William Boyd Dawkins
Sir William Boyd Dawkins Kt FRS FSA FGS was a British geologist and archaeologist. He was a member of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, Curator of the Manchester Museum and Professor of Geology at Owens College and he is noted for his research on fossils and the antiquity of man. He was involved in projects including a tunnel under the Humber, a Channel Tunnel attempt. Dawkins was born at Buttington Vicarage in Montgomeryshire on 26 December 1837 and he attracted attention at age five by collecting fossils from the local colliery spoil heaps. Soon after, his family moved to Fleetwood in Lancashire, where he attended Rossall School and he again attracted attention by adding fossils from the local boulder clay to his earlier collection. After leaving school, he attended Jesus College, Oxford graduating with a second in Classics, on leaving Oxford University in 1862, he joined the Geological Survey of Great Britain where he spent seven years working on the areas of Kent and the Thames Valley.
In 1869, he was elected a member of the Geological Society and appointed Curator of the Manchester Museum, in 1870, he took a further appointment as a lecturer at Owens College, Manchester. Eventually becoming the first Professor of Geology in 1874, Dawkins became involved with the Manchester Geological and Mining Society and was its President on three occasions, 1874–75, 1876–77 and 1886–87. He was President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society from 1885 to 1887 and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1867 and acted as President of the Anthropological Section of the British Association in 1882 and the Geological Section in 1888. He was President of the Cambrian Archaeological Association in 1911–12 and, covering the First World War years, Dawkins was knighted for services to geology in the 1919 Birthday Honours. He died in 1929, aged 91, Dawkins achieved many distinctions in the field of archaeology. In 1859 he moved to Somerset to study classics with the vicar of Wookey, on hearing of the discovery of bones by local workmen he led excavations in the area of the hyena den at Wookey Hole Caves.
He excavated Avelines Hole, expanding its entrance and naming it after his mentor William Talbot Aveline and his work led to the discovery of the first evidence for use by Palaeolithic man in the Caves of the Mendip Hills. He spent a deal of time researching in Derbyshire, especially at Creswell Crags. At Windy Knoll, he proved the existence of animals that lived in England prior to the ice ages. With Rooke Pennington and J. Tym, he discovered bones from bison, cave hyena, cave bear, the bison bones were more recently dated at 37 300bp. Many of the finds are located in the museums of Buxton, Derbyshire, in 1882, following from his work with the Geological Survey, Dawkins was appointed as the official surveyor by the Channel Tunnel Committee. He made a survey of the English and French coasts along the Dover and Calais areas
St Cuthbert Out
St Cuthbert Out, sometimes Wells St Cuthbert Out, is a civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England. It entirely surrounds the city and parish of Wells, according to the 2011 census it had a population of 3,749. The parish is named for the Church of St Cuthbert and was created in 1866, the historic ecclesiastical parish of Wells St Cuthbert had been split into two, with the Wells St Cuthbert In parish covering the area inside the city of Wells. Population centres in the parish are Dinder, Wookey Hole and East, West and it includes the smaller settlements of Burcott, Dulcote, Launcherley, Lower Milton, Southway, Upper Milton and Worminster. Wookey itself is a separate parish, the Mendip transmitting station is located in the parish, on Pen Hill, its 293m high mast is the tallest structure in south west England. The parish is crossed by the national Monarchs Way long distance footpath, as well as the more local Mendip Way footpath, the Mendip Hospital at Horrington was built in 1845–47 as the County Lunatic Asylum, by Sir George Gilbert Scott and W. B.
