Heritage Trail Interactive Map
1. St Martin's Church
ST MARTIN’S CHURCH is Grade 1 listed and dates from the 12th century. The current church which is near the River Parrett was built on the site of an earlier church in the 16th century probably by Henry Daubeney 1st Earl of Bridgewater. The tower dates from the 12th century and contains six bells. The oldest was cast in 1786 by George Davis of Bridgwater. Four others were made by members of the Bilbie family of Chew Magna in 1803. The sixth was cast by LLewellins and James of Bristol in 1904. In the churchyard there are some interesting chest tombs and monuments. The chest tomb on the right entering the churchyard has a small lid cut out of the top. This reveals a shallow compartment where coins were placed. In olden times, tramps walking across country to Crewkerne would help themselves to this welcome ‘perk’! Opposite the lychgate is the enclosure where the Common Pound was situated. This was where stray animals were herded.
2. The Nursery Gardens
THE NURSERY GARDENS occupy the old walled gardens of the original North Perrott House, a mansion built by Henry William Hoskins of Haselbury in 1782 and situated at the south east end of the present cricket ground. It was demolished prior to the building of North Perrott Manor (now Perrott Hill School) in 1878.
3. The Old Rectory
THE OLD RECTORY is Grade 2 listed. A Parsonage stood on this site in 1603. It is the only Georgian style building in the village having been rebuilt in the 18th century after a fire destroyed a much earlier building. It may have been built around the time that William Hoskins of Haselbury built a mansion in the village (North Perrott House) in 1782. He acquired the Manorial Rights and Living in 1790. He handed the Gift of the Living to his son, Henry William, who had seven children, and was Rector of North Perrott from 1814 to his death in 1876. It is known that he lived in the Rectory. Charles Thomas Hoskins became Rector from 1876 to 1908. It ceased being a Rectory in 1953 when the livings of North Perrott and Haselbury Plucknett were amalgamated.
4. Cross Tree Cottage
CROSS TREE COTTAGE is Grade 2 listed and was the Dower House lived in by Mabella Henrietta Georgina Hoskyns after the death of her husband Henry William Paget Hoskyns in 1921 when she moved from the Manor to make way for her son Henry William Whitby Hoskyns (Hal) on his marriage to Lilian Emilie Furse.
6. The Village Green
THE VILLAGE GREEN - The Manor Arms sign shows the Hoskyns crest and family motto:- ‘Finem Respice’. It stands next to the old trough at which the drovers would water their animals when passing through the village. Nearby is the War Memorial listing the names of those from the village who gave their lives in WW1. On the rise of the Green can be seen the base of a 14th century Christian stone cross which is Grade 2 listed. The large adjacent rock with a shallow bowl- like feature on its top has a grisly tale to tell. Anyone caught stealing was forced to rest their hand over the bowl and suffer a finger being chopped off. As late as the 1800’s it is known that the great, great grandfather of a current resident of North Perrott who stole a lamb, underwent such a punishment together with a fine of 6p. Village stocks used to be positioned on the Green providing another punishment for those breaking the law.
7. Bowling Green
BOWLING GREEN – On a roadside bank immediately before the right hand turning to a group of cottages known as Bowling Green Cottages, there was once a Rope Walk. The growing of flax in the 18th century was the basis of a flourishing industry in North Perrott. The flax was turned into fibre and then woven into string. This was spun by a hand turned machine into rope by a process known as ‘balling’. The newly made rope was ‘walked’ along the Rope Walk as it was spun. ‘Bowling’ is probably a corruption of ‘Balling’.
8. The Old Bakery
THE OLD BAKERY is Grade 2 listed and is recorded as having been built in the 17th century although it is possible that bread was baked here at an earlier date for Grey Abbey Farm which was part of the endowment of the Grey Friars at Bridgwater founded in 1240. In the 17th century the three cottages were owned by the Gear family and housed the bakery, a shop and a dwelling. The shop closed in 1912 when the bread was delivered around the village and other places by horse drawn bread vans. The bakery continued until 1956.
9. The Old Forge
THE OLD FORGE is Grade 2 listed and was built in the 17th century. This was where most of the working horses and ponies were shod and all the ironwork was made and repaired for the Estate Yard and for the farm implements. The Forge closed in 1936 when tractors were coming into use. An interesting feature are two hamstone ‘niches’ which can be seen on the outside wall of the house. (read more about them under No.17 - Buckland Cottage).
10. Teacher's Cottage
TEACHER’S COTTAGE is Grade 2 listed and was built in 1846. It was lived in by the head teacher of the school next door.
11. The Old Schoolhouse
THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE (St. Martin’s School) was among the earliest of Church of England schools built by Henry William Hoskins in 1846 prior to the Education Act of 1871. Before this date education had been a voluntary matter mainly in the care of the church. When it closed in 1965 there were only 14 pupils.
