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Swallow Pit Farm

Swallow Pit Farm c1884 Swallow Pit Farm is on the Emborough side of the boundary of Chewton Mendip and can be identified in the medieval records.

The picture on the right was probably taken c1884 and shows George and Minnie Ponting who had recently moved from Binigar. They probably were not the primary tenants but sub let the farm. The Chewton Mendip school register shows that George Ponting of Binigar had two sons, Gilbert and William, who were first admitted to the school in 1884.  George Ponting was described as a farmer of Binigar when his daughter, Mabel, married Frederick Chard Loxton in 1890. Mabel Ponting was a spinster of Biniger aged 23, when she married. Frederick Chard Loxton, was  a bachelor grocer of Stapleton Road, Bristol. The witnesses were Samuel Loxton and George Ponting, both farmers, and Minnie Ponting who was assumed to have been Mabel’s mother and therefore the woman in the picture.

This picture is courtesy of Bob Webb.

 There is a reference to William Putte who was a tenant of La Putte in Whitnell, Emborrough in 1363 which could be what is now Swallow Pitts farm and it shows that farmers often took their names from the farm rather than the other way round in the medieval period.
 What is now a copse of standing trees behind the farm used to be an open cast calamine mine which is a possible source of the ‘pit’ part of the name. There used to be swallows nesting in the farm which could be the source of the first part of the name.
Another possibility for the origin of the name  is there used to be a swallow hole, or swallet hole, nearby that was used as a drain for water from the roads.
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