Parishes: Cudworth

Pages 141-147

A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.

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Cudworth, on the northern scarp of Windwhistle ridge, covered an area of 1,100 a. in 1841, and 1,125 a. by 1901. (fn. 1) From its southern boundary on the ridge just over 725 ft. above sea level, the land falls away, at first steeply and then more gently, to below 225 ft. at its northern limit. The parish was said in the 18th century to be 'an elevated and delightful spot' and 'peculiarly adapted for the site of a villa', commanding 'unbounded prospects of the surrounding country and the British and Bristol channels'. (fn. 2)

The southern boundary with Cricket St. Thomas follows in part the course of the Foss Way. The parish is divided from Chillington on the east by Stretford water, a name possibly derived from association with the Foss. The Wall brook, which runs parallel with Stretford water a little to the west, forms the boundary for a 'finger' of Cudworth pointing north into Dowlish Wake. The northern and western boundaries occasionally follow contours but appear otherwise to be irregular.

Clay-with-flints on the higher ground in the south is followed by bands of chalk and chert. Outcrops of sand and marl occur further north. (fn. 3) Marl was dug in the 16th century, (fn. 4) and in 1841 there were at least seven quarries, mostly for chalk. (fn. 5) By 1886 there was a chalk pit and lime kiln north of Limekiln Lane east of Lidmarsh Farm, and another north of New Lane. (fn. 6) The place-names Cudworth and Worth both suggest woodland clearings. Woodland still survives along the higher slopes of the parish just below the Windwhistle ridge and evidently extended further north, where fieldnames and small inclosures indicate medieval cultivation. (fn. 7) Medieval settlement is also visible east of the church and former manor-house.

The main roads in the parish form an H-shaped plan. To the east Dowlish Lane runs north from the direction of Purtington and Higher Chillington to Dowlish Wake. Oldway Lane, in the west, runs north from White Down also to Dowlish Wake. They are joined by an east—west road, known as Water Lane in 1851, which extends west to Cricket Malherbie. (fn. 8) Hamlets grew up at the two junctions. That in the west, at Cross Tree, (fn. 9) has in association the parish church, the former prebendal house, and the site of the manor-house, together with West Farm, a dairy house, and cottages. The eastern junction had a larger settlement at least by the 18th century, when it was divided between Higher and Wear greens. (fn. 10) This may be the area known in the 16th century as Werthe or Upton, and thus in origin the secondary Domesday settlement known as Worde. (fn. 11) In the late 18th century it was known as Upper and Lower Weare. (fn. 12) The school and poorhouse stood there in the 19th century, together with the substantial East Farm and buildings. There are scattered houses between the two hamlets and ancient settlements in the west of the parish at Bonner's Leaze and above Lidmarsh.

Apart from the church and former prebendal house the oldest buildings in the parish date from the 17th century. Knight's Farm has recently been modernized and reduced in size, but appears to have been of 17th-century origin with a passage entrance. Some earlier 17th-century panelling is still in the house although now reset. Bonner's Leaze is a long house of 17th-century origin with a barn at the rear dated 1870. A house in Lidmarsh, formerly known as Greystones and Combe Thatch, is a small 17th-century building enlarged and altered in the earlier 18th century, probably in 1720, the date on a stone over the former twostoreyed porch. (fn. 13) The other large farm-houses appear to date from the 18th or 19th centuries.

There was an inn in the parish by 1735 which by 1769 was known as the Black Horse. (fn. 14) The Windwhistle inn, perhaps its successor, was so named by 1782. (fn. 15) It stands on the north side of the Crewkerne—Chard road, on the extreme southern boundary of the parish, and incorporates a building of the 19th century.

Among the holders of the prebend of Cudworth were William Fulford (1452–75), a diocesan official, Edmund Audley (1475–80), later bishop of Rochester, Thomas Cornish (1494–1501), titular bishop of Tenos and suffragan to the bishops of Bath and Wells and Exeter, and Dr. Richard Busby (1639–95), headmaster of Westminster school 1638–95. (fn. 16)

There were 14 households in the parish in 1563 and 16 in 1601. (fn. 17) In 1801 the population was 163; it fell to 140 in 1811 but rose in thirty years to 155 and in a further decade to 181. It then fluctuated, but fell sharply from 115 in 1891 to 86 in 1901. The level remained fairly stable until after 1951, but in 1961 there were 65 and in 1971 64. (fn. 18) Seven men were under suspicion of complicity in Monmouth's rebellion in 1685. (fn. 19)


