Menu Henstridge  Offline

Your place to ask for help,  tell us about life in the village etc  -  Interact !

Feel free to browse all the comments and questions that have been posted, or use the Search box below to find a specific subject.

To post a new subject use the button immediately below, or you can add comments to an existing subject using the 'Post comments' button next to it. (If you have questions about the site, or wish to update your posting or add photographs or links, please let us know using the Contact Us menu option on the left).

I am researching the work of stained glass artist, Frederick Ashwin, who was one of the pioneering glass strainers in Sydney Australia from around 1873. One of the few mentions of his windows in England that I have been able to find is of a small two light window purchased in 1873 for St Nicholas Henstridge - depicting the Baptism of Our Lord and Jesus blessing the children. I am wondering if the windows survive?

Hello Joseph, what an interesting question.

I have consulted our local history book, A History of Henstridge Somerset by FC Wakeford. It confirms that there was a major restoration of our Church during 1872/3. The Church was reopened by the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells in November 1873. The works cost £3,235, a considerable amount of money in those days.

Wakeford later discusses the baptistry, stating that it is 'lighted by two small lancets filled with stained glass bearing a representation of the Baptism of Christ and Christ blessing Little Children'. That certainly matches your description.

I believe Wakeford's account was written around 1953, however the large baptistry lancet windows are now clear glass. I will have a further look around for you and also question some local experts and see if we can shed any further light.

Is it true that this website will close down?

My boyfriend and I are moving to Henstridge and was wondering whether there is anything we need to know about the area? Best shops? Places to go? Etc etc. Thanks

there is one shop with a post office with in, good place to eat lunch time is the bird in hand.

Does anyone operate a box delivery service. Fruit and veg running low during this crisis.......Anne Bevan

Just read your request from last year so you may have found what you want. If not you could try Abel and Cole. They sell organic everything.

Hi Anne, have you tried the Udder Farm Shop?

According to their website you can phone in orders for collection or delivery: 01747 838899



I offer dog/house sitting 'peace of mind' service from £20 and up for a daytime and £35 and up for a day/overnight

I live locally in Henstridge and am happy to answer any of your questions & enquiries - please call for further details

I look forward to your call

Justin - 01963 548516

I am researching some early relatives.

The Will of Elizabeth Drew of Baverstock in the Nadder Valley, who died in 1689 mentions land holdings in Henstridge.

Her son Thomas Drew may have moved to the Henstridge/Stalbridge area between 1700 and 1715. He may have moved to the land mentioned by his mother.

Thomas Drew's Will of 1742 mentions a "leasehold estate in Stalbridge" called Bushes Farm or South Farm (deciphering the writing is difficult). I notice there is still a Drews Lane going east off the Stalbridge/Henstridge road.

Is there anyone who can shed light on any of this please.

Nigel Drew

To Bryan Drew. Fascinated to hear about your family. They must have been close to my line of Drews but at the moment. Will get into some research notes. Right now I can see no clear connection. They were certainly living in the same area at the same time.

I am especially interested in your comments about Bulks or Tulks Farm. Those words could be construed from the will of Thomas Drew.

Please contact me directly I would be happy to send you some of the material I have including the 1742 Will. I would very much like to explore what connections we can find.

Nigel Drew

On 26th July 2019 Nigel Drew asked if there was anyone who could shed some light on Thomas Drew whose will of 1742 mentions a leasehold estate in Stalbridge called Bushes Farm or South Farm. I had the estate down originally as South Farm but then changed it to Bulks of Tulks Farm after reading The Stalbridge Inheritance Book by Irene Jones which showed old maps.

I have traced my family back to William Drew buried at Stalbridge 16-2-1739 who married Alice buried at Stalbridge 25-7-1728. Their children were Elizabeth bur. 21-6-1755 married 12-1-1696 Stalbridge Edward Dober. 2. William 3. John bur. 21-2-1755 Stalbridge mar. (1) Elizabeth Arney 19-6-1705 Horsington (2) Elizabeth Lemmon 13-11-1737 Caundle Marsh, 4. Alice 5. William 6. Thomas bur.20-10- 1742 Marnhull mar. Frances Brown bur. 15-2-1765 Marnhull, 7. Mary 8. Edith bap.4-1-1692 mar. James West 27-11 1715 Stalbridge. My ancestors were Thomas and Frances.

I believe William had a brother named Thomas bur. 27-3-1728 Marnhull mar. Edith bur. 14-11-1732 Marnhull. I have their father, John bur. 18-2-1703 Marnhull. His father, Thomas Drew junior, alive in 1641 son of Thomas Drew senior alive in 1641.

I was interested to read that Nigel stated that the will of Elizabeth Drew of Baverstock In 1689 mentions land holdings in Henstridge. Her son, Thomas Drew may have moved there. I do not know where the Drew family came from prior to moving to Stalbridge in the early 1600's but I am confident that my Drew name originated from Druce, Drueys etc. not Drogo, coming from the Chilmark, Wilts. area so I was wondering if there was a connection with Elizabeth. I would love to see the will if possible. Bryan.

John forwarded your emails to me regarding your research on Thomas Drew.

How far have you got with tracing the family tree of Thomas Drew and his family members and what dates?

With a risk of teaching you to suck eggs, but not wanting to preclude some important avenues of information for you, I have to ask if you have visited the Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton to look at the 1834 tithe map and awards? Although later dates than your researches, if the Drew family were farmers/ tenant farmers or house or land owners, and the land passed down to future generations, it is possible to locate them in the tithe awards book and you could see the extent of their lands on the tithe map.

Another good source of information is a person's will, as I expect you know, and there are many held at Taunton.

Regarding the first world war, check through the book 'Henstridge a Somerset Village and First World War' and there is an E. Drew recorded on the Roll of Honour for the First World War - this is on the wall of the Nave in St Nicholas Church - it could be Emmanuel Drew ? Linda Farnsworth and the Family History Group have researched further some of the names in the book from the roll of honour and I think there may be a folder of the names again in St Nicholas Church.

So far, the sources cited above are after your dates, so as you probably know it's a spot of good old fashioned leg-work to delve deeper to find the information you require, which you may have already done?

Be good to hear in more detail about what you have been doing?


Who owns this house

I would love to speak with them as just had a call from letting agent saying it's going to be too expensive for my family as its £1300 a month. It's by a road ffs. The rents have gone out of control.

I have just vacated one of the other quarry farm cottages. If you are still interested in living in that area.. will be cheaper than 1300 . I agree the rent all over is getting put of hand. I actually bought a place and am paying less than 100 quid a month less. How crazy is that.

Think its owned by some stuffed shirt dupeli

Does anybody know why The Virginia Ash is closed, It looks like it's for a re-furbishment, I do hope it will stay a pub and restaurant, we miss our weekly lunch there, we've been trying other venues but haven't found anywhere so convenient or with the same atmosphere, reasonable prices and good food selection.

Can you help?

Thanks x

It opens today!

According to Somerset Live, it opens from 6-8pm today, Wednesday 31 July, and will offer drinks and a light buffet free of charge. After 8pm it will operate as normal

Could you please tell me when you may be open again after your unfortunate flooding.

Hi Val - this is what their website says:

Due to some unfortunate flooding, we've had to close our pub for a while to sort things out.

We will let you know as soon as we have a re-opening date and will keep you informed on our homepage, social media and of course our own blog page.

Hello everyone, I do hope someone can help......I've lost my iPad!

I think it disappeared on Friday or Saturday, but I've no idea where I've left it.

It's got a pink cover, bit scruffy, and I never thought I'd miss it, but I am a bit sad.

I'm using a 'spare' which has been skulking in the cupboard for a year or so, but it's not the same. I'm rather cross with myself for being so careless, I live in Henstridge and don't often take it out with me, except sometimes when I'm doing 'Ring & Ride', so it could be anywhere.

So here's my contact details..

Phone 01963 364332

Address: 3 The Mead, Southmead Lane, Henstridge, BA8 0RR

Thanks for reading the above,

Val Howlett


Hello again everyone, my iPad was at the Yeatman Hospital, where I had abandoned it while waiting for a 'Ring and Ride' patient. I found it by looking at my Diary and that seemed the obvious place, I'm so relieved....not going bonkers after all.

Yours, Val

Forgive me for the silly question I have just moved to the area and from where I live can see a area that is always lit through the night. From me it's in the direction of Shaftesbury and was wondering if it's the prison?

I am in Buckhorn Weston and have also been trying to discover the source of the light pollution. I thought it was the golf course? I contacted the council but no one could be bothered to reply to me, which is pretty appalling. The lights are on all through the night and I can no longer see so many stars when I look towards Henstridge. We live in a lovely, rural area - that level of light pollution is unacceptable.

I am researching my late mother's family. I believe that there may have been a Gulliver living in or nearby. They married into the Pargiton family. Gulliver is my mother's family name.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you

Susan Clarke


Is there anyone with historical knowledge of the village who knows about James Hobbs the 19th century Henstridge Basket Maker?

He is referred to in 'Bound To The Soil', Barbara Kerr's superb history of Dorset 1750 -1900 in which the author says James returned to Henstridge from Newfoundland in the early 1800s.

Apparently many Dorset men went out there to profit from the lucrative cod fishing industry which when it collapsed forced many of them to return to England. We're assuming James was one of them.

If anyone in Henstridge can help with more detailed information about James we'd be delighted to hear from you.

Thanking you in advance.

Tony Benge & Sue Ashby


You may be interested in this photograph taken in the early 1950s of the kids living in Station Road sitting on top of the hay cart in the field before the bungalows were built at the back of the cottages.

They are Pete and Anne Viner, twins of Viners cottage; Shirley and Rita Skinner; myself and my cousin from Gloucester.

My family lived in the cottage attached to Yeatman cottage (my grandmother's)

Barry Lazenbury

The Hay Cart
The Hay Cart

Thanks for the memory Barry, will show Anne next I see her



I am interested in family history and have recently found a probate entry for a Henry Parsons-Hann from 1943 and his address is given as The Bird In Hand Inn, Henstridge. The 1939 register shows him at that address as an Inn Keeper with his wife Rosa so he must have been there for a while.

Does anyone have any particular history of the Inn or the family at that time?

If any local historians can help further I would be grateful.

Thank you

Natalie Hann

I don't know anything about his time in Henstridge but in 1930 Henry was (the last) landlord of the White Horse at 71 High Street, Honiton which until taken over by the Sherborne-based Dorsetshire Brewery Co in 1927 was run by Hann & Co, Brewers of Honiton. The owner John George Hann was a distant relative in my different branch of the Hann family

I am trying to find Pamela Dorey whose family I believe originated from Henstridge or the nearby area.

Pamela was one of eight children: Richard and Peter and 6 girls Carol, Ann, Mary, Pamela, Gill and Sue.

I last spoke to Pamela in the late 80s in Wincanton and would like to re-establish communication.

Thank you if you are able to help or just taking the time to read this.

