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Priddy

Priddy Church close upPriddy is a parish with a very rich history and is the highest village on the Mendips and borders Chewton Mendip on the south-west.  This may not be the best view of Priddy church but the picture was is taken from what is part of Chewton Mendip. Priddy was a place that had religious significance in pre history but it was not mentioned in the Doomsday book which suggests that the village had been abandoned.
Priddy Priddy was involved in mining in the medieval era and it is claimed that Wells sheep fair moved to Priddy to escape the first black death epidemic that hit England in 1348 but this is disputed by some historians.The extract from the 1794 map or probably shows the area that now contains the modern Wills Farm and the site of a property called Alfords. The 18th century churchwarden accounts and poor book make reference to a Wills estate  in the West End tithing which could refer to the same farm although the modern farm would have been in the Middlesex tithing.
 There is a farm on the site of the building at the top of the map in field marked 514, 515, 516 and 517 which is still called Wills Farm. There is still a building in site in the bottom left hand corner marked 830 and evidence of the other building can still be seen which is all that remains of Alfords Farm but the 1840 map confirms that one building was standing at that time and it was called Alfords. Red Quarr and Wigmore farms are also closer to Priddy than Chewton Mendip. The 1840 map also shows that Hazel Manor in Compton Martin but just off the top of this map was part of Chewton Mendip  regarding the payment of tithes.
 Priddy EnlargedThis extract from the Bowen map printed in th late 18th century shows that the part of Chewton Mendip shown in the 1794 map was separated from the rest of Chewton Mendip by land that belonged to the Wells Forum hundred.
Nine Barrows on skylineOne of the most iconic parts of Priddy are the bronze age burial mounds which dominate the skyline. They are actually in Chewton Mendip and formed part of the Middlesex tithing but this part of the Hills  was the ‘wasteland’ which was not fenced off. It is still an area where several parish boundaries meet in unexpected ways as left over from when several villages shared the poor hill grazing and rich mining rights.
Priddy Poolironically one feature that is commonly known as Priddy Pool is not in Priddy and is more accurately called Waldegrave Pool. The water was built to wash the lead ore before smelting and the scarcity of water lead to disputes between the lead miners,  who needed the water for and smelting and  between the miners and the farmers grazing their sheep. Lead mining was a highly toxic process and the land is still contaminated. The forest behind is Stockhill which is a modern conifer plantation.
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