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Glossary

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This is a glossary of words used in this website following modern conventions. Some of the terms defined describe features in the landscape fields and other properties.
 This list has been compiled from various sources and the contributions of many people.

A

Acridge It may be derived from a family name and it is no longer used but Acridge was once used to describe what may have been a mediaeval common field and a lane leading to it.
Agistment The limited right to graze animals in a Royal Forest. This may mean a form of leasing a herd of animals.
Assart The right to clear land in a Royal Forest to bring it into cultivation or a form of leasing herds from more wealthy farmers.
Avon  From the Welsh, Afon for river, it is the name of the nearest substantial river in the area. The less than substantial river Chew joins the Avon.

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B

Backside The back garden or back yard of a homestead.
Barton A corruption of Anglo-Saxon’ bere-tun ‘or a barley yardso it may just mean ‘farmyard’ . It may also mean a farm or outlying enclosure used for threshing that belonged to the lord of the manor or possibly the king. This means the property could be associated with a mill of some kind. All land belonged to the king prior to the Stuart era but a barton may have been used by a royal representative.
Bottom The bottom of a valley.
Buddle A buddle was a circular pit used to wash lead ore or old lead slag in preparation for smelting
Burges People who lived in a city, the Burges family is probably derived from this source.
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C

Cheswell Cheswell could be derived from ‘caester’ , or a Roman fort, but there is no archaeological evidence for that. It may be derived from Chesler which is a family name.
Chew The village takes its name from a river or stream that originates in the village and joins the river Avon after a few miles. The word ‘chew’ may be derived from ‘chewer’ that describes the meandering course the river takes, a corruption of the French ‘eua’ for water or the Welsh for young animal or chicken.
Churchwarden A person responsible for the physical structure of the building of the church. The Churchwarden used to have a more significant role in running a parish as shoe in the churchwarden accounts.
Close A field close to the farm house which may be large or small. Compare with croft.
Common Cultivated land or pasture that was shared amongst a number of people who held certain rights. Compare with Waste which was uncultivated land. Both common and waste land was enclosed over the centuries until all of the land was enclosed or too polluted for use.See Field.
Coombe Sometimes spelt coomb, combe or a number of other variations on the theme. It is name for a valley derived from the Welsh Cym.
Coppice A patch of woodland that was cut regularly to harvest timber in a sustainable manner.
Court of Wards and Liveries  The Court of Wards and Liveries was an organisation set up in the medieval period set up to manage the rights related to   lands and titles.
Croft  A name for a field, which may be some distance from the farm. It implies quite a small field.
Church Rate Occupiers of properties were required to pay Church Rates in addition to Tithes. The Church Rate paid for the upkeep of the church building other than the chancel. Bizarrely Church rates also paid for vermin control. See Poor Rate.
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D

 
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E

Eaker The source of the name of Eakers Hill may reflect it was a mining site. It as some times spelt Ager.
Entry Fine A fee paid to take a lease on a property. An annual rent and other payments would be due but ‘fine’ did not originally have the negative conations it has today. Compare with Heriot and Scutage.
 Escheater  An Escheater was a medieval legal function to assess the legality of a person’s right to inherit property.
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F

Fardel This may define a specific unit of measurement of land or a term used in the 18th century leases for a holding that was distributed over a large area or had some other difficulty attached to it. There may have been a dispute over the legal ownership.
Feordary A feodary was  an officer of the Court of Wards appointed to receive rents and had the duty to seek out estates where people inherted  as minors so somebody could be appointed to ‘mangage’ the estate.
Ferney Rough pasture that may contain ferns, gorse or other scrubland plants. It is usually spelt Furzey.
Field Originally an unenclosed area of cultivation divided into strips that as farmed in common by the villagers. However the Chewton Mendip mediaeval common fields were probably surrounded by stone walls. Fields may have been use for arable (growing crops) or pasture (feeding animals).
Forest  The Mendip Forest was a medieval hunting ground that may have been covered in a mixture of scrub, woodland and open ground.  There was also a mining forest which lasted until the 19th century. Coppice, grove, plantation or Woodland/woods are usually used to describe land containing trees. See Parks.
Franklin A Franklin was somebody who held land as a freeman in the medieval period so he was not required to work for his lord but he was still required to make a ‘frankpledge’ or a commitment of loyalty. It may mean that Franklyn’s Farm was subject to different terms than the other farms.
Free miner A miner who worked for himself. Some farmers worked as part time miners but generally the term applies to the miners of the Mendip Forest who were governed by their own laws.
French Grass French Grass, or Sainfoin, is a grass like legume similar clover or Lucerne that was grown in the 18th century.
Furzey  See Ferney
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G

