Dorset OPC

Chedington

Dorset OPC


St James, Chedington
© Kim Parker 2013

Chedington is an estate village perched high up in the hills of West Dorset by the sources of the River Axe and the River Parrett, 3 miles North of Beaminster and 4 miles South-East of Crewkerne (Somerset). As John Marius Wilson put it in the Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870-2, most of Chedington’s eminences command superb views, with Somerset’s Mendip Hills and Hamdon Hills, from which much of Chedington itself is hewn, to the North-East. The local watering hole, Wynyard’s Gap Inn, has an extensive beer garden offering a vast panorama of the spectacular landscape.

The name of the village is Old English for ‘the farm of a man named Cedd’, but it was not included in the Domesday Book, being first mentioned over 100 years later in 1194. It grew up around Cheddington Court, although it was the neighbouring village of South Perrott that provided the tradesmen needed to service the estate. Cheddington Court itself was completely rebuilt in 1840 by the then owner William Trevelyan Cox, as a flamboyant, Jacobean-style mansion where curvaceous gables feature prominently. Across the narrow thoroughfare, directly opposite to Cheddington Court, is Manor Farm. The porch of this charming dressed-stone building bears the inscription, ‘Thomas Waren 1634’, but the core of the building is 16th century and preserves many original features.

Chedington church, formerly dedicated to St James, was made redundant in 1980 and has since been converted into a private dwelling. Built in 1841 on a site just to the south of the original church to a design by Taunton Architect, Richard Carver, and originally consisting solely of nave and chancel, the church has Ham stone ashlar walls, a chamfered plinth, a slate roof with stone gable-copings and a scallop-shell motif above the doorway. The bell-cote housed a single bell, said to date from 1610. Later, George Vialls was commissioned to add an organ chamber, a baptistery and the south porch. The building was in service for less than 140 years before it was deconsecrated, its bell dismounted and its internal fixtures removed. Chedington parish is now combined with that of South Perrott.

At the North end of the village, Dorset tumbles into Somerset through Winyards Gap, the famous cutting. After the First World War, the National Trust, which owns Wynyard’s Gap, donated 16 acres of land here for a memorial to the 43rd (Wessex) Division of the Dorsetshire Regiment and a replica of the monument found on Hill 112 at Caen in Normandy was erected. This impressive tribute to a monumental sacrifice can be included on the itinerary of anyone walking the beautiful 76km Parrett Trail, which begins at Chedington.


Winyard's Gap Inn
© Kim Parker 2013



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If you would like to volunteer for the role, please contact the OPC Project Co-ordinator
Contributions of additional resource materials for the site are always welcome


Census 1841 Census [John Ridout]
1851 Census [Terry Pine]
1861 Census [Keith Searson]
1871 Census [John Ridout]
1891 Census [Keith Searson]
1901 Census
Parish Registers Marriages 1756-1812 [Kim Parker]
Trade & Postal Directories  
Other Records Wills of Chedington Residents
Photographs  
Monumental Inscriptions Monumental Inscriptions [Jan Hibberd]
Maps Map showing Parish Boundary and Jurisdiction information
Records held at the Dorset History Centre
 
Registers
Christenings 1813-1979. Marriages 1756-1980. Burials 1813-1974. Banns 1756-1975

 

 

 


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