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The Purnell family  have one of the longest connections to Chewton Mendip dating back to 1327 when Adam Purnel was listed in a Lay Subsidy return.
The 18th century churchwarden accounts and poor-law records show Purnell’ farm and Purnell’s Parks was no longer occupied by members of the family but they were responsible for an holding in Wicombe. The 1800 map shows a Purnell’s Lane in the East End.
Some branches of the  family were involved in coal mining and became wealthy as a result. It may have been marriage to this family that bought the Rev David Drakeford to Chewton Mendip in the 1850s.
Members of the family may have attended Chewton Mendip school in the later Victorian era.
 Victor Purnell was the estate foreman in the 1930’s. he may have built the current alter in the church.
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