Corton Denham


Victoria County History



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

Year published


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'Corton Denham', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 7: Bruton, Horethorne and Norton Ferris Hundreds (1999), pp. 101-108. URL: Date accessed: 22 November 2014.


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The ancient parish of Corton Denham, formerly Corfetone, (fn. 29) lies 4 km. north of Sherborne (Dors.). The parish was long and narrow in shape, measuring 4.5 km. from north to south and in breadth varying between 2 km. in the north and 0.5 km. in the south. It derives its name from the narrow pass (fn. 30) in the north at Whitcomb between Parrock Hill (170 m., 558 ft.) and the Beacon (196 m., 643 ft.) which opens into a valley formed between the dip slope of the Corton ridge (130 m., 426 ft.) on the west and the steep scrap of Corton hill rising above 190 m. (623 ft.) on the east. (fn. 31) The additional name Denham, from the Dinham family, patrons of the living 1301-1501, was added in the 1540s. (fn. 32) Corton village lies in the centre of the valley which falls from 119 m. (390 ft.) at the pass to 60 m. (197 ft.) at Stafford's, formerly Stovard's, (fn. 33) Green. Further south, on the lower part of the scarp, is the hamlet of Holway. (fn. 34) In 1966 the southern part of the parish, including Stafford's Green and Holway, was transferred to Sandford Orcas (Dors.). (fn. 35) The ancient parish measured 1,371 a.; (fn. 36) the present civil parish covers 465 ha. (1,149 a.). (fn. 37)

The Beacon, named from the beacon recorded in 1627, (fn. 38) and the higher parts of Corton hill are of Inferior Oolite. The scarp and the bottom of the valley lie on Yeovil sands while the dip slope of the Corton ridge is formed by limestone junction beds. The ridge and its scarp comprise Pennard sands. (fn. 39)

Three north-south routes from South Cadbury towards Sherborne crossed the parish in the later 18th century. South of Corton village all three met the more northerly of two east-west routes. That was described as a 'herpath' in the 10th century and continued into Rimpton. (fn. 40) The north-south road along Corton ridge was closed as a highway in 1864. (fn. 41)

There are slight traces of Neolithic and Roman occupation, the first in the form of arrowheads found on Corton hill in the late 19th century. (fn. 42) Roman coins were found in an urn in 1723. (fn. 43) Corton village lies along a north-south route and a back lane on the east side of the valley, spreading 1 km. from North Town (recorded in 1782) (fn. 44) to Dairy House Farm. Whitcomb, in the extreme north and settled like Corton by the 11th century, (fn. 45) extended into Charlton Horethorne. (fn. 46) There is some evidence of shrinkage there in the 18th or the early 19th century. (fn. 47) Stafford's Green, 1 km. south of Corton village, was recorded in 1722 (fn. 48) and had newly-built cottages in the 1770s. (fn. 49) Holway, named from its position on the valley route to Sherborne and Milborne Port and 1 km. south from Stafford's Green, was mentioned in 1327. (fn. 50) The Portmans extended and rebuilt many houses on their estate including some in concrete although most were of stone or brick with slate or tile roofs. One cob cottage survived in 1920. (fn. 51)

There was a licensed house in the later 18th century. (fn. 52) The Queen's Arms opened c. 1861 (fn. 53) and was still in business in 1993. The Corton Denham club was disbanded before 1926 and its banner hangs in the parish church. (fn. 54) There was a reading room in the village in 1920. (fn. 55)

In 1641 there were 166 poll tax and subsidy payers. (fn. 56) There were said to be 60 houses in the later 18th century but no families 'of note'. (fn. 57) In 1801 the population numbered 377, rising to a peak of 494 in 1831. (fn. 58) In the early months of 1841 17 people emigrated to Canada, followed by at least 24 in 1842, mainly at Lord Portman's expense and instigation. (fn. 59) The population fell steadily to 255 in 1901, then remained fairly stable until 1951. It fell again to 151 in 1971, recovering slightly to 165 residents in 1981 and 213 in 1991. (fn. 60)

Corton Denham in 1885

Corton Denham in 1885

William Gilbert, prior and later abbot of Bruton 1498-1532 and titular bishop Maiorensis, is said to have come from Whitcomb. (fn. 61)


Alti or Wulfward White (fn. 62) held Corton in 1066 and Wulfward in 1084, but in 1086 it was in the king's hands. (fn. 63) In 1239 the Crown agreed to allow Geoffrey Dinham overlordship of Corton for ¼ fee, (fn. 64) presumably as successor to Joyce de Dinant, whose daughters Sibyl and Hawise claimed Joyce's estates against Oliver de Dinant. (fn. 65) The Dinham overlordship was recorded in 1285 (fn. 66) but it was accepted neither by the terre tenants nor subsequently by the Crown. (fn. 67) John Dinham evidently made good his claim in 1353, but in 1366 he was accused of 'scheming to defraud the king'. (fn. 68)

The terre tenancy of CORTON, later Corton Langford or Langfordhead, (fn. 69) was held by Peter de St. Hilary in right of his wife Gunnore. (fn. 70) In 1204 it was forfeit for his rebellion (fn. 71) and was held by William de Grenville from that year until 1210 or later. (fn. 72) It was in the king's hands in 1219 (fn. 73) but by 1220 had been restored to Peter and Gunnore. (fn. 74) Peter was dead by 1227. (fn. 75) In 1229 Gunnore gave the manor to Henry de St. Hilary, probably her younger son, (fn. 76) but his lands were seized in 1244, although his two sisters were said to be holding Corton. (fn. 77) In 1246 the king gave the manor to Hugh de Vivonia, (fn. 78) who settled it on his daughter Sibyl for her marriage to Anselm Gournay. (fn. 79) Anselm died in 1286 and Sibyl held the manor in 1303 of her nieces. (fn. 80) Sibyl was dead by 1316 when (d. c. 1342-3) was a minor in the king's ward. (fn. 81) Thomas came of age in 1325 (fn. 82) and between 1326 and 1334 settled Corton on Sir John Inge. (fn. 83)