Steven Williams

A couple of years ago I bought a Morris Minor van that was bought by Mr & Mrs KIMBER of Henstridge. The van was a grey colour. KFX 364G. I believe it was either a butcher's van or farmer's van. Just wondering if anyone here can shed any light on this matter. It was bought in Buckhorn Weston on October 1st 1968. I would appreciate any information. Thanks Tim

Hi I have just moved into the village and will be writing a short article about my life in France however at the moment I have inherited around 9 koi carp which I would like to sell but not sure of how to go about it, I want to add a nice veggie patch to the garden so need to reorganise, has anyone got any advice? Many thanks Pauline Brown

My father Ezra Gulliver was born in the bird in the hand in 1913. As far as I know my great grandfather owned the inn, also that there were some houses with the family name on the outside

1914 would have been when granddad moved to Hilperton he was William's son an only child please keep informed of any more details

Bird in Hand Henstridge

My gt gt gt grandfather, George Gullifer/Gulliver, was licensee at the Bird in Hand from about 1867. I am descended from his daughter, Ann Gullifer, born 1836 Henstridge. She married Charles Blackmore and lived the rest of her life in Kington Magna. I have found various newspaper references to the pub passing from George to his son William and then William's son until the Gullivers licence passed to a James Meteyard in 1914. It is nice to know that the pub is still open.

I have traced the Gulliver family at The Bird in Hand from 1871, records previous to that date are vague.

My great grandfather Stephen Pitman was a gardener at Inwood 1885-1895.­ He described painting and pruning the vines in the first week of January 1887 and then working in the Peach house untying the trees and painting and pruning.­

I therefore enjoyed your photographs online of the estate workers and would be grateful if anyone else has photographs of the gardens at Inwood from that time.­

Thank you,

Peter Bullock

I am looking for a photo/postcard of Keyham House, Henstridge from circa 1920 - 1947. The house was lived in by Capt. Philip Lloyd Neville and his wife Eleanor Dora (nee Fellowes), their two children George Neville and John Neville but also Richard Neville, a nephew who was heir to the Butleigh Court Estate near Glastonbury.

My interest is in this family and primarily the latter person. See my website

If you know of anyone who might have such a photo or postcard I would be grateful to know.

Yours cordially, Robert Senior

Trying to trace any Thorne descendants of Fred. I believe he had quite a large family. Would love to hear from family. x

Sorry, misread your message. Would love to hear from your brothers too, if they're interested in the contact. x

Hi Tony,

I am the granddaughter of one of Freds sisters, Mabel, known as Sis. Would any of his daughters like to be in contact with us? There are still two brothers left, but obviously, they're getting on a bit now. Maybe we could be in contact on Facebook? There are still quite a few of us local to Colehill where they all originated from and a few scattered across the country and the world. x

My Mother Dorothy Hares was married to Frederick Thorne of Henstridge I had 9 step sisters and brothers. My father was I believe an American stationed at Yeovilton Air base during the second world war.

Does anyone remember an episode of a children's tv serial being shot in Henstridge?

I seem to recall it was shot partly in Vale Street and some scenes in Park Lane and was a sort of sci-fi adventure. It could have been in the 1980's.

I wonder if it was part of a serial called 'The Tomorrow People' which had the young Martin Kemp in it.

Marion Lovelace

I attach a photo of community spirit - this is a shot of a party on the coronation of the Queen, when all the kids were lashed up to a tea and stickies up the rec. I am on the 2nd table back towards the left with the check shirt and jacket behind the lad with glasses. On the same table with me are Marilyn Nurse, Diane Essex, Dina Harvey and Diana Williams all looking back.

I dare say that there are a few locals that should recognize themselves even after all these years.


Coronation Party
Coronation Party

Dear Barry

I have not visited this site for a while hence not replied to you. My email address is I would love a copy of this to add to my Henstridge photos.

Hi Jane,

good to hear from someone out of the past, my address is

if you give me your email address I will gladly send you a copy of the photo in question.

Hope all is well with you


Hi Barry

Good to see you are still alive and well and finding photos to post. I can recognise one or two of the helpers at the back but will need to find my specs for the children. Is there a chance you could email it to me as it would be another to add to the archive pictures I already have.

The photograph of the car accident at the Ash was about 1951-52 I think. I was one of the boys looking back at the camera when the picture was taken. I also remember the driver crawling out of the window of the upturned car.

Barry Lazenbury

Accident at the Ash
Accident at the Ash

I moved to Henstridge nearly 13 years ago, and live in what most people in Henstridge call 'The Dolls House' in Blackmoor Lane.

I recently went to the Taunton Records Office to try and find out when it was built, as it wasn't recorded with the Land Registry until the 1960s. Although I discovered a little information, my visit presented more questions than answers, so I must return at a later date.

The house ('Starpitten') features as the 'Quadrilateral House' in 'Finding Time For Henstridge' by Heather M Thorne, published in 1984. I have tried to find a copy but it seems it is out of print. If anyone has a copy of this book that they would sell to me, please let me know. Also if anyone has any information about previous owners that they could share with me, I would be delighted to add it to my house history file and I thank you.


Hi Jackie,

Thanks for your reply to my note about The Doll's House. If you remember anything else my email address is every bit of information builds up a picture for me.


I lived up in Summerfields until 1983, I'm sure a Miss Settling lived in the Doll's house then

I am researching the Hobbs family of Henstridge in the 18th Century, because Hester Hobbs married in 1790 at Blandford, Bowyer Edward Sparke, later Bishop of Ely 1812-36.

I am compiling THE HERALDRY OF ELY CATHEDRAL and writing a short biography of the Bishop. I'm aware of the Hobbs monument in the Church but I would love to know what sort of family the Hobbs were.

Hester was the daughter of Shadrach, and I think some of the family may have been Attorneys-at-law? Was Shadrach a landowner, yeoman, farmer or ? I cannot find a Will for him in 1775 when he died.

Any ideas gratefully received,

many thanks,

Tim Cockerill

Hi, you might be interested in the fact that my grandfather Albert Hobbs came from Henstridge and moved to Deal in Kent after WW2 with his brother and they both married twin sisters in Kingsdown, Kent.

The quiz night at the Bird in Hand is raising money for a Christmas Party in the village hall for the children of Henstridge.

I would like some help with raffle prizes, so if any one has something to donate we would be truly grateful.

The quiz is held the last Thursday of the month and we will be raising funds until November. You can contact me on 01963 363852 and I will happily collect anything donated. Thank You

I am looking into my family tree and have a Mark King Jeanes and his wife Amelia living in Henstridge in the following census 1891, 1901, 1911. His occupation was gardener but I am not sure where. However he must have been well thought of as he was presented with a chair

"Presented to


In Remembrance of Twenty Years


June 15th 1905"

The only big house that I can find is Inwood House, does anybody have any records on who worked there?

If anyone has any information please can they let me know.

thank you

Can anyone add any information to the fact that Wincanton truck centre at Henstridge business park has been closed by administrators,I'm looking for advice on a diesel horse box to convert and the possible servicing thereof if purchassed

Hello, I'm doing some research for a friend whose father was killed while she was just a baby in 1944.

I know the accident was in 1944 and it was a U.S vehicle which caused the accident as British Rail refused to pay the £1,000 compensation because of the U.S involvement, leaving behind a young Mum with 5 small children to bring up.

Her Father's name was Daniel Duffy and I would love to be able to find out a little more for my friend as she was a babe in arms when he died,

Many thanks, Emma McCowen.

I have just read your request for someone called Duffy who you think may have been killed in the 1944 railway accident at Henstridge.

I was a boy of 13 living in Templecombe at the time and was an eyewitness to the aftermath of the crash later in the day involving a USA military vehicle.

I have gathered details over the years and I can confirm that no one on either of the two locomotives involved was called Duffy.

As there were several soldiers killed who were travelling in the first two coaches, it is likely that he was one of them and therefore could have lived anywhere in the country, other than Somerset.

I suggest, therefore, that your searches should be through army channels, as the railway was clearly not to blame for this tragic accident.

Incidentally, the name of the railway company was not 'British Rail' as that did not come into existence until several years later. The line through Henstridge was operated by the 'Somerset & Dorset Railway', who in turn worked under the old 'Southern Railway'.

However, it is thought that this train may have started its journey in the Nottingham or Sheffield area, in which case it would have started out under the direction of the old 'LMS Railway'.

Gets complicated if you are trying to tie it down legally.

I hope that this helps your friend.

David Peckham

Hello Emma,

I have found two possibles - are you able to confirm if either one is the Duffy you are looking for. I have more information to share with you and below are some basic details.

Daniel Duffy who was a fireman with LMS railway who died in June 1944 aged 42 in Nottingham Hospital. He was married to Joan Duffy nee Mcardle.

There is also Sergeant Donald Duffy from Ontario, Canada posted with the RAF in Yorkshire.

We are preparing an article for the next Wot's On (deadline April 30th) Can you let me know before this. My email is

I am also researching the crash at Henstridge, and my father worked on the railway and often mentioned the accident there in 1944.

Please email me at if you can help with my research, and of course I'd be glad to share my information with you.

Kind Regards

Mike Ware

Hello Emma,

Brilliant to read your post and I hope we can help. We are beginning our research into the rail crash in Henstridge and would be pleased to make contact with you. You can email me at I look forward to hearing from you.

My friend Carolyn Westmacott is the descendant of Louisa Maud Anstice who was her grandmother who was born in Salop. She was the mother of Oscar Westmacott,Carolyns father. She was married to Cannon Walter Westmacott and they lived in St Germans in Cornwall.

They had thirteen children. Now Carolyn wants to know who was the mother of her grandmother Louisa Maud Anstice. If anyone knows, it would be really interesting for Carolyn to know

Hi - I am one of the Trustees for the Anstice Memorial Hall in Madeley in Shropshire. The Hall was built in memory of John Anstice who was a major employer in the town and very well respected by the local community. We would love to be in contact with a descendant of the Anstice family - and I can probably tell your friend much more about her ancestors from here.

Dot Menzies Holden

Hello Chris, yes those are the same people, Geraldine and Oscar. Carolyn would be very happy to know about this wonderful discovery.

Keep me informed. My name is Lorraine Sabin, I am a friend of Carolyn and my e-mail address is

Is your friend the Carolyn Westmacott whose parents, Oscar and Geraldine, used to live in York Crescent, Torquay?

If so, I have some very old family photos that were amongst some postcards and sheet music that were given to me by Oscar and Geraldine in the late 1970s.

In 1960 and 1961 I went to St Mary's School in Marnhull. There was another student there named Anne Cross who then lived in Ash End, Henstridge with two brothers (one called Robert, I think)

I found out many years later that Anne had married (Pickup) but I lost contact with her in the 80's and would very much appreciate any help in re-establishing contact again. I moved to Canada in 1979 and somewhere along the way lost her address. Last I heard she was living in the Midlands somewhere. Any help much appreciated!

Thanks very much Jane, much appreciated!

I remember Anne Cross and am confident I can find her contact details. I will then ask her to get in touch with you.

If anyone would like a babysitter, I am a level 3 childcare practitioner and have some availability. I have lots of experience, first aid trained. Just get in contact for more information.

