I’ve always found local history fascinating and I’m keen to find out about local history that surrounds the area of Wilstock and Stockmoor that we call home. For the privacy of living people there is a general rule that family history doesn’t look into the living and/or within the past 100 years. I will of course respect this and will only publish information that is already freely available and in the public domain regarding persons.

My research starts with the 1919 Kelly’s Directory. “North Petherton is a large village and parish, 3 miles south-by-west from Bridgwater station on the Bristol and Exeter section of the main line of the Great Western and the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railways, in the  Bridgwater parliamentary division, hundred of North Petherton, petty sessional division, union and county court district of Bridgwater and in the rural deanery of Bridgwater, archdeaconry of Taunton and diocese of Bath and Wells. The river Parret and the Taunton and Bridgwater canal pass through the parish. The village consists of one main street on the high road from Bridgwater to Taunton and a few smaller ones on either side. The church of St. Mary is an edifice of red sandstone in the later English style consisting of chancel, nave of six bays, aisles, north and south porches and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles of the decorated period, containing a clock and six bells, recast and rehung by Mears and Stainbank at a cost of £360; in 1912 the tower was repaired at a cost of £1,000; in 1888 a new organ was erected at a cost of over £600; a memorial window has been placed in the Portman chapel to the Hon. Maurice Berkeley Portman, d. 12 Jan. 1888; the church has been restored since 1873, at a cost of £1,284 and in 1909 the oak roofs of both aisles and the nave were opened and three new screens erected at a cost of £2,000; there are sittings for 700 persons. The register dates from the year 1558. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £485, with residence, in the gift of Miss Pascoe, and held since 1917 by the Rev. John Addy A.K.C.L. The Congregational chapel is a building of stone in the Lombardic style, erected in 1833. The cemetery, formed in 1856, but since enlarged and re-consecrated, is a quarter of a mile east of the church, and has two mortuary chapels; it is under the control of the Parish Council of 13 members. The charities consist of a house and land, the gift of Dorothy Cheeke in 1867, for teaching six or more poor children; a rent-charge of £2 by Thomas Bacon; and £500 given by will by Sir Thomas Wroth, in 1721, the interest of which, under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, is now given to the children attending the Board schools in money and prizes. The chief landowners are Viscount Portman, Sir A.F. Slade bart. Who is lord of the manor, Lord Wharton and Lieut-Col. William Oliver Meade-King D.L. The soil is red marl, loam and sandy; sub-soil, various. The chief crops are wheat, oats, barley and green crops, with a good portion of pasture land. The area of the civil parish is 10,431 acres of land, 53 of water, 17 of tidal water and 16 of foreshore; rateable value £23,132; the population in 1911 was: civil 3,338; ecclesiastical, 1,985.”

The 1919 Kelly’s Directory also identifies George Bond as being the occupier of Willstock Farm. In the next edition of the Wilstock & Stockmoor news, we’ll explore the 1911 census and find out about George, his wife Ellen, son Arthur, and daughter Ethel. There are also two additional adults living in the house: May, a governess who is educating Ethel, and Eva, who is a domestic servant.

Written by Wilstock News

April 2024