The hospital chapel is listed, Burcott Watermill was built for the Bishop of Wells and listed among his estates in the Domesday Book of 1086. The cast iron wheel is driven by water from the River Axe soon after it leaves Wookey Hole Caves. Most of the current building and the gearing within the mill, Burcott Manor House was built in the late 16th or early 17th century, with further alterations in the 18th and 20th centuries. Coxley lies on the River Sheppey where the Anglican Christ Church was built in 1839 by Richard Carver and it has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II listed building. Dulcote Quarry, is a quarry where the Foster Yeoman Company was founded in 1923. The quarry now measures around 600 m from West to East and it now has an output of approximately 0. 25M tonnes per year of Carboniferous Limestone, for general purpose construction aggregates. A Geodiversity audit of the site was carried out in 2004, twinhills Woods and Meadows south of Dulcote is a 21.2 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Easton is believed to mean The enclosure by the water from the Old English eas, the church of St Paul in Easton, which was built by Richard Carver, dates from 1843. It is a Grade II listed building, Polsham is split into two parts with half of the village on the A39 road, which includes a pub, and half of the village around 600 yards down a country lane. Polsham railway station was on the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway line and this single platform station, opened in December 1861, was the only stop between Wells and Glastonbury. There is still a 1920s two-storey station house on the site, the parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security
Cheddar is a large village and civil parish in the Sedgemoor district of the English county of Somerset. It is situated on the edge of the Mendip Hills,9 miles north-west of Wells. The civil parish includes the hamlets of Nyland and Bradley Cross, the village, which has its own parish council, has a population of 5,755 and the parish has an acreage of 8,592 acres as of 1961. Cheddar Gorge, on the edge of the village, is the largest gorge in the United Kingdom and includes several show caves. The gorge has been a centre of settlement since Neolithic times including a Saxon palace. It has a climate and provides a unique geological and biological environment that has been recognised by the designation of several Sites of Special Scientific Interest. It is the site of limestone quarries. The village gave its name to Cheddar cheese and has been a centre for strawberry growing, the crop was formerly transported on the Cheddar Valley rail line, which closed in the late 1960s but is now a cycle path.
The village is now a major tourist destination with several cultural and community facilities, the village supports a variety of community groups including religious and cultural organisations. Several of these are based on the site of The Kings of Wessex Academy, the name Cheddar comes from the Old English word ceodor, meaning deep dark cavity or pouch. There is evidence of occupation from the Neolithic period in Cheddar, britains oldest complete human skeleton, Cheddar Man, estimated to be 9,000 years old, was found in Cheddar Gorge in 1903. Older remains from the Upper Late Palaeolithic era have been found, there is some evidence of a Bronze Age field system at the Batts Combe quarry site. There is evidence of Bronze Age barrows at the mound in the Longwood valley, the remains of a Roman villa have been excavated in the grounds of the current vicarage. The village of Cheddar had been important during the Roman and Saxon eras, there was a royal palace at Cheddar during the Saxon period, which was used on three occasions in the 10th century to host the Witenagemot.
The ruins of the palace were excavated in the 1960s and they are located on the grounds of The Kings of Wessex Academy, together with a 14th century chapel dedicated to St. Columbanus. Roman remains have uncovered at the site. Cheddar was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Ceder, meaning Shear Water, from the Old English scear, an alternate spelling in earlier documents, common through the 1850s is Chedder. As early as 1130 AD, the Cheddar Gorge was recognised as one of the Four wonders of England, Cheddars source of wealth was farming and cheese making for which it was famous as early as 1170 AD
Compton Bishop is a small village and civil parish, at the western end of the Mendip Hills in the English county of Somerset. It is located close to the town of Axbridge. Along with the village of Cross and the hamlets of Rackley and Webbington it forms the parish of Compton Bishop and it was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Comtone. It was the property of Giso, Bishop of Wells, the parish was part of the Winterstoke Hundred. The current manor house is a Grade II listed building and was built in the early 17th century, the parish includes the hamlet of Rackley which was a trading port on the River Axe in the Middle Ages following construction of a wharf in 1200. It now north of the River Axe as the course has been diverted, in 1324 Edward II confirmed it as a borough, however, by the end of the 14th century the port was in decline. In the 14th century a French ship sailed up the river and by 1388 Thomas Tanner from Wells used Rackley to export cloth and corn to Portugal, and received iron and salt in exchange.
Also within the parish is the village of Cross, where Wavering Down House was, for the last 20 years of his life. The house is now a tourist attraction, and in the summer hosts concerts, the name Webbington is believed to mean The weaving enclosure from the Old English webbian and tun. The Webbington Hotel dominates the hamlet and is the commercial building in the immediate area. The parish council has responsibility for issues, including setting an annual precept to cover the council’s operating costs. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security. Conservation matters and environmental issues are the responsibility of the council and it is part of the Wells county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Church of England parish church of St Andrew dates from the 13th century, being consecrated by Bishop Jocelin in 1236 and it has a 15th-century pulpit with tracery panels, carved friezes and cresting.