Golledge This name is relatively common in Somerset and may be derived from Goliath’s Edge.
Gore An odd shaped field, often three sided, that was difficult to plough so it was used for other purposes. Compare with Hurn.
Great Tithes The rector as able to claim one tenth of the hay and corn crops whilst the vicar had to make do with a tenth of the lambs born or one tenth of root vegetables grown.
Groove An old name for a mine which was corrupted to ‘gruffy’. Some mines were open cast but there were also a few ‘deep’ or vertical mines. A variety of minerals were mined but the main ones were lead, silver, iron and zinc were the main ones.
Gruffy Groovy or land marked by mines.
 
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H

Hays Hays may define rough pasture covered with brushwood or land reserved for game to live in.
Hefting A form of sheep management that relies on the homeing instinct of some breeds who are allowed to roam freel in the nowledge they will no roam too far from their home base.
Helm  Reeds or other material used for thatching.
Heriot A heriot originally meant that a warriors family returned his weaponsb when he died so the lord could allocate the land, and the duty to defend it, to a new man. It evolved into a form of death duty often paid in the form of an animal.
Hide A Hide in Saxon times was an area that could support one family so a Tithing should have consisted of ten Hides. Attempts are made to equate a Hide to modern measurements which may work on relatively flat land but confusing in hill country here a Hide of poor hill pasture would be much bigger that a hide in a fertile valley.
Hoarbury Horbury is first attested in 1086 as (H)orberie. It can be derived from Old English horu ‘dirty land’ and burh (in its dative form byrig), which translates as ‘filthy fortification’ or ‘stronghold on muddy land’.Other spellings include Orberie, Horbiry and Horberie. The fields containing ‘Hoarbury’ and ‘Whorebury’ in Chewton Mendip were in a position that controlled a crossroads of Chewton Plain that connected several villages. The fields also fit the description of ‘muddy’ and may have once been subject to coalmining.
Hurn The name is derived from the old English “hyrne”, which means a disused part of a field or land separated by some feature. Compare with Gore.
 
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I

Inmead  Inmead was the name of a field between Chewton Mendip and Ston Eason that was probably common grazing land shared by the two villages.
 
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J

 
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K

Kingshill Pronounced ‘Kinshall’ or kinsle by the locals, it may be named after Kings land (see Barton) , the bronze age burial mounds or the Civil war battle but the most likely explanation is that it is a corruption of Kingsmill who owned a large part of the village for several centuries. Other features such as Kingswell are also probably named after the Kingmsills.
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L