The manor of CUDWORTH was held T.R.W. by Roger Arundel. (fn. 20) The overlord in 1236 was Roger FitzPayn, (fn. 21) and therefore the property is presumed to have descended like the manor of Charlton Mackrell with the Arundel barony of Powerstock (Dors.). (fn. 22) Roger FitzPayn (d. 1237) was succeeded by his son Sir Robert (II) (d. 1281) and by his grandson Robert (III), Lord Fitzpayn (d. 1315). Robert (IV), Lord FitzPayn, died in 1354, leaving as his heir his daughter Isabel, wife of Sir John Chidiock (I) (d. 1388). (fn. 23) Cudworth was said in 1384 to be held of Chidiock as of his manor of Chelborough (Dors.), (fn. 24) and in 1518 to be held of his heirs as of the same manor. (fn. 25)

In 1086 the tenant at Cudworth was Otes, who had succeeded three thegns holding 'in parage'. (fn. 26) No occupier is known thereafter until c. 1186–8, when Alan de Furneaux gave the church to Wells cathedral. (fn. 27) Alan was succeeded in other lands if not at Cudworth by his son Geoffrey in 1188. (fn. 28) The family continued in occupation in the 13th century. Alan de Furneaux was tenant in 1236, (fn. 29) and a namesake in 1284–5. (fn. 30) By 1303 the manor, which apparently included land in Knowle St. Giles, was held jointly by Matthew de Esse and Humphrey de Kail, (fn. 31) Matthew's claim deriving from his marriage in 1276 to Joan, daughter of Alan de Furneaux. (fn. 32) Matthew was still alive in 1316, (fn. 33) but was dead by 1333. (fn. 34) He was succeeded by Alan de Esse, who was probably also known as Alan of Kingston. (fn. 35) In 1377 Ralph Kingston, who had let his moiety to William Wythe and his wife for their lives, sold the reversion to his overlord, Sir John Chidiock. (fn. 36) By 1384 the moiety had passed to John Kail, occupier of the other moiety. (fn. 37)

Humphrey de Kail's moiety passed to William de Kail (d. 1348). (fn. 38) His son John proved his age in 1369, (fn. 39) and died in 1384, holding the entire manor of Cudworth of Sir John Chidiock, a tenement called 'Clyvelond' in Cudworth in chief, together with the land in Avishays in Chaffcombe and other properties. (fn. 40) A settlement on himself and his wife with remainder to his son Thomas was disputed after his death, (fn. 41) but the property seems to have passed successively to John's children Thomas (d. 1394) and to Idony (d. 1401), wife of John Poulett. (fn. 42) Idony's sons, John and Thomas Poulett, died in 1413, and the property passed to John Kaynes. (fn. 43) Kaynes's feoffees held it in 1419 and 1428, but by 1431 the manor was in the hands of John Speke (I), husband of Joan, daughter of John Kaynes. (fn. 44)

The Spekes held the manor until the 18th century. John Speke (I) died in 1441, (fn. 45) and his property descended successively to John (II) (d. 1444), (fn. 46) John (III) (d. 1518), (fn. 47) and John (IV) (d. 1524). (fn. 48) Thomas Speke, son of John (IV), was succeeded in 1551 by his son Sir George (I), K.B. (d. 1584), (fn. 49) by his grandson George (II) (d. 1637) (fn. 50) and by his great-grandson George (III) (d. 1690). (fn. 51) The last was succeeded by his second son John (fn. 52) and then by his grandson George (IV) (d. 1753). (fn. 53) Under his will George Speke (IV) settled the manor of Cudworth, like Chillington, on trustees, to sell for the benefit of his daughter Mary. The trustees retained Cudworth until 1786, when they sold it to Samuel Harbour of Bridport (Dors.), later of Dowlish Wake. (fn. 54) Harbour sold it in turn to John Poulett, Earl Poulett (d. 1819) in 1791, (fn. 55) and it descended in the Poulett family through successive earls until 1913, when the estate, though not the lordship, was sold to Holliday Hartley. (fn. 56)

Matthew de Esse was resident in Cudworth in 1297, (fn. 57) and an oratory was licensed in his widow's house in 1333. (fn. 58) The site may be on the rising ground immediately south of the parish church, where a moat and other extensive earthworks remain.

Roger and Hugh de la Clive held a capital messuage and land in Lidmarsh in Chaffcombe in 1227. (fn. 59) 'Clyve' was the residence of the Kails by 1348, when it was apparently in the parish of Cudworth. (fn. 60) Land called 'Clyvelond' was certainly in the parish in 1370, (fn. 61) and its ownership descended at least until 1413 with the main manor. (fn. 62) By 1438 it had come into the possession of Sir Thomas Brook (d. 1439) and his wife. (fn. 63) The subsequent descent of the property is not traced, but in 1691 fields called 'Cliffbarrs' and 'Cleyhill' were in the possession of Hugh Legg, clerk, of Staple Fitzpaine. (fn. 64) They passed to James Marwood of Avishays in Chaffcombe in 1746, (fn. 65) and from William Warry Elton, Marwood's successor, to the Hon. Alexander Nelson Hood in 1859. (fn. 66) They formed part of lands exchanged between Hood and Earl Poulett in the following year, and thereafter descended with the Poulett estate. (fn. 67)