I am researching the abovenamed families who resided in or near Henstridge from an early date.

A Thomas Ridout/Rydowte of Henstridge died c 1524 and left a Will in which reference is made to his wife Isabell (maiden surname probably Coop(e) or Roope or variant spelling). Isabell is likely to have been from Woodbery Hill, possibly a reference to a place of the same name in Devon or Dorset.

This couple seem to have had at least four children, probably a son Thomas,two other sons John and Richard and a younger daughter Johane.

Son Thomas married Kateryn Wolryge and this couple had at least three children viz William, Thomas and Richard. There is a record of arms in the 1531 Herald's Visitation for Thomas Ridout, blazoned Per pale Argent and Gules a Griffin segreant counterchanged within a Bordure engrailed Or.

In his abovementioned Will, Thomas Rydowte also refers to his brother Nicholas and to an Elizabeth Payne and a Joane Mone. Elizabeth and Joane could have been the married sisters or daughters of Thomas.

British History Online for Henstridge mentions a John Ridout as a party to a dispute in 1278 over ownership of a mill.

I would be grateful for further information on any of the abovenamed families.

I am doing some research on my Uncle Donald Hollo's service in WW2. In looking at his service book I see that his unit, 195th Field Artillery Battalion was stationed at Henstridge, Stalbridge and Marnhull, they were there starting April 1944 to June 1944.

Does anyone have any records if the unit did stay there? If so Uncle Donald Hollo was assigned to Battery 'C'. I would like to know, if possible where this unit stayed. His book said that they stayed in private homes. I don't know if you could track down which home he stayed in.

Thank you for your time.

Ray Overland


Minnesota, USA

In addition to the pictures I posted below of our family at Cotton Corner, I attach a copy of a group photograph taken in either Henstridge or Stalbridge and found in my Grandfather's effects when he died in 1973. Unfortunately there is no caption. However I cannot see why he would have retained the picture if it had no relevance to the family.

Would be grateful if it is possible for anyone to identify the individuals.

In addition to Parsons, linked names include Burge, Coffin, Gulliver, Lemon, Mullet, Ryall, Senior, and Tite.

The are also pictures of old folk attending Christmas or other Parties in the village hall in the late 1960's/early 1970's. My Grandfather, George Parsons, of Cotton Corner is highlighted in each.

Kind regards

David Parsons

Parsons Family Group
Parsons Family Group

Christmas Party - 1
Christmas Party - 1

Christmas Party - 2
Christmas Party - 2

Christmas Party - 3
Christmas Party - 3

Hi. This is for Nigel D Jones regarding the Ryall, Mullet family. My email is feel free to contact me regarding the family tree.

Hello, this is a reply to the comments posted 31 Jul 2018 by Paula Thomas. It appears we are related. My GG Grandparents were Elizabeth Mullett and George Ryall also. My grandmother Sarah, married Henry Mullett, born to Edwin David Mullett, nephew of Elizabeth Mullett and George Ryall. It would be great to get in touch, if possible could you send me a contact e-mail. Thank you

I have been researching the Gullifer/Gulliver family of Henstridge for many years. I am descended from George Gullifer b 1811 Henstridge who married Ann Kynaston in 1834 Henstridge. I was pleased to see the photos posted by David Parsons a few years ago now of the Parsons in Henstridge,particularly of Anna Parsons, nee Gullifer, who was my gt gt grandmother's sister. It would be good to be in touch with anyone else researching the Gulliver family. Thanks.

Hi. I've just been down to Henstridge to have a look in the Church for records and Graves. What a beautiful village, such friendly people, everyone we came across said "Hello"to 2 strangers wandering around. I notice the names Ryall and Mullett in your article about the photo.I would love to know if they're in the photo... My family name is Ryall and 3 generations are from Henstridge, My GG Grandmother was Elizabeth Mullett who married George Ryall.

Hi Jackie... yes, no problem at all - my email is

Andrew Fisher can I leave you my email address please?

How funny my parents still live in Summerfields they have been there for over fifty years.

My partner Ian is going to recreate Henstridge station in model form, and it's scary to think he showed me the photo so I googled your name and up popped Henstridge on line.

Hi Jackie - yes indeed, it was a picture of me in Alan Hammond's book on Henstridge Station with my father Fred... we lived just up the road in Summerfields. Was there more to your message that didn't come up on here as I'm intrigued now why you were looking for me... please tell more! Regards, Andrew

Hi there. As I read the replies on here I was shocked to see a reply by Andrew Fisher, Andrew are you the young lad shown in a picture from the book called Legends of the Somerset amd Dorset Railway?

As you are the person I was looking for when I came across you

In the final picture, number 4, in the seated from row the lady second from left is my Grandmother Gladys Fisher (nee Miles - the Miles' came from Stalbridge) and next to him is my Grandfather Wilfred Fisher.

Before moving to Henstridge in the 1920s, Wilfred's father Robert Fisher ran a small brickworks at Marnhull, prior to that the family ran a brickworks at Iwerne Minster. Wilfred himself was a bricklayer - one of the jobs he worked on was the rebuilding of Templecombe Station circa 1930s - that's when it was a proper station complete with buffet etc!


I have just seen the last photograph that you have posted. The lady who is standing 3 to the left of your relation is my great aunt Laura May Mullett or Aunty May as she was known to me.

Anna Swinburn

Dear David

I remember your grandfather very well. My dad was the Vicar of Henstridge from 1953-1985. I can't tell you anything about the first 2 pictures but I know what the 2nd 2 are. Photo 3 is the golden wedding party for Mr and Mrs Stan Kimber who lived in Henstridge. I can identify quite a lot of the people in that one. The last photo is a Christmas party held by the Gold and Silver club in the Red Cross building, which was just down the road from Cotton Corner.I will look at it and try to identify as many people as possible.

Jane Jeanes

We are holding an exhibition in Henstridge over the weekend 2nd and 3rd August 2014.

If anyone has any photos or newspaper cuttings or anything which they could lend me to use please get in touch as soon as possible. 01963 370769

I spent most of my childhood in Henstridge and recentely returned I was amazed how different the village looks now I remember there were so many shops and a post office chemist butchers clothing store petrol stations etc. Which meant that it wasnt necessary to leave the village for anything.One shop though seems to be in a time warp its next to the one remaining store in the High Street it even has advertisements on the windows from the 1960s.I remember it as Youngs the bakers just wondering if anybody knows why its remained untouched in its current state.

I also grew up in Henstridge, and remember the abundance of shops, I can remember my friend getting white wellie boots from Hobbit on the corner

Hello Tony

That was really funny about your uncle Wiggy Wiles running with the torch, my dad knows his real name and it is a long one ! I shall pass this on to my dad. I have happy memories of my child hood staying with my Grandma Dark up in Inwood during the school holidays as my Grandad worked for Miss Guest with the hounds.

Diana Dixon

Hello Diana

Yes Wiggy was in fact an uncle of mine who sadly passed away a few years ago he certainly was a colourful character. At his funeral service in Stalbridge the Vicar told a story of when in 1948 the Olympic flame was due to be carried through the streets of Henstridge. Large crowds had gathered and lined both sides of the main A30 road from down beyond the railway bridge right up to Sherborne Road and past what was then the Virginia Ash Hotel. Wiggy with the help of his Brothers made his way across the fields to find a spot hidden from view he then changed into an athlete's outfit and then set alight a homemade torch of made of rags which had been previously doused in petrol. Wiggy then began running up the middle of the road. Because most of the crowd had come from far away nobody recognised him so as he passed they all began cheering and franticly waving their flags with excitement. Apparently just before he reached the Virginia Ash one of the locals recognised him and shouted out that's Wiggy Wiles which quickly brought an end to his prank. He quickly exited stage left and disappeared in the direction of the village. He later joined the Grenadier Guards and often told us so many interesting stories about his time with them.

Nice to hear from you and hope your Dad continues with his schooldays stories for many years to come. Tony.

I have just read the comments about the village shops from Tony wiles.

My dad Bill Dark often speaks of a school friend Wiggy Wiles who was at the same school in Henstridge. My dad is 88 years old now, are you a relation Tony ?

Hello Tony

Nice to read your comments about shops in Henstridge when you were younger. I too remember all the different shops which were in the village. Young's bakery remains as it always looked because members of the family still live there and don't want to change it. I expect to find that snowman with the mince pies on the plate to be there before Christmas.

Capt. Richard Neville (1922 - 1980) inherited the Butleigh Court estate in 1936 [see my website] and sold it in 1947. I found a report saying that he moved many of the contents to Henstridge. I am trying to discover where in Henstridge he lived during the 1940's.

I remember the garden of Keyham house quite well, it had a rather large patch of bamboo cane at the bottom which came in rather useful for fishing rods and bows and arrows

it was Keyham House.

Tracing my family tree I was looking for information on Henstridge Ash Mansion in Hendrdge where a Jemima Cooke worked as a kitchen maid ??

Can anyone help, as I have tried looking on-line but couldn't find it.

Many thanks, Kim Cooke

I came across an old bible. On the inside it says:

George Scard

Henstridge School

Sep. 19, 1872

Trying to find where this bible came from and would appreciate any help,

Thanks, Renee

I don't know much about the Scard family but the school in the village was newly opened in 1872 so I imagine he was given the bible either at entry into school or on leaving or it may have been that all pupils were given a bible on the day it was opened. You could try the archives of the Western Gazette to see if they have a record of the school opening. I will ask in school if the log book for that year is still around. The Western Gazette had a very good report of the reopening of the parish church in 1873.

Hello Renee

This is very interesting. We looked at one of the Scard family sites and it seems there were a few George Scards born in the village. It looks quite complicated, but the most likely seem the two born in 1860 and 1868 - the bible presumably belonged to one of them.

It will be interesting to see if any other visitors can shed some light.

John & Linda

Two grand ladies, residents of Henstridge for many years. They were born in Guernsey, and were evacuated WWII, with their mother to the UK. They never returned to live permanently only vacations in their homeland.

Joy passed away almost two years ago, Nancy passed away recently. What may not have been known, Joy was awarded an MBE for her services in nursing.

If anyone knew these ladies, please contact me,


By any chance, does anyone know where my Great Grandfather Harry Coffin was buried? Woking family centre were unable to find any burial records for Harry or my Great Grandmother (Harry's first wife) Phoebe nee Gunner.

I know that family were still living in Henstridge after he had moved to Woking- and he died under slightly unusual circumstances that I would imagine must have caused some gossip around the village. I understand that his widow Amelia nee Lemon returned to Henstridge.

Thank you for any time you may take in reply.

Kind regards


Re: Henstridge Airfield (formerly H.M.S. Dipper). April 1st 2013 will be the 70th Anniversary of the airfield. As part of the celebrations, the airfield owner is keen to hear of any recollections, stories and pictures from anyone connected with the airfield during its 70 year history - particularly during the wartime years. Your memories would be hugely appreciated.

