Some Placenames in Merriott
- Bakehouse Corner (or Baker’s Corner) – Site of bakeries in the past
- Boozer’s Pit – Boozer Pit was the site of a limestone quarry owned by a family named Boser (hence the derivation of the name). Ref:
“A History of Merriott Village and Church“
- Broadway – The present importance of Broadway as the principal route through Merriott from Lopen dates back to at least 1765, when the name was adopted by the Crewkerne Turnpike Trust. [Victoria County History] Noted as a fairly narrow street!
ABOVE: Broadway, Merriott, 1995. Courtesy of: Pauline Phillips
- Church Street – The oldest buildings (pre 1750) in Merriott lie east of All Saints Church in Church Street, and also in Lower Street. [Victoria County History]
- Eggwood Hill – Rises 250 feet; the north east slope of which was ancient woodland. Eggwood survived until the 15th century, when arable land was increased at the expense of the woods. [Victoria County History]
- Green Knap, or Green Nap was a hamlet to the north east of Merriott. [Victoria County History]
“Knapp” means “high ground”.
- Higher Street – The street at the higher (northern) end of the village.
- Hitchen Field – approximately 30 acres of land in the centre of a triangle formed by Broadway, Higher Street and Lower Street. The land was communally farmed from before the Norman Conquest. [An Ancient English Village] Landshare was the former name of the Hitchen area. This, probably, was so named in view of the shared strips into which the land was divided. [A History of Merriott Village and Church]. Much of the area was taken for housing development in the 20th century. [Victoria County History]
- Lower Street – The street at the lower (southern) end of the village. The south west end of Lower St was known as the “Borough” during the 19th century. [Victoria County History]
At “The Borough” was held the “Meriet (later “Merryott”) Fayre”. [A History of Merriott Village and Church]Lower St, Merriott – Courtesy of Pauline Phillips
- Newchester Cross – Newchester Cross has at times been thought to have borne evidence of Roman remains, but no proof of this exists today. It was earlier named Newchurchyard Cross. There was possibly a triangle of grassed land here, upon which was erected a cross indicating the way to the church.
[A History of Merriott Village and Church]
- Royal Nurseries – The richness of the soil in Merriott has made the village a suitable area for farming and market gardening since earliest times.
[A History of Merriott Village and Church]. John Scott came from Scotland, and was a substantial employer in the village. Here are mentions of him and his family in the Merriott censuses:
|YEAR||REF||ABODE||NAME, AGE, (etc) OCCUPATION, WHERE BORN|
|1861||50 33||High St||Scott John Head M 50 M Nurseryman emp 23 men & 1 boy Scotland
Scott Elizabeth Wife M 38 F Surry, Kingston?
Malcher? Mary Jane Niece U 10 F Surry, Kingston?
Bishop Sarah Ann Servant U 20 F Som, Crewkerne
|1871||11 60||Higher St||Scott John Head M 62 M Nursery & Seedsman emp 50 men 8 boys Scotland
Scott Elizabeth Wife M 46 F Surry, Kingston
Malorlue? Jane Niece U 27 F Surry, Kingston
Hansford Catharine Servt U 27 F Servant Dorset, Netherbury
|1881||14 495/6/7/8/9||Blair Athol Hotel||Scott John Head M 74 M Nurseryman Perthshire, Scotland
Scott Elizabeth Wife M 56 F Surrey
Bryant Alice Comp U 26 F Domestic Somerset
Elston Annie Servant U 21 F Domestic Servant Dorset
Roberts Walter U 24 M Nursery Manager Dorset
Both John & Elizabeth were buried in Merriott at All Saints:
Burial 2 May 1890 Elizabeth Scott Aged 65 Higher Street
Burial 27 January 1886 John Scott Aged 79 Blair Athole House
- Sandy Hole – the road leading north from the Church
The Old School, Church St, Merriott , Courtesy of Pauline Phillips
Edith and Leslie Westacott, standing with their backs to the old Merriott school. Their feet are on the “School Stone”. Leslie’s mom was born Emma Webb in Merriott in 1883, just across the road from the school in Sandy Hole Cottage.
Photo: Courtesy of Barb Dembinski
The “Big” School – Photo Courtesy of David Gibbs
For some amusing stories about Schooling in Merriott in the 1940s, have a read of David Gibbs’ anecdotes: My Quest to Become a Grammar School Nutshell and Salad Server Days.
- Tail Mill – All the mills in Merriott (Meriet) seem to have been water mills, situated along the course of the Merriottsford stream. They were occupied in grinding corn for village use. Tail Mill (Tael? Mill) was held under Crewkerne Manor in 1669. It had also been used as a preaching house. This operated as a “grist” mill until 1825, when it was sold to a sailcloth maker who owned other sailcloth works around the Crewkerne area. There had originally been three buildings here, but they were reduced to one in 1868, and in 1929 the sailcloth making ceased, and the mill was taken over by Merriott Mouldings. [A History of Merriott Village and
Tail Mill – Photo Courtesy of Lewis Bates
- Townsend – Looking at the unusual shape of the village of Merriott, Townsend doesn’t appear to actually be at the “end of town”. Does anyone have an explanation? Perhaps it was actually at the end of town at an earlier point in history?
A DESCRIPTION FROM THE 1871 CENSUS OF CREWKERNE, ENUMERATION DISTRICT NO 3
I found this while perusing the 1871 Crewkerne Census. The enumerator, Benjamin Miller, went to great lengths to describe the area of Crewkerne close to Merriott. The bottom line is cut off on the copy I have, but the rest is clear.
“Bow Gate, a Toll Gate with gate keeper’s house only.
Haselbury Cross, consists of three cottages.
Tail Mill, a factory for the manufacture of Sail Cloth, with Manager’s and workpeople’s houses adjoining.
Great Field, Labourer’s Cottages.
Merriottsford, a Private House called “Spring Cottage”, a Toll Gate, and a Farm house.
Tinker’s Lodge, Labourer’s Cottages
Pye Corner, Labourer’s and Market Gardener’s cottages
Broadshard, one cottage only.
Haymore Mills, Flour & Grist Mills with two houses.
Ashlands is part of the town of Crewkerne, and a continuation of North Street.
North Street. There is situate in North St a factory for the production of Sail Cloth called – “The Coker Sail Cloth Works”.
Bow Gate, Tail Mill, Haselbury Cross, Great Field, Merriottsford, Tinker’s Lodge, and Pye Corner are in the parish of Crewkerne, but situate nearer the village of Merriott than the Town of Crewkerne.
As the houses of the district, with the exception of a few in North St, are not regularly numbered, the numbers of the houses given in this book merely indicate the order in which………“
Have a look at David Gibbs’ anecdotes about the village of Merriott here.