The prebend of Cudworth, which originated in the gift of the parsonage by Alan de Furneaux to Wells cathedral in 1186–8, (fn. 68) comprised land, tithes, and a house and barn in Cudworth, and land and tithes in Knowle St. Giles. (fn. 69) It was taxed at £6 13s. 4d. in 1291. (fn. 70) In 1535 the glebe lands were worth 25s. 6d. and the tithes £6 8s. (fn. 71) In 1571 there were about 30 a. in Cudworth, and in 1636 the same fields were estimated at over 33 a. (fn. 72) Moduses payable included 2½d. for every milking cow, 2d. for every heifer, 1d. for a garden and for the fall of a colt. (fn. 73) The income was said in 1650 to be £40 6s. 8d. from the whole prebend, and the property was thought to be worth on improvement £58. (fn. 74) 'Some years' before 1836 the prebend was valued at £257, (fn. 75) and in 1841 the rent-charge in lieu of tithes in Cudworth was established at £209. There were then 32 a. of glebe. (fn. 76)

The prebend was leased by the end of the 16th century, and from 1635 produced £10 a year. (fn. 77) During the 18th century it was held by the Dodd family of Charlton Mackrell. The Revd. William Dodd, formerly lessee, became prebendary in 1735; (fn. 78) his son-in-law Edward Cheselden, a clergyman, also of Charlton Mackrell, became lessee in 1761. (fn. 79) From 1792 at least until 1841 it was held by the Colmer family, formerly of Chard and later of Sibton (Suff.) and Askerswell (Dors.). (fn. 80) The property passed to the Ecclesiastical (now Church) Commissioners in 1855. (fn. 81) Members of the Webb family of Cricket Malherbie occupied the land as tenants from 1783 at least until 1841, and in 1809 paid £295 a year for the lands in Cudworth and Knowle together. (fn. 82)

The 'old, little thatched house' attached to the prebend was replaced c. 1636 by one then 'newly built . . . and well nigh furnished'. It was of two storeys with attics, and comprised on the ground floor a parlour, hall, kitchen, and buttery. (fn. 83) The house, which was the dwelling of the curate in the 17th century, (fn. 84) was normally occupied by the tenants of the prebendal estate. It became part of the benefice property of the vicarage of Cudworth and Chillington in 1886. It was altered then and in 1903, and it was known as the Old Prebendal House. (fn. 85)

A Domesday estate called Worde and hitherto regarded either as part of Knowle St. Giles or Chard, (fn. 86) may well have been in Cudworth. T.R.E. it was held 'in parage' by two thegns, but by 1086 was part of Roger de Courcelles' holding, tenanted like Knowle by William de Almereio. (fn. 87) By c. 1186–8 the property was held, like Knowle and Cudworth, by Alan de Furneaux, and by 1249 another Alan had a villein tenant called Philip de Worth. (fn. 88) Thereafter it seems to have descended like Cudworth, and was held in 1312 by Matthew de Esse of Nicholas Pointz. (fn. 89) William de Kail (d. 1348) held some 40 a. of land at Worth and was succeeded by his son John. (fn. 90) The Kail holdings passed to John Kaynes who in 1413 was holding six houses and three carucates there. (fn. 91) From Kaynes the estate passed to the Spekes, and in 1497 George Speke leased several named units including Stokmansplace and Chapel place. (fn. 92) That same property was in 1588 sold by John Vyne of Baynton (Oxon.) to Henry Walrond of Sea, when it was described as being in 'Upton alias Werth and Cudworth'. (fn. 93) The lands have not been traced further, but Stokmansplace may be identified with the field name Stokmans Hay at Weare, which in turn suggests that Weare is the Domesday Worde. (fn. 94)


Assuming that the present parish includes both the Domesday estates of Cudworde and Worde, the total area paying geld was 5 hides. T.R.E. the land had been held in parage by 5 thegns, but by 1086 was divided into two separate estates. There was land for 7 ploughs, and half the total area was Cudworde demesne, cultivated with 1 plough by 2 serfs. No demesne is mentioned at Worde, though the villeins there had 2½ of the 3 ploughs assigned to the property. Demesne stock at Cudworde comprised 2 head of cattle, 12 pigs, and 60 sheep. There were 4 villeins and 2 bordars at Cudworde, 10 villeins at Worde. Four acres of meadow, and pasture measuring 8 furlongs by 2 at Cudworde are to be compared with 4 a. of meadow and woodland measuring 4 furlongs by 2 at Worde. Worde was valued at 60s. both before and after the Conquest, Cudworde at 40s. T.R.E. but at 30s. in 1086. (fn. 95)