12. The Old Courthouse
THE OLD COURT HOUSE is Grade 2 listed and was built in the 16th century. It originally consisted of three cottages Nos. 16, 17 and 18. Offences such as failing to keep the village stocks and fences in good repair, breaking into the Common Pound, selling poor quality ale and not burying their dead in woollen shrouds would have been heard and sentenced. At the Court held in 1683 it was reported that the common prison house was in disrepair and that the Lord of the Manor should repair it. In 1691 William Thomas, woodworker, trespassed his neighbour’s boundary and felled trees. He was fined 6p. In 1700 William Bragg and Walter Sealy were fined 20 shillings, the customary fine for depasturing more than their due and exceeding the fixed number of sheep on the common fields and pastures and roadside wastes.
13. The Manor Arms Inn
THE MANOR ARMS INN is Grade 2 listed and was built in the 17th century with modifications in the 19th century. The original Inn sign was hung on the wall of the Inn until 1956. At the advent of much higher and broader cattle lorries and vans, it was moved to a safer site on the Village Green to avoid damage. The Inn sign bears the Hoskyns crest and family motto:- ‘Finem Respice’ which means ‘Toward the end’. Depending on Covid regulations, you can still enjoy a pint and a meal when passing through the village.
14. The Old Ale House
THE OLD ALEHOUSE A headpiece once hung over the door of No 23 indicating it was the site of a beerhouse or alehouse with a landlord called Mr Slade. It is curious as to why an Alehouse should set up shop so close to a village pub but historians have suggested that, with the Beerhouse Act of 1830 designed to wean the English off gin, householders could apply for a license to sell beer, ale, porter, cider and perry without having to apply for the full license under the Act. As these alehouses were relatively cheap to set up and profitable to run the local pub landlords often turned local houses into drinking rooms for their customers.
15. The Old Post Office
THE OLD POST OFFICE was opened in 1897 as a Telegraph and Telegram Office only. In 1918 it became a Post Office and remained so until 1995 when it closed. It also housed a village shop.
16. Symes Farmhouse and The Old Granary
SYMES FARMHOUSE is Grade 2 listed and was built in the 17th century. It was modified in the 18th century.
Within the grounds can be seen the OLD GRANARY which was constructed in the 19th century and is listed as of special architectural interest. It is built of red brick in Flemish Bond. The roof is hipped Welsh slate and the building is set on seven staddlestones. The bricks may well have come from Haselbury where bricks were manufactured in what is still called the Brickyard.
17. Buckland Cottage
BUCKLAND COTTAGE has two small blocked ‘windows’ or ‘niches’ on the outer wall of the building visible from the road. In olden times it is said that people with businesses were often given the privilege of being permitted to keep a hive of bees. The ‘niches’ which then had no stone backing, allowed the bees to enter into a space in the wall of the house. This space was accessible from the inside of the house by opening cupboard doors in the wall. One such hive was actually discovered in the attic whilst investigating a chimney fire in Buckland Cottage during the summer months of 1970. A large number of dead bees were found on the road underneath the ‘niches’. On removing the paper on the attic wall, two cupboard doors were found behind the ‘niches’ revealing a large quantity of beeswax. The Hive had still been active in spite of having been blocked up as the bees had found their way in through tiny holes in the hamstone. (The Old Forge No.9, also has ‘niches’).
18. Peel House
PEEL HOUSE (formally called The Cottage) is Grade 2 listed and was built in the 18th century. It became The Estate Office when the Estate Steward, Godfrey Raper, moved from The Manor Farm to Peel House in 1939. It remained the Estate Office for a number of years.
19. The Hoskyns Memorial Hall
THE HOSKYNS MEMORIAL HALL – The Village Hall was built for the benefit of the villagers of North Perrott in 1924 by Mabella Henrietta Georgina Hoskyns in memory and by request of her husband Henry William Paget Hoskyns who died in 1921. Paget was responsible for building North Perrott Manor (now Perrott Hill School) in 1878.
5. Green Barton
GREEN BARTON is believed to have been a Tithe Barn in the 14th century but later became the Manor Estate Yard where stonemasons, bricklayers and carpenters worked. Within living memory a steam driven saw and a timber wagon built on the base of a WW1 gun carriage were in use. A pony and cart were kept in the yard which transported estate workers daily to outlying farms to carry out maintenance wor
WAYSIDE – In the early 20th century this was part of Frenchay’s Holding. A butcher who owned Moultons Farm in Common Lane lived at No. 31, and Wayside, now a bungalow, was then a slaughterhouse where cows, pigs, sheep and calves from the Farm were killed. Before the houses in Back Lane were built the holding included a field stretching behind the house across the road to the far side of Back Lane. He didn’t have a shop but used to deliver meat around the village in a high box trap. The butcher’s business closed in 1925.