Above the pulpit is a large pedimented wall monument to John Prowse who died in 1688 and it is a Grade I listed building. The churchyard cross is grade II listed, as are two chest tombs in the churchyard, Frankie Howerd Compton Bishop and Cross Compton Bishop Parish Council
Shipham is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England on the western edge of the Mendip Hills near the A38, approximately 15 miles south of Bristol. It is in the government district of Sedgemoor. The parish includes the village of Rowberrow and the hamlet of Star, the parish population, according to the 2011 census, is 1,087. Shipham was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Sipeham, meaning The sheep home from the Old English scip, the tenant-in-chief is shown as being Roger de Courcelles. The parish was part of the Winterstoke Hundred, the parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime and traffic. Conservation matters and environmental issues are the responsibility of the council, in 2008, Shipham Parish Council won the communications category of the Calor Somerset Village of the Year competition. The village is part of the Cheddar & Shipham Ward, which three councillors to Sedgemoor District Council.
It is part of the Wells county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Shipham Hill is one of the highest points in the Mendips at 1,066 feet. They first saw the river like a sea with the Welsh mountains hanging in the sky behind as they came over the Mendip crest above Shipham. Near to the village is GB Cave, the 36 miles Limestone Link Path runs from Shipham to Cold Ashton in Gloucestershire. The substrata contain rich deposits and so there were zinc. The Singing River Mine was worked in the 18th and 19th centuries for calamine, blende, in the 1920s it was used as an underground reservoir by the water authorities. A small stream flows through the mine in parts, the entrance is actually in the back garden of a private house but access is allowed for potholers. The 5-metre high 19th-century calamine processor is a Grade II listed building, the present landscape shows the piecemeal nature of the mining. Although the lead industry began to decline in the late 17th century and its mining history has given rise to street names such as Hind Pits Lane, Hollow Road, and Comrade Avenue.
The old mines have meant that the soil is contaminated by heavy metals such as cadmium. Concentrations of cadmium and zinc in local crops were higher than would normally be expected, copper concentrations were normal, and the results for mercury showed that mercury translocation from soil to crops was very low. Dietary copper intakes at Shipham were a lower than national average intakes
East Harptree is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England. It is situated 5 miles north of Wells and 15 miles south of Bristol, the parish has a population of 644. The parish includes the hamlet of Coley, one suggested explanation for the derivation for the Harptree name is from hartreg, an Old English word for a grey hollow. According to Robinson it is listed in the 1086 Domesday Book as Harpetreu meaning The military road by the wood from the Old English herepoep and treow. In November 1887, while searching for the source of a spring, the jar was 6 inches below the surface in swampy ground. It contained 1,496 coins, five ingots of silver, the coins covered the period between the reigns of Constantine the Great and Gratian. The parish was part of the Winterstoke Hundred, around 1870-1880 the East Harptree Lead Works Co Ltd mined the area around the village for lead, but this seems to have been largely unsuccessful and did not last for many years. Smitham Chimney is a reminder of the work.
The parish council has responsibility for issues, including setting an annual precept to cover the council’s operating costs. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security. Conservation matters and environmental issues are of interest to the council and North East Somersets area covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan county. Its administrative headquarters is in Bath, between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, it was the Wansdyke district and the City of Bath of the county of Avon. Before 1974 that the parish was part of the Clutton Rural District, the parish is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom as part of North East Somerset. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election and it is part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the dHondt method of party-list proportional representation.
Coley is a hamlet in East Harptree parish just off the B3114 and it is near the Litton Reservoirs which is popular with dog walkers. The hamlet has roughly 100 people living there and has no amenities, Coley is quite often mistaken to be in the Litton parish. Coley has a bridge going through the centre which has the River Chew running under the bridge. According to the 2001 census the Mendip ward, had 1,465 residents, living in 548 households, with an average age of 39.0 years
Caves of the Mendip Hills
The caves of the Mendip Hills are formed by the particular geology of the Mendip Hills, large areas of limestone worn away by water makes it a national centre for caving. The hills conceal the largest underground river system in Britain, the hills consist of anticlines of Carboniferous Limestone lying over Devonian Old Red Sandstone, with the sandstone exposed on the summits. As the water changes route within the hill some caves are left dry, the passages below the water table often have a loop formation caused by the water flowing down a bedding plane and rising up a fracture in the rock. The catchment area of the Cheddar Yeo, which rises in Goughs Cave, dye marking shows that some of the water travels underground for up to 10 miles, taking up to 14 days to reach Cheddar. When Banwell Bone Cave was discovered in 1824, it was found to contain a great many animal bones which have dated as about 80,000 years old. The earliest scientifically dated cemetery in Britain was found at Avelines Hole.