The division of Cudworth manor by the early 14th century (fn. 96) does not seem to have resulted in fragmentation of holdings. In 1327 John of Cudworth held nearly one third of the taxable property in the parish. (fn. 97) Other occupiers, including William le Coiner and Jordan le Sopere, do not by their surnames imply agricultural origins. From the later 14th century the parish included small holdings belonging to estates or families often living elsewhere. The Kail estate in 1385, for example, comprised lands in at least six neighbouring parishes; (fn. 98) the fraternity or chantry of St. Mary (fn. 99) and St. Katherine's chantry, both in Chard, had holdings there by 1548, the latter the origin of Bonner's Leaze farm; (fn. 100) and by the late 16th century the Bullers and the Wadhams had property there, the Wadhams being succeeded by the Wyndhams in the 17th century. (fn. 101)

Field names from the late 14th century onwards suggest well established inclosures and the suffix 'place' implies nucleated holdings. (fn. 102) Several fields were identifiable in the 19th century, including Rymes (Riam in 1385), Long Down (Langhedoune in 1385), and Stockmans Hay (Stokmansplace in 1497). (fn. 103) The last gives one of the few indications of animal husbandry; the will of an inhabitant proved in 1551 mentioned 16 sheep. (fn. 104)

At the break-up of the Speke estate on the death of George Speke (IV) in 1753 the trustees for Mary Speke, but in practice Frederick North, Lord North, later earl of Guilford (d. 1792), (fn. 105) held over 743 a. in Cudworth, somewhat more than half the parish. Some 250 a. were held on leases for lives and the remainder on rack rent. The property, 'greatly underlet to respectable tenants' and 'let remarkably low and capable of great improvements', was purchased by Earl Poulett for £12,700 in 1791, when its annual value was £664. (fn. 106) The two largest farms on the estate were then known as East or Eastern and West or Western farms. In 1787 they had measured 190 a. and 206 a. respectively, and West farm was then let for 14 years for £145. (fn. 107) By 1791 holdings had been re-arranged (fn. 108) and by 1819 both farms had been increased in size. Both were then let to the same tenant, W. H. Webb of Cricket Malherbie, who was also lessee of the prebendal estate. East farm then measured 199 a. and West farm 246 a.; they were let for £250 and £300 respectively. (fn. 109) The two farms dominated the parish in the 19th century, and in 1851 the tenant of both employed 21 labourers. (fn. 110) The remainder of the Poulett estate brought their holding to 898 a. by 1912, when it was put up for sale. (fn. 111) Only the Hull family holding of Bonner's Leaze and the Phelpses of Higher Weare lay outside the Poulett property. (fn. 112) After 1912 Knight's House farm was divided from West farm, and by 1923 the tenant concentrated on dairying. The other properties included some arable, which has subsequently decreased in area. Bingham's Lodge Stud farm was built at the southern end of the parish before 1923. (fn. 113)

More than half the inhabitants of the parish in 1851 were not natives, as might be expected from the fluctuating population figures. (fn. 114) Apart from farm labourers there were ten glovers, two dressmakers, and two hand-loom weavers making sailcloth. (fn. 115) Agriculture was the main occupation in the 1970s, though part of the southern portion of the parish was occupied by the Windwhistle Golf and Country Club.

Fields called Mill mead in Dowlish Wake and Mill mead and Mill hams in Cudworth, either side of the Wallbrook at the southern tip of Dowlish Wake parish, suggest the site of a water-mill. (fn. 116) Only traces of sluice-gates remain.


No manor court rolls are known to survive. An 18th-century conversion of a copyhold to a leasehold tenancy referred to copy of a court held in 1656, (fn. 117) but leases from 1719 onwards imply that courts were not then held, and some properties in the manor were let with the condition of suit of court to West Dowlish or Dillington should the tenants at any time be summoned. (fn. 118) Lands outside the parish, including property in Dinnington in 1370 and at Illeigh in Knowle St. Giles in 1497, were held of Cudworth manor. (fn. 119) In contrast, the property of St. Katherine's chantry, Chard, later to become Bonner's Leaze, was in 1576 held for suit of court to South Petherton manor. (fn. 120) The prebendary of Cudworth exercised a peculiar jurisdiction in the parish at least from the 16th century, (fn. 121) and a will was proved before his official in 1819. (fn. 122) His last visitation was held apparently in 1858. (fn. 123)