Landless Place
A confusing term used in the 18th century because sometimes land was included. Compare with Fardell, Neat Place and Roofless place. One possibility is that the holding did not have access to common land
Lawn The word ‘laune’ appeared in the Tudor period and was used to describe pasture reserved for grazing as opposed to a field which could have been used for growing crops. This may be based on the Welsh word ‘lan’ or ‘laun’ which meant enclosure.
lay impropriator Land allocated to churches or monasteries could be bought by laymen and a significant amount of former monastic land as acquired by laymen after the dissolution of the monasteries in Tudor periods. A lay impropriator had the right to appoint a vicar and collect the Great Tithes.
Leaze Meadow or pasture, possibly from the alternative to glean or pick up the left grain other crops after the main harvest has been completed.
Lippiat From a pre 7th century word ‘hliepgeat’, meaning a’ leap-gate’, a gate in a fence low enough to be jumped by horses and deer, but one that kept sheep and cattle from straying. See ‘Parkland’. It is noticeable that the cross roads were usually part of the temporal manor even when the majority of the land was prat of the rectory manor. The original reason may have been defensive but the later function may have been for tax collecting. 
Lords Royal of the Mendips The Bishop of Bath & Wells, The Abbot of Glatonbury, the lords of the manors of Chewton Mendip and the Harptrees owned large parts of the Mendip Forest and collectively governed the lead miners.
Lot Lead The ten percent of the lead that the free miners were obliged to pay to the owner of the land.
Lyes Lyses was the name of a field next to Indown which was probably once common pasture land between Chewton Mendip and the next village of Ston Easton. Lyses is probably a variation of ‘leaze’.
Lynch From the Anglo-Saxon ‘hlinc’ for a ridge or bank. Lynchettes was a name used to describe the narrow strips barely wide enough to be ploughed in Medieval times that can be seen on the sides of several hills in Chewton Mendip and the surrounding villages. There may not have been a Lynch Farm but there is a Lynch Cottage.
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M

Mead Meadow or pasture but Maltmead may have been used for growing barley for malting
Medbury Medbury could be a corruption of Moot burgh from ‘Moot’ meaning either ‘Mud’ or ‘Meeting’ and ‘Bury’ meaning ‘Fortified Enclosure’.
Manor A holding or estate which may be divided into the temporal manor and a rectory manor. The lord of the Manor may have lived in a Manor house.
Mearn  Mearn is a name that also occurs in High Littleton in the name of a coal mine and Mearns Cross in Chewton Mendip is close to the Eakers Hill area were exploratory coal-mine shafts were dug.
Mendip  The second part of the village name is form  the range of hills the village is situated in it is also used as a generic term for land on the hillside or the top of the hill.  It is comparable with moorland. The name suggests that the field was enclosed in the 18th century or later. See Forest and Moor.
Merestone A boundary stone There are several variations of the spelling
Mindery Mindery tends to imply lead mine mine workings and the polluted ground and water left behind
Moor A lowland marshy area called ‘The Somerset Levels’ outside Somerset. What is typically referred to as ‘moorland’ is called ‘Mendip’ locally. References to Moor or Moore in field names in Chewton Mendip refer to family names. See Forest.
 
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N

Neat Place A Neat Place is refered to several times in the 18th century records and suggests that the property was in good order. Dudwell and White stile were both described as a Neat Place..
Nedge Nedge is a contraction of ‘The Edge’ or ‘Edge Hill’ and is derived from the relative steep hill above Nedge Lane. Nedge Farm is now a private house.
Newlands A field that had been enclosed sometime in the past. Disputes about enclosing common land dates back to the medieval period. Several fields were called ‘Newlands’ at one time.
Nimans Nimans is a name of a field  may be derived from a family name but o such family name has been identified so it may be taken from ‘ nem’ to take the same source as the modern German neman.
Niver Niver hill is in the vaguely mysterious part of parish that borders several villages including Litton and the Harptrees that was once a mining area close to Eakers hill. A lane used to connect Nivers Hill to the village but Nivers Lane is now grassed over. Niver may be a corruption of ’never’ based on unsuccessful mining operations.
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O

 Overseer of the Poor  Overseers of the poor were elected for a year and formed part of the Vestry Committee. They were required to collect the Poor Rate from the occupiers of land and then ensure that the poor people of the parish were supported.
 