Sir John (d. 1349) was followed by John Inge, possibly his grandson. (fn. 84) The latter had died by 1365 leaving a daughter Joan, wife of Robert Dore. (fn. 85) Joan proved her age in 1370 and died childless in 1382 when her heir was her cousin John Inge. (fn. 86) John died in 1416 (fn. 87) and his son Thomas (d. 1466) (fn. 88) left a daughter Agnes (d. 1484). (fn. 89) Agnes's second husband Roger Norman (d. 1511) held by the curtesy and was followed by Agnes's second son Tristram Storke (d. 1532). (fn. 90) On his death the manor passed wholly to his eldest daughter Joan (d. by 1559), wife of Richard Compton. (fn. 91) In 1559 it was settled on Joan's son James and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 92) James (d. 1600) (fn. 93) was succeeded by his son Henry who with his wife Mary sold it to Sir John Portman in 1609. (fn. 94)

The manor subsequently descended, like Bere in Wayford and Clavelshay in North Petherton, (fn. 95) to Henry Berkeley Portman, Viscount Portman, who divided and sold his estate in 1920. Lordship was not included in the sale. (fn. 96)

A capital messuage was recorded in 1349, (fn. 97) and in 1355 John Inge lived there. (fn. 98) Thomas Inge (d. 1466) appears to have been the last resident lord. (fn. 99)

Thomas Dinham was tenant of William de Grenville in 1210 (fn. 1) and Richard Dinham probably held of Gunnore de St. Hilary in 1227. (fn. 2) In 1381 Sir John Dinham first disseised Sir Stephen Derby and subsequently bought a quitclaim from him for a substantial estate formerly held of the Crown by the Gulden family. (fn. 3) Sir John's holding descended to his son, also Sir John (d. 1428), to his grandson also Sir John (d. 1458), and to his great grandson John (cr. Baron Dinham 1466, d. 1501). (fn. 4) The heirs of the last were his sisters Elizabeth and Joan, his nephew Edmund Carew, son of his sister Margery, and Sir John Arundel, son of his sister Catherine, (fn. 5) all of whom claimed that the land was a manor of CORTON DENHAM. (fn. 6)

Edmund Carew died in 1513 and his quarter share passed to Sir William Compton (d. 1528), who was succeeded in the direct male line by Peter Compton (d. 1539) and Henry, Lord Compton (d. 1589). (fn. 7) William, son of the last, sold his share in 1611 to John Freake (d. 1616) whose son John held it in 1624. Its subsequent descent is uncertain but it probably formed part of the Freake estate which passed to the Longman family in the early 18th century and in 1798 was sold to Caleb Barrett. (fn. 8) Elizabeth Dinham (d. 1516) was succeeded in her quarter by her son Sir John Bourchier, Lord Fitzwaryn, although his niece Anne Stanhope, later duchess of Somerset (d. 1587), and Richard (d. by 1520), illegitimate son of Sir Richard Wingfield, held life interests. (fn. 9) That quarter descended with the earldom of Bath until the death of Henry Bourchier, the fifth earl, without issue in 1654 when it was shared by the three daughters of Edward, the fourth earl, Elizabeth, countess of Denbigh (d. 1670, s.p.), Dorothy (d. by 1680), wife of Sir Thomas Grey, Lord Grey (d. 1657), and Anne (d. 1662), wife successively of James Cranfield, earl of Middlesex (d. 1651), and Sir Chichester Wrey, Bt. (fn. 10) Anne was succeeded by Sir Bourchier Wrey, Bt. and Dorothy by her son Thomas Grey, earl of Stamford (d. 1720). (fn. 11) The shares have not been traced further but a John Tucker held a quarter share in 1756. (fn. 12)

Joan Dinham's quarter was sold in 1533 by her son John, Lord Zouche (d. 1550), to John Ford (d. 1539), (fn. 13) whose son George sold it to John Norman in 1564. (fn. 14) John was succeeded by Thomas Norman (d. 1604) whose son John held it in 1624, but it has not been traced further. (fn. 15) Sir John Arundel's share descended to Sir John Arundel, probably his son, who in 1576 sold the land to the tenants including John Freake (fn. 16) and William Freake (d. 1589). (fn. 17) William was succeeded by his son also William (fl. 1624). (fn. 18) The estate, known as Newbarn, remained in the Freake family until 1714 when it was sold to John Long whose namesake held it in 1837. (fn. 19)

Wulfward White held WHITCOMB in 1066 but in 1086 it was held by the king. (fn. 20) Its subsequent descent has not been traced, but it may have been held like Corton manor, which had villein tenants there in 1367. (fn. 21)

A manor of WHITCOMB was said to have belonged to Sir William Milborne and to have been conveyed by John Milborne to trustees who in 1429 settled it on Richard Milborne. (fn. 22) By 1499 it was held by John Gilbert (d. 1499) of Margaret Beaufort, countess of Richmond, although it was later held of the king in chief. John's son Robert (d. by 1527) (fn. 23) was succeeded in turn by his son Anthony Gilbert (d. 1555 s.p.), by Anthony's nephew John Gilbert (d. 1557), and by John's son George (d. 1593). (fn. 24) George's eldest son Maurice died in 1608 (fn. 25) and was succeeded by his brother James who in 1612 sold the manor to Sir John Portman. (fn. 26) Thereafter it descended with Corton. (fn. 27)