The parish formed a complete tithing, and the tithingman had access to the stocks in 1676. (fn. 124) There were two churchwardens, two sidesmen, a constable, and two overseers in the 17th century, (fn. 125) and in the early 19th the wardens were chosen by the ratepayers without reference to the minister, but were never sworn. (fn. 126) By 1870 one man was sole warden and overseer. (fn. 127) By 1784 there were two highway surveyors, (fn. 128) and the summary accounts for one waywarden survive for 1793–1802. (fn. 129)

In 1837 the parish possessed two unoccupied cottages, formerly used as poorhouses. (fn. 130) These were ordered to be sold, though in 1841 they were still known as the parish house. (fn. 131) They stood at Weare and in 1886 were occupied as a smithy. (fn. 132) The parish became part of the Chard poor-law union in 1836. (fn. 133)


About 1186–8 Alan de Furneaux, with the consent of his son Geoffrey, granted the church of Cudworth and the chapel of Knowle St. Giles to Wells cathedral to support the common fund. (fn. 134) Almost immediately the estate was converted to form the endowment of a prebend. (fn. 135) No vicarage was ordained, and the parish was served by stipendiary chaplains (fn. 136) until 1728, when the living became a perpetual curacy by a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty to meet a private benefaction. (fn. 137) The curate was occasionally described as vicar during the 19th century. (fn. 138) The benefice became a vicarage in 1886 on its union with Chillington, with an incumbent resident in the former prebendal house, given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 139)

Successive curates were appointed by the prebendaries themselves or, from the 17th century at the latest, by the lessees of the prebendal estate, who paid their stipends. Vacancies in 1856 and 1885 were filled by the bishop of Bath and Wells, and after 1886 the united benefice of Chillington and Cudworth was in the bishop's patronage. (fn. 140)

By 1650 the curate's stipend was £10. (fn. 141) From 1728 it was augmented with £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty to meet a similar sum from Mrs. Elizabeth Palmer's legacy, (fn. 142) and from 1733 the lessee of the prebend added a further £15. (fn. 143) It was further augmented in 1809, and by 1815 was worth £40. (fn. 144) By 1851 the income was given as £58 15s., which included rent and tithes from small properties in Barton St. David and Mark, purchased with augmentation money in 1729 and 1731. (fn. 145) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners were said to have given the 'estimated' value of the prebend, excluding Knowle, to the benefice in 1886. (fn. 146) There was no glebe in the parish by 1909, and the Barton land had then recently been sold. (fn. 147)

Under a lease of 1635 the curate was to be provided with 'convenient lodging and house room' in the prebendal house. (fn. 148) Subsequent lessees of the prebend had no such obligation: there was no resident minister by 1666, (fn. 149) and the 19th-century curates lived elsewhere and served other parishes. The curate's obligation from 1635 was to preach once a quarter. (fn. 150) In 1705 the wardens asked for a service each Sunday, complained in 1716 of services only once a fortnight, and reported in 1725 that the curate was not preaching every Sunday and was neglecting his duty. (fn. 151) Leases of the prebend from 1733 onwards required the minister to hold a service each Sunday and Holy Day, to celebrate the Holy Communion once a quarter or once a month 'if he can get sufficient communicants', catechize the children publicly twelve times a year, and preach four sermons on specified subjects, three during Lent and the fourth at Christmas. (fn. 152) By 1815 a service and sermon were held each Sunday, alternately morning and afternoon. The then minister, John Cabell, lived at Thurlbear and also served Stoke St. Mary. His assistant curate, John Hawkes Mules, served Cudworth, Dowlish Wake, and Cricket Malherbie. (fn. 153) In 1827 Cabbell's assistant was Edward Bere, who lived at Chaffcombe, which he also served. (fn. 154) On Census Sunday 1851 the single service was attended by 41 people including 15 aisle. Both could have been reset. If not then either the aisle is the original church, being older than its arcade and the present nave and chancel, or subsequent alterations have removed all traces of the main part of the early building. The existing nave and chancel appear to be of late-13th-century origin and are peculiar for the variations in the thickness of the walls and for the irregular spacing of the three bays of the arcade. Early in the 14th century new windows were put into the eastern part of the chancel and the south wall of the nave. The west wall of the nave may have been largely rebuilt in the 15th century when the doorway, the window above it, and the buttresses were constructed and in the same century one new window was let into the south wall Sunday-school children. The average congregation was higher for the alternate afternoon services, reaching 80 people. (fn. 155) By 1858, when the cure was held by the rector of Cricket Malherbie, Holy Communion was celebrated monthly, (fn. 156) but in 1870, although there was a resident curate, Communion was again celebrated quarterly. (fn. 157)