Hi, My aunt, WRNS Ellen Saunders, (WRNS Cook), was stationed at HMS Dipper in 1944. Sadly, that year on 23rd August 44 whilst on special leave to see her Father (my Grandfather, Stoker Royal Navy) who was home on leave after 2.5 years in Africa, Ellen, my Grandfather & Grandmother were killed by a V1. I would very much like to hear from anyone who may have any memorabilia or memories about Ellen.


Bob (Royal Navy 1967 - 75)

I am researching my family history and find that my ancestors starting with John Belgium born about 1868 were born in Henstridge before moving away to Bristol. The family name changes to many derivatives at this time Belgen, Bulgin, Belgum are some of them. I have also found a Philip Bulgen's marriage on your site 23.9.1753. If anyone has any information about any of these names I would be very interested or if my research can help anyone else please email me.

Hello, I am hoping to find some local information. Does anyone know if there is a syndicate in Henstridge for buying oil? I know other villages do. We are moving to the village on Friday 12th October.

Many thanks, Donna Ashley

I have some information about a bulk oil-buying scheme being run by the Community Council for Somerset. Drop me an email and I will forward you the details.

I belong to the South Cheriton and Horsington oil club which can be found at I am not aware that anyone else in Henstridge belongs to a club or if Henstridge itself belongs to another oil club. I would be most interested in joining if we have one in this village. Currently the price of oil is up because of the problems in Egypt and the bad exchange rates and I think stands at something like 0.61p per litre with my current club. Please let me know if you find another club more local to our village.

As far as I know there is not one, but there is this one not sure if there is a local cordinatior in the area

I am seeking information about the Down family who lived at Bowden Farm Templecombe. Farmer Eric Down, his wife Phyllis their daughters Ena and Iris and son David. I was their London evacuee boy 1940-41, and spent many happy school holidays when I revisit Bowden Farm. Last saw the Down family when my wife and I visited in 1955-56.

I would assume that the brass plaque you have in the church with the name Eric Down as a church warden is the man that I am looking for.

Any information gratefully received.


Dear Jane Jeanes,

You mentioned a Mrs.Dowding. It's a long shot but I am researching my husband's BEST family and I came upon a copy of a will (The wills in those will books are NOT actual wills. They are hand-written copies of a, "last will and testament," written by the court clerk, after the death of the testator, when the executor presented them to the court for probate.)dated 3rd day of September 1832, containing these excerpts..." I George Donding of Milburnport in the County of Dorsetshire England but late of Merasheen Newfoundland bequeath to my loving son George Best of Isle Valen Newfoundland all the property that I possess in the Harbour of Little Merasheen and the property that I hold in England in Henstrutash in the County of Somerset at the death of my beloved wife Martha Donding which said property she holds at present and after the death of said Martha Donding Alias Best the said property shall legally belong to the said George Best."

I have had no luck with the name "Donding" and have come to believe the name might actually have been "DOWDING".

We located an obituary for the son George Best stating he was born in Henstridge Ash in 1801 and relocated to Newfoundland about 1811-1812, but no names of his parents, so we only have this "George DOWDING" to go by to try to link our first BEST in Newfoundland to the DOWDING family in Henstridge Ash. If you have any information about this George Donding/Dowding and/or his wife Martha that would be greatly appreciated. I am also most curious to know what ALIAS meant in those times; for one's wife to go by two surnames seems rather peculiar. Thank you very much,


Dear Jane Jeanes

Thankyou so much for your reply to my request about the Down family from Bowden Farm. I am truely shocked to hear that Ena died a few years ago, she was younger than I am, and that farmer Eric Down died in 1973, and it was his name on the plaque in the church as I thought it might be, and I can only assume that Mrs. Phyliss Down has died. Would you please remember me to David Down who you say has now retired, and Iris if you ever contact her.

Thankyou once again for taking the trouble to reply to my request, if you are running Bowden Farm and living in one of the cottages is it David who lives in the big house.

Yours very sincerely

Charles Martin

Dear Mr Martin

I have just found your request for information about the Down family so thought i would reply. The plaque you refer to is in Eric's memory. He died in 1973 just after we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the rebuilding of the church.He had retired and David was running the farm.Ena died a few years ago but as far as I know Iris is alive. David has retired now but I am in touch with him. My husband and I have been living and farming at Lower Bowden since 1975. We do not live in the farmhouse but in the cottage which Mrs Dowding used to live in.

Does anyone have access to transcripts of the Henstridge Baptism/Burial registers pre 1800, please? I am looking for the baptism of Mary Ann Lovel who was probably born between 1739 and 1759. (She married John Brown in Stalbridge in 1775.)

I believe her parents may have been either Thomas Lovel and Sarah Taylor, married Henstridge 1743 or John Lovel and Katherine Milton, married Henstridge 1746.

Many thanks,


I am researching my family tree and have just found this site which may prove useful. My father was Victor Henry George Davidge 1915-1982, he is buried in St. Nicholas Churchyard with my mother Megan Davidge (nee Amesbury). He had a brother who's name I am note sure of, but his wife was Mary Biddiscombe and they had a daughter Mary Elain (b 1958), younger twin brothers Donald and Douglas and a sister Phyllis. Sadly all the siblings have died, I believe Douglas and Phyllis' husband David Andrews are also buried in Henstridge. Donald is buried in Stalbridge, his widow is Kathleen Davidge. My paternal grandparents were Sidney and Ida (nee Biss) Davidge. I have researched back but have come to a halt with Davidges at North Wootton, Sherborne but I am not sure if this is the correct branch of the family. There are also Davidges at West Stour and Fifehead Magdallen, a number of which have the same name which makes it confusing. If anyone reading this has any information I would love to hear from them. Also any information on a Ruth Lazenby and daughter, I think there is a connection to them. Possibly Ruth was born around 1915-1920 her daughter 1952? Thank you and I look forward to hearing from anyone who has any information relating to any of the above.

I would appreciate it if anyone researching a connection with the surname DAVIDGE would contact me directly at ncanuck(at) I can then exchange pertinent information with you in a genealogical fashion rather than through this posting list. I have far too much information to post here.

I look forward to hearing from all the posters here if you haven't already contacted me.


Nancy Frey nee DAVIDGE

I have started doing family research, my mothers maiden name was Davidge and her grandfather, William John Davidge, born 1858 came to Canada, Toronto actually in the 1870s he was a young boy. I have traced his family back to William David Davidge (1834-1899) his father. I believe they were from Henstridge Ash. If anyone has information, I would appreciate it or in finding any connections.


Thank you for getting in touch. It would be wonderful to have info on Mary Cook and Mary Biddiscombe. You can contact me on

Looking forward to hearing from you.


I have more information about the Davidge family as I have got in contact with my aunty Mary (who was married to uncle Doug }and I can give u more info on aunty Ginny {Mary} Sam's wife. Please get in touch on my e mail address more than welcome to help u

Reply to Nancy Frey.

Nancy thank you so much for your kind offer. Any information on the Davidge family would be very welcome.

Kind regards,


Reply to Suzanne Hallet.

Suzanne thank you so much, my research turned up nothing on Mary Biddiscombe (married to Sam Davidge) after reading your message I feel more confident. I failed to find any mention of their daughter Elaine/Mary Elaine, she was born in 1958. Sam's father died around about the time Elaine was born.

Thank you again for getting in touch, any information on the Davidge family would be very welcome.

Kind regards,


My auntie mary nee cook married douglas davidge and the other brother u are not sure of was called sam who was married to mary biddiscombe aka ginny was also my great aunty on my mum side any more info please get in touch

Hi Diane,

I have done an extensive search of the surname DAVIDGE and would be happy to contribute what knowledge I have to your research. Please get in touch with me, and we can compare notes.


Nancy Frey

Newcastle, Ontario, CANADA

I was told that my grandfather, Arthur Sunderland born in Halifax, worked on aircraft in Dorset during WWI. I would guess that it was on mechanisms, on 'plane dashboards. The WWI RAF offers accounts of pilots only. Is there any chance that I could find records of wartime aircraft workers in your area? I would be very grateful to learn where to look. Gillian

We've not been asked this before, and we don't know the answer. Have you checked this site?

Of possible interest to the HANN family.

We just bought an old postcard which features the church at Henstridge, and on the other side is a message addressed to a Mrs Florrie Hann, of 2 Bridge Place, Nether Compton. It is not clear who the sender was, although they must have been familiar as they had added 7 kisses at the bottom!

The Nether Compton Hanns are a different branch to mine, but I know that 2 Bridge Place was the home about 100 years ago of a George Robert Hann (1845-1915) who had 13 children, one of whom was Flora (1880-1972). The property was still in the family's hands in 1923 as it was the address used by George Robert's grandson when embarking aboard SS Themistocles to visit two of his uncles who had emigrated to New South Wales.

Henstridge was the home of a family of Hann(e)s in the latter half of the 16th Century, though by the mid 1600s their descendants had moved over the border to the Stourton Caundle and Lydlinch areas before moving further up the Vale to the villages south of Sherborne. One runs the garage at Bishop's Caundle

All the best, Eddie

I have just found your site while researching my family history. As I live in Northumberland I found the information very useful. My ancestors were the Biss family. Lucy Biss was born 1815 to George and Betty. Lucy married Joseph Thorne 21 12 1834, and they were my great great grandparents.

I will look forward to finding baptisms in the future.

Thanks a lot

Regards Linda

For Biss(e) Researchers:

Perhaps this will be of interest:

There is mention of a Will for a Henry Bisse of Henstridge, Admon 15 April 1597, in "Somersetshire parishes: a handbook of historical references to all places in the county" available online at

Lucy Biss was born to George Biss and Elizabeth Axtence at Hendridge I have a lot more info for Diane


I have been researching the Biss family of Henstridge as my father's mother's maiden name was Biss. I have a Lucy Biss in my Family Tree, her parents were George Biss (1793-1869) and Elizabeth Actone (1793-1855). Lucy was born Jan-mar 1815 in Henstridge, married Charles Hannam 25 Oct 1840 in Henstridge and died Oct-Dec 1892 in Henstridge. I wondered if maybe Lucy had married prior to her marriage to Charles Hannam. If you have any information on the Biss family I would be very grateful to hear it.


You may be interested to know that a churchyard inscription was recorded, but no longer exists, as follows:

Jonathan BISS, died 9 June 1808, aged 70. His wife, Mary, died 21 March 1810, aged 71. Their son, Nathaniel, died 8 May 1810, aged 49 (PR: his name is a mistake for Jonathan Biss, buried 14 May 1810, aged 49). Eliza Biss, died 9 Feb 1875, aged 79. Samuel Biss, died 29 Jan 1843, aged 82 (PR: aged 81). Elizabeth, wife of the above Samuel Biss, died 20 Dec 1855, aged 85. George Biss, died 13 Jan 1895, aged 82.

(These were recorded by a Mr A Weight Matthews around 1900. PR refers to the Parish Register, against which he checked church inscriptions)



In December 1943, my uncle was a member of the crew of a Wellington bomber that made a bad landing and broke up at RNS Dipper (now Henstridge airfield). Anyone with a memory of that incident?