The human bone fragments it contained, from about 21 different individuals, are thought to be between roughly 10,200 and 10,400 years old. Archaeological evidence including pottery, hearths, coins and metalwork from the Mesolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, a number of Mendip caves were found by miners, for example the Banwell Caves which were opened by ochre miners in 1757. Many caves in the Mendip area were photographed by caver Harry Savory early in the 20th century using huge cameras, glass plates and his work has been described as. of a quality to shame virtually all modern cave photographers. The 1990 book A Man Deep in Mendip, The Caving Diaries of Harry Savory, 1910-1921 provides a made by Harry Savory. A number of important cave excavations and explorations were undertaken, from the 1920s onwards, the caves are recorded in the Mendip Cave Registry and Archive. The caves which are accessible to the public are at Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole. Many of the caves are gated and operate leader systems in an attempt to reduce the damage caused when the caves are visited, local caving groups organise trips and continue to discover new caverns.
Some estimates put the number of cavers active on the Mendip Hills over a weekend at more than 500. The first successful cave dive in Britain was achieved the year at Wookey Hole Caves. The cave complexes at St. Dunstans Well Catchment, Thrupe Lane Swallet, Lamb Leer, there are caves within the Cheddar Complex SSSI. A selection of the known caves are listed below Barrington, Stanton. Mendip, The Complete Caves and a View of the Hills, David John, Knibbs Anthony J. Mendip Underground, A Cavers Guide
Banwell is a village and civil parish on the River Banwell in the North Somerset district of Somerset, England. Its population was 2,919 according to the 2011 census, Banwell Camp, east of the village, is a univallate hillfort which has yielded flint implements from the Palaeolithic and Bronze Age. It was occupied in the Iron Age, in the late 1950s it was excavated by J. W. Hunt of the Banwell Society of Archaeology. It is surrounded by a 4 metres high bank and ditch, the remains of a Romano-British villa were discovered in 1968. It included a courtyard and bath house close to the River Banwell, artefacts from the site suggest it fell into disuse in the 4th century. The raised area which was occupied by the Bower House was surrounded by a water filled ditch, the parish was part of the Winterstoke Hundred. Banwell Abbey was built as a residence in the 14th and 15th century on the site of a monastic foundation. It was renovated in 1870 by Hans Price, and is now a Grade II* listed building, nearby is a small building presented to the village by Miss Elizabeth Fazakerly, who lived at The Abbey in 1887 to house a small fire-engine.
It served as the station until the 1960s and now houses a small museum of memorabilia related to the fire station. Beards Stone in Caves Wood dates from 1842 and it marks the reburial site of an ancient human skeleton found in a cave near Bishops Cottage. William Beard, an amateur archaeologist who had found the bones, had them reinterred and marked the site with the stone with a poetic inscription, Banwell Castle is a Victorian castle built in 1847 by John Dyer Sympson, a solicitor from London. Originally built as his home, it is now a hotel, of the two historical village pumps standing in the village, one of them was erected to commemorate Queen Victorias Diamond Jubilee. The parish council has responsibility for issues, including setting an annual precept to cover the councils operating costs. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security. Conservation matters and environmental issues are of interest to the council, the parish falls within the unitary authority of North Somerset which was created in 1996, as established by the Local Government Act 1992.
North Somersets area covers part of the county of Somerset. Its administrative headquarters is in the hall in Weston-super-Mare. Between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, it was the Woodspring district of the county of Avon, before 1974 the parish was part of the Axbridge Rural District
Ubley is a small village and civil parish within the Chew Valley in Bath and North East Somerset about 8 miles south of Bristol and 10 miles from Bath. It is just south-east of Blagdon Lake on the A368 between Compton Martin and Blagdon, there is some evidence of a burial tumulus from neolithic times above Ubley. In a charter of King Edgar, between 959 and 975 the name of the village was recorded as Hubbanlege, Ubley was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Tumbeli, meaning The rolling meadow from the Old English tumb and leah. An alternative explanation is that it comes from Ubbas leah or clearing in the woodland, the parish was part of the hundred of Chewton. Mining for ochre and manganese took place during the 19th century, the parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept to cover the councils operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security.