The Church of St. Michael, Cudworth

Complaints at visitations in the 16th and 17th centuries were frequently against the prebendary about the disrepair of the chancel. (fn. 158) In 1577 the curate preached no sermons and the Book of Homilies had not been purchased. (fn. 159) Furnishings including the pulpit cloth and cushion needed repair or replacing in 1640 and in 1666 there were no communion rails. In 1677 the communion table was still not railed nor 'set where it ought to be', and in 1691–2 there was no cloth for the table. The general fabric of the church was poor in 1729 because of 'a vast quantity of earth and rubbish' lying against the walls. (fn. 160)

The church of ST. MICHAEL is built of ashlar and rubble with ashlar dressings, and has a chancel and nave with north aisle. The oldest features are the 12th-century north doorway and a small roundheaded window set low down in the east wall of the of the nave and the other was given new tracery. There is no chancel arch, but by the early 16th century there was a rood screen with a loft which was reached by a stair in a turret against the south wall. This turret and a south porch, of unknown date, have subsequently been removed and the south doorway has been blocked. (fn. 161)

The church furnishings include a large early13th-century font with dog-tooth and cable mouldings and the remains of a mutilated 13th-century tomb top. During restoration the remains of a preReformation altar top and fragments of an elaborately carved and painted statue niche were discovered. There are fragments of medieval glass in the east window of the aisle and a Jacobean pulpit. Nineteenth-century restoration (fn. 162) removed the box pews, but more extensive measures were taken in 1904. The ceiled and panelled barrel roof of the nave was restored as an open one and a new roof replaced a re-set late medieval one in the aisle. There is some good modern carving in the chancel. In the aisle is a monumental inscription to Sarah Smyth (d. 1684) whose grandfather had been exiled from Ypres by the duke of Alva. (fn. 163)

There are two bells: (i) 1607, Robert Wiseman of Montacute; (ii) 1678, Thomas Purdue. (fn. 164) The plate includes a cup of 1656 by 'C.P.' (fn. 165) The registers date from 1699 and appear to be complete. (fn. 166)


A small group of Bible Christians met for a few months in 1838. (fn. 167) Ten members were recorded in a revived group in 1861, but the cause did not survive after the end of 1862. (fn. 168)


A Sunday school was opened in the parish in 1828, and by 1835 had 14 children. It was supported by subscriptions. (fn. 169) There were 17 pupils in 1846, taught by a master and a curate. (fn. 170) A school board was formed in 1875 and a day-school opened in 1877. It was a brick building, standing at Higher Weare, accommodating 30 children, with a teacher's house attached. (fn. 171) At its opening there were 23 children, including several from Chillington and Purtington. (fn. 172) There were 27 pupils in 1903 (fn. 173) but numbers thereafter declined; the school was closed in 1926 and the pupils were transferred to Chillington. (fn. 174)


None known.