There is no reference to a capital messuage but the Gilberts lived at Whitcomb by 1499 until c. 1593. (fn. 28) Their house was probably in Charlton Horethorne parish. (fn. 29)

The Bere family gave land to Sherborne abbey before 1242, (fn. 30) and rents were paid to the abbey pittancer until 1539. (fn. 31) In 1545 the land was granted to John Gilbert and probably descended with Whitcomb. (fn. 32)


In 1086 there were 11 ploughlands in Corton and Whitcomb but only 7 teams. Three teams were in demesne worked by 5 servi; 13 villani and 11 bordars had the rest. There was 12 a. of meadow but no recorded pasture. Demesne livestock at Corton comprised one riding horse, 4 pigs, and 150 sheep. The estates were together worth £11, the same as in 1066. (fn. 33)

In 1086 there were two substantial areas of woodland, much of which was probably in the north-west of the parish where fields called Woodlease adjoining the wooded area of Rimpton survived in the 19th century. (fn. 34) Fifty acres called Woodlease had been converted to pasture by 1349. (fn. 35) Storkswood was recorded in 1636. (fn. 36) In 1837 there was 17 a. of woodland, mainly at Holway, (fn. 37) and there was 27 a. in 1905. (fn. 38) Corton Gorse, near Woodhouse and covered with elder, was grubbed out and planted with gorse and privet in 1911. (fn. 39)

In 1204 on Corton manor demesne there were a bull, 10 cows, 16 other cattle, one affer, and 100 ewes. (fn. 40) In 1349 that estate comprised 200 a. of arable of which one third lay fallow in common and 12 a. of meadow held in severalty from February to June. Annual rents totalled £6 12s. (fn. 41) Villein tenants at Whitcomb paid rent in 1367. (fn. 42) In 1499 John Gilbert of Whitcomb left to his wife 6 oxen and 100 sheep, (fn. 43) and in 1555 his grandson Anthony had horses and at least 150 sheep. (fn. 44) Elizabeth Dinham's dower in 1503 included rents of tenements with land in each of three fields and common pasture for affers. (fn. 45) John Freake (d. 1543) left a flock of 20 sheep. (fn. 46) In 1535 the rector received £2 5s. in tithes of wool and lambs but £8 in predial tithes, indicating extensive arable. (fn. 47) The glebe in 1636 included arable in three common fields and possibly newly-inclosed meadow. The rector had common for 62 sheep on the hills and in the fields, tithe of dairy cows, and tithes of grain, hemp, flax, woad, wool, and hay. (fn. 48) There are traces of another open field in the form of lynchets on Parrock Hill and strips south of Whitcomb, in the north of the parish. (fn. 49)

Common rights were excluded from leases in the early 18th century. (fn. 50) In 1801 there was 356 a. of arable, mainly under wheat and barley but also oats, beans, turnips, rape, potatoes, and peas. Grain crops were said to be plentiful. (fn. 51) In the 1830s Corton produced good turnips. (fn. 52) In 1837 there were 450 a. of arable and 849 a. of grass. There was no common land and 80 per cent of the parish belonged to Lord Portman. The rest comprised 8 holdings of between 6 a. and 56 a. (fn. 53) By 1851 the Portman estate was divided into four large, rack-rented farms, one of 100 a., the others of between 360 a. and 440 a., together employing 63 labourers. (fn. 54) In the 1860s one of the largest farms, described as a dairy farm with some arable, paid labourers 9s. a week and cider. Women were employed for weeding, turnip singling, and apple picking and young boys also worked in the fields but some young girls were occupied in gloving. Houses and cottages, especially on the freeholdings, were bad and overcrowded. Drainage was also bad and there were few pumps. (fn. 55) By 1871 two of the farms had increased in size to 500 a. and 690 a. and the number of employees had risen to 76. (fn. 56) In 1878 a ploughing engine was purchased, probably for Church farm. (fn. 57) There was a decline to 57 labourers in 1881 when there were five farms of between 100 a. and 500 a. (fn. 58) The number of inhabited houses fell by a third between 1841 and 1901. (fn. 59) In 1905 there were 439 a. of arable and 973 a. of grass. (fn. 60)

When the Portman estate was divided and sold in 1920 three of the four principal farms had been provided with large iron overshot wheels and reservoirs and the fourth with a water-powered turbine to power farm machinery. Five of the six farms in the parish were dairy farms with stalls for 25 to 60 cows and several piggeries; one of the three smallholdings had accommodation for 20 cows and 3 piggeries. The orchards were said to produce prize-winning cider. (fn. 61) In the 1920s Whitcomb farm had 12 labourers and women and children were employed in stone picking. There were 500 sheep, 44 dairy shorthorns, and 8 shire horses. (fn. 62)

In 1988 a return covering 357.2 ha. (883 a.) showed 191.6 ha. (473 a.) under grass and 162.6 ha. (402 a.) under crops or fallow. Crops comprised 78.5 ha. (194 a.) of wheat, 64.6 ha. (160 a.) of winter and spring barley, 14.5 ha. (36 a.) of fodder, and 5 ha. (12 a.) of maize. Eight farms employed 11 workers but five were worked part-time and holdings were smaller than they had been in the 19th century, with only one over 100 ha. (247 a.) and 6 under 40 ha. (99 a.). There were 314 cattle, 1,275 sheep, 26 ducks, 11 poultry, and 3 geese. (fn. 63)

