Old Maps of Orchards in The Parish

Kingsbury Episcopi Orchards : some insights from old maps.

To date, the earliest map extract we have encountered is from 1777, drawn up for Thomas Grosvenor Esq who was the owner of Thorney Farm & Mill. Source : Somerset Heritage Centre
This extract of 1777, indicates a large orchard to the north /rear of the Mill buildings, shown in red. You should also be able to detect some pencil marks on this older map indicating and reflecting the idea to build a row of houses next to the road backing on to the orchard. By 1890, the date of the next map, these developments have taken place and an area of the orchard has been taken. Thorny Mill is shown on the 1777 map – the Mill House site is shown as a Garden.
Thorney Mill Site 1890.
By 1890 The Mill House has been built – marked as Residence on the above. The barns and outbuildings marked in yellow adjoining the Mills become workshops / storage related to the withy business & trade.
Thorney Mill is today called Thorney Silent Mill – the mill wheel has wooden cogs therebt making less noise that if made of metal.

In Three Sketches No.3
Drawn Circa 1820 -1830 by Benjamin Love

Orchards in the village of Kingsbury Episcopi

At this time the actual village would seem to be quite surrounded by apple orchards. Note the central pond and another down Church Street.
St. Martins Church is shown as a dark irregular shape, towards the top of the map, right hand side.

Orchards in Stembridge

The small red dot at the crossroads towards the top of the map, left hand side is to become the site of The Rusty Axe Inn. The field pattern is almost medieval, strip-like in its disposition.
What is to become the Stuckey family home and orchards is yet to be built in field 708.
Benjamin Love -Mapmaker

Orchards on Bladon Hill

Orchards Bladon Hill circa 1820 – Home Farm bottom right – crossroads at Stembridge Ash, top right. Bladon House & farm fields 218,219,220,221.
Source : Somerset Heritage Centre.

Tithe Maps

Kingsbury Episcopi Tithe Map of 1840

The term Tithe map is usually applied to a map of a parish or township, prepared following the Tithe Commutation Act 1836. This act allowed tithes to be paid in cash rather than goods. The map and its accompanying schedule (Apportionment) gave the names of all owners and occupiers of land in the parish.

The Apportionment

The Apportionment – which goes with the Tithe Map – gives information about:
• who owns the Land and/or Dwelling
• who were the Occupiers at the time
• a Plan number
• name & description of Lands & Premises
• the State of Cultivation
Apportionment detail

Burrow Hill in 1841Tithe Map

The Tithe Map of 1841 shows plots 662 & 663 – on Burrow Hill – as being in the ownership of Robert England. The tenant is Thomas Duck, who is renting a House & Garden with Outbuildings, Pond & Roadway.

The Orchards, Stembridge 1841 – Tithe Map

Plot numbers 734, 735, 736 and 737 are shown as being in the ownership of Robert Sansom Rood Pittard and being occupied by – himself.
Plot 734 – A Nursery Plot 735 – A Garden
Plot 736 – House, Offices & Yard
Plot 737 – Battshay Orchard

Southay – Tithe Map

Plot numbers 761 & 762 – middle, left-hand side – owner : Sarah Gould, occupier: Thomas Shepherd.
Use : Plot Orchard : Nursery Orchard & Outbuilding.

Source of map extracts : Somerset Heritage Centre : Our Thanks

25 ins to a mile 1903 Maps based on the original Survey of 1885 with Revisions in 1901

KTT has the entire coverage of the Parish with maps of this scale. Most have the names of the field/owners added in pencil – at a time yet to be determined. It is believed to be the inter-war years (between 1918 and 1939) and carried out by the then Langport Rural District Council, which was the source of our collection through a supporter or our work. The collection is a valuable tool.

The map above shows the orchards and withy fields at Palmers End and Lower Burrow.
Many local families grew and managed both crops.

Orchards at Stembridge & Stembridge Ash.

Giffords Orchard – now the site of houses – occupies the field containing the letters P & I in EPISCOPI

Ordnance Survey 1 : 10,000 extracts circa 1960


The tree symbols are all apple orchards


Source – The Ordnance Survey