A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 7, Bruton, Horethorne and Norton Ferris Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1999.
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The extra-parochial district of Eastrip lay 2 km. north-east of Bruton between the parishes of Bruton and Brewham and was presumably named from its position east of Bruton. (fn. 1) It was irregular in shape, measuring c. 2 km. from north to south and 1 km. from east to west at its widest point. Much of the eastern boundary was the river Brue, (fn. 2) from which most of the land rose over Forest Marble clay (fn. 3) from 65 m. (213 ft.) beside the river to 155 m. (508 ft.) in the extreme north on the Frome–Bruton road, which there forms part of the north-western boundary. The western boundary is a stream flowing south from Gilcombe Farm. (fn. 4) In 1858 the area, measuring c. 360 a., was joined with Brewham Lodge to form the civil parish of Eastrip within Wincan ton poor-law union. In 1885 the parish was dismembered and Eastrip was transferred to Bruton. (fn. 5)
Eastrip was the name of two estates recorded in 1086 whose bounds may have extended beyond those of the later district. (fn. 6) It was among those vills outside Selwood forest which were brought within forest jurisdiction in the reign of King John but which were specifically excluded in 1298 and 1300. (fn. 7) Woodland measured a square furlong in 1086 (fn. 8) and in the later Middle Ages included Huscarleswood. (fn. 9) Hills wood survives in the south of the district. (fn. 10)
The narrow river valley carries both the Bruton–North Brewham road, recorded in 1390 and 1417 (fn. 11) and in 1793 turnpiked by the Bruton trust as part of the route to Warminster, (fn. 12) and the railway, opened between Frome and Bruton in 1856. (fn. 13)
In 1818 the population was estimated at 20, but in 1851 there was a single farmhouse. (fn. 14)
There were two estates at EASTRIP in the 11th century, one held of the Crown by Huscarl in both 1066 and 1086, the other by Alvin in 1066 and of Turstin son of Rolf by Rippe in 1086. (fn. 15) By 1259 Crown overlordship had passed to Reynold de Mohun's honor of Dunster, (fn. 16) under which it remained until 1285 or later. (fn. 17) Before 1303 the fee had passed to Simon de Montagu whose heirs, the earls of Salisbury, claimed overlordship until 1409 or later. (fn. 18)
Rainbald Huscarl and his nephew Richard were recorded in 1124, (fn. 19) Roger Huscarl was mentioned in 1218 (fn. 20) and was said to have died c. 1230 leaving a son William. William died c. 1259 and may have been followed by Ralph. Ralph occurred in 1263 (fn. 21) and was probably the same man who held a fee at Eastrip in the 1280s. (fn. 22) He had died by 1287 when his son John proved his age. (fn. 23)
In 1289 the estate was described as a manor. (fn. 24) Between 1316 and 1327 it was held by Alexandra, John's widow, but her son Humphrey was holding the fee in 1344. (fn. 25) Humphrey was still alive in 1347 and was succeeded by his son Nicholas, (fn. 26) who appears to have died without issue leaving a second wife, Emme, and a brother Ralph. (fn. 27) John Bruyn, second husband of Emme, was still in possession in 1409 in right of his wife, but by 1435 the manor had passed to Bruton priory, (fn. 28) which had acquired the reversion in 1394. (fn. 29)
At the dissolution of Bruton abbey in 1539 the estate passed to the Crown and was combined with Bruton manor under the name Sheephouse. It descended with Bruton manor until 1883 or later. (fn. 30)
In 1320 the manor house occupied by Alexandra Huscarl included an oratory. (fn. 31) Sheephouse Farm, in 1995 known as Gladen, dates from the 18th century and is of stone with stone slate roofs.
The overlordship of the estate of Turstin son of Rolf descended to Wynebald de Ballon who was succeeded by his daughter's son Henry Newmarch (d. 1198). Thereafter overlordship descended with Horsington manor until 1536 or later. (fn. 32) The estate was occupied by the Huscarl family by the early 13th century (fn. 33) and was held for 1/8 fee in 1297. (fn. 34) The two estates were held together until the early 15th century when Sir Maurice Russel (d. c. 1416), the overlord, seems to have taken possession of the second. (fn. 35) Ownership thereafter descended with Horsington until 1436 when Joan, widow of Thomas Russel (d. 1431) and wife of John Chambre, sold one third to trustees, perhaps acting for the prior of Bruton. (fn. 36) Bruton abbey paid a chief rent to Horsington in 1535, (fn. 37) and its holding was presumably absorbed with its other manor of Eastrip into Bruton manor. The remaining two thirds should have passed to John Haket as next heir (fn. 38) but were not recorded again.
In 1432 the estate included a capital messuage and two gardens. (fn. 39)
In the 11th century the two estates between them had 1½ ploughteam and livestock comprised 3 cows, 4 beasts, 19 pigs, and 50 sheep. (fn. 40) In the 14th and 15th centuries some of the arable was inclosed and produced rye. (fn. 41) Downs recorded in 1432 (fn. 42) and in the early 16th century, (fn. 43) together with the sheephouse belonging to Bruton priory in 1417, (fn. 44) imply extensive pastures. By the late 18th century holdings had been consolidated to create Sheephouse farm, (fn. 45) which by 1851 comprised 200 a. and employed 7 labourers. By 1881 the farm had been reduced to 130 a. with 2 labourers. (fn. 46) In 1918 it was a 98-a. dairy farm. (fn. 47)