« PreviousContinue »
Leet held at Frome Whitfield in 1431, she is said to be about 21 years old. She married John Coker de Worle, son of Robert Coker de Bower, Esqr; the Founder of the Mapoudre family of Coker. [Her great great grandson was "Roberte Cokere Squyer of Mapowdder"; Deed 144. 1544.] In the Roll of Court Leet, 1431, which states the age of Eleanor Veel, it is also recited, that Alice who was Wife of Robert Veel, held of the lord a tenement called Fippes place, and 18 acres of arable, and Eglisham Meadow, by Knight's service, and rent of a pair of spurs yearly. And that Alianor, wife of John Coker, was her daughter and heir. [Hence it appears, that Robert Veel died before, or it might be in, the year 1431.] In 1433, Robert and Alice Veel being both dead, John and Joan Comelond sued John and Eleanor Coker at Shaftesbury Assizes for the property of their maternal ancestor Joan Basset. The Jury found for the Cokers, with seven marks damages. And in the 24th of Henry VI. John and Eleanor demise these lands, except Eglisham meadow, for nine years, at a yearly rent of £10. On a view or survey, made of the Coker lands, 1st of Richard III, in Frome Whitfield; it is mentioned that Robert Veel at one time resided there. A close, South of the Chantry, and a parrock where was his kitchen, are described as being where he "lately dwelt." The Arms of Robert Veel were Argent on a bend Sable 3 calves passants of the first. They may be seen quartered with those of Coker in Mapowder Church; and originally, might also have been seen so quartered, over the principal Door of the Coker Mansion at Mapowder; and in a window of the principal room. XIV. MOUNDS and EARTH WORKS outside the Town.
1. In the fields to the right and left of the Yeovil Road, may be seen some well defined remains of ancient Earthworks. Entering the first field at the right hand and following the foot path towards Sock Dennis for fifty or sixty yards, the pedestrian descends over the rim of one of these mounds on to the natural
level of the ground.
These works, as they now appear, may be generally described as two rectangular platforms; following nearly the same straight line from North to South; of nearly equal height; and sloping down on their West and South sides into a shallow ditch, partially filled up in the lapse of ages. The first of these platforms commenced originally, I should suppose, at the Moat of the Town Wall. Now, it may be said to begin from the Cow Stalls just within the field; any traces beyond, being covered by these buildings. It is elevated some three feet or more, above the lower level of the land around, The height of the second platform is rather less. To the West. they face the meadows; the Road forms their boundary on the East. The breadth of the two is almost equal; and a ditch running East and West divides the one from the other.* From the buildings before mentioned to the opposite corner of the first platform, Southward, the distance is about one hundred and twenty five yards; its average width from West to East, about fifty yards.
The length of the second platform, in a continued Southerly direction, is fifty five yards, or thereabouts; its width to the road, from fifty to sixty. The Field is called "Heave Acre,” with a reference doubtless to this peculiar upheaval of the soil in its North East quarter.
In the field called Prince's Pasture, on the opposite side of the road, there are two other quadrangular platforms corresponding with the two already described; but of some what inferior elevation. The North platform extends towards the town, sixty two yards to the brook; and is in breadth fifty four. The South mound, after a progress of sixty or seventy yards Southward, grows less distinct; though formerly, no
* Since this description was written (1862) the occupier has filled up these intersecting ditches between the platforms, on both sides of the road—ignorant perhaps, that he was defacing a work which had survived the injuries of Time for more than a thousand years.
doubt continuing its course parallel with the opposite mound in Heave Acre; with which it was probably connected, by a traverse across the road at right angles. The road here, it may be observed is hollow, being several feet lower than the platforms on either side. What may have been the origin, or the intention of these works, are questions not easy to be decided. They might possibly be relics of the Roman occupation: or they may have formed part of the double fortifications by which Ilchester was defended, previously to the Norman Conquest; as related by Camden. It is strange that Stukeley should not have detected and examined these remarkable elevations, His own quaint confession of the brief hours he devoted to the investigation of old Ischalis and its antiquities, may indeed amply account for the oversight. "These, he observes, were all the remarkables I met with at Ischalis, where I stayed but half a day.
A "they say" repeated by him, suggests a further question. Can these mounds be the foundations of buildings once constituting the "suburbs"? "They say here, that the suburbs extended Southwards, especially on the Yeovil Road, which formerly had a Gate." An assignment of these quadrilateral platforms to such traditional "suburbs," is however, open to reasonable objection. The site of a ruined Street or Village, usually presents a surface irregular and uneven. Here on the contrary, exist levelness, regularity, and every indication of an uniform plan. The Mounds on both sides of the road appear to have been systematically constructed, and carefully intersected by a regular trench. Such indications lead to the more probable opinion, that the ground in these parts was originally raised for some military purpose; if not by the Romans, at a subsequent period, by our own countrymen in turbulent times. 2. In a field called Great Yard, at the opposite quarter of the Town, North West, and bordered by the Ivel, are visible other extensive vestiges of Earthworks, or foundations.
But no portion of these inequalities appear to mark the course of the Town Wall. The works, whatever may have been their nature and intention, extend outside the old boundary, and fill up the centre of this large close of pasture. A long bank or agger, stretching East and West straight across the field, with a deep fosse; and flanked midway on the North side towards the River, by a circular mound and ditch-these are the chief features of the earth works in this quarter. There are also some remains of field fortifications nearer to the site of the Town Wall, and in the direction of the River; which are perhaps the fortifications pointed out by Stukeley, as having been thrown up by the army of King Charles the First.
It is to be regretted, that so keen and intelligent an antiquary as D' Stukeley, should have neglected his opportunity of throwing a clearer light on the obscure history of ancient and medieval Ilchester. For it is almost certain, that one hundred and fifty years ago," the remarkables" of the place, which he dismissed so hastily in his brief visit, with a mere cursory glance, or neglected to observe at all, could neither have been few, nor quite unworthy of a more accurate research.
XV, MISCELlanea. THE COMMUNION PLATE belonging to Ilchester Church, consists of a Chalice and two Patens, of silver. The Cup is of handsome shape. Its exterior is chased, around the upper and lower parts of its circumference, with leaf and scroll work enclosed within double bands or lines, divided by decorated bends into four equal compartments. A similar kind of ornament, without any division, is repeated round the under surface of the older Paten, which when reversed, fits on as a cover to the top of the Cup. On the stem of the Paten, which is the handle of the cover, appears in bold figures the date 1574, with the letters EC beneath. The other Paten is larger, and unornamented. An inscription on the rim proclaims it "The guifte of Anne Summers 1628."
Tablet in the Nave. North East corner. Neere to t place lieth Bvried ye Body of William Raymond of Ivelchester Gent: Who departed ts Life ye 10th Day of Septemb1 A: Dmi: 1625; Being in ye 56th yeare of his Age. In whose Memorie Mary his Wife ye Daughter of John Every of Charcombe in Co: of Somerset Esq: y Sergeant at Armes hath erected to Monvment.
On a flat stone, in the Nave.
Mors Nobis Lucrum.
Hic jacet in Tumulo Corpus Georgii Smith Senioris Qui obiit octavo Die Maii Ano: Dom: 1660.
Prope Eundum Tumulum jacet Corpus Elizabethœ Uxoris Georgii Smith prædicti Quae obiit Martii 3o Ano: Dom: 1657.