My wife's great grandfather was Alfred George Burt, he was a groom for Thomas Merthyr Guest at Inwood House. Alfred George was tragically killed on 16th June 1896,he was struck by lightning whilst cycling along the Top road ? ( is this a top road in Henstridge or a road inside the Inwood Estate ) I also have a family photograph showing all the grooms at Inwood House taken about 1884 I think it may also have Thomas Merthyr Guest and his daughter seated in the middle, it looks like it was taken in front of the Tack room. Anyone who could help in my wife and I finding out anymore about this tragic accident or anyone interested in viewing this photo please contact me.

Inwood Estate Grooms
Inwood Estate Grooms


My grandfather-in-law Thomas Smith started his working life with the Earls of Althorp/Lord Spencer through to a butler/steward at Althorp estate and their town house off Piccadilly. When the Lord died around 1909 I was told they moved on to Sandringham. However I decided to find them in 1911 census, difficult with the surname Smith and very surprized to discover Thomas living at Sherborne Road, Henstridge as a House Steward with number of rooms being five. Their third and last child was a James W. Smith for whom I have birth and death dates so checked both for places discovering his birth was registered Mar. 1913 at Wincanton registration district, so guess Thomas was working in a big house somewhere off Sherborne Road, for at least two years and lived in a provided cottage within close proximity. He bought or was given a bungalow in Christchurch, near Bournemouth for his retirement maybe a couple of years before his death in November 1927 aged 54 as he appears on the electoral register there 1926/28. With a name like Thomas Smith I have no idea if he was caught up in WW1. I'd like to know who he worked for in Henstridge and for how long. When with the Spencers he was an avid photographer, so maybe he continued to take pictures whilst at Henstridge? Hope someone can help with any information of Tom and his wife Annie Louisa, children Nelly, Rosa and James.

I would think he was working for Miss Guest at Inwood. The family owned property in Bournemouth as well and it is possible he retired there for health reasons.

Hi Meryl,

there are three 'Smiths' named on the roll of honour for the First World War in Henstridge. Albert Edwin, a 'B' and a 'W.' There is a bit more information about Albert, perhaps you'd like to email me?

Having found our great, great grandad, Levi Hannam on the 1841 census, they are listed with several other families with the address, Townsend, Henstridge. Was this a workhouse or just a large house in the village? Any info would be much appreciated.


I have just seen your question about Levi Hannam. Do you know if his parents were John and Sarah Hannam ?

Hi Garry

Thanks very much for the information. I wish I had asked the question sooner as we came to visit Henstridge in August but only really looked at the churchyard.

Hello Christine,

The building is still there and called Towns End, Stalbridge Road, Henstridge. It is now one property and can be seen on ebay at the moment because it is for sale if you put 180713978857 into ebay search it should come up.

The following is under

under the heading LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

In 1736 it was agreed to extend the parishhouse at Townsend and convert it to a workhouse. Two houses were to be built withchambers over in 1783, probably adjoining theworkhouse. (fn. 39) In 1818 the overseers paid forsupplies to a new workhouse including food,fuel, and calico, and for moving the paupers andcarrying their goods. (fn. 40) The three dwellings atTownsend were ordered to be sold in 1868 anda sale was agreed in 1872, by which date onecottage was in ruins. (fn. 41)

From: 'Henstridge', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 7: Bruton, Horethorne and Norton Ferris Hundreds (1999), pp. 108-119. URL: Date accessed: 10 September 2011.

Hope this is understandable, if not email me.

Kind Regards,


Hello. My wife and I are looking into moving to Henstridge. Is there a local choir she could join? And a 'village-in-bloom' set-up?

Also, there seem to be quite a lot of houses for sales in Henstridge at the moment. Are there any massive (re-)building plans we ought to know about?

Many thanks


Just read Diana Dixon's comments. I am looking on here by chance after googling Henstridge. My hubby's ancestor's lived in the village, but not yet sure of their surname. I have a lovely old postcard sent from them in Henstridge. It shows a street, with Frampton's shop in the foreground and a young gentleman stood on the street corner. The card was sent from Myrtle Cottage, on ***borne Road, Henstridge.

The family in Myrtle Cottage in c1923 (the date of the postmark) were maybe called Tyrell. Can't find anyone by that name in your parish records. Any ideas?

Hello my name is Mark and my surname is Henstridge.I was just wondering if there are any Henstridge's who live in Henstridge? I would love to correspond with anyone who lives in Henstridge. I live in Australia (Adelaide) and would like some pictures and learn more of the history of Henstridge.

Hi, I am looking for some information on an awards certificate I have, dated 1857. It was presented to a Mr Thomas Biss,from Sturminster Agricultural Society, for being a good shepherd for 23 yrs at the farm of a Mr.George Senior of Henstridge. I am keen to find out more on the history of both gentlemen and the farm.

I would so appreciate any help from your good selves. Perhaps the family of either still have connections to the village? I would love to be able to put an old picture of Mr.Biss/the farm/Mr.Senior with the award but realise this may not be possible !!

Many thanks for your time

yours, Sherri

Hi, I am wondering whether there is anyone in the village who attends 9.30 Sunday morning communion at Sherborne Abbey? I would like to go occasionally and being a non-driver am finding transport difficult since we no longer have a weekend bus service. Many thanks

Does anyone happen to know if there was a Henstridge House which may have been medieval but pulled down in the early part of the twentieth century please?

I'm from the Heritage Team at South Somerset District Council and we have had an enquiry.

Clare Robinson

I was browsing through the Gentleman's Magazine for June 1736, as one does, and found this entry for Tuesday 1 June 1736:

"One Anne Boynton of Old Henstridge in Somersetsh. was delivered of 3 Daughters and one son ; one of the Daughters died, the rest like to live. The Woman has been married but 4 Years, and lain in 3 Times, at first she had 2 Female Children, at the second 2 Male, the third 4 as above."

[ If you want to check this you can find the Gentleman's Magazine online at the Internet Library of Early Journals ]

I am an ex Henstridge resident (Station Road, 1940s) currently living in S Glos.

I saw on an old archive of ships company crews the name of one Thomas Hunt of Henstridge Ash who served on HMS Bellerophon at the battle of Trafalgar.

Can anyone shed any more light on this man?

Cheers, Barry Lazenbury ex RN.


A family with the surname Hunt (James and Elizabeth) were living in Lemons Ground in Yenston (in the parish of Henstridge) in 1914. james ocupation was recorded as a Yeoman. James was born in 1836 in Marnhull north dorset. Not sure if this is a relation?

I am trying to trace a Thomas BARNS / BARNES born in Henstridge abt 1823. He married a Sarah LONGMAN from Rimpton around 1838-1841.

They are proving to be very hard to trace. I have also contacted Somerset Archives in case they are able to help.

Any help on the best place to look would be received by a very grateful 3 x great Grandson.

Thanking you in anticipation, Albert

Hi Stephen/David/Albert,

I too have been trying to find information relating to Alberts original post on the Barns/Barnes/Longman families.

I am descended from Thomas & Sarah's son Charles b1844.

Please email me if you are willing to share info



I can trace my ancestry back to Thomas Barnes born 1823 Hensage who married Sarah born 1821 Rimpton, and had sons George, James, Charles, John, and Matthew, also daughter Mary.

I am descended from Matthew. I also have information on other members of the family and a genealogy on Sarah Longman which goes back to the 1600s. However, I am not at all sure of the surname of the Sarah married to Thomas in 1841. I would be glad to correspond with you if you like. My e mail address is

Hi Stephen

I am also a decendant of George Barnes & Hannah Prosser, would be interested in sharing info, I have quite a lot.If you Email me

Regards Albert

Hi Albert

I'm also the 3xGreat Grandson of Thomas and Sarah and have been looking without success for their marriage and births of the 3 eldest children George, James and Charles. As you may know on the 1851 Census for Blaenavon the birthplace for George and James is Sherborne Dorset and Charles as Henstridge. Sherborne Registration District covers parts of Somerset including Rimpton which is Sarah's home town.

I have information mainly regarding George and his descendants of which I'm one and will gladly share.

Regards Stephen

Re: the church. The present weather vane was presented to the church by the Royal Naval Air Station, H.M.S.Dipper, which was near the village. The vicar, the Rev. J.Owen Thomas, had a close relation with the airfield and visited the station regularly.

I was a Surgeon Lieutenant at the air station 1944/5 and my wife and I lived in Rose cottage opposite the vicarage. I have very happy memories of Henstridge

The family of Stephen and Mary HATCHER were living in Henstridge from 1814 to 1830. Their children were baptised during those years: Charles, Henry Tony, William and John. Stephen was a schoolmaster. Are there any records of school attendance and where can I find them?

I have recently discovered that our great grandma was Elizabeth Hannam, born in Henstridge about 1849. She married and became Elizabeth Weare and our grandma was Carrie Weare also born in Henstridge. Does anyone have information on this family or is maybe related?

There are still 'Hannams' in the village.

Hello, I found your web site for Henstridge very interesting. My husband and I visited the village in 2010 to see where his Uncle was buried. The uncle tragically died as the result of a shooting accident in 1940, whilst staying with a relative at Park Lane farm. The relative died in 1946 and the family legend says that a female relative who was housekeeper at the farm was discovered down the well, dead a few days later. He was called Andrew Loder and she was Mabel Stainer. We didn't find the farm but did visit the lovely church. We hope to return to the area in the not to distant future to continue our research.

We would like to know where the farm was situated. We did find a derelict farm building at the side of the road on Park Lane which resembled one in a photo we have.

Regards, Janet Jakes


Thank you for your post regarding the tragedy at Park Lane farm. My husband's Grandmother was the sister of Mabel Stainer, hence the fact that his Uncle was at the farm in 1940 when he had the shooting accident.

I was drawn to this site for personal reasons and have found intrigue in many of the posts here. Might I suggest the high probability of Mabel Stainer b.1887 in Shaftesbury. Note the 1911 Census details: general servant, Cross House, Henstridge. and also the Lowder (her mother's maiden name)spelling as an alternative of Loder and ties in with them being cousins. I may possibly be able to ask for some detail about the event but may take a while before opportunity arises.

Thank-you to the person who posted the comment to my Park Lane Farm note. Andrew was not actually married to Mabel, they were cousins and she went to be his housekeeper. My mother-in-law was staying at the farm when the tragedy happened and we have a photo of her on a horse and cart outside a farm building which I believe is the one still standing, the house I understand was pulled down or was abandoned and left to go to ruin.

Just read your 2011 query. My husband remembers the sad story of Andrew Loder and wife. We always called Park Lane Andrew Loders Lane. The cottage on the side of the lane was where they lived but as my husband was a child then he does not know if that was called Park Lane Farm.

He remembers their belongings being sold by auction in the yard there.


I have just received this from my neighbourhood watch coordinator in the Police

"This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called on Thursday from "MasterCard". The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank) did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for £497.99 from a Marketing company based in London ?" When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from £297 to £497, just under the £500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?" You say "yes". The caller continues - "I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 0800 number listed on the back of your card (0800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works the caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card." He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers." There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say, "No," the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number .

