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Eaker’s Hill Farm

Eakers Hill FarmThis picture on the right shows Eakers Hill Farm as it was in 2012. It was an operational farm until about 1990 when it was burnt down in a fire. The last tenant was Ken Bishop and can be seen in the picture of the Waldegraves tenants lunch. There is even less standing of Bendal’s Grove Farm but Grove farm is still standing. It was once known as Reeves Lane.
The farm is named after a hill near  Red Quarr.  Wigmore Farm is close by and either farm may have been the  Nobles farm mentioned in the 18th century. Nivers Hill is also close by.
Eakers HillThe building next to the number 853 may have been the ruined farmhouse. The field next to it was  part of the part of the Kingsmill estate in 1794 when the map was drawn. The Waldegraves purchased the land from the Kingsmills in the 19th century.  Eakers hill farm may have included land in the West End and Middlesex tithings. The fields marked 192 and 194 the approximate location of Bendal’s grove so an earlier name for Eakers Hill farm could be Bendalls or Bendles. There is evidence of open cast mines, probably lead mines, in the vicinity which could the origin of the name ‘Eaker’ because there is no record of any people with a name like ‘Eaker’ living in Chewton Mendip. The beginning of Sperrings Lane can be seen which leads to Mearns Cross. Some of the farms in the area were still ‘Sacrafield‘ properties in the 18th century.
A Family called Rosewell were listed in the early 18th century churchwarden accounts and may have been  tenants of Eakers Hill Farm the Dalimores were most probable tenants of Eakers Hill farm in the later part of the 18th century based on records in the the poor book .
A field in the area is called ‘Blackmans’ but the Blackmans farm was in the Town tithing.
Dudhill is a field just to the right of this extract which could be a reference to the unsuccessful coal mines that were dug in Bendals grove. There are sites of a number of abandoned building in the area which could have been the Bendle’s estates mentioned in the poor law records.
 The Dalimores will still the tenants of Eakers Hill in 1839.
 Kings well lane is now wooded over and the wells are still partly covered. The Kingsmills could be the origin of the Kings well name but there may have been some other royal connection. The Royal Hunting Forest was nearby.
Another possibility is that the wells were named after the King family who were residents of Chewton Mendip but so far the records show they lived in the Town tithing.
 A third possibility is some ancient and romantic story about long dead king which is loosely linked to some theories about the source of the name Kingshill and the significance of the bronze age barrows in the village. The fact that these relatively insignificant springs have a name contrasts with the lack of a name for the source of the river Chew.
 The wells were later incorporated into the private water supply provided by the Waldegraves which is when they got their protective covering.
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