  • 1. S.R.O., tithe award; V.C.H. Som. ii. 348. This article was completed in 1973.
  • 2. S.R.O., DD/PT, box 24, sale partics.
  • 3. Geol. Surv. Map 1", solid and drift, sheet 312 (1958 edn.).
  • 4. S.R.S. li, p. 150; S.R.O., DD/SS, bdles. 16, 31.
  • 5. S.R.O., tithe award.
  • 6. O.S. Map 6", Som. LXXXVIII. SW., XCII. NW. (1886 edn.).
  • 7. S.R.O., D/PS/ilm, box 15.
  • 8. Cal. Inq. p.m. xiv, p. 392; Cal. Close, 1485–1500, 291–2; S.R.O., DD/X/JS, Vyne to Walrond, 1588.
  • 9. For the tree see G. A. Allan, 'Cudworth' (TS. in Taunton Castle).
  • 10. S.R.O., DD/PT, box 24.
  • 11. S.R.O., DD/X/JS.
  • 12. Collinson, Hist. Som. iii. 117–18.
  • 13. The initials of Hugh Legge and his wife appear on the datestone.
  • 14. S.R.O., Q/RL.
  • 15. S.R.O., DD/PT, box 14, lease to Camplin.
  • 16. Le Neve, Fasti, 1300–1541, Bath and Wells, 41–2; D.N.B.
  • 17. B.L. Harl. MS. 594, f. 55v.; S.R.O., DD/HI, box 9.
  • 18. Census.
  • 19. B.L. Add. MS. 30077, f. 35.
  • 20. V.C.H. Som. i. 494.
  • 21. Bk. of Fees, i. 581.
  • 22. V.C.H. Som. iii. 97.
  • 23. Cal. Inq. p.m. xiii, pp. 14–15; Complete Peerage, s.v. Fitzpayn.
  • 24. Cal. Inq. p.m. xiv, p. 391.
  • 25. C 142/33/30.
  • 26. V.C.H. Som. i. 494.
  • 27. H.M.C. Wells, i. 42–3.
  • 28. Pipe R. 1188 (P.R.S. xxxviii), 150, 151, 165.
  • 29. Bk. of Fees, i. 581.
  • 30. Feud. Aids, iv. 283.
  • 31. Ibid. iv. 315.
  • 32. Plac. Coram Rege (Index Libr. xix), 14.
  • 33. Feud. Aids, iv. 331.
  • 34. S.R.S. ix, p. 144.
  • 35. H.M.C. Wells, i. 485; ii. 8.
  • 36. S.R.S. xvii. 193.
  • 37. Cal. Inq. p.m. xiv, p. 391.
  • 38. Ibid. xiii, p. 15.
  • 39. Ibid. xii, pp. 252–3.
  • 40. Ibid. xiv, p. 391.
  • 41. Cal. Close, 1385–9, 353–4.
  • 42. Ibid. 1413–19, 28–9; C 136/93/33; C 137/33/42.
  • 43. Cal. Close, 1413–19, 28–9.
  • 44. S.R.S. xxii. 55; Feud Aids, iv. 389, 432.
  • 45. C 139/105/3.
  • 46. C 139/119/31.
  • 47. C 142/33/30.
  • 48. C 142/44/119.
  • 49. C 142/97/117; C 142/205/199.
  • 50. C 142/482/126.
  • 51. S.R.O., DD/SPK (C/1626), pedigree.
  • 52. Alive in 1725: S.R.O., DD/CA 2.
  • 53. S.R.O., DD/CA 2.
  • 54. Ibid.
  • 55. S.R.O., DD/PT, box 24.
  • 56. Sale cat. penes Mr. L. Broad, Chard.
  • 57. Plac. Coram Rege (Index Libr. xix), 14.
  • 58. S.R.S. ix, p. 144.
  • 59. Ibid. vi. 55–6.
  • 60. Cal. Inq. p.m. xii, pp. 252–3.
  • 61. Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, pp. 288–9.
  • 62. Cal. Inq. p.m. xiv, pp. 391–2; Cal. Close, 1385–9, 353–4; 1413–19, 28–9.
  • 63. S.R.S. xxii. 104; C 139/92/32.
  • 64. S.R.O., DD/X/AD.
  • 65. Devon R.O. 281M/T 197–8.
  • 66. S.R.O., DD/PT, box 14.
  • 67. Ibid.
  • 68. H.M.C. Wells, i. 42–3.
  • 69. The barn was there by 1347: Cal. Inq. p.m. xii, pp. 252–3.
  • 70. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 200.
  • 71. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i. 135.
  • 72. S.R.O., D/D/Rg 299.
  • 73. Ibid.
  • 74. Lambeth Palace MSS., COMM. XIIa/1 f. 118.
  • 75. S.R.O., D/D/Ppb 8.
  • 76. S.R.O., tithe award.
  • 77. Som. Wills, ed. Brown, iv. 69; Lambeth Palace MSS., COMM. XIIa/1 f. 118.
  • 78. S.R.O., DD/CC 5103–8; H.M.C. Wells, ii. 527; B.L. Add. MS. 18616, ff. 63, 65.
  • 79. S.R.O., DD/CC 5108.
  • 80. Ibid. 5109–14; S.R.O., D/D/Ppb 8.
  • 81. S.R.O., DD/SAS (C/909), 21.
  • 82. S.R.O., DD/CC 19146–51; tithe award.
  • 83. S.R.O., D/D/Rg 299.
  • 84. Lambeth Palace MSS., COMM. XIIa/1 f. 118.
  • 85. G. A. Allan, 'Cudworth' (TS. in Taunton Castle), 46–8 and appendix.
  • 86. V.C.H. Som. i. 487 and n.; Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. cviii. 96.
  • 87. V.C.H. Som. i. 487.
  • 88. H.M.C. Wells, i. 42–3; S.R.S. xi, pp. 367–8, 377–8.
  • 89. Cal. Inq. p.m. v, p. 196.
  • 90. Ibid. xiii, pp. 14–16; xiv. p. 391.
  • 91. Cal. Close, 1413–19, 28–9.
