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Middlesex

MiddlesexMiddlesex is one of the former tithings of Chewton Mendip but it is name that is no longer used to describe an area of the village in the way that East End, Town, West End and Widcombe are still used today. Middlesex conjures up images of a part of London but it was more like the ‘wild west’ in the past.
 This extract from the 1794 map only gives an impression of how extensive this part of Chewton Mendip is.  The 1839 tithe map and modern maps confirms that such significant features such as the Priddy Nine Barrows are actually in Chewton Mendip. Stockhill is also closer to Priddy than Chewton Mendip.
The Middlesex tithing  may have extended up to  Priddy to include the mining area that used to be a significant source of wealth for ‘high and low’ people connected to the village through ownership or residence. The part of Chewton Mendip closest to Priddy , which includes Alfords and  Wills Farm, was  in the West End Tithing.
The mining area was part of the ‘Mendip Forest’ and was subject to separate laws and was not fully incorporated into Chewton Mendip untill the enclosures  of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
 The mining link also resulted in some of  significant episodes of lawlesness between the miners and the farmers that are reminiscent of the plot of many cowboy films.
 The Miners Arms is a former pub that everybody associated with Priddy but it is in the modern parish boundary of Chewton Mendip.
 The school registers record that some pupils lived in ‘Middlesex’ which could include any of the places listed below.The tithing also joined Town and  the other tithings at what is now known as  Bathway.
 Tor Hole  on the Cheddar Road out of Chewton Mendip is another place with a history of mining but most of the houses are still occupied. Like Eakers Hill and Red Quarr, the buildings may be in West End.
 Red Quarr is further up the hill from Tor Hole and is still a working farm.  Like Eakers Hill and Tor Hole, the buildings may be in West End.
Wigmore farm is mainly modern building but Wigmore pond has a longer history.
 Nedge is a hamlet between Green Ore and Chewton Mendip that contains a number of houses, some of which used to be farms such as Everards and Nedge Farm plus some farmsteads that are now demolished such as Adams Grove an Nobels. It also contains Uphill’s agricultural engineers business.
 Eakers Hill farm is now  just a ruin but there used to be several cottages near by and there is evidence of mining from various times in the past. The building may be in West End but some of the fields associated with the farms may have been in the Middlesex tithing.
 Shooters Bottom and Mendip Farm were part of the Mendip Forest until the land was enclosed in the 1790s.
 Bendalls Farm, Rookery Farm (Green Ore), Long Wrangle Farm, Vespasian Farm, Pinelea Farm and Newlands Farm are all in the ‘Chewton Mendip part’ of Green Ore but may have been mentioned in the records of Chewton Mendip.
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