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Society

Stone Age Celtic Roman Saxon Medieval
Tudor Stuart Georgian Victorian Modern
Queens jubilee 2012 2012 was the anniversary of many things. One is the diamond jubilee of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.The village has undergone many changes in the 60 years since the coronation. The second Word War had only finished eight years before and the biggest employers in the village were farming, the Waldegraves estate and mining.There were other business and improved communication made travel easier but families who had been in the village for centuries started to die out to be replaced by newcomers, sometimes with the same names as the families who had died out. Society
Stone Age Little is known about the social rules of the earliest settlers. Observing modern hunter-gatherer society and the examination of artifacts can only give clues.Return to the top of the list.
Celtic More evidence is available about Bronze Age occupation, most significantly the burial mounds. The Romans recorded some information about the locals they conquered, most of it negative, and Celtic Society persisted in Wales and Cornwall until the medieval period.Return to the top of the list.
Roman Most of the Roman activity was in Charterhouse and Bath but there is growing evidence of Roman occupation of Chewton Mendip.Return to the top of the list.
Saxon Alfred the Great owned Chewton Mendip personally and whilst there is only the briefest mention of the village in his will dated 899, a surprising amount is known about life during his reign. The local government organisation of Hundreds and Tithings was already established by the time he became King of Wessex but he reorganised and improved the administration of them.Return to the top of the list.
Medieval 1066 is one of the best known dates in English history and it was a watershed in many ways. One of the most significant changes was the introduction of the French language. English later resumed its place as the working language spoken by all but this was a very different languages in the 15th century compared with the German dialect spoken by the Anglo Saxons. The Battle of Bosworth in 1485 is often quoted as the end of the medieval period but many significant changes to the law and other social issues happened after the civil war in the 17th century. Parish as we know them were only introduced in the Victorian era and we still retain some elements of medieval society today such as the established church and the monarchy.Return to the top of the list.
Tudor The Battle of Bosworth had little direct effect on Chewton Mendip but the dissolution of the monasteries and the political and religious conflict that ensued all left their mark on the village. The Waldagraves link to the village started in this era.Return to the top of the list.
Stuart The Civil War period had almost as much influence on Chewton Mendip as the dissolution of the monasteries, perhaps more. The Kingsmills probably acquired the former church lands at the time of the restoration of the monarch in the 1760s.Return to the top of the list.
Georgian The Georgian era was a period of steady growth in prosperity and population. The Hippisley family were still making their presence felt but the Waldegraves were still absentee landlords. The 1794 map that is used to illustrate the location of various places and properties in the village was produced to ‘tidy up’ the boundaries of the two estates. The Vestry committee ruled the village at were at the height of their powers during this period. The end of the Georgian era coincided with the changes in the poor laws which weakened the power of the village committees and made conditions for the poor harsher. Robert Kingsmill, who is shown in the icon for this era, made his mark in the second half of the 18th century.Return to the top of the list.
Victorian The Victorian era began with the highest population for the village but the rest of the era was marked by a fall in the population as people were attracted away from the land to the cities and colonies. The Ancient Order of Foresters was formed at the end of the Victorian ear as an example of the village taking care of itself. This was the time of the draconian work house. Cricket was played in the village but there are not records of a footbal team until the 20th century. Return to the top of the list.
Modern

Village Hall C 1950

A party held in the village hall c 1950. Courtesy of Ken and Ethel Church

A new Village Hall was built in the modern era and this picture was taken in it. People form groups for many reasons an villages used to be very tight-knit societies, sport and activities such as bell ringing and choirs still bind people together. Everybody knew everybody when this picture was taken. Some of these people can be recognised but not all. It is believed the WI were involved in organising the event with other people.Return to the top of the list.

Please refer to the acknowledgements page for a list of the contributors to this website.

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