Local government


Victoria County History



R W Dunning, C R Elrington (Editors), A P Baggs, M C Siraut

Year published


Supporting documents



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'Broomfield: Local government', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6: Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and neighbouring parishes) (1992), pp. 14. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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Broomfield was described as a free manor in the 13th century and sent its own jury to the eyre in 1242-3. (fn. 54) In the early 14th century the parish was divided into five tithings: Broomfield, Blaxhold, Castle, Heathcombe, and Oggshole. (fn. 55) By the 16th century it was often regarded as a single tithing (fn. 56) but Heathcombe, and sometimes Oggshole, continued to be used as tithings for some purposes and in the mid 17th century Heathcombe had its own tithingman elected by rota. (fn. 57) Blaxhold was regarded as a sub-tithing of Enmore tithing in the 17th century and continued to form part of Enmore tithing for tax purposes in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 58) The constable of the higher division of Broomfield was recorded c. 1647. (fn. 59)

Court rolls survive for Broomfield manor for 1409, (fn. 60) 1507, 1515, (fn. 61) 1591-1602, and 1612-28. (fn. 62) The court usually met twice a year, three times in 1591, and a court dinner was mentioned in 1619. The tithingman and constable were sworn in the court, and a hayward was appointed in 1627. The butts and the pound were regularly presented as being in need of repair during the early 17th century and use of the commons was regulated. (fn. 63) Courts continued to be held until 1656 or later and a court dinner was kept on the Tynte share of the manor in 1710. (fn. 64) There are court records for Ivyton for 1447, 1483-4, 1500- 1, 1503, 1505, 1509, 1516-17, 1523, and 1572. Courts met up to three times a year and dealt almost entirely with tenures. (fn. 65) There are copies of court rolls for Rooks Castle for various dates between 1461 and 1662. (fn. 66) One court roll for 1603 survives for the Stawells' manor of Heathcombe, and suit of court was owed twice a year until 1672 or later. (fn. 67) Court records for Oggshole survive for 1540-1. (fn. 68)

Churchwardens were sworn at the annual visitation of the dean of Wells in the later 18th century. (fn. 69) The overseers paid for clothing and medical bills and in 1638 towards building one man's house. (fn. 70) The former church house was probably used as a poorhouse by 1664-5 when it was said to be occupied by almspeople. (fn. 71) Variously called almshouse, poor cottage, or poorhouse, it was last mentioned in 1861. (fn. 72) It stood on the western boundary of the churchyard and had been demolished by 1887. (fn. 73)

The parish formed part of Bridgwater poorlaw union in 1836, Bridgwater rural district in 1894, and Sedgemoor district in 1974. (fn. 74)


54 Ibid. DD/S/WH 28; S.R.S. xi, p. 314.
55 S.R.S. iii. 162-3.
56 Ibid. xx. 241.
57 S.R.O., DD/S/WH 388; ibid. Q/S Pet. 1.
58 S.R.S. xxviii. 69-70; S.R.O., Q/REI 2/5.
59 S.R.O., D/P/broo 13/1/1.
60 Ibid. DD/SAS FA 75.
61 Ibid. DD/AH 11/9-10.
62 Ibid. DD/S/WH 209.
63 Ibid.
64 Ibid. 132, 209, 252.
65 Ibid. DD/L P23/15-16, 19; P35/5-6.
66 Ibid. DD/S/WH 20.
67 P.R.O., WARD 2/18/70/11; Highclere Castle, Carnarvon MSS., U/C 11.
68 P.R.O., LR 3/123.
69 S.R.O., D/D/Pd 25.
70 Ibid. D/P/broo 13/2/1-3.
71 Dwelly, Hearth Tax, i. 53.
72 S.R.O., D/D/Rr, Broomfield; P.R.O., HO 107/1924; ibid. RG 9/1622.
73 S.R.O., tithe award; O.S. Map 6", Som. LX. NE. (1890 edn.).
74 Youngs, Local Admin. Units, i. 671, 673, 676.