A busy and intriguing week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.
Highlights so far have included our volunteers visit to the Alfred Gillett Trust at Street, Somerset to discover how the Trust Staff look after the collection of shoes associated with Clarks International.
We have also wrapped up the objects for our forthcoming ‘Crime and Punishment’ Exhibition. The next step is to mount the labels and chosen photographs for the exhibition and rear panel in the Town House, Union Street, Yeovil. With the recent sunshine, we took the opportunity to take photographs of the Hundred Stone, just off Mudford Road; the former Ewens & Johnson Building near Stars Lane; the Magistrates Court next to Petters Way Car Park and the current Police Station off Queensway. These illustrations will accompany key captions in our display.
In the Anglo-Saxon period, policing in Yeovil was carried out by the Shire Court, held originally at Somerton and later at Ilchester. Below the Shire Court in power came the Hundred Court. In Yeovil this was held at the Hundred Stone on the corner where Combe Street Lane, Mudford Road and Stone Lane meet. Petty crimes were dealt with such as assaults and thefts and the condition of the roads.
In our ‘object of the month’ we consider a painting of Trent Manor House by architect J. Johnston, with a notable historical link. We only had a very brief description on our database, so asked our volunteer with an artistic background to provide some more descriptive detail. This was significant as the existing description read “Landscape View of Trent Manor House.” This is true, until we discovered that the painting also includes a blow-up image of King Charles II and his hiding place in the Manor House. This detail was added along with more insights on the Manor building itself.
For the eagle-eyed among our readers, making the observation that Trent is in Dorset, the Kelly’s Directory for Dorsetshire 1931 notes the following on this point and more on King Charles II: “Trent – this parish 3 miles north-east from Yeovil was transferred from Somerset to Dorset as from 31 March 1896. The Manor House, formerly occupied by the Wyndham family, is famous as the place in which Charles II was concealed for 15 days after the battle of Worcester, September 3, 1651.”
The Hundred Stone – the Hundred Court. In Yeovil this was held at the Hundred Stone on the corner where Combe Street Lane, Mudford Road and Stone Lane meet.
The painting of Trent Manor House with the ‘hidden’ detail!