Perambulation 1503

To find the other pages return to foot of the main XXI Hides page 
This is the end of the account of the “Villa,” which is by no means the same thing as the “hundred of Glaston XII. Hides.” Other pens than mine will no doubt trace the details on the map, and very interesting it would be. Other feet than mine may foot it round the town, and I would I had the energy to accompany them, and the knowledge to perceive what they may see.
The Terrier continues, sometimes with con­siderable details, sometimes with “none or few,” throughout the known area of the XII. Hides and beyond it—East Street (not Street), West Pennard, Godney, Meare, Northload, East Brent, with especially interesting accounts of the customary dues and duties of the “Monday men,” South Brent (with particulars of the challenge land-men), Lympsham, Berrow, Wrington, Hunstrete and Marksbury, in that order.  
Of these, East Brent and the places that follow it were not then or at any time within the boundaries of the XII. Hides, according to the best information that I can obtain. These boundaries are pretty well known. They include Meare and Godney, and beyond Godney a sort of annexe running northwards between Wedmore and Cheddar over the moor to Nyland, which was within the boundaries; and they are fairly enough set out in the perambu­lation of Richard Bere, begun in 1503, and ended in 1509 (or later) with which I end my paper.  


The first day of the Perambulation I have literally translated; the remainder, lest I weary you and to avoid vain repetitions, I have summarized.—H.F.S.S
FIrst Day.—In the year 1503, being the eighteenth of King Henry VII., Richard Bere, Abbot of Glastonbury, in his tenth year of office as Abbot, on a Wednesday, being the feast of St. Anne (mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary), that is on the 26th of July, began his perambulation of the bounds of XII. Hides, beginning from Brutasche (where three ashes still grow), together with divers his particular servants and others, namely: Henry Colmer, chaplain; John Martin, sub-prior; Richard Worcester, John Selwood and John Bennet, novices; Wm. Jones, curate of Pilton; Wm. Pyke, Esq.; Thomas Ashhurst, steward of the said Lord Abbot; Thomas Hexton, Richard Moon, Walter Kelly, Richard Long and Edmund Ken, Esquires, whose feudal lord he was; Thomas Gunwyn and Thomas Somerset, clerks in the Treasury of the said Lord Abbot ; William Helyar, bailiff of divers of the Abbey manors, William Ferryman, ranger of Norwood Park, Richard Hamlyn, usher of the said Lord Abbot, William Rowley, head-cook, John Cornish and Thomas Hopper, secretaries of the said Lord Abbot; and many others. 
And there met them at Brutasche (where three ashes still grow), summoned thither to do homage for Street, Walter Sprott, William Ambler, William Cox and John Groom, aged sixty or over; William Gill and Thomas Bodden, aged fifty; John Shepherd, John Rood senior and Peter Gyott, aged thirty or over; and John Rood junior, John Milward, John Withy and Thomas Gyott, aged twenty or over.
When they were all duly met they proceeded Eastwards from Brutasche to the north-west corner of a close called Ankerhey, and thence Eastwards along a ditch on the North side of the said Close till they got to the East end of it. Then they proceeded South-East from the said close along the said ditch to Growtham’s oak, which is the boundary of the domain of Street on that side; and there there appeared Robert Midwinter, reeve of Butleigh, attended by sixteen others, namely: John Pride, Thomas Scott, Henry Sammell and William Gibb, aged 60 or over; John Sammell senior, Thomas Hobbs, Richard Barnard and John Birdham, aged 40 or over; William Read, John Sammell junior, Thomas a Court and Richard Gossamer, aged thirty or over; and Thomas Kitt, Thomas Hopper, Robert Sammell and John Wilton, aged twelve or over; and they all proceeded along the said ditch, which divides the farm­land from the moor, in an Easterly direction, and conducted the said Lord Abbot and all his company to the lane called Bigg’s Lane, which is outside the boundaries; and from there they proceeded along the said ditch directly to Wulgar’s bridge, called Middlebard. Wulgar built the said bridge in the time of St. Dunstan, and it stands at the Northern extremity of the domain of the said Wulgar-with-a-beard, for­merly in the occupation of John Kits and now of John Porter. Near the said bridge, the Lord Abbot aforesaid and all the rest of the company then and there present with him refreshed themselves with bread and beer and wine, etc., at the expense of the said Lord Abbot.
Then they proceeded along the causeway thence to Pin’s lake, where there is a certain bridge with two arches, one maintained by Butleigh according to custom and the other by Baltonsborough ditto. At the said bridge they were met by John West, reeve of Baltons­borough, with eleven others, namely: Robert West and William Shepherd, aged 60 and over; William Shepherd, Thomas Shepherd, Richard Smith, Henry Kingdom, and William Taylor, aged 40 or over; and Thomas Callow, John Rush, Richard Hopper, and John West, junr., aged 12 or over. And the said persons con­ducted the Lord Abbot aforesaid and all then and there present with him from the said bridge North-East over Nogger Bridge to the mill of Baltonsborough, where once Norman lived, and for a long time Thomas Flint; William Shepherd lives there now. From the mill they went North along the river to a close called Church Close, which close and the Church are outside the boundaries of the XII. Hides. They crossed over to the North of the said close to a path which comes from North of the said Church, and so went uphill to the house which was formerly Oscar de la Holt’s, and is now called La Hame, by the side of the leap-gate of the property formerly occupied by John Taylor, otherwise Hogg, now by John Rush. From there they proceeded Northwards through La Hame across a wooden foot-bridge called Hare-Path Bridge, in the place called La Worthy, along the said path, called Hare Path, that is between the land occupied by John Rix and the land occupied by John Cope, to the bar-gates of Southwood; and thence South-East through the middle of Southwood to a certain cross that stands by four oaks; and from there over La Holte to Dunstan’s Ditch, otherwise (according to some) “Bitter Water”; and thence Northwards up-stream and North­wards again through Side-wood over beyond Lottisham to the gate of a close once occupied by Walter Bryce and now by John Man. And there the said Lord Abbot and all the rest of the company then and there present made a light meal of bread and beer and wine, etc. 