But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of £497.99 was charged to our card. Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them . Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or MasterCard directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a "Jason Richardson of MasterCard" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening ."

Hi There

I am a new resident to the area and I'm setting up a business to bring more resources and jobs to the area.

It came to my attention that the local British Telecom exchanges haven't been upgraded since the 1960s and that local residence are recieving internet speeds from before the 1990s!.

If enough people vote here: ,we can get the local exchange upgraded :D.

So far we have 131 votes of the minimum 800 required, there are 2,104 BT customers using the fossilized Stalbridge exchange (soon to be national trust if we don't upgrade), but the upgrade will have a possative effect on all customers of all telecommunications services in the area, and you can vote even if you are not a BT customer.

We will get these votes Adam :D, because henstridge has good people like yourself, I had a response from Blackmore Vale magazine but lost the email during restoration, I will contact them tomorrow and persue this, and to the beautiful womnan I gave my trolly to in dikes today, gimme a message ;)

To Dan re BT race to infinity

We actually need a minimum of 1000 votes

I have signed up as a local campaigner and have a few posters stickers etc there is a facebook page setup to track the progress!/pages/Bring-Bt-Infinity-to-Stalbridge-Exchange/174965595852360 if you want a poster let me know on the facebook page or on here Adam

Hi Dan

Not an honour - doing me a favour. No, I have no connection with the BVM, I produce Wot's On three times a year on behalf of Henstridge Church and it is delivered to every house in the Parish (if you don't know it, there is a section in the Henstridge Online site where past issues are on display. If you give me a ring (363497) I can let you have my email address.

Many thanks


Hi Gerald

It would be an honour to write an article for this :), are you with blackmore vale ?, how would I contact you ?

So many questions lol

Kind Regards


A message for Dan!!

I go to press with Wot's On on 16th November. I should love you to do a chirpy item about racetoinfinity encouraging everyone to sign up.

Hello again. I have been researching my family for some years. Most of my ancestors were from London; where I was born some 60 years ago. Recently I have been concentrating on my late mother's family. On one branch, I am pleased to say, I have found West Country ancestors. Henry Edsall, from Salisbury, married Maria Brine, from Henstridge, in London, where they were both "in service", in 1855. Maria was the daughter of George and Maria Brine (nee Chant), born in 1829 and christened at St Nicholas' church on 29th May. George and Maria had 9 other children but two died in infancy. Maria, the mother, died in 1855 and George in 1868 (aged 85). They were both buried at St Nicholas'. Most of their children left the village and went up to London. The youngest moved to Southampton where he became a steward; presumably at sea. The only child that I have found remaining in Henstridge was Benjamin. He married Sarah Coffin at St Nicholas' on 23rd August (my wedding day!) in 1855.

I wonder if there is any trace of the Brine family in the churchyard? Since they were agricultural labourers I doubt it, but if anybody comes across an inscription I would be very interested.

George and Maria lived at Frog Moor in 1841; which would appear to be near Pond House. Several families lived there so I presume that it was a road or an area. In 1842 George Brine appears on the Church Wardens Accounts occupying a house and garden belonging to Silvanus Longman in the South Division of the parish. In 1871 Benjamin and Sarah are living at Frogmore - different spelling but near Pond House on the census. Can anyone confirm the location of Frogmore and tell me anything about it?

Hi Trevor

We've added a Parish Register page to the site now, although it's as yet very limited.

A search on Brine brings up a few marriages in the 1600's, but keep an eye open on the site as we plan to add more records in future.

Best regards


Hello, I currently live in Henstridge and as part of my dissertation for uni I have decided to carry out a graveyard survey of St Nicholas. If you have any advice for me then I would be very greatful. I have 8 other assignments to write and work full time too so I'm a little stretched for time as the survey has to be in by May!! If you have any information such as where I can find tithe maps I would be most greatful.

Kind regards,


Hi Trevor,

I still haven't managed to get out to the churchyard yet because of this terrible wet weather! I will do though as I need to have the survey done by May! My plan is to put all of the inscriptions onto a spreadsheet and then to hopefully have a link from this website to that information as well as the photographs of the stones and a plan of where they are.

Watch this space!!

Hi Rachel

Good luck with your graveyard survey. Sorry I can't help, but if it includes details of inscriptions on gravestones I and many others delving in to family history would be most interested to see it. Realise you are probably too busy to reply at the moment.

A.Case and T.Case.

I am doing a bit of family tree research for a friend who is a direct descendant of Robert Case and James Case who once upon a time farmed at Pond Farm. I discovered the two names on the war memorial and worked out that the A was probably Alexander as he disappears from all records. I was wondering if the other one was Alfred Tom his brother who may have been listed as T so as not to mix him up with the A for Alec. Interestingly their brother Harry James names his son Alec in 1907.


I did see mention of the book on the internet and will recommend to my friend that he reads it especially as you say their is mention of his family. I have already sent him the links to the website so he can learn more about Henstridge. I gather he visited there last year when he first began his research. I think he may very well be going back again soon now we know so much more.

I could collate all the info I have gathered about the Case family and send it to Caroline if it would be of any help.There certainly seems to have been several marriages amongst the local families and there seem to be so many skilled artisans in the families. It makes me wonder where they all found work in and around a village but then again I looked at pictures of your church and realised that many of the masons must have worked on that.

I just seen your comment. If you are still interested, I am the granddaughter of Harry James Case, daughter of Alec Harry James Case. Contact me if you would like to know more.

Hi Jan

Have you read the book 'Lest We Forget, Henstridge A Somerset Village & The First World War' ?

It was written by local historian Caroline Rowland, who has carried out a significant amount of research in this area. I had a brief look for you, and found mention of Alec (Alexander) Case who was on active service. There is also further information on his family. Caroline did not seem sure who T Case was, although his name does also appear on the village school roll of honour.

You may well find more useful information in Caroline's book, and you may also have information that would help Caroline in her continuing research.


My great Grandfather Maurice (Morris) Coffin, was born in Henstridge in 1878. I have so far been able to trace his ancestry back to my GGG grandfather Joseph Coffin born in Henstridge in 1809.

Would someone who has a bit of spare time, be able to visit the churchyard and tell me which Coffin family members are buried there, and perhaps any inscriptions on the grave stones.

If anyone is related to or has any connections to The Coffin family, would be nice to make contact. Perhaps in return, I could help someone who has links to devon or cornwall.

Many thanks with any assistance.

Hi to the extended Coffin family. I'm just beginning a search of my grandfather's history and would really appreciate any details re Ernest Coffin, born 1885(?) in Henstridge, migrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1910 & died there in 1959. He was married (poss 1909) to Eleanor Kate( nee King, born 1886, died 1973 Melb.) I have a small Bible inscribed at the back 'Ernest Coffin, August 19th' with another inscription - Albert Coffin, Clapitt Coatage, Henstridge at the front.

Has anyone any info on this member of the Coffin family? I note there are several common christian names and birth notices for Coffins in the Henstridge/Yeovil area!

We will be travelling to the UK in July and would really appreciate any help.

Many thanks, Jenni, Adelaide, South Australia

I would like to know where the Birth Death and Marriage records are kept for Henstridge, please as I need to be able to look at them to try and sort out the Coffin family which is becoming very complicated as so many children born the same year have the same christian name. Also if anyone is able to help me I would be most grateful. Many thanks

Hi Natalie

My great great grandmother, Maria Brine, was born in Henstridge in 1829. One of her brothers, Benjamin, married Sarah Coffin, who was the daughter of James and Mary Coffin. I think James was born about 1805 and so may be a brother of your ancestor. I notice from that a James Coffin of the right age was sent prison in 1842. I'm glad I'm only related by marriage!

Hi Natalie

We had a quick look while walking out in the snow today. We could only see 3 more recent burials, but there may be others that were obscured.

We'll send you photos of those we saw:

Albert Thomas Coffin, died 29 December 1970 aged 88 years, and his wife Florence, born 16 May 1878, died 16 July 1966.


Harold Coffin, died 14 June 1979 aged 93 years, and his wife Fanny Muriel who died 16 June 1957 aged 68 years.


Albert Coffin, 1913-2008.


The First World War and a Somerset Village

Lecture, Photographs and Book Signing

Henstridge Village Hall on Saturday 14th November at 2.30pm

Entrance £1 (donation to be made to Poppy Appeal)

More information available via email to

Come and see the outstanding photography of Norman Crabb and Lynn Rivers.

I have a poster which am wondering if can be uploaded please?


I have been researching my family history for some time, but I was originally inspired to do so by my father who died in 2005. His name was John Gale (a.k.a George) and he was born in Yenston in 1913 but moved down to a cottage in Henstridge soon after. The family lived in what was then called Yew Tree Cottage. It is the right hand cottage of a pair that back on to Oak Vale, I think in Brook Lane? Three of his uncles fought in WW1, Sidney Gale, who was killed on the Somme in 1916, and I believe is on the War Memorial, Richard Gale who was the eldest and was a regular in the Army Remounts Service before the war, and Albert Gale who was blistered by gas at Passchendale in 1917.

My father continually talked of his childhood in Henstridge and in his later years he revisited the village several times to show us the places of his youth. In his last few years he recorded a short account of his childhood and life in Henstridge, from his birth until he left for London in 1929. He gives lots of details of his life in the village, school, the people and places he encountered and the cottage where he lived. If anyone has any information on the Gale family between c. 1893 when the family moved to the area and 1929 when they left I would love to know about it. My Great-grandfather, also John Gale came to Henstridge to work at the mill, he was an engineer, and stayed there until it burnt down in he early 1900s, when he went to work at Lovelace's Garage.

Hi, I live in Sydney,Australia and my ancestors emigrated to Australia from Henstridge and surrounding areas in 1876 arriving in Sydney in February 1877. My Great Great grandfather was Alfred Cornelius Fathers and his wife was Mary Anne (nee Ryall). They emigrated with their 8 children aged between 15 years and 2 months. If there is anybody with any information or would like information on the family, please let me know. I would love some information on the Ryall side of the family as we can only go back as far as Mary's parents Enoch and Sophia (nee Lamb). Mary was born on March 1 1845 in Corton Denham. Thanks

PS. Hi John & Linda, this is very exciting to me as I fancy myself as the family historian. The family dates back, as far as we can gather, to 1700. My Great Great Great Great Grandfather Gracious Fathers was born in 1763 in Templecombe and was buried on 5th May 1842 at St Nicholas' in Henstridge. The later generations were all born and raised in the area e.g Milborne Port, Charlton Horethorne, Wincanton, Bowden and the list goes on. The first emigration to Australia was by my Great Uncles, William (24) and his brother Samuel (22)(Alfred's brothers) who arrived in Sydney in 1857, they married, raised children and now there are literally hundreds of us, all from 3 families and one very pretty area of the UK.

Hi. I am also a descendant of Alfred Cornelis Father through his daughter Sarah.

I have started researching my family history only recently, but have been given records that my parents had previously and am happy to share.