21. Dairy Cottage
DAIRY COTTAGE is Grade 2 listed and was built in the early 19th century. The Manor Farm Dairy, then situated directly behind the cottage, supplied most of the milk for the villagers. This was fetched in milk cans and measured by the cowman’s wives with a long handled dip measure from a 17 gallon churn. From 1948 the Manor Farm Dairy delivered their own milk around the village in milk bottles branded in black letters ‘North Perrott Estate Company’.
22. The Manor Lodge and Hamstone Pillars
THE MANOR LODGE AND HAMSTONE PILLARS were built in 1877 to the design of T.H. Wyatt in the style of the 16th century. The pillars are Grade 2 listed. This was the entrance to the drive of North Perrott Manor (now Perrott Hill School) also designed by T.H. Wyatt in 1877. The pillars are listed as of special architectural interest.
23. The Garden House
THE GARDEN HOUSE is Grade 2 listed and was built in the 17th century for the head gardener. The adjacent walled gardens (now the Nursery Gardens in Church Lane) once served North Perrott House (1782 to approx. 1870) which stood in the park at the south east corner of what is now the Cricket Ground. Later it was lived in for 35 years by Leslie Parkman, the head gardener, who worked first for the Hoskyns’ and then in 1946 for Perrott Hill School.
24. The North Perrott Cricket Ground
THE NORTH PERROTT CRICKET GROUND – A little further along the drive you will see the Cricket Ground and Pavilion to your right. North Perrott first raised a cricket team in 1870. The original ground was on Rowatts, a field off Downclose Lane. The present Ground was ploughed during WW2 and cricket stopped for the duration of the war. In 1946 the whole cricket field was levelled by the estate workers and since then the club has gone from strength to strength. In the year 2000 a large well equipped new Pavilion was built with help from the Lottery.
25. The Manor Farm and Barns
THE MANOR FARM AND BARNS are both Grade 2 listed. The Manor Farm was built in the 17th century. An L-shaped wing housed a Cider Press with an Apple Store above, a kennel for the cow dog and probably further storage for the Farm. It was the home of the Estate Steward when he moved to North Perrott in 1925. In 1939 he was relocated to Peel House allowing the Estate Carpenters and Stonemasons to set to work reconstructing and modernising the building in readiness for the return of the Hoskyns family towards the end of the War. The family were never to return to the Manor which became Perrott Hill School in 1946, an Independent boys preparatory school, under the leadership of Mr G.C.N. Gundry. The barns were built in the early 19th century and were still in use as agricultural barns in the 1970’s.
26. Townsend Cottage
TOWNSEND COTTAGE is Grade 2 listed and was built in the 18th century. In 1929 the Estate’s head gamekeeper moved from Romsey, an outlying farm, to Townsend Cottage. The Shoot lunches were prepared in the house by his wife, placed in wicker baskets, and transported by pony and cart to Shooting Parties at Haselbury Park Farm.
27. Townsend Farmhouse
TOWNSEND FARMHOUSE - In the 18th century at the height of the flourishing weaving industry, the former barns (now Barnwell) which are situated behind the house, were known as ‘the factory’. In Pulman’s ‘Book of the Axe’ (1854) we read:- ‘At North Perrott also there has lately been introduced by Mr Smith, a new manufacture of fancy twine of a peculiarly beautiful description – gold and silver wire being interwoven with the threads’. Mr Smith was related by marriage to the Barretts of Haselbury who were sailcloth makers – a business which flourished during the Napoleonic Wars.
28. Trindlewell Lane
TRINDLEWELL LANE – In 1874 a ‘foul and hideous’ murder took place in North Perrott. Ruth Butcher (Boucher) a 30 year old lady with ‘many faults and follies’ was found murdered and thrown into a pond at the bottom of the hill in Trindlewell Lane. The following morning, Mr. Symes, after milking, and whilst driving his cows down the lane to their pasture, noticed that they were behaving in an agitated manner, no doubt at the smell of blood. He discovered her dead body in a pond, wet, covered with mud and having suffered eight head wounds. A policeman from Crewkerne was summoned but the murderer was never found. Her little boy was found in bed crying for his mother and alone with his sister. Ruth Butcher lies in an unnamed grave at the east end of the churchyard out of line with the other graves, in what was formerly the road circling the north side of the church. Common report has it that the earth never settled after her grave was filled in.
29. The North Perrott Farm Shop
THE NORTH PERROTT FARM SHOP AND GARDEN CENTRE was built in 1970 as an outlet for fruit and vegetables grown on the North Perrott Fruit Farm, home pressed cider and soft cheese using milk from the Estate Dairy. It is now a Farm Shop, Garden Centre and Coffee Shop selling mostly locally produced meat, fruit, vegetables, groceries and Apple Juice from apples and pears grown and pressed on the Farm. The Coffee Shop offers light lunches using good quality local ingredients and home cooking. Teas, coffees and delicious homemade cakes are also served or can be bought to take away.