Tag Archives: maps

What A Relief

We have enjoyed a busy month at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre near Yeovil.

At the end of February, we hosted the Mid-Somerset Curators and Archivists Meeting with 16 members in attendance.

During the afternoon tours, one of the delegates’ favourite objects was the Relief Map of the south west of England. This was a gift from William Wyndham Esq, the founder of Yeovil’s first official museum in 1928. The relief map stretches from Hinton Charterhouse near Bath down to the Exe Estuary near Exmouth, Devon and across to Dorchester, Dorset. Of particular interest are the sites of historical interest marked on the map including Muchelney Abbey and the height of the major ranges of hills; The Quantocks; Mendips; Blackdowns and the Brendons.

We understand the large relief map was formerly in Hollands House, now part of Yeovil College, when Leonard Hayward was History Master. We would be grateful for any further information or memories related to this fascinating object in the CHAC Collection.


Our Area – a close-up of the Relief Map showing the area around Yeovil. The Map was manufactured by George Philip & Son Ltd London – the scale is Horizontal – 1 inch to 1 mile and Vertical 1 inch to 800ft.

We are also holding a memory gathering morning related to the NHS and the hospital in Yeovil on Saturday 21st April 10.30am – 12.30pm. This is part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to celebrate 70 years of the National Health Service.

Please contact (01935) 462886 for more details.



Know Your Place

A busy and exciting week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council, Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

So far this week we have received a request for a tour from a work coach at the Hub Yeovil, which came through our contact at The Courtyard Café, 27, Market Street, Yeovil and an intriguing donation of items from Yeovil Town Council.

The objects and photographs from Yeovil Town Council include around 30 photographs of Ian Botham, receiving an award from the Mayor of Yeovil in what is possibly Bucklers Mead School. The images are helpfully dated by the first photograph with the date 27th April 1983 and a film poster for the James Bond Film ‘Octopussy.’

We also received news that the Exhibition part of the ‘Know Your Place’ Project is now touring local libraries. The Community Heritage Access Centre was among the Know Your Place Project Partners along with Bath Central Library, Bath Records Office, The Bishops Palace in Wells, Bradley Stoke Library, Chippenham Museum & History Centre, Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre, Corinium Museum, Dean Heritage Centre, Gloucestershire Archives, The Museum in the Park in Stroud, The Museum of Bath at Work, North Somerset Libraries, Radstock Museum, Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury Museum, South West Heritage Trust, STEAM Museum, Taunton Library, Thornbury & District Museum, Wells and Mendip Museum, The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Town Hall in Weston Super Mare.

C.H.A.C contributed stories on the gloving industry with an illustration of an art work “The Skin Market” and an historical image of local landmark Wyndham Hill featuring a sports day event alongside a photograph of the Hill today.

Know Your Place explore is a cutting-edge digital exhibition which will tour across the West of England giving an insight into the history of the places where we live, work and visit every day.

Have you ever wondered what makes a place the way it is now? Or wished you could travel back in time and discover how an area has changed?

For the first time in one place, the stories of the people who lived and worked in the varied landscapes of the West of England will be told together – from Miners in Radstock to Peat-cutters in the Somerset levels, Moonrakers of Devizes to Foresters in the Forest of Dean.

Historic and modern photos of familiar landscapes will show how places have transformed over time and where they have changed little.

The exhibition innovatively combines graphic panels, touchscreens and an online WebApp to feature extraordinary digital material from archives, museums and heritage collections across the West of England. The exhibition has been curated in collaboration with 24 different organisations to select and display digital images, audio and film on a unique online platform.

The exhibition consists of four identical displays touring simultaneously across the region, allowing it to visit 12 venues across six counties during the six months between November 2016 and April 2017. The exhibition will visit a range of museums, libraries and community spaces across the West of England, including: Bradley Stoke Library in South Gloucestershire, Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, Dean Heritage Centre in Gloucestershire, Radstock Museum in Bath & NE Somerset, Weston Town Hall in North Somerset and The Bishops Palace in Somerset. The full list of venues can be found on the project website: www.kypwest.org.uk/exhibition .

The exhibition opens this week at its first four venues: The Glass Box at Taunton Library, Taunton; Bath Central Library, Bath; STEAM Museum, Swindon; and Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre, Bristol; and will be accompanied by a programme of public events to be announced shortly.

The exhibition is available online and can be viewed from any smartphone or connected device, making it accessible to those who cannot visit it in person, and available for audiences to revisit again and again at a time that suits them. Visit the exhibition online at: www.KYPexplore.com .

This exhibition is part of Know Your Place – West of England, the digital mapping project to share your neighbourhood’s heritage online through old maps, historic images and heritage data. The Know Your Place platform recently extended to map Wiltshire, Bath & NE Somerset and Gloucestershire, and work is underway to map North Somerset and Somerset in spring 2017. The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). To start exploring Know Your Place, visit the project’s website: www.kypwest.org.uk/explore-the-map .

Felicia Davies, Project Officer, Know Your Place – West of England, said: “This exhibition is unique in its ambition, geographical spread, use of digital technology and fantastic partnership with many museums, libraries and archives across the area. We hope the rich and varied stories in the exhibition will help visitors make the connection with their own local heritage and inspire them to explore this further on the Know Your Place digital mapping resource.”

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “From ensuring information held in centuries-old maps is saved for future generations, to making the changing face of our region accessible at the click of a button,  Know Your Place is a fantastic partnership of organisations, communities and volunteers. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re delighted to support this project which is quite literally putting the West of England’s heritage on the map.”

The Know Your Place West of England project was awarded £379,800 by HLF, with generous match-funding and in-kind support from local authorities and heritage groups within the region, including £5,000 match-funding from lead partner South Gloucestershire Council.