Mary Ryal (1845-1882) was the daughter of Enoch Ryal (1820-1875) and Sophia Lamb(1821-1904).

Enoch was the son of Moses Ryall(1760-1847) and Honor (1774-1864).

and Sophia was the daughter of Willliam Lamb and Mary Osmond.

Alfred Cornelis Fathers was the son of John Fathers(1792-1874) and Sarah Williams(1794- ).

John Fathers was the son of Gracious Fathers(1764-1842) and Elizabeth Best(1763-1836).

Gracious Fathers was the son of William Fathers(1725- ) and Margaret Cuttler(1731- )

William Fathers was the son of William Fathers(1700-) and Margaret Shoar (1705- ).

If anyone has more records, I would love to hear about them.


Hi Tony,

I found your post on the Interact! forum here and wanted to see if I could contact you. I was born on the central coast of NSW though I now live in the UK, in Sussex. I have been to visit the areas around Templecombe, Wincanton and my favourite area of Charlton Horthorne. My great, great, great grandfather was also Alfred Cornelius Fathers and I am a decedents of John Fathers, one of his sons. I am attempting to trace back my immediate family history and I am so far back to John Fathers born in 1792 with Gracious listed as his father and Elizabeth as his mother, though it is starting get a bit murky now as there are various dates and years that are conflicting (up to a range of 7 years!).

I just wanted to check how you got on with your research and if you had anything you would be happy to share?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Many thanks


Looking for information on a Thomas Ryall who left Henstridge for Newfoundland or any connections to the Hill family as well.

Thanks & Cheers Don

Sophia was born in Corton Denham bapt 27 May 1821 youngest child of William and Mary Osmond. She married Enoch Ryall in 1841

Please let me know if you would like further information.

My Grandfather Gifford Corry was a Butcher in Henstridge and was in WWI. Most of the information I have on his service I have got from Ancestry. One piece of information I have is about the War Memorial. My Aunt Edyth, when a child, not long after the memorial was erected by the pub, was badly injured when the memorial fell down. It broke both her legs and she was in hospital for a long time. I have yet to research local papers for this event, but maybe you have some information regarding this.



PS. My Grandmother Winifred Vida Corry was married in Henstridge c:1933 her parents were Alice and Gifford Corry who came from South Petherton not sure when they moved there, Gifford Corry was a butcher in Henstridge. He died in Henstridge in 1927.

Gifford Corry (Gifford John Corry) owned the Butchers - Corry the Butchers before WWI and after not sure when they arrived in the village from South Petherton, but could be around 1902 as he married Alice Louise Anstice from South Petherton in Nov 1901. It could be that Gifford's father Robert Hutchings Corry who had a business and lived in South Petherton, owned the business first (still to be researched.)

Gifford and Alice Corry lived in a row cottages going up to the church (my mother can't remember the name of the road but my mother does have a photograph of it - somewhere).

Gifford was gassed in the war and was ill, so his son Leonard (Len) Corry took over the business and they also opened shops in Sherborne and Milborne Port where Len lived when he married Kath Scammell (She was from Henstridge - not sure if they married at Henstridge Church).

His brother Lesley Corry (Gifford Lesley) worked for Jewfalls (Dewfalls?) the grocers as a roundsman and behind the counter all his life. He married Mona Mullard (who was born in Henstridge but not sure if they married at Henstridge church) and they had one child, a son called Jake. When Mona and Lesley ?divorced? Jake went to live with his grandmother.

When Gifford Corry died in 1927 Alice Corry took in lodgers. One of her lodgers was Joseph Sievewright who worked in the Abattoir. They eventually married and moved to Bath when he got a better paid job.

Alice and Gifford had four children.

Winifred Vida, (my grandmother who married Lionel Ashford from Holton at Henstridge Church),

Edyth Mary married John Teasdale in Cumbria),

Leonard and Lesley.

Winifred used to go to Taunton to catch the train to Wincanton where she worked as a milliner. Edyth worked as a nurse, not sure where she worked but I remember her saying she started at a small nursing home when she was just 15 (she lied about her age, so possibly wouldn't be too local as they would have known her real age).

If my mother can remember any more, I will let you know.

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to contact me and I would really like to talk with your mother about her memories of Henstridge. The village is/was such a small parish and finding information about it when researching for the book took me to locations far and wide! The personal stories in the book have been contributed by children, grandchildren neices and nephews of those mentioned and really makes the story come alive. There is reference in the book to 'Corry' and some initial information about the accident you refer to which was found, if I remember correctly, in one of the local papers. The irony of the story was intriguing - that the war memorial - a symbol of peace and of commemoration of such devastation - could itself be the cause of further distress by harming small children ie the future generation.

Certainly the Roll of Honour of those serving lists a 'G' Corry which traced back through the absentee voters register revealed to be 'Gifford' whose wife was Alice Louisa living in Church Row but that was all I could find. I am currently finishing the draft for the next book (due out in November) 'First World War Soldiers of the Blackmore Vale' which includes Henstridge and I would be so pleased to include any stories/information/photographs your mother would be prepared to share.

Where was your families butchers shop located? Was 'Gifford' your mother's father?

I'm currently researching my great great grandmother Lucy Ann Harris who was born in Henstridge in 1831. Her parents were Phillip Harris, a baker and Mary.

They had 4 children, Elizabeth, Andrew (born 1830 in Henstridge), Lucy Ann and John ( born 1837 in Milborne Port). Lucy Ann married Joseph Connock on 5/4/1858 in Milborne Port and had 6 children. Any details re the Harris family either descendants or ancesters would be a great help

Hi Paul,

Philip Harris is also listed as a corn miller in 1830. Henstridge mill was situated at the bottom of 'Pan Pudding' hill oposite the Bird and Hand Public House. I have had a quick look at 1841 census but the enumerator does not appear to distinguish any one in between 'Yeoman' and 'Labourer' and also unable to find 'Harris' but as say it was a quick look :O). Also have all census info for Henstridge but not a great deal of time at the moment to check for you. There were also two 'Harris' serving in the First World War which is much later and the parents were owners of a business in the High Street, I am not sure if this were relations of the 'Harris's; you are trying to trace (For more information included in the book Henstridge, A Somerset Village and the First World War.)

Please do ask me if you have any genealogical or local history enquiries.

Would anyone be interested in learning more about Henstridge and its history via some local history workshops?

I am currently researching a book about first world war soldiers of the area ( having completed 'Henstridge and the First World War' which covers the parish from late Victorian to post WW1 - please see and would be very happy to hear from anyone who has relatives and/or is connected with the parish

Hi Caroline, You are welcome to come and give us a chat at Loose Ends at any time but what you are proposing would probably need a lot more advertising for you to get the number of people you would probably want. See you soon, Dave

Hi David,

Loose Ends sounds like a fun place to meet - expect me there if not this Friday then within the following two weeks. And in the meantime an outline below of what a potential 'scholar' could expect to find out more about during a workshop. Each session would last for approximately 2 hours and cost £3 which includes materials. It may be that the sessions could run in 6 weeks blocks

FREE TASTER SESSION - An introduction to local history and the various resources available for use.

Session 1 - The Census

Session 2 - Census Practical

Session 3 - Parish Registers

Session 4 - Parish Registers and Family Trees

Session 5 - Tithe Map

Session 6 - Tithe Map Practical

Session 7 - The Parish Council

Session 8 - Poor Law and Union Workhouse

Session 9 - Church Records

Session 10 - School Records

Session 11 - Local Businesses

Session 12 - The Rural Economy

Session 13 - Postcards and Photographs

Session 14 - Local Newspapers

Session 15 - Group project

Session 16 - Group project

Session 17 - Group project

Session 18 - Group project

Not set in stone but to give an idea for anyone interested. I am also pursuing the idea of linking the courses to an academic institution and whether there is any scope for being able to offer 'students' the opportunity to gain an NVQ.

Hi Caroline, A local history workshop sounds like fun. What did you have in mind? You are welcome to come and give us a talk at Loose Ends one Friday morning. Or we could meet up at the pub one night? Dave Rabone

Hi, I would like to ask for peoples views about the pedestrian crossings at the A30 crossroads in Henstridge. I think they should have included a replacement pedestrian crossing for our dangerous zebra crossing outside our village school, and i would like to ask everyone who agrees that the last pedestrian crossing they have installed, should have been moved further down Ash Walk to replace this zebra crossing. Please contact William Wallace, our local county councillor, or David Heath MP, as i have done.

Hello David, thanks for your reply. As the work is all finished now, we can all see what work has been done. Yes, they have installed 4 pedestrian crossings on all of the 4 roads...BUT they have placed the one on Ash Walk up by the main A30 traffic lights instead of replacing our schol zebra crossing!!! Thats obviously because the safety of adults getting to the pub or the bus is more important than our school children.....It appears as though Highways do not have to inform the parish about any major works and I have been in touch with the parish council who knew nothing about it. So i, and other parents now want to push for a pedestrian crossing still, to replace the zebra crossing. We have also had an issue about a few inconsiderate parents parking on the zig zag lines when picking up their children. The local police have been liasing with school and letters to parents stating the penalties involved if caught parking illegally.This seems to have helped for the time being, but we still need a traffic light controlled crossing as its not just them that are the issue. It is cars that dont stop to let you cross; cars that dont stop despite you ALREADY being on the crossing with young children, and cars that are speeding.

Hi Esther, I have e-mailed SSDC to ask what is going on at the traffic lights. They said they are renewing all the electronic controls and providing a linked pedestrian crossing for each of the four approach roads. So you should get your wish. Personally, I would think that would bring vehicle traffic to a complete halt in all directions at times, especially when the school children are arriving or leaving.

I am trying to obtain any information about my ancestor Mary Ryall. She is listed in the 1871 census as living in Henstridge Ash and is described as being 77 years old, a widow and her occupation as washerwoman.

William Kitchener Ryall who died of influenza in February 1919 and is remembered on the village war memorial was the son of Tom and Elizabeth of Ash End.

I am trying to find information on Mary Wicker who lived at Henstridge House in the 1950s (certainly in 1954). My parents rented a cottage from her in Wiltshire and we are trying to gather information on the owners of that cottage.

Any help you can give would be appreciated.

Many thanks, coincidently I discovered that my sister-in-law's maiden name is Ryall and her ancestors also came from Henstridge. Do you know of any one researching that family? It's a very small world!

Hi Jennifer, Yes it's a very small world. I live in Sydney, Australia. My Great Great Grandmother's maiden name was Mary Ann Ryall. She was the daughter of Enoch and Sophia (nee Lamb) Ryall and was born on the 1st March 1845 in Corton Denham and passed away on the 3rd March 1882 in Chatswood NSW Australia. She met her future husband Alfred Cornelius Fathers whilst they were in service for a Mrs Betsy Coombs at, I think, Milborne Port. I have information I can send via email, I do not have any photos of her because she passed away in 1882 in Sydney, but anything else I can help you with just drop me a line. I look forward to hear from you. Regards Tony

Hello. It was good to see the pictures. I lived in Henstridge as a child. I was born in Devon and my Grandad kept hounds for Miss Guest in Inwood and he also lived there in a house that went with the job. I went to Somerset last year and could not believe the change and building work. I have very happy memories of being in Inwood. Kind regards, Diana

I would like to know who owns Inwood House now as my grandad Bill Dark used to keep hounds for Miss Guest and lived in the house further up the lane. I have many happy memories of staying there in the holidays, but was that wood scary to us. Thanks, Diana

Hello, have enjoyed reading your bits and pieces here, we too moved into Henstridge in January this year, find it absolutely charming - apart from all the new building going on that is - we live in Holly Cottage in Furge Lane which is an old cottage but we cannot find any history on it at all. Also would love to know why the house on the corner of the lane and High St is called Cotton Corner, have you any ideas on that please. I have searched everywhere I can think of even been in touch with the Parishes around the area but no one seems to know anything. I would love to hear from you if you know anything about all this please. Thanks. Ann

My great great grandfather, Samuel Parsons, was born in Stalbridge in 1821. He was employed as a cordwainer. On 1st March, 1841 he married a Martha Lemon also of Stalbridge and born in 1821.

Both Samuel and Martha are listed in the 1841 Census for Stalbridge.

They are both shown again in the 1851 Census of Henstridge, together with a number of children, including George, my great grandfather, aged 1.

So sometime between 1841 and 1851 Samuel and his wife moved into the cottage in Henstridge known as ‘Cotton Corner’, probably around 1846.

At that time the cottage was attached to at least one other cottage. It was also thatched.

After Samuel died his wife Martha ran the shop from the downstairs front room on the left of the front door. Her will is listed as follows:

PARSONS Martha of Cotton corner of Henstridge Somerset widow died 3 December 1894 Administration (with Will) London13 September to William Parsons platelayer. Effects £100.00.

Samuel and his wife raised several children there including my great grandfather – George Parsons. George married an Anna Gulliver of Henstridge whose father was one time licensee of the’ Bird in Hand’. George became a platelayer on the Somerset and Dorset Railway. Anna was listed as a glove maker.

George and Anna moved into ‘Cotton Corner’, where they raised their children. There were several children including my grandfather another George.

George, my great grandfather died there in 1936 and his wife died there in the 1940’s. The cottage then became the property of my grandfather’s sister Maud and was let out for a while.

Between the death of George and that of his wife, Anna, his wife, lived there with her un-married daughter, Olive.

Olive then took up acquaintance with the local newsagent, I can’t remember his name but he had an open top car, used crutches and lived in a house in the road leading down to the railway station.

My grandfather, George, moved to London and was employed in various hotels until WW1 when he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery, he married a Louisa Alice Carter. Together they had three children, Lionel, Maurice and my father George.

Sadly Louisa died in the ‘flu epidemic of 1918 and the three boys went to leave with members of their father’s family. Lionel to William Parsons in Battersea and eventually emigrated to Australia, Maurice to live with his grandparents in Henstridge and George to Barry with George’s brother Jack (John). Maurice joined the Royal Navy and was killed on HMS Daring in 1940. He is recorded on the Memorial in Henstridge Church. Neither Lionel nor Maurice had children. My father George married and had two children me and my brother Maurice. We lived in Salisbury and visited Henstridge many times.

Following WW1 my grandfather, George, took up with the housekeeper of one of the hotels and together they opened a boarding house in Holland Park., London. When the lease expired in the 1950’s they both moved back into the house, Cotton Corner, in Henstridge, that had been retained by Maud for needy members of the family.

Miss Collyeer died first and was buried in Henstridge Churchyard. Subsequently George died in 1974 and was also buried in Henstridge Churchyard in the same grave as Miss Collyer.

Thereafter the house reverted back to Maud who, I believe subsequently sold it.

Many of the Parsons’ family are buried in the local churchyard.

Anna Parsons
Anna Parsons

George Parsons
George Parsons

The Parsons Georges
The Parsons Georges

Parsons Family
Parsons Family

Anna Parsons
Anna Parsons

Cotton Corner back wall
Cotton Corner back wall

Parsons Family
Parsons Family

Cotton Corner Rear
Cotton Corner Rear

Cotton Corner Back Wall
Cotton Corner Back Wall

Maurice Parsons
Maurice Parsons

Cotton Corner Front Door
Cotton Corner Front Door

Cotton Corner in the 1950s
Cotton Corner in the 1950s

Cotton Corner from Furge Lane
Cotton Corner from Furge Lane

Cotton Corner in the 1960s
Cotton Corner in the 1960s

Cotton Corner in 1959
Cotton Corner in 1959

Laura Parsons, 1962
Laura Parsons, 1962

Hi Ann

I believe you came to marsh lane to nmy house to study some documents I had concerning the cottage in furge lane??

is that right?

did you find anything out in taunton or elsewhere??

RE Cotton Corner and Cotton Corner House. Renovation work on the house revealed block up doorways leading into both Gleanings and Sundown next door which suggests that the houses were all one dwelling at some stage. Cotton Corner always had an offical road name sign distinguishing it as such which was (or is?) located on the A357 road side of the house now called Spindle Cottage. There must surely be some history/offical documentation for this possibly in Somerset County Records Office in Taunton or maybe the County Council archives?

Gleanings is probably the older of the two buildings and the larger would havbe been added later.

I do have documents stating that both houses were owned by a Mr Helyar, who moved from the larger into the smaller house in the late 19th century; he then let Cotton Corner House to a local solicitor .

I have a holograph copy of a Will which was probably dictated to a clerk round about the middle of the same century, by a woman who calls herself a 'singlewoman' ( so much more robust than a spinster) and she makes various bequests of land rents therefore i can only assume that she was in possession of the farm in question etc..I will check to see if your cottage is mentioned in the Will and continue then !!

M Cullinan

Hi! I live in Gleanings, which is the small cottage that is attached to Cotton Corner House - my address is officially Marsh Lane; it was my understanding that the original Cotton Corner House was built C1645 and that it started life as a farmhouse, my little bit on the end being convertefd to a dwelling from the dairy premises.

However, I had a recent visit from an architect who was of the opinion that, because of the elaborate and very large inglenook fireplace

which seems integral to the whole building (unnecessary for a dairy)

Welcome to our village Ann, and I hope you come to like living here as much as we all do! As regards new building work remember that when old properties are bought by non-locals then the children of local people have to buy/rent somewhere newly built if they have any chance of staying in the area. And all old homes were new-build once upon a time.

I have been trying to find out more about the families housed on the WWII airfield in the late 40's & early 50's - my father was a baby when he & his brother, sister & my Nan were living there in Nissen huts. A couple of ladies in the village remember the families of Naval servicemen living there, but I wonder if anyone has any more information about the uses of that site in the post-war period?

I always thought it an odd thing that I should eventually come to live in the village my Dad started his life in!

Hi Ann,

Just a thought - can you get hold of the old deeds for your cottage, as these may give you the any former names for the cottage as well as the age. From the information on the deeds listing any previous owners you may be able to link this to an old will, perhaps by visiting the archives in Taunton or Dorchester. Old wills are a fascinating resource as you can often piece together a really insightful story of a previous owner, together with the size of the house, number of rooms, goods and chattels.

Dear Diana Dixon - thank you for your answer to my Cotton Corner query, it would be lovely if you could find out any more for us. Look forward to hearing from you. Ann Taylor-Turton

Hello David, many thanks for your message and we will indeed have great pleasure in calling to see you possibly this Friday morning, did not know that there was a cafe in the Village Hall so you have taught us something today eh? Thanks again, Ann

Hi there,

Cotton Corner would almost certainly have derived its origins from links with the local gloving industry based in neighbouring Stalbridge and Milborne Port. Many local women and children were employed as outworkers and during the late victorian period the local gloving agent was William Costello who lived at Sunnyside in Whitchurch Lane and is buried in the church yard against the west? wall.

Dear David Rabone, your answers to my questions have been really interesting and to the fact that the previous people here were called Hollyday. We have been told they were elderly but not sure if that is the case. I cannot find anything out at all about when this place was built, we can only assume this to be mid 1800's sometime. And how did Furge Lane/Grove get that name I wonder, any help there would be greatly appreciated too. I keep trying to find the cottage address in the census for 1901 and previous but I can only find websites who want to charge the earth to look, all these geneology sites do take so much money from people who have a real interest in the things they research and I think these sites treat people badly by the amounts they charge to check on things. Does anyone know how I can get onto the local census information from 1881 to 1901, they should of course be free for us to look at somewhere. Any help here would be also be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Ann

Hi, once again, my neighbour says the last owner of Holly Cottage was called Hollyday and they named the cottage.

Hi again, I've had a quick look thro' my old copies of the Kellys Directory and did not see any reference to the Holloway family or Holly Cottage in Henstridge. However, a building is shown in the right sort of position on the 1878 version of the Ordnance Survey map.

Hi again. I don't know anything of Holly Cottage or the Holloway family, but an area of East Knoyle is called Holloway (see Ordnance Survey map) so perhaps it is a local family name. A friend of mine lives at Holloway House in East Knoyle. Kelly's Directories may be of use for finding out more rather than the Census.

Hi, I am an Henstridge resident with an interest in general history. I have found no positive local knowledge about the the naming of Cotton Corner. However, soon after Sir Walter Raleigh became the incumbent at Sherborne Castle, the Bishop of Salisbury died. Queen Elizabeth offerred the bishopric to several people and the post was finally accepted by a John Cotton. The mainstreet is sometimes called London Road, so Cotton corner could be the old junction with the Salisbury to Sherborne Road in Elizabethen times which possibly followed Marsh Lane and Furge Lane and up over Toomer Hill. There is some background information in the book 'Dorset Elizabethans - at Home and Abroad' by Rachel Lloyd.

hello ann

i used to live in henstridge as a child and my dad has just told me my great grandma lived in the house at cotton corner but has no history about it, he is going to ask his brother who still lives in somerset so if i find out i will get back to you.regards diana

Hi Ya, I was in touch with you earlier - about Holly Cottage Furge Lane and also Cotton Corner. I have been trying without any success at all to find the census for 1871/81/91/1901 to trace the name of Holly Cottage, Furge Lane to see when the place was built etc. I cannot find anything that will give me just the addresses, only searched in the name of the occupant. I went onto the Henstridge Parish Council 1861 census forms was Henstridge generally but it bears no relation to any road name that is about now. Can you or anyone help me to try and find a source of info on this, if poss. Its driving me mad. I found out that the place was called Holly Cottage as it was owned for many years by a Mr and Mrs Holloway, apparently, according to the older man in the Ash End Garage, but I cannot find anything else. Please - help me????????!!!!! Many thanks. Ann

It was good to get your feedback, especially as we're not yet registered on the search engines and had not expected to be found yet!

Our local history book does not mention the history of either your cottage or Cotton Corner, so we can't help you there. The only reference I could find for Cotton Corner is that it was built around 1630. However we plan to extend our website to include requests like yours, and could add your request there. We find it's often quicker to get answers from people with local knowledge than trawling through historical records


Explore our site