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Burges’s Coombe

Burges's coombe and Griggs Pit Burges’s Coombe is the top of a copmbe that runs down through Grigs Pit and Watery Coombe to join the Litton Road. The map shows part of the West End Tithing and Litton parish which is show as blank space in the 1794 map. Burges’ Coombe probably got its name from the Burges family who lived in the village. Grig is a local contraction of George which is one possibility for the origin of Grigs Pit. The origin of  the name Watery Coombe is self-evident. Rookery Farm is on the Chewton Mendip side of the coombe and a number of other farms were situated near to the coombe. Burge’s Farm has now been incorporated into Rookery Farm.
The cottages in Grigs Pit were occupied untill living memory. The wartime recollections by Sid Elias who was an evacuee recorded in the website www.riverchew.co.uk/memoirs_sid_elias.htm provide a vivid picture. He was living in Ivy cottage which is shown by the yellow spot. Ken Church also remembers delivering letters to the Symes and Uphill families who lived in Grigs Pit. Syndney and William Symes can be seen as children in the 1892 school class photograph.  Mrs Symes hosted a number of evacuees during World War Two.
The red spot in the map may have been the site of Symes Cottage which istill stands in Griggs Pit but in a ruinous state. The blue spot underneath the number 579 had already disapeared by 1839. The green spot to the right is the approximate location of Mrs Uphill’s house.
The white spot  towards the top of the map is the site of the White house which is still occupied but was extensively modernised in the 1990’s. It is on the site of what used to be called Clouds Farm. The 1794 maps shows two buildings on the site, one of which is demolished but traces of can still be seen when the filed is ploughed.
 The light blue spot marks Bell Farm which was built in the early 18th century and was once a pub. It is now a private house.
 The blue grey spot on the left middle of the map  is the location of another abandoned house which is known as Adam’s Corner but  the field nearby is known as  Blackman’s.
 Sid Elias describes how Burges’s Coombe was used to accommodate soldiers who had been rescued from Dunkirk in World War 2. It was later used as a secret base for Churchill’s ‘secret army’. The home guard was raised to fight a conventional battle in the event of a German invasion whilst the ‘auxiliary force’ were trained to fight a guerrilla war in the likely event that the invasion succeeded. They built a secret dugout in the rough ground behind Ben’s Causeway.
Green Brothers The picture on the right shows the Green brothers taken in front of Dudwell Farm. Claude on the left and Arthur on the right were in the conventional Home guard as can be seen by their helmets. Brian, in the middle is wearing a forage cap because he was in the secret army.
 
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