Then turning North they proceeded to the old Cross in Lottisham Green aforesaid, thence North along Green Lane to the new cross which stands on Wormshill, lately erected there by Walter Cary, then North to the West corner of a close called Holbreche, then North again down hill to the house which was formerly Osward Delaburn’s, then William Martin’s, and is now Thomas Shepherd’s, and over beyond it to Lake House, now inhabited by Robert Goss of Bradley; where there appeared Richard Cary, reeve of Bradley, with 13 men, namely, Robert Goss, John Tinnell (otherwise Bouche), Walter Bryce and William Belham, 60 years old and upwards; Robert a Cary, Robert Hain, William Bush, and William Grimstead, aged 30 and upwards; and William Belham, John Bush, Nicholas a Cary, Thomas a Cary, and William a Cary, aged 12 and upwards; and they all proceeded up-stream Eastwards to the house of the miller Robert Bush, and so across the said stream Eastwards to the house which was formerly occupied by Aylmer, Seneschal of Bradley, and is now the house of Richard Norris, Esq.; and they left the dovecote outside the XII. Hides, the house and Church being within it, and proceeded thence Eastward to Stoke (formerly called La Harpe) to a great elm called Belham’s elm, whereby dwells William Belham; and so directly by the King’s highway towards the North-east to a gate called Burdwood’s stile, where there appeared William Colbourne, reeve of East Pennard, with 15 men, namely, Thomas Colbourne, John Easton, John Pitt and Thomas Wason, aged 50 and over; William Shepherd, John Furber, William Squire, William Sherston (otherwise Colbourne), Nicholas Bay and John Parker, aged 30 and upwards; and William Wason, William Colbourne, Thomas Pitt, Thomas Collins and Thomas Brook, aged 12 and upwards. And they all together with the said Lord Abbot proceeded up-hill Eastwards along the path to Whiteley’s Elm, and to a cross standing there, both within the boundaries. Then they went Eastwards along the road that goes that way to Wind-gate, now called West-field-gate, and from Westfield-gate Northwards along the boundary hedge into the open along the high road almost to Galehouse, and up-hill South of Galehouse North-west over the fields until they reached an acre of arable formerly in the occupation of one John Flory, now of William Basing (a free-holder). Then they went together Eastwards between the said acre and the land belonging to Agnes Colbourne, a customary tenant of the same Lord Abbot, and so along the hedge of the same William to the boundary of the said William Colbourne and William Ellis, which boundary was formerly called “the boundaries of Beckenham and Farley”; and so they came to the close of the said William Colbourne. Then they went beyond Thomas Forest’s barn over the south corner of the little property of his tenant (which is within the boundaries) North-west and over the Western corner of the said William Colbourne’s farm to a stile in the fence of Pilton Park which is called Bicknell’s stile. And here there met them John Shepherd, reeve of Pilton, and 14 men, namely, Walter Sergeant, Richard Milward, Richard Sergeant and William Dore, aged 60 and upwards; William Knoll, Richard Hardwick, John Pennard, Richard Shot, and Philip Gell, aged 40 and upwards; and William Milward, John Hain, William Totgay, Walter Sergeant and John Milward, aged 12 and upwards. 
And they one and all proceeded downhill with the said Lord Abbot through Pilton Park to Hardland Bridge and thence on to Selly’s door and the Boundary between Sheep-grow and Dorvale to Nodway, and so South of the old dove-cote to the said Lord Abbot’s Barn, and on through his Lordship’s orchard downhill by Bury Bridge to a stone called the Boundary stone, before the doors of the said Lord Abbot’s lodging at Pilton. And so ended the first day’s progress.
Second Day.—On the second day (the day following) they proceeded from the Boundary-stone across Pilton grave-yard into the Church by the South door and out through the North door uphill to Ashwell Cross, North-west to Chowell-cross, to Westley gate, Wootton, and over Batt’s Bridge and Holybroke’s bridge by Garston’s hedge to North Wootton, along Clark’s lane to Hackett’s Mill, along a hedge which is the boundary between Mereham and the XII. Hides over the South part of Wor-mister, through Landmere to Comb-head to the West end of a close known of old as Lansterley or Lye, to the Portway and over beyond the Portway to the Bake-house (now in ruins), and then South-west to two thorns growing in an alder-thicket, and across the moor to Hartlake bridge, where they gave up.
Third Day.—On the third day, which was Monday, 31st May, 1507 (four years later), the Abbot started from Hartlake Bridge with John Fitzjames, the Seneschal, Dom John Wins-combe, treasurer, Dom Henry Colmer, Domestic Bursar, Father John Porter, curate of Glaston XII. Hides, John Marshall, Esq., William Pike, Thomas Ashhurst and Walter Kelly, gents, Dom Thomas Gunwyn and Dom Thomas Somerset (of this office), and William Ferryman, John Perham and William Rowley his servants. They proceeded South-west along the em­bankment called Gyot’s wall to common moor, along the river-bank to Upper Crannel Farm, where there is a clyse called in olden times Bachyn-weir, North-west to the end of Ashen-rhine, then along the bank between Godney and Garslade to Porter’s-back and then along a ditch between Garslade and the river which runs from Wells to Meare through Lineacre’s “chrott,” Amner’s mead and Monken Mead to the old course of the river Yeo (Amner’s Mead and Monken Mead being within the bounds), to a North corner called Monken-mead Horn, and along a ditch called La Rydde and by the boundary between the Bishop of Bath’s property and the said Lord Abbot’s moor to Baggery’s lane, and then along the said lane to the Abbot’s arable near Bleadney-hill, up over the said hill (which is within the XII. Hides) and down again to a boundary-stone and over beyond the King’s Highway to a close called Northern Hook (within the XII. Hides) and so up the stream which runs down to Bleadney Mill, West of Broad Mead (within the XII. Hides) and across the said stream up-hill to the King’s Highway and Bleadney Cross, Southwards on to the road which leads to Godney Moor, over the North of the said moor to a close called La Rede, by the growing willows which mark the boundary there, and so out over Godney Moor direct to Bleadney Bridge (otherwise called Hay Bridge), along the stream to Ladymead, up-stream to Marchey (which island is within the boundaries), and along the stream to Tornery’s-weir or Sty-weir, and from there to Hake-weir; and so made an end. 

