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Bell Farm

 Bell Farm and extensionBell Farm is now part of Litton parish but it was probably part of Chewton Mendip parish in earlier times. It is in an area called Lillycombe and Lillycombe Farm is to the right of this picture and is shown below. The road to the left is now called Bell Lane and leads to Burges Combe and the road was once called Burges Lane. Bell Farm was once also a pub that served the men who worked in the quarry in Lillycombe. The quarry fed one of the many lime kilns in the village.
Bell Farm dateThere can be little doubt about the age of the building because there is a stone set into the wall dated 1732 but the initials are a bit of a mystery. The ‘G’ probably stands for the Green family where were paying rates for a property in the West End for most of the 18th century but the ‘R’ and ‘B’ letters do not fit any of the names recorded. The Curtis and Hunt families were also paying rates for ‘Greens’ for some of the time which may explain the other initials. This picture also shows the traditional lime render finish that was used on most of the buildings. It did not cover the roughness of the stones completely unlike modern plaster but neither was the stonework exposed as is the modern preference. The hook that once held the pub sign an also be seen.
 Grove Farm CottageGrove Farm cottage is to very close to Bell Farm but the name suggests this was part of Grove Farm. Both Grove Farm and this cottage are part of modern Chewton Mendip. All of the other properties shown are in Litton parish but they are physically closer to each other than they are to other properties in ‘their’ village. The 18th century curchwarden and poor law records mention several properties that could have been either Bell Farm or this property.
The Bell Lane Farm1794 map is not very clear but it shows there was a building on the site at the time which was part of the Waldegrave estate which suggests that Bell Farm was then part of Chewton Mendip parish. The building shown in the map may have been what is now Grove Farm Cottage.
Lilly comb is shown as blank space in the 1794 map because it was neither part of Chewton Mendip or a Waldegrave property. The modern road, which is probably the road underneath the odd-shaped block numbered 385, leads to the Litton Road and the other road probably lead to Lilly combe Farm.
 Modern Lillycombe Farm is situated roughly where the word ‘Comb’ is shown own the map. The modern spelling for the word which means ‘valley’ is usually ‘coombe’ but there is some variation in the historical record. Neither Bell Farm or Lillycombe farm operate as farms.
Lillycombe Bungalow A bungalow has been built on the site of the former quarry. This is directly opposite Bell Farm and the track to Lillycombe Farm can be seen in front of the building.
 George Dallimore was the occupant of Bell Farm in 1839.
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