Conservation matters and environmental issues are of interest to the council and North East Somersets area covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan county. Its administrative headquarters is in Bath, between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, it was the Wansdyke district and the City of Bath of the county of Avon. Before 1974 that the parish was part of the Clutton Rural District, the parish is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom as part of North East Somerset. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election and it is part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the dHondt method of party-list proportional representation. The village lies under the slopes of the Mendip Hills within the Chew Valley about 8 miles south of Bristol and 10 miles from Bath. It is just south-east of Blagdon Lake and between Blagdon Lake and Chew Valley Lake, according to the 2001 Census, the Chew Valley South Ward had 1,032 residents, living in 411 households, with an average age of 42.1 years.
Of these, 74% of residents described their health as good, 20% of 16- to 74-year-olds had no qualifications, and the area had an unemployment rate of 1. 7% of all economically active people aged 16–74. In the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2004, it was ranked at 22,950 out of 32,482 wards in England, the village war memorial is 2.5 metres high and has a three-stepped base. It commemorates the five people from the village who died in World War I, the modern village hall is the venue for a pre-school group as well as the monthly Ubley Publey and annual Chew Valley Beer Festival. Ubley lies on the A368 between Compton Martin and Blagdon, although the centre is north of the main road. In the village is a primary school The village has a medieval church. The church has no fixed pews, features include a Jacobean pulpit and a chained copy of the Paraphrases of Erasmus dated 1552
Axbridge is a small town in Somerset, situated in the Sedgemoor district on the River Axe, near the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. The town population according to the 2011 census was 2,057, Axanbrycg is suggested as the source of the name, meaning a bridge over the River Axe, in the early 9th century. Early inhabitants of the area almost certainly include the Romans and earlier still, prehistoric man, the history of Axbridge can be traced back to the reign of King Alfred when it was part of the Saxons defence system for Wessex against the Vikings. In the Burghal Hidage, a list of burbs compiled in 910 it was listed as Axanbrycg, a listing of Axbridge appears in the Domesday survey of 1086 as Alse Bruge, meaning axe bridge from the Old English isca and brycg. It was part of the manor of Cheddar and part of the Winterstoke Hundred. It was granted a Royal Charter in 1202, when King John sold most of the manor of Cheddar to the Bishop of Bath. Axbridge grew in the Tudor period as a centre for manufacture, This was reflected in its early royal charters allowing it to hold markets, fairs.
It even had its own mint, with coins showing the towns symbol, trade was possible as the River Axe was navigable to wharves at Axbridge. Later the towns importance declined which led to stagnation and the preservation of historic buildings in the town centre. These include King Johns Hunting Lodge which is now used as a museum, Axbridge is a very old borough and sent members to parliament in the reigns of Edward I and Edward III. During the 19th and early 20th centuries iron ore was extracted from the hill above, Axbridge railway station, on the Cheddar Valley line, opened on 3 August 1869. It closed to traffic on 10 June 1963 and passengers on 9 September 1963. The route of the railway is now the A371 Axbridge bypass, the Square was used as the setting for a NatWest Bank advert in the early nineties, and in particular the Town Hall which doubled as NatWest Branch. Ironically a real branch of NatWest, which was situated in the High Street, was closed not long afterwards, the town council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny.