Linen weavers were recorded in the early and mid 18th century (fn. 64) and in the 1830s one family made dowlais, ticking, and candlewick. (fn. 65) In 1841 there were 5 weavers, a bleacher, a flax dresser, and a flax comber; in 1861 there were two silk and two cotton weavers, and a stocking knitter. (fn. 66)

Other 18th-century craftsmen included a soapboiler in 1720 and a tanner in 1731. (fn. 67) There were two shops in the village during the 19th century, a coal carrier in 1851, and two general carriers in 1871. (fn. 68) Limestone was quarried in several parts of the parish and was burnt near Stafford's Green and in the extreme north-west. (fn. 69) There was said to have been a ropewalk at Barrett's farm. (fn. 70) Gloving occupied between 19 and 33 people, mainly girls, between 1851 and 1881. (fn. 71) A post office with bakery was built in 1889 (fn. 72) and in 1891 there were two grocers. (fn. 73) There had been a timber yard before 1891 near the Beacon. (fn. 74) In 1947 there were two shops and a post office but by 1979 only one shop and post office combined which remained open in 1994. (fn. 75)

There was a mill in 1327; (fn. 76) it was let in 1367. (fn. 77) Half a tenement called Griggishmyll was held by William Martin (d. 1605) (fn. 78) and a watermill at Whitcomb was recorded in 1612. (fn. 79)


No court rolls have been found for Corton manor but tenants owed suit in the 18th century. (fn. 80) One roll of 1637 survives for Whitcomb leet and manor court. That manor had a tithingman and hayward and the same officers may have served Corton. (fn. 81) Corton pound was recorded in 1733 and 1759. (fn. 82)

The overseers seem to have accounted for highway and some church costs until the late 1730s. They paid for repair and maintenance of the washing pool and in 1769 bought a spinning turn and cards for a pauper. In 1733 and again in 1759 it was decided to build a house for three or four families, and a house had been built by 1765. (fn. 83) In 1773 another house was built for the poor, probably north of the church in what was later known as Poor House Lane. It was demolished c. 1842. (fn. 84)

In 1835 the parish became part of Wincanton poor-law union and in 1894 of Wincanton rural district, which was absorbed into Yeovil, later South Somerset, district in 1974. (fn. 85)


There was a church in Corton in the 12th century. (fn. 86) The living was a sole rectory until 1946 when it was united with Sandford Orcas (Dors.). (fn. 87) In 1972 it became a curacy-incharge and from 1979 until 1987 was part of the united benefice of Queen Camel with Marston Magna, West Camel, and Rimpton. In 1987 it became part of the united benefice of Queen Camel with West Camel, Corton Denham, Sparkford, Weston Bampfylde, and Sutton Montis. (fn. 88)

The advowson was held by Sir Joyce Dinham (d. 1301) and descended in the direct male line to John (d. 1332), Sir John (d. 1383), (fn. 89) Sir John (d. 1428), Sir John (d. 1458), and John, Lord Dinham (d. 1501), although patronage was sometimes exercised by feoffees. (fn. 90) In 1526 Philip Champernowne presented on behalf of Lord Dinham's heirs. (fn. 91) Thereafter the advowson descended in separate shares although the Queen presented in 1555 during a minority and again in 1557, 1568, and 1575. (fn. 92) William, Lord Compton, and Maurice Gilbert presented in 1608 as holders of two quarters, and John Martin and James Norman in 1620 probably for the other two shares. (fn. 93) In 1611 Lord Compton sold his quarter to John Langhorne, (fn. 94) the rector (d. c. 1619), but his son and heir Maurice was unable to sustain his right of patronage against the Crown, which presented in 1621, 1624, and 1630. (fn. 95) The Portman family, who had purchased one quarter from the Gilbert family in 1612 and Maurice Langhorne's share, then said to be two quarters, in 1642, (fn. 96) presented, apparently without opposition, from 1660 although others claimed to hold shares of the advowson until 1756 or later. (fn. 97) The Portmans retained patronage until 1944 when it was transferred to the bishop. From 1987 the bishop was patron of the united benefice jointly with the Diocesan Board of Patronage for the first and third turns. (fn. 98)

In 1291 the church was valued at £13 6s. 8d. (fn. 99) and in 1535 at £13 9s. 3½d. net. (fn. 1) About 1670 the living was reputed to be worth £100 (fn. 2) and in 1705 over £30 net. (fn. 3) The average gross annual income was c. £195 in 1774-98 and £392 in 1829-31. (fn. 4) In 1535 tithes and offerings were valued at £12 os. 2½d. and in 1837 were commuted for a rent charge of £380. (fn. 5)

In 1535 glebe was worth £2 (fn. 6) and in 1636 the rector had 30 a. in the arable fields, 19½ a. of inclosed land, and common pasture for 62 sheep. (fn. 7) Some glebe was exchanged in 1723 (fn. 8) and c. 1802 (fn. 9) leaving 37½ a. in 1837. (fn. 10) The land was sold, probably between 1923 and 1926. (fn. 11)

The rectory house, mentioned in 1636, (fn. 12) may have been rebuilt in the late 18th century. (fn. 13) In 1815 it was said to be fit. (fn. 14) It was partially rebuilt in 1819 to designs by Even Owen of Sherborne (Dors.). It was built of local stone rubble and has a U-plan of two storeys with attics. The main west elevation of 5 bays has a central porch and a parapet.15 It was sold c. 1929 and in 1993 was known as Corton Denham House. In 1929 a new rectory house, called Preston House in 1993, was built north-west of the old house, and was designed by H. Ellis. (fn. 16) It was sold c. 1939. (fn. 17)