One of the images of Wyndham Hill supplied by C.H.A.C to the Know Your Place Project



Know Your Place Exhibition installed in the Glass Box Taunton Library Nov.2016

(Courtesy of the Know Your Place Project)


Search Every Avenue

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.



Abstract Detail

We have enjoyed a busy and energetic week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

Last Friday saw our Staff Christmas Meal at Inn the Square, West Coker, where we all enjoyed the seasonal cheer.

We started the week with maps from the collection being transported to the Somerset Heritage Centre, near Taunton to be digitised for the ‘Know Your Place’ Maps Project.  All five maps protected by bubble wrap made their way safely to the conservator and are to be returned rolled for ease of storage.

While we were loading the last map, our research room telephone rang and a donation we were expecting was arranged for ’30 minute’s time.’ We were slightly concerned from the description as this was described as ‘documents – several cubic feet.’ As the donor is well known to us and rides a bicycle, this seemed interesting and perhaps unlikely. However, on this occasion they drove and we wondered what was going to emerge from within. However, these documents were slightly less of a test than the maps, as they were tied in around 8 bundles and added up to 86 individual books – dating from 1912 to 1996 each one an “Abstract of Accounts for Yeovil Borough Council” followed by the “District Council” after the political change in the mid 1970s. Despite some local interest from mice, these are a valuable addition to the collection at CHAC as they fall within our Collecting Policy and also a MODES Database Check revealed that we do have similar books, but only up to 1908. The donor also added significant detail as they were chief accountant up until 1996; where the personal insight is always useful.

In a good week for new donations, we also received two fascinating photographs of South Petherton Hospital around 1969, which we know are not presently in the photographic collection and a pre-1971 Map of Yeovil featuring advertisements of local businesses.

Our Yeovil 2016 Calendar is set to pass the 400 sales mark and two members of staff were helping on Thursday 9th December with a designated sales activity at our SSDC Headquarters at Brympton Way from 12.00 until 13.00.

We also welcome our now regular group of Yeovil College Students this week. We aim to be looking at our MODES (Museum Object Data Entry System) Database, demonstrating how to search for objects and photographs, having fun finding them in the store and then entering the paper records for the objects the students documented and marked last week. We try and show the whole process and we have discovered this can be enjoyable – watching (or should we say helping!) others to complete valuable work, central to the role of CHAC.

This is a fitting point to mention our Volunteers, which through their weekly, Wednesday documentation of objects and photographs, has enabled staff to focus on visitors and groups like the Yeovil College Students. We have our Volunteer Christmas Meal next week.

Donations this week included Borough of Yeovil Abstract of Accounts Books and photographs of South Petherton Hospital



Seasonal Cheer! (The ladies were disappointed to be out-glammed!)


All Mapped Out Louisa’s Links

We have enjoyed a busy and eventful week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.

We have continued to prepare the four maps from the collection ready for transit to the Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton to be digitised for the ‘Know Your Place’ project. This is a notable opportunity to contribute to developing resources.

We provided an illustrated talk on the ‘Louisa Harris Diaries 1887-1920 : A Picture of Life in Yeovil’ to Somerton History Group on Thursday 26th November at the Parish Rooms in Somerton. This was our first time we have provided a talk to this group and in this venue and the 40 members all enjoyed themselves – as we were informed afterwards! They particularly liked the selection of handling objects and illustrations of Yeovil History, which we passed around and Louisa’s links to local and national events. One significant example is the sinking of Kitchener’s ship, the H.M.S Hampshire by a German Submarine off the Orkney Islands in the First World War. Walter Horace Adams, “Wallie” named on Yeovil War Memorial worked briefly for the Western Gazette Newspaper and also perished on the ‘Hampshire.’ We use this example to illustrate well known aspects of the First World War including Kitchener’s famous recruiting poster ‘Your Country Needs You’ and the impact that his death would have had on morale; particularly as a journalist was quoted as saying: “He may not have been a great man, but he made a great poster!”

We also use this example to raise the point of perceptions, particularly as people may associate submarines (and developments in technological warfare in general) with the Second World War. However, Louisa underlines how close submarines came to Great Britain with an attack off the Shambles, off Weymouth, Dorset, as her brother was a customs officer, based in the local area.

During the preparation of our South Somerset Remembers the First World War Booklet, we also received several important artefacts related to W.H. Adams including his Memorial Card and letter of bereavement sent home to his family; copies of which we also passed around.

As this was Somerton History Group’s last meeting of 2015, we also referred to Louisa’s rationing at Christmas time and the Christmas parcels sent from pupils of Long Sutton School to former students fighting at the front, as recorded in the Langport and Somerton Herald.

We completed the evening by showing a few slides of places that Louisa would have visited around Yeovil, including Ninesprings, now part of Yeovil Country Park. This is interesting as Louisa was a wheelchair user from a young age and was ‘pushed in her carriage’ as she was “determined to see the waterfalls and springs!”

Another group also helped this week. Yeovil Women’s Institute allowed us to introduce our 2016 Yeovil Calendar to their Christmas meeting and we did very well indeed!

Our group of Yeovil College Students continued to enjoy themselves this week with completing the documentation of Roman villa plans and a series of aerial photographs of Yeovil. We aim to continue the process next week by entering these records onto our database.

We have also conducted our planning meeting for 2016 – so we have (hopefully!) most things ‘mapped out.’

In ‘news just in’ a producer from the BBC programme ‘Heir Hunters’ came to film at CHAC today for background on Yeovil. Will try and report back next week if we are able to!

One of the maps to be digitised later on this month


Louisa Harris, 3rd from left seated at her home in No.2 Clarence Street, Yeovil. Louisa’s neighbours were the Edgar Family. Mr Edgar was the first business partner of J.B. Petter. Louisa Harris Family