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Hillside Cottage

Bathway Hillside and HillviewHillside and Hillview cottages are near Bathway on the road to Embrough next to Chewton Field House. They are still part of the Waldegrave estate. Hillside is the cottage at the front of this picture, Hillview is to the rear. The road leads to Emborough which is about a mile away. The same road leads to Priddy and Cheddar in the opposite direction.
Hillside CottageThe current cottage may have been rebuilt or modernised in the 1840s but there was something on the site shown in the 1794 map in plot numbered 177. The road  is now called Chapel Hill because a Methodist chapel was built there in the 1860s but the road used to be  called Acridge Lane so the building may have been the house associated with a possible farm called Acridge.
A number of families are known to have lived in the cottages but the most frequent reference is just to Bathway. The location and shape of the building shown in 1794 suggests that it may have been the ‘Rows‘ estate occupied by the Gait family and there is other circumstantial evidence to support this.
The Gaits were linked by marriage to the Board family and both families are mentioned in leases for Rows and Acridge in the 1766 ledgers which recorded the leases agreed by the Waldegraves in the 18th century.
There are frequent references to a Widow Gait or Martha Gait treating sick people and there are at least three prospects for where the Church House or ‘hospital’ may have been in the 18th century. There was a small building near to the church still standing in the Victorian era but there are also records to suggest that there was a priory building at Bathway before Mr Jenkins built his Gothick folly.
The religious associations to the Bathway crossroads go back to pre history as it links sacred sites in Priddy, Cheddar, Bath, Wells and Glastonbury beyond Wells. Bathway is one possibility for the original centre of Chewton Mendip.
The Folly House is another place where it is known that sick people were cared for and The Folly is only a short walk away but also fits the description of Rows but a lease  from the 1766 ledger states that Rows was in Bathway.
 Lewis Theiry is recorded as paying rates for Acridge but he may have never lived in the village but Elizabeth Barrell or Bazzell took over the lease for Rows from the Gaits. She was probably a widow so she may have also taken on the caring duties. There may have been a religious link, Lewis Thiery was descended from Huguenots immigrants and other people with Huguenot names were associated with him.
What is probably the current building is shown  in the 1840 map when the cottages were occupied by Phillip Clavey.
Hillside cottage was occupied by Bessie Speed in living memory. A Mrs Thomas lived in Hill View and was annoyed that one of the bedrooms of Hill View had been incorporated into Hillisde. It is believed that one of the Waldegrave’s butlers had lived in Hillside previously and he had the house enlarged.
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