At least two early 14th-century rectors were only in minor orders, (fn. 18) and there was a parochial chaplain in 1450. (fn. 19) Unspecified lights were recorded in 1501 (fn. 20) and an obit in 1548. (fn. 21) In 1554 the curate was deprived for marriage. (fn. 22) The rector was non-resident in 1557 (fn. 23) but others were usually resident although many were pluralists. (fn. 24) John Cooth, rector 1630-60, was sequestered from Shepton Mallet but claimed to retain Corton although he lived at Shepton. (fn. 25) Thomas Brickenden was presented in 1660 and was succeeded by his son Edmund in 1701. (fn. 26) From 1775 until 1852 the living was held by members of the Wyndham family (fn. 27) and from 1861 to 1925 by Portmans. (fn. 28) The Wyndhams were pluralists but normally resided in Corton and held two Sunday services in the 1780s when there were 20 communicants. (fn. 29) In 1815 the resident rector did not serve and a neighbouring incumbent took services. In 1827 there were four celebrations of communion. (fn. 30) On Census Sunday 1851 there were 190 people at morning service and 220 in the afternoon, including 70 children at each service. (fn. 31)

The medieval building, evidently dating from the 12th century and dedicated to St Andrew by 1543, (fn. 32) comprised an undivided chancel and nave with a north aisle to both and a tower apparently at its west end. The tower was said to have been rebuilt c. 1685. The church was demolished in 1869 because it was too small and dilapidated. (fn. 33) The medieval church was galleried in 1773. (fn. 34) Some of its 16th-century bench ends including one dated 1541 were removed to Rimpton (fn. 35) and its 12thcentury font was destroyed.

The present church of ST. ANDREW was built at the expense of Edward Berkeley Portman, Viscount Portman (d. 1888), and was consecrated in 1870. (fn. 36) It was designed by Charles Baker Green (fn. 37) in the Perpendicular style and comprises a chancel with north vestry, a nave with north aisle and south porch, and a west tower. There are contemporary fittings and stencil decoration, and glass by Capronnier of Brussels and by Hardman (1903-5). (fn. 38)

There are five bells, the earliest of c. 1580 probably by William Purdue and one dated 1694 by Thomas Purdue. (fn. 39) The plate includes a cup and cover of 1573 by R. Orenge of Sherborne (Dors.) and a paten, dated 1677, given in 1678 by the rector. (fn. 40) The registers survive from 1538. (fn. 41)

Part of a cross, possibly from the 14th century, was set up in the grounds of the rectory house c. 1870. (fn. 42) Reference to a church at Whitcomb is almost certainly an error. (fn. 43)


There was a Quaker in the parish in 1670. (fn. 44) Licences for meeting houses were issued in 1705, 1822, and 1824, the last probably for Wesleyan Methodists (fn. 45) who met regularly from 1826. A Wesleyan chapel was built at the west end of the village probably in 1859. (fn. 46) There was a resident lay evangelist in 1891. (fn. 47) The chapel was disused in 1910; it was formally closed in 1925 and converted into a cottage. (fn. 48)


Two dame schools were held in the late 18th century. (fn. 49) A Sunday school supported by the curate had 50 pupils in 1818 (fn. 50) and 105 in 1825. (fn. 51) In 1833 there were three day schools with a total of 29 children, all of whom attended a Sunday school which taught 96 children. (fn. 52) The Sunday school continued at the same size in 1846, (fn. 53) a year after the schoolroom had been built by Edward Berkeley Portman, Viscount Portman (d. 1888). (fn. 54) In 1868 it had 58 pupils, of whom only one girl was at day school. A night school then had 32 children on the books. (fn. 55) The average attendance at the day school was 42 in 1883 and 44 in 1905. (fn. 56) The school was bought by Somerset County Council in 1920 and became a county school. From 1927 it took children only up to 11 years. There were 21 children on the books in 1935 but in 1940 34 evacuees, mainly from Southampton, entered the school. (fn. 57) In 1945 there were only 11 children and in 1963 the school closed, the children transferring to Queen Camel. (fn. 58) The school building has been converted into a village hall.


A gift made by Maurice Gilbert (d. 1608) had been lost by 1824. (fn. 59) In the same year sums totalling £14 given between 1675 and 1715 by the Revd. Thomas Brickenden, rector 1660-1700, and members of the Bartlett family were still recorded although no distributions had been made for many years. (fn. 60) Attempts to revive the charity had failed by 1908. (fn. 61) By will dated 1717 Jonathan Beaton gave a rent charge of 1s. a week on Church farm to provide bread for the poor. In 1824 and 1840 12 white loaves were distributed weekly to those not on relief. (fn. 62) A gift of £400 in railway stock from the Portman family in 1907 produced an income which was added to the rent charge and provided food, brandy, nursing, and medicine for the sick. (fn. 63) The Beadon and Portman charity was recorded until 1939 but not in 1991. (fn. 64)


