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Chew Hill

 Chewton Mendip centreThis map from 1794  shows the centre of Chewton Mendip and Chew Down that dominates the north of the village. This view also gives an idea why the village may have originally developed around the source of the river chew, Chew Head, that is roughly where the large blue dot is on the map.The burial mounds at the top of Chew Hill are situated in what looks like an orchard or the field called Kingsmill  opposite Chew Down. The significance of the names are described below.
Chew Hill c1800The image shown on the right was probably based on a view of somebody standing roughly where the red spot is shown on the map.This is a well known engraving of Chewton Mendip dated c 1800. This copy was supplied by Bob Webb.  The accuracy is questionable and the tower has an extra story but there is evidence to verify the existence of the other buildings..
 The building on the far left of which only the corner can be seen, has probably been demolished and is now a car park. The foundation of the cottages on the right can still be seen. The cottage on the left opposite the horse was probably what would become the the First and Last pub  after 1848. It may have been the ‘New Inn’ mentioned by Edmund Rack but that was probably on Chew Down.
 The reality was different from this idealised scene in another way. Chew Hill is so steep that horse-drawn vehicles required special brake shoes to help keep the cart under control as it when down the hill. Ken Church remembers seeing discarded brake shoes on Chew Hill. Bertram Payne suffered serious injuries that led to his death when a pony and trap overturned on Chew Hill.
Dumpers lane date The space that contains the cottages that now form Chew Hill was left blank because it belonged to the Kingsmill family at the time. The Middle family are one prospect for the people commemorated on this stone. The date on one of the cottages on shown on the right could be seen as evidence that the site was empty when the map was built but it was common for tenants to build their own houses and put their initials on the house. The Kingsmills may have given their name to Kingshill which is to the right of the map and the engraving below. The site of the bronze age burials mounds which may have also been the source of the name ‘Kings Hill’. The area marked with a large green splodge is what is now called Chew Hill or Dumpers Lane depending on which part you are looking at and is the focus of this page
This is a picture of what is now called Rose Cottageand it is believed it was taken c1950 but the cottage looks very much like when it was built at the end of the 18th century. One major difference is the tiled roof.The small building which was already just a garden shed in the 1950s was the site of a cottage.The building at the top is what was once the First and Last pub and the burial mound can just been seen on the skyline.The picture does not give a true impression of how steep the path on the right is. It is still used by cars today but it close to 45% angle.
 Chew Hill CottageThis is a cottage at the bottom of Chewton Hill which still looks very like when this picture was taken in the late Victorian era. It is now called Ickle Cottage and the second cottage is given the number 28.
 This photograph was published in the Wells Journal some time ago.The Building behind had many functions. It was used as a Methodist chapel, school room, village hall and car upholsterer. It is now a private house and is called Chewton Hill Cottage
 The lady shown may have been Mary Ann Battle or the lady shown in the page about the Battle family.The school registers and other records confirm that George and Mary Ann Battle had several children who attended Chewton Mendip school whilst they lived in Chew Hill. Harry Battle was killed during World War One.
 Seward Heal's pulpitSeward Heal lived in Chewton Hill and is the subject of a separate page in this website.  Lane in a house that is currently being renovated. Seward’s house is next to a block of houses dated 1796 and have initials that look like C oo RM set in a stone on the gable end. Seward had the habit of leaning out of the top window to talk to people in the gardens opposite and ‘hold court’ with them so the window became known as ‘Seward’s pulpit’.
 Charley Ford’s claim to fame was he lived in several houses during his life but never left Chewton Hill.
 Dumpers lane 2012This is a modern version of one of the classic views of Chewton Mendip that appears in several publications.It shows the beginning of the river Chew looking up Dumpers Lane. This is the view of Chew Hill from the bottom. The large building in the middle is the former chapel etc and the building on th left is ‘The  Old Smithy’ which was one of the many blacksmiths in the village. Scutshill, described in the page about Coles Lane, is on the right.
Dumpers Lane c1966This is a picture taken from the other end of Dumpers lane looking in the direction of the ford.  The building in the centre is the end view of what was Seward Heal’s house. This, and the following pictures were taken by Jacky Sparks.This picture was taken c 1966 but the view is very similar today except the gardens on the left are better tended and there are bridges across what is normally a grassy ditch.
 Dumpers lane in flood  October 1966This picture taken in October 1966 shows that flooding is not a new phenonomon.
 Dumpers Lane excavation November 1966The brook was deepened a month later to minimise the risk of further flooding.
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