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Sage

Sages FarmSome references to Sages Farm and Priory Farm could be alternative names for the same place. However, there can be little doubt that at least some of the current Sages Farm building was built at the same time as ‘Mr Jenkins’ house’ that was built on the site of Chewton Priory.
 Records held in the Hampshire archive suggest that Sages farm was rebuilt or remodelled c1780 so the Gothick style windows in the front of the house were tailor made rather than them being reclaimed from Mr Jenkins house when Countess Waldegrave made her improvements in the Victorian era. If the Gothic windows were taken from Mr Jenkins house, it must have been very small.
These windows have led to many people making the mistake that this was the original priory but records prove that the name of the farm is much older than the Georgian house built by Mr Jenkins.
 The Hippisleys were major land owners in the area and lay rectors of Cameley. It may be co-incidence that there was a Sages farm at Cameley that lies in ruins about a field and a half behind Cameley Church.
 Records that go back to 1241 or 1242 suggest that there was land on this site connected to the church and the link probably goes back further. Chewton Mendip was a religious centre in Celtic times and Sheen priory was the owners of the land at the time of the disolution of the monasteries.
 The name Sages’ probably originates from the Sage family who were recorded in 1640 when Henry Collyar  married Joan Sage in Chewton mendip on 2/3/1640. Priscilla Coles of Paulton married Thomas Sage of Paulton on 1/1/1735-36 in Chewton Mendip. Paulton was still a subsidiary chapel of Chewton Mendip so the similarity of names may be a coincidence but the Coles family were also farmers in Chewton Mendip at the time.
John Sage of Chewton Mendip, a Quaker & passive resister to the demand for tithes, was sent to Ilchester gaol in 1666 as an example of how close the link between the farming and the church was in the past. The records state that the Kingsmills initiated the prosecution and is an example of how religious and economic factors were part of the cause of the English Civil War.
His incarceration could explain why the Sage family became less significant in the history of Chewton Mendip but Somerset archive record Q/SR/114/16 is concerned with evidence aboout th theft of John Sages cow in 1670 so he may have been released from jail by that time.
A John Curtis was paying poor rates for Sages farm in 1758 and the family may have been living in in the farm from 1701 but the Churchwarden accounts are not clear about where the Curtis family were living. The Sage family do not appear as rate payers in the 18th century in any of the records found so far.
Sperrings Green and Sages Farm This is an extract of a map kindly provided by Earl Waldegarve. It was dated 1794 and shows that Sages Farm, to the right of the field marked 400, then belonged to the Jenkins family. Sperrings Green is clearly marked and it is possible that Sages farm may have been called Sperrings at one time. Coles Farm can also been seen in the top left of the map and Burges Coomb is clearly marked. The name of this feature may be linked to Cornelius Burges who may have owned land in Chewton Mendip during the Civil War period.
George Sage was a tenant in Chewton Mendip in 1848  and Mary Ann Sage  who was a servant aged 16 working at Chewton House in the 1871 census may have been related to him. A Sarah Sage, who was the daughter of George Sage , attended Chewton Mendip school in 1893. She was born on 9th January 1882 so she may have been related to Mary Ann but here residence is given as Litton in the school register. She had previously attended a private school, possible the girls school in Lower Street.
Dulce Sage, who was born on 1st June 1906, attended Chewton Mendip School from 1914. Her father’s name was Edwin and she had previously attended Colston school. Iris born 23rd October 1908 and Lewis born on the 16th May 1910 both started school in 1915. Their previous school was in Litton and they all lived in Litton. Edwin had another daughter, Silvia, who was born on 8th April 1913 who attended Chewton Mendip school in 1918. A Gwenda Sage ,who was born on 10th April 1917, started school in 1925 but no parent is listed but she lived in Ford Farm. This appears to be the last record of Sages in Chewton Mendip.
 ‘Pincher’ Sage who was an iterant odd job man known in the Mendip area betwen the wars but he was of ‘no fixed abode’.
Sages Farm Sale LivestockThe details of a farm sale in 1935 suggest that the name of the farm has remained consistent since the 17th century. The list of livestock and equipment for sale in 1935 would not have looked very different from a list compiled two hundred years previously. This document was provided by Gerry Brice.
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One Comment
  1. Juliet Faith permalink

    Can anyone tell me any thing about the ruined ‘Sages Farm’ at Cameley shown on the 1766 Hippisley Estate Map, were they related to the Chewton Sages?

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