29 V.C.H. Som. i. 441. This article was completed in 1993.
30 A. H. Smith, Eng. Place-Name Elements, i. 107.
31 O.S. Map 1/25,000, ST 62 (1958 edn.); O.S. Map 1/50,000, sheet 183 (1989 edn.).
32 Below, church; S.R.S. xl. 52.
33 Dors. R.O., D/FFO 37/102.
34 O.S. Map 1/25,000, ST 62 (1958 edn.); O.S. Map 1/50,000, sheet 183 (1989 edn.).
35 Youngs, Local Admin. Units, i. 423.
36 S.R.O., tithe award.
37 Census.
38 S.R.S. xxiv. 30; above, Horethorne hundred.
39 Geol. Surv. Map 1/50,000, solid and drift, sheet 312 (1973 edn.).
40 Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. lxxvi, suppl. 103.
41 S.R.O., Q/SR Mich. 1864; S.R.S. lxxvi. map 1782; O.S. Map 1/25,000, ST 62 (1958 edn.).
42 V.C.H. Som. i. 361; Som. C.C. Sites and Mons. Rec.
43 Som. C.C. Sites and Mons. Rec.
44 S.R.S. lxxvi. map 1782.
45 Below, manors.
46 Above, Charlton Horethorne.
47 Som. C.C. Sites and Mons. Rec.; S.R.O., tithe awards, Charlton Horethorne, Corton Denham; S.R.S. lxxvi. maps 1782, 1822; below, manors.
48 Dors. R.O., D/FFO 37/102.
49 S.R.O., DD/PM 16/8; Dors. R.O., D/FFO 13/86, 37/104.
50 S.R.S. iii. 219.
51 S.R.O., DD/KW 7.
52 Ibid. Q/RLa 23.
53 P.R.O., RG 9/1648.
54 N. Owens et al., Corton Denham in Som. (1984), 16.
55 S.R.O., DD/KW 7.
56 Som. Protestation Returns, ed. Howard and Stoate, 224.
57 S.R.O., DD/WY, box 242.
58 Census.
59 P.R.O., HO 107/945; DD/PM 13/8/5-14.
60 Census.
61 S.R.S. viii, p. xliii.
62 V.C.H. Som. i. 400 n.
63 Ibid. 441-2, 533.
64 S.R.S. vi. 107.
65 Cur. Reg. R. iii, p. 318; Pipe R. 1206 (P.R.S. N.S. xx), 226.
66 Feud. Aids, iv. 289.
67 e.g. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 133; Cal. Inq. p.m. ix, p. 188.
68 Cal. Close, 1364-8, 266; Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, p. 248.
69 Cal. Pat. 1558-60, 80; P.R.O., C 142/406, no. 67.
70 Pipe R. 1204 (P.R.S. N.S. xviii), 186; Rot. Norm. (Rec. Com.), i, p. lxvii.
71 Rot. Norm. (Rec. Com.), i. 126.
72 Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i. 12.
73 Bk. of Fees, i. 262.
74 Pipe R. 1221 (P.R.S. N.S. xlviii), 92; Ex. e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i. 52.
75 S.R.S. vi. 60; Ex. e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i. 143.
76 'Postgeniti': Close R. 1227-31, 157.
77 Bk. of Fees, ii. 1147, 1156; Close R. 1242-47, 231.
78 Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 305.
79 Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 133.
80 Feud. Aids, iv. 299; Sanders, Eng. Baronies, 14, 39.
81 Feud. Aids, iv. 322; Sanders, Eng. Baronies, 14-15; P.R.O., C 143/281, no. 15.
82 Sanders, Eng. Baronies, 15.
83 Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 459; vii, p. 414.
84 Cal. Inq. p.m. ix, p. 188; Cal. Close, 1349-54, 45; P.R.O., C 143/281, no. 15.
85 Cal. Fine R. 1356-69, 316; S.R.O., DD/SG 1. There is a dating error in John's inquisition or Joan's proof of age: Cal. Inq. p.m. xii, p. 351; xiii, p. 45.
86 Cal. Close, 1369-74, 129; Cal. Inq. p.m. xiii, p. 45; xv, p. 300.
87 P.R.O., C 138/11, no. 13.
88 Feud. Aids, iv. 422; Cal. Fine R. 1461-71, 177.
89 P.R.O., C 141/6, no. 27.
90 Ibid. C 142/26, no. 46; Collinson, Hist. Som. ii. 385.
91 P.R.O., C 3/120/9.
92 Cal. Pat. 1558-60, 80.
93 P.R.O., C 142/264, no. 159.
94 Ibid. CP 25/2/345/7 Jas. I Trin.
95 V.C.H. Som. iv. 71; vi. 288.
96 S.R.O., DD/KW 7.
97 P.R.O., C 135/96, no. 68.
98 Cal. Inq. p.m. xiii, p. 45.
99 Cal. Close, 1429-35, 46.
1 S.R.S. vi. 27; Cur. Reg. R. vi, p. 16.
2 S.R.S. vi. 60; Ex. e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i. 143.
3 P.R.O., C 260/93/3; V.C.H. Som. iv. 44; Cal. Close, 1333-7, 251; S.R.S. xvii. III.
4 P.R.O., C 139/40, no. 56; C 139/170, no. 39; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, ii, p. 270.
5 Complete Peerage, iv. 380-1.
6 Cornw. R.O., ARB 109/239; 112/392-3.
