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We have enjoyed a busy and exciting week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

One of the highlights so far is a donation of three Yeovil maps and a planning document from Yeovil Town Library.

One of the maps dates from 1843 and is a tithe apportionment survey. This is contained within a mount and frame and originally given by L.C. Hayward Senior History Master and Librarian at Yeovil School from 1945 to 1965. The next two maps date from 1952 and show Yeovil town centre. This is an interesting date before the construction of the Reckleford relief road was and the building of the present hospital in 1973. The intriguing aspect is seeing the street names from 1843 and what has changed (or stayed the same) over 100 years later.

The 1952 maps also have the added bonus of coloured keys illustrating the growth of Yeovil over a range of time periods including ‘The Medieval Borough’ to the ‘Present Borough’ dated 1928. There are also links to key historical buildings of note and archaeological finds around Yeovil. For example, the location of The Castle Inn and Roman villa sites are highlighted. This is useful in a very simple way to indicate the site of renowned buildings from an aerial perspective, which may be difficult from ‘street level.’

The planning document is significant. This is the original application for the Nissen-Petren Houses in Goldcroft, Yeovil, based These distinctive, quickly assembled, curved roof constructions designed by Petter and Warren Architects were seen as a cheap alternative to brick homes at the end of the First World War, in the midst of a housing shortage. However, the actual cost of construction exceeded the original quoted £350 estimate per home, to around £513 per home, mainly due their experimental nature. The Borough Council decided not to build any more of the prototype houses, but other examples survive at South Petherton and West Camel.

Our Volunteer, with an interest in maps, enjoyed accessioning these items.

Stay tuned for news on our screening of the “Battle of the Somme” Documentary Film at Yeovil Library on Friday 1st July 2016 at 2.30pm.

Gratitude to Yeovil: The Hidden History, Tempus Publishing, 2002.

The Maps of Yeovil dated 1952 recently donated by Yeovil Town Library.

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