Fourth Day.—On the fourth day, 1st March, 1509 (two years later again) the Abbot started from Hake-weir with the knights Nicholas Wadham and John Rodney, John Fitzjames the Seneschal, John Winscombe (his collector), Father John Porter, curate of Glastonbury, William Sturton, Thomas Ashhurst and Robert Gold, gents, and Dom Thomas Gunwyn and Dom Thomas Somerset (of this office), and others. And there met him there the tenants of Northload and Theale and the reeve of Meare and his men; and they proceeded from Hake-weir to Stoke-weir and Whitesham (formerly Wright’s Ham), along Carsebrook up-stream between Rodney Moor and Monken Moor to Windlake (or Winnard-lake) to La Stone, North to Tie-bridge along the track called La Barge to Barge-gate, and along another called Lathe-way to the Crooked Boundary, S.E. to Short-land and beyond it; up-hill along the boundary between Andersey and Stoke (or Draycot) to the old Stone, and up-hill to the Head-stone, North-east to La Grenetote and then South­west to Woodfold Stone (at the lower end of the Bishop’s Close called Yalwyn) and so downhill West of Andersey along the boundary of the Bishop’s property of Cheddar over the woods and fields, including Batcombe (which is within the XII. Hides) to the alder grove in the domain of Stoke (which is without the boundaries), and so over the moor along a ditch called Moor-ditch to a boundary-stone called Leystone and the manor of Andersey, where they dined. 