7 P.R.O., C 142/47, no. 62; C 142/72, no. 76; C 142/229, no. 130.
8 Ibid. CP 25/2/346/9 Jas. I Mich.; ibid. C 142/415, no. 9; ibid. C 3/402/133; Dors. R.O., D/FFO 37/102-3.
9 P.R.O., C 142/32, no. 93; ibid. E 326/11096; Burke, Peerage (1949), 1870.
10 Complete Peerage, iv. 179-80; v. 509-12; Devon Household Accounts 1627-59, ed. T. Gray (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc.), 136, 150, 240.
11 P.R.O., CP 43/370, rot. 153; CP 43/392, rot. 63; below, church.
12 P.R.O., CP 43/694, rot. 294.
13 Ibid. CP 25/2/51/370/25 Hen. VIII Trin.; ibid. C 142/61, no. 92.
14 Ibid. CP 25/2/204/6 & 7 Eliz. I Mich.
15 Ibid. C 142/415, no. 10; ibid. C 3/402/133.
16 Dors. R.O., D/FFO 37/103; above, this section.
17 B.L. Add. Ch. 58779; below, church; P.R.O., C 142/415, no. 11; Cornw. R.O., ARB 110/339-40.
18 P.R.O., C 3/402/133.
19 S.R.O., DD/MC, box I; DD/BR/py 52; ibid. tithe award.
20 V.C.H. Som. i. 442, 533.
21 Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, p. 248.
22 Cal. Close, 1422-9, 403.
23 P.R.O., C 142/14, no. 82; S.R.S. lxvii, p. 139; S.R.O., DD/PH 48.
24 Som. Wills, ed. Brown, iv. 103-4; S.R.S. xxi. 193-4.
25 S.R.O., D/P/co. d 2/1/1.
26 P.R.O., CP 25/2/346/10 Jas. I Trin.
27 Above, this section.
28 S.R.S. xvi. 376-7; Som. Wills, ed. Brown, iv. 104.
29 Above, Charlton Horethorne.
30 S.R.S. vi. 111; xi, pp. 328-9.
31 P.R.O., C 85/39/1; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i. 284.
32 L. & P. Hen. VIII, xx (i), p. 125.
33 V.C.H. Som. i. 441-2.
34 Ibid.; S.R.O., tithe award, altered apportionment 1891; below, Rimpton.
35 Cal. Inq. p.m. ix, p. 188.
36 S.R.O., D/D/Rg 242.
37 Ibid. tithe award.
38 Statistics supplied by the then Bd. of Agric. 1905.
39 S.R.O., DD/PMN (C/1110).
40 Rot. Norm. (Rec. Com.) i. 126.
41 P.R.O., E 135/96, no. 68.
42 Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, p. 248.
43 S.R.S. xvi. 376.
44 Ibid. xxi. 176.
45 P.R.O., CP 40/966, m. 111.
46 S.R.S. xl. 52.
47 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i. 204.
48 S.R.O., D/D/Rg 242.
49 Som. C.C. Sites and Mons. Rec.
50 S.R.O., DD/PM 16/8.
51 List and Index Soc. 190, pp. 200, 215.
52 Phelps, Hist. Som. i. 337.
53 S.R.O., tithe award.
54 P.R.O., HO 107/1931; S.R.O., DD/PR 52.
55 Rep. Com. Children and Women in Agric. pp. 494-5.
56 P.R.O., RG 10/2424.
57 S.R.O., transcript file 2/98.
58 P.R.O., RG 11/2396.
59 Census.
60 Statistics supplied by the then Bd. of Agric. 1905. Figures total more than the acreage of the parish.
61 S.R.O., DD/KW 7. The Whitcomb water wheel was last used in 1965: local inf.
62 Owens, Corton Denham, 44.
63 Min. of Agric., Fisheries, and Food, agric. returns 1988.
64 S.R.O., DD/PM 16/8; DD/X/GFD 6; Dors. R.O., D/FFO 37/102.
65 Phelps, Hist. Som. i. 340.
66 P.R.O., HO 107/945; ibid. RG 9/1648.
67 S.R.O., DD/PM 16/8.
68 P.R.O., HO 107/1931; ibid. RG 10/2424; P.O. Dir. Som. (1861); Kelly's Dir. Som. (1883).
69 S.R.O., tithe award, altered apportionment 1891; O.S. Map 6", Som. LXXIV. SE. (1886 edn., survey 1885); LXXV. SW. (1888 edn., survey 1885); LXXXIII. SW. (1886 edn., survey 1885); S.R.O., DD/KW 7.
70 Owens, Corton Denham, 14.
71 P.R.O., HO 107/1931; ibid. RG 9/1648; RG 10/2424; RG 11/2396; Rep. Com. Children and Women in Agric. p. 495.
72 S.R.O., DD/KW 7.
73 P.R.O., RG 12/1902.
74 S.R.O., tithe award, altered apportionment 1891.
75 Ibid. A/AGH 1/70.
76 S.R.S. iii. 219.
77 Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, p. 248.
78 P.R.O., C 142/415, no. 35.
79 S.R.S. lxvii, p. 141.
80 S.R.O., DD/PM 16/8.
81 Ibid. 1/9/4.
82 Ibid. D/P/co. d 13/2/3.
83 Ibid. 13/2/1, 3.
84 Ibid. 13/2/1, 13/2/B; DD/PM 16/8; P.R.O., RG 12/1902.
85 Handlist of Guardians' Rec. (S.R.O.), 112; Youngs, Local Admin. Units, i. 674-6.
86 S.R.S. xiii, p. 5; Taunton, Som. Studies Libr., Pigott colln., drawing of font, 1838.
