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The Interpretation board on the Village Green marks the starting point of the village trail designed to highlight the six listed building and other interesting places in the vicinity. The route is coloured blue and you are at the board located at the Green where the Village Trail begins.
The notable properties (which are numbered on the map) are listed below for you to note as you progress
Enter the Churchyard by the gate on your left and follow around the path to the entrance.
1 BAWDRIP CHURCH St Michael & All Angels
Bawdrip has been a worshipping community from at least the13th Century. The present church was built as a ‘cross church’ in the 14th Century. Significant restoration was completed in 1867. In the North Aisle is an effigy of Sir Simon de Bradney in full armour. Two of the four bells date from the 15th Century. The ringing chamber is reached via an external door leading to a cantilevered staircase. A small Madonna and Child are preserved in the chancel. The 1681 death of Eleanor Lovell inspired the ‘Mistletoe Bough’ and is recalled in a 17th Century Latin memorial behind