Thence back to the Leystone, following the ancient stone land-marks across the moor to Stony Ford, which separates the Abbot’s domains of Brook and Andersey, and thence left from Stony Ford, which is in Old Yeo (alias Oxmoor Yeo) North-west to the clyse formerly called Wyld-weir, Oxmoor, Cockspill and Northyeo moor being within their peram­bulation, North of the said clyse, across the stream Northwards to the Northern boundary of Westyeo-moor, Southwards to the horn called Selley’s place and the Chapel of St. Guthlac, over the stream called Westyeo, Northwards and up-stream to Whitesham, Westwards beyond Oxmoor and Monkenmoor to Hake-weir again. And from Hake-weir Southwards to Kipmere pool, along the em­bankment called Kipmere’s wall, to the spring called Theale Well, and then uphill to the hill which divides the Dean of Wells’ Domain and the Domain of Northload, and downhill again to Calsham, Westward along the Dean’s boundary to Counsel’s wall and South over the marsh and moor to Perrymead, on Westhay stream, where stones and crosses mark the boundary; and so made an end. 

Fifth Day.—On the fifth day (unspecified) the course followed was from Perrymead West­ward along the river to Lychlake, over the moor to the boundaries of Meare and Polden (“where they still use pitchers made of willow”; to the North side of Ashcott-drove, East over the boundary between the fields and the moor to the West end of Sharpham boundary, and thence Southwards by Walton-drove to the Western end of Sharpham, and .  .  .
(Here there is a vast empty space in the MS.)
So wrote and said and saw and did Richard Bere, Lord Abbot of Glastonbury, in the last years of King Henry VII. and the first years of King Henry VIII.; and with him went Thomas Sutton his Estates Bursar, Henry Colmer his chaplain, John Martin the sub-prior, and divers others his knights and squires and servants, all sure of themselves and of their rights and duties, and of the thousand years of history behind them and behind their rights and duties.
Seven years after the Terrier was written Richard Whiting succeeded Richard Bere as Abbot. Abbot Bere had been Abbot for 30 years, and no man ever served the Abbey better. 


The glorious buildings were at last complete, 350 years after the havoc wrought by fire in the XII. Century. The estates, though sadly diminished since Saxon times, were in good order. The poor were cared for, and the evil­doer (only) went in peril.

Fifteen more years later all was at an end.

All images and text © Glastonbury Antiquarian Society 2021

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