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Time Line

Stone Age Celtic Roman Saxon Medieval
Tudor Stuart Georgian Victorian Modern

The time line or key events of the history of Chewton Mendip have been divided into eras. Some of the eras are based loosely on the ruling dynasty of the time but this is not a list of monarchs. Topics or themes have also been defined.

Stone Age The Stone Age was the beginning of known human history within the village boundary which may go back about 10,000 years. The first people were probably nomadic hunter-gatherers but farming and full-time occupation and farming probably started in this era.
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Celtic The Celtic Era includes Bronze and Iron ages and goes back about 5,000 years. The Bronze Age burial mounds are the earliest structure within the village boundary and show that it had religious significance at this time. Other artifacts found show that there was probably full-time occupation as well.
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Roman Evidence of Roman occupation in the village from AD43 to 400 was sparse until recent finds of pottery and coins show that there was activity in the village, not just in the nearby lead mines and the spa at Bath.
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Saxon The first Lord of the Manor of Chewton Mendip was in the Saxon period when Alfred the Great who left it in his will of 899 to his son, Edward the Eldar. The manor was held by Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor at the time of the Battle of Hastings which ended the Saxon era in 1066.
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Medieval The Abbey of Jumieges then Sheen Abbey held the village during the Medieval era. The Lords of the Manor mainly owned the surrounding farmland. Sir William Bonville was confirmed as living in the village from 1449. He played a significant role in the 100 years war and the Wars of the Roses. The Battle of Bosworth in 1485 which ended that conflict is often quoted as the end of the medieval period.
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Tudor The Tudor dynasty governed for the whole of the 16th century. The dissolution of the monasteries had significant political and economic effects in the village. Roger Manners was the first layman to own the former monastic lands in Chewton mendip. The Waldegraves became the Lord of the Manor and remain so until this date.
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Stuart The Stuart period was marred by unresolved religious and economic tensions left over from the reformation erupted into civil war in the middle of the 17th century. Chewton Mendip was primarily on the Puritan side. The Kingsmill family became the lay impropriator or owners of the church land in Chewton Mendip during the century and remained a major landowner until the end of the 19th century.
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Georgian The Georgian period or the 18th century was a time of relative peace and prosperity in the village. The majority of the land was owned by absentee landlords so the Vestry Committee selected from the prosperous farmers and tradesmen ran the village. Sir Robert Kingsmill had a significant impact on the village in the 18th Century despite being an absentee landlord.
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Victorian Technically the Victorian era started in 1837 but for the turn of the 19th century is used as the begining of this section of the village’s history. The village started to go into decline from the middle of the 19th century when people were attracted to the coal mines and larger cities.
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Modern The 20th century was dominated by two world wars and continuing population decline until the lowest point was reached in the 1950s or 60s when the population stabilized at less than 50% of its highest level. Lead mining finished at the beginning of the 20th century and coal mining finished in the 1970s. Farming employed fewer and fewer people and no longer dominates the village. The inhabitants of Chewton Mendip in the Modern era are more likely to work with computers than pitchforks.
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Please refer to the acknowledgements page for a list of the contributors to this website.

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