87 S.R.O., D/P/co. d 9/1/1.
88 Inf. from Mr. P. Nokes, Dioc. Office.
89 Cal. Inq. p.m. iv, p. 23; vii, pp. 327-8; xv, p. 296.
90 P.R.O., C 139/40, no. 56; C 139/170, no. 39; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, ii, p. 270; Som. Incumbents, ed. Weaver, 74.
91 S.R.S. lv, p. 48.
92 Cal. Pat. 1555-7, 101, 367; 1566-9, p. 217; 1572-5, p. 421; above, manors.
93 Som. Incumbents, ed. Weaver, 74.
94 Dors. R.O., D/FFO 37/103.
95 Som. Incumbents, ed. Weaver, 74.
96 P.R.O., CP 25/2/346/10 Jas. I Trin.; S.R.O., DD/WY, box 242.
97 Som. Incumbents, ed. Weaver, 75; P.R.O., CP 43/370, rot. 153; CP 43/392, rot. 63; CP 43/694, rot. 294.
98 S.R.O., D/P/co. d 9/1/1; inf. from Mr. P. Nokes, Dioc. Office.
99 Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 197.
1 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i. 204.
2 S.R.O., D/D/Vc 24.
3 Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. cxii. 79.
4 S.R.O., DD/WY, box 242; Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, pp. 134-5.
5 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i. 204; S.R.O., tithe award.
6 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i. 204.
7 S.R.O., D/D/Rg 242.
8 Ibid. D/P/co. d 2/1/1.
9 Ibid. DD/WY, box 242.
10 Ibid. tithe award.
11 Kelly's Dir. Som. (1923); inf. from Mr. P. Nokes, Dioc. Office.
12 S.R.O., D/D/Rg 242.
13 Ibid. DD/WY, box 242.
14 Ibid. D/D/Rb 1815.
15 Ibid. D/D/Bbm 49.
16 Ibid. DD/PMN (C/1110); D/P/co. d 9/1/1; Kelly's Dir. Som. (1927).
17 Inf. from Mr. P. Nokes, Dioc. Office.
18 S.R.S. i, pp. 34, 121.
19 Ibid. xlix, p. 136.
20 Ibid. xix. 24-5.
21 Ibid. ii. 325.
22 S.R.O., D/D/Vc 66.
23 Ibid. D/D/Ca 27.
24 Ibid. D/P/co. d 2/1/1-2; D/D/Bpl 14; DD/X/MCG 1; S.D.N.Q. xiii. 78.
25 Walker Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews, 311; S.R.O., D/P/co. d 2/1/1.
26 Som. Incumbents, ed. Weaver, 75.
27 S.R.O., DD/WY, box 242; Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, pp. 134-5; P.O. Dir. Som. (1861).
28 P.O. Dir. Som. (1875); S.R.O., D/D/B reg. 39, f. 150v.-153v.; DD/PMN (C/1110); inf. from Mr. P. Nokes, Dioc. Office.
29 S.R.O., DD/WY, box 242.
30 Ibid. D/D/Rb 1815, 1827.
31 P.R.O., HO 129/320.
32 S.R.S. xl. 52.
33 Phelps, Hist. Som. i. 339; P.O. Dir. Som. (1866); S.R.O., D/P/co. d 9/1/1; plate 18.
34 S.R.O., D/P/co. d 4/1/A.
35 Phelps, Hist. Som. i. 339; Owens, Corton Denham, 39.
36 S.R.O., D/P/co. d 9/1/1; ibid. D/D/B reg. 39, f. 150v.-153v.
37 Pevsner, S. & W. Som. 133.
38 S.R.O., D/P/co. d 9/1/1; D/D/Cf 1904/80, 1905/117, 1918/12; Owens, Corton Denham, 39.
39 S.R.O., DD/SAS CH 16/1; D/P/co. d 9/1/1.
40 Ibid. D/P/co. d 2/1/1, 9/1/1; ibid. D/D/Ri 2; Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. xliii. 225.
41 S.R.O., D/P/co. d 2/1/1-7.
42 D. o. E. hist. buildings list (1985).
43 S.R.S. xvi. 376-7.
44 S.R.O., DD/SFR 8/1.
45 Ibid. Q/RRw 1; ibid. D/D/Rm 10; Dors. R.O., NM 6/C1/MS 1/13.
46 Dors. R.O., NM 6/C1/MS 1/2; NM 6/S4/TS 1/1.
47 P.R.O., RG 12/1902.
48 Dors. R.O., NM 6/S4/TS 1/1; S.R.O., T/PH/mdt 1A; ibid. D/P/co. d 9/1/1.
49 S.R.O., DD/WY, box 242.
50 Educ. of Poor Digest, p. 781.
51 Ann. Rep. B. & W. Dioc. Assoc. S.P.C.K. 73.
52 Educ. Enq. Abstract, p. 802.
53 Nat. Soc. Inquiry, 1846-7, Som. 6-7.
54 P.O. Dir. Som. (1861); Kelly's Dir. Som. (1883).
55 Rep. R. Com. Children and Women in Agric. p. 495.
56 Kelly's Dir. Som. (1883); S.R.O., C/E 4/64.
57 S.R.O., C/T 1; C/E 4/64, 4/229/3; ibid. D/P/co. d 9/1/1.
58 Ibid. C/E 4/229/3.
59 11th Rep. Com. Char. 420-1.
60 S.R.O., D/P/co. d 2/1/1; 11th Rep. Com. Char. 420-1.
61 11th Rep. Com. Char. 420-1; Digest of Endowed Chars. (1869-71) 22-3; S.R.O., D/D/Ri 2.
62 11th Rep. Com. Char. 420; S.R.O., D/D/Va 1840.
63 S.R.O., D/P/co. d 9/1/1; D/D/Ri 2.
64 Ibid. D/P/co. d 9/1/1; Kelly's Dir. Som. (1939); char. com. reg.

North Cheriton