1714 (fn. 94) and a short-lived mining venture in Aisholt and Over Stowey operated by two partnerships produced £45 for the lord of the manor between 1716 and 1719. (fn. 95) A tanner, probably at Postridge, was recorded in 1705. (fn. 96) A tanyard established at Postridge by 1832 belonged to South Holmes farm in Spaxton. (fn. 97) The name Rack close recorded near Aisholt village in 1842 suggests clothmaking. (fn. 98) In 1851 there were carpenters, a cattle dealer, and a grocer in the parish, (fn. 99) the last surviving until 1866 or later. (fn. 1) A millwright lived at Postridge in the later 19th century. (fn. 2)

A mill at Holcombe in 1086 (fn. 3) was not recorded again. A miller was mentioned in 1674. (fn. 4)


82 V.C.H. Som. i. 486-7.
83 By then probably including West Postridge.
84 P.R.O., E 326/6012; ibid. SC 6/977/8.
85 S.R.O., DD/SP inventories, 1637, 1646, 1684-5; DD/WG, box 8, survey c. 1682.
86 Ibid. tithe award.
87 Statistics supplied by the then Bd. of Agric., 1905.
88 Kelly's Dir. Som. (1906).
89 S.R.O., DD/PLE 64.
90 Ibid. tithe award.
91 P.R.O., HO 107/1924.
92 Ibid. RG 11/2369; Census, 1871-81.
93 S.R.O., DD/KW 2.
94 Ibid. DD/WG, box 7.
95 Ibid. 15/5-6.
96 Ibid. 7/1.
97 Below, Spaxton, econ. hist.
98 S.R.O., tithe award.
99 P.R.O., HO 107/1924.
1 P.O. Dir. Som. (1866).
2 Ibid. (1866, 1875).
3 V.C.H. Som. i. 486.
4 S.R.O., Q/SR 121/13.