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P

Paddock  An enclosed field used to graze animals.
Parish In many cases a ‘parish’ is a term introduced with Christianity which replaced the Saxon name of a Tithing . However, Chewton Mendip consisted of five tithings and had religious responsibility for several more. It had legal and military responsibility for even more as the centre of a Hundred. Parishes were split in 1894 into Civil Parishes and Ecclesiastical Parishes.
Parkland Parkland was both ornamental and had practical uses. It could just mean enclosed pasture.
Parock  A variation on ‘parcel of land’ or possibly ‘paddock’.
Parson A varaiation of the name for a clergyman.
Parsonage It is sometime referred to as the Vicarage or the Rectory and all three terms could be used to describe the house where the clergyman lived or the glebe lands that he farmed to support his family.
Poor Book  The Poor Book recorded the Poor Rates collected and the payments made under the Poor Laws. See Overseer.
Poor Rates A Poor Rate was levied on land holders to support the poor of the parish. This as collected by unpaid Overseers who were also responsible for how the money as spent. Compare with Church Rate and Poor Book.
Priory A priory was typicaly a less significant than a monastry and Chewton Priory  may not have been a grand building like Glastonbury Abbey
Property  A ‘Property’ as defined in this website could could be a Building, Field, Wood or Feature.
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Q

Quarr Quarr is short for quarry and is the source of the name Quarrs Farm and  . Red Quarr is a but it was also an alternative spelling of choir.
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R

Rectory Land Land allocated to maintain the chancel of the church and support benevolent actions such as providing accommodation for the poor and needy. Compare with vicarage Land. The words rectory and vicarage later assumed the meaning of a house. A rector usually owned the land but he or she may have appointed a vicar to conduct services. See Lay Impropriator and Great Tithes.
Reeve   An official who was delegated to manage land, mines or other resources for the King or the local lord. there was Reeves Lane near Eaker’s Hill and a possibly a property called Reeves near Redhill.
 
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S

Sacrafield Several holdings were described as being a Sacrafiield propety which was some obscure tax with religious background.
Scutage Scutage, or ‘shield money’, was a fee paid in medieval time in lieu of military service. It is one theory for the source of the family name Scutt and therefore Scutt’s hill. Compare with Heriot
Shard, sheard or shord  A sliver of land.  Red Sheard gets the first part of its name from the colour of the rocks.
Sleight A pasture, often on a hill, used for grazing sheep.
Small Tithe  Tithes collected by the vicar which tended to be worth less than the ‘Great Tithes’ collected by the rector.
 Splot  A plot of land, usualy quite flat.
Stint The unlimited right to graze animals on common land. Compare with agistment.
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T

Tithe  A tenth of a crop or other income paid to whoever one the right to receive it. Originally tithes were intended for supporting the church and clergy but ‘Lay Impropriators’ acquired the right to collect the tithes. Tithes ere often converted into cash payments. See Large and Small Tithes.
 Tithing  A tithing was origionaly a group of ten homesteads that evolved into parishes in many cases but Chewton Mendip consisted of five tithings.
Tyning  A Tyning was an enclosed field, typically on a boundary. It indicates that the field was enclosed before the 18th century, probably before the 17th century.
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U

 
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V

Vestry Committee
 The Vestry Committee consisted of the Churchwardens, Overseers of the Poor, Way Warden and a number of other ‘Substantial’ people which ran the Village. In Chewton Mendip it as usually chaired by the Vicar in the absence of a resident Lord of the Manor.
Vicarage Land   Vicarage land was allocated to sustain a vicar and his family. The vicar could also claim the Small Tithes and had a third source of income by officiating at baptisms, marriages and burials. Compare with Rectory Land.
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W

Wasteland  Land that was uncultivated but may have been used for grazing or hunting. ‘Forest ‘ was close in meaning to ‘wasteland’ prior to the enclose of both forms of unfenced land and some of the Mendip Forest used for lead mining was a desolate industrial site the modern sense of the word implies.
 Way Warden
 A Way warden was responsible for maintaining the roads that ran through the parish. The parishioners were supposed to maintain the roads and the farmers were supposed to supply the materials.
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X

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Y

Yate or Yeat  A gate. See Lipeat.
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Z

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