  • 92. Ibid. 1485–1500, 291–2.
  • 93. S.R.O., DD/X/JS.
  • 94. S.R.O., tithe award.
  • 95. V.C.H. Som. i. 494.
  • 96. Feud. Aids, iv. 315.
  • 97. S.R.S. iii. 197.
  • 98. Cal. Inq. p.m. xiv, p. 392.
  • 99. S.R.S. ii. 174; E 318/38/2075; Cal. Pat. 1547–8, 285.
  • 100. S.R.S. ii. 175; S.R.O., DD/SAS PR 225; DD/SAS (C/96), 3.
  • 101. S.R.S. li, pp. 70–1, 135, 150; lxvii, p. 130; S.R.O., DD/SS, bdles. 16, 31; DD/WY W/SR 1; DD/WY, boxes 2–3, 11.
  • 102. Cal. Inq. p.m. xiv, p. 392; Cal. Close, 1485–1500, 291–2; S.R.O., DD/X/JS, Vyne to Walrond, 1588.
  • 103. Cal. Inq. p.m. xiv, p. 392; Cal. Close, 1485–1500, 291–2; S.R.O., tithe award.
  • 104. S.R.S. xxi. 119.
  • 105. S.R.O., DD/PT, box 24, highways composition 1784.
  • 106. Ibid. sale partics.
  • 107. Ibid. leases.
  • 108. Ibid. sale partics.
  • 109. S.R.O., DD/PT, box 40.
  • 110. H.O. 107/1928.
  • 111. Sale cat. penes Mr. L. Broad.
  • 112. S.R.O., tithe award; DD/SAS (C/909), 15; DD/CA 86.
  • 113. Sale cat. Chaffcombe House estate, 1923, penes Mr. J. G. Vincent, Knowle St. Giles.
  • 114. H.O. 107/1928.
  • 115. Ibid.
  • 116. S.R.O. tithe awards.
  • 117. S.R.O., DD/PT, box 24: Speke to Baker.
  • 118. Ibid., Speke to Hull (1719) and Speke to Salisbury (1724).
  • 119. Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, pp. 288–9; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, iii, p. 553.
  • 120. S.R.O., DD/SAS PR 225.
  • 121. S.R.S. xxi. 119.
  • 122. S.R.O., D/D/Ppb, box 8.
  • 123. Ibid.
  • 124. S.R.O., Q/SR 131/6.
  • 125. S.R.O., D/D/Rg 299; Som. Protestation Returns, ed. A. J. Howard and T. L. Stoate, 89.
  • 126. S.R.O., D/D/Ppb, box 8.
  • 127. S.R.O., DD/SAS (C/909), 15.
  • 128. S.R.O., DD/PT, box 24.
  • 129. Ibid.
  • 130. S.R.O., D/PS/ilm, box 16.
  • 131. S.R.O., tithe award.
  • 132. O.S. Map 6", LXXXVIII. NW. (1886 edn.).
  • 133. Poor Law Com. 2nd Rep. p. 547.
  • 134. H.M.C. Wells, i. 42.
  • 135. Ibid. 42–3; confirmed ibid. 44, 309, 435.
  • 136. See below.
  • 137. Hodgson, Queen Anne's Bounty.
  • 138. S.R.O., D/D/B return 1815; Clergy List, 1869.
  • 139. Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. lix. 54; Lond. Gaz. 12 Feb. 1886.
  • 140. Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. lix. 53.
  • 141. Lambeth Palace MSS., COMM. XIIa/1 f. 118.
  • 142. Hodgson, Queen Anne's Bounty.
  • 143. S.R.O., DD/CC 5103.
  • 144. Hodgson, Queen Anne's Bounty; S.R.O., D/D/B return 1815.
  • 145. H.O. 129/318/4/2/2; S.R.O., DD/CC 5111.
  • 146. Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. lix. 51.
  • 147. Cudworth par. rec. inventory, 1909.
  • 148. Lambeth Palace MSS., COMM. XIIa/1 f. 118.
  • 149. S.R.O., D/D/Ppb 8.
  • 150. Lambeth Palace MSS., COMM. XIIa/1 f. 118.
  • 151. S.R.O., D/D/Ppb 8.
  • 152. S.R.O., DD/CC 5103.
  • 153. S.R.O., D/D/B return 1815.
  • 154. S.R.O., D/D/V return 1827.
  • 155. H.O. 129/318/4/2/2.
  • 156. S.R.O., D/D/Ppb 8; Clergy List, 1857.
  • 157. S.R.O., D/D/V return 1870.
  • 158. S.R.O., D/D/Ca 17 (1547), 57 (1577); D/D/Ppb 8 (1640, 1666, 1677).
  • 159. S.R.O., D/D/Ca 57.
  • 160. S.R.O., D/D/Ppb 8.
  • 161. G. A. Allan, 'Cudworth' (TS. in Taunton Castle).
  • 162. The vestry decided on total rebuilding c. 1843: Allen, 'Cudworth'.
  • 163. Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. xlix. i. 47.
  • 164. S.R.O., DD/SAS CH 16.
  • 165. Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. xlv. 18.
  • 166. Cudworth par. rec.
  • 167. S.R.O., D/N/spc 32.
  • 168. Ibid. 33.
  • 169. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, H.C. 62 (1835), xiii.
  • 170. Church Sch. Inquiry, 1846–7.
  • 171. Returns of Schs. [C. 7529], H.C. (1894), lxv.
  • 172. S.R.O., C/E, box 7, admission reg.
  • 173. Ibid. box 26.
  • 174. Ibid. box 7, log bk. 1903–26.