The town council evaluates local planning applications and works with the police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security. Conservation matters and environmental issues are the responsibility of the council, each year members of the town council elect a mayor for the town. The town is in Axevale electoral ward, Axbridge is the most populous area but the ward stretches south to Chapel Allerton. The total ward population as taken at the 2011 census is 4,261 and it is part of the Wells county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Somerset is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west by the Severn Estuary and its traditional border with Gloucestershire is the River Avon. Somerset is a county of rolling hills such as the Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park. There is evidence of occupation from Paleolithic times, and of subsequent settlement in the Roman. The county played a significant part in the consolidation of power and rise of King Alfred the Great, and in the English Civil War, the city of Bath is famous for its substantial Georgian architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Somersets name derives from Old English Sumorsǣte, short for Sumortūnsǣte, an alternative suggestion is the name derives from Seo-mere-saetan meaning settlers by the sea lakes. The Old English name is used in the motto of the county, Sumorsǣte ealle, adopted as the motto in 1911, the phrase is taken from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Somerset settlement names are mostly Anglo-Saxon in origin, but some hill names include Brittonic Celtic elements, for example, an Anglo-Saxon charter of 682 refers to Creechborough Hill as the hill the British call Cructan and we call Crychbeorh. Some modern names are Brythonic in origin, such as Tarnock, the caves of the Mendip Hills were settled during the Palaeolithic period, and contain extensive archaeological sites such as those at Cheddar Gorge. Bones from Goughs Cave have been dated to 12,000 BC, examples of cave art have been found in Avelines Hole. Some caves continued to be occupied until modern times, including Wookey Hole, the Somerset Levels—specifically dry points at Glastonbury and Brent Knoll— have a long history of settlement, and are known to have been settled by Mesolithic hunters. Travel in the area was facilitated by the construction of one of the worlds oldest known engineered roadways, the Sweet Track, the exact age of the henge monument at Stanton Drew stone circles is unknown, but it is believed to be Neolithic.
There are numerous Iron Age hill forts, some of which, like Cadbury Castle, on the authority of the future emperor Vespasian, as part of the ongoing expansion of the Roman presence in Britain, the Second Legion Augusta invaded Somerset from the south-east in AD47. The county remained part of the Roman Empire until around AD409, a variety of Roman remains have been found, including Pagans Hill Roman temple in Chew Stoke, Low Ham Roman Villa and the Roman Baths that gave their name to the city of Bath. After the Romans left, Britain was invaded by Anglo-Saxon peoples, by AD600 they had established control over much of what is now England, but Somerset was still in native British hands. The Saxon royal palace in Cheddar was used several times in the 10th century to host the Witenagemot. After the Norman Conquest, the county was divided into 700 fiefs, Somerset contains HM Prison Shepton Mallet, which was Englands oldest prison still in use prior to its closure in 2013, having opened in 1610. In the English Civil War Somerset was largely Parliamentarian, with key engagements being the Sieges of Taunton, in 1685 the Monmouth Rebellion was played out in Somerset and neighbouring Dorset
Hinton Blewett is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England. The parish has a population of 308, the village was known in the Domesday Book as Hantone, the Blewett part of the name coming from the Bluet family in the fourteenth century. Hantone is believed to mean A poor enclosure from the Old English hean, the parish was part of the hundred of Chewton. The name of the village is spelled as Hinton Blewitt. There is a village green outside the pub and church, sometimes known as the Barbary, william Rees-Mogg took the title of Baron Rees-Mogg, of Hinton Blewett, when he was made a life peer in 1988, although in 1998 he and his family moved to nearby Mells. Lord Rees-Moggs children Jacob and Annunziata spent much of their childhood in the village, the parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the police, unitary council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security.
Conservation matters and environmental issues are of interest to the council, Fire and ambulance services are provided by the Avon Fire and Rescue Service, the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, and the South Western Ambulance Service. Between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, Hinton Blewett was in the Wansdyke district of the county of Avon, and before 1974 was part of the Clutton Rural District of Somerset. According to the 2001 Census, the Mendip Ward, had 1,465 residents, living in 548 households, with an average age of 39.0 years. Of these 79% of residents describing their health as good, 22% of 16- to 74-year-olds had no qualifications, and the area had an unemployment rate of 1. 5% of all economically active people aged 16–74. In the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2004, it was ranked at 25,387 out of 32,482 wards in England, where 1 was the most deprived LSOA and 32,482 the least deprived. The Church of St Margaret is largely built of Blue Lias with Doulting Stone arcade, the five bells were cast in 1708 by the Bilbies of Chew Stoke.
It includes the coat of arms of Simon Seward over the doorway, the church is a Grade I listed building Historic England. Area 6 - Hinton Blewett and Newton St Loe Plateau Lands, map of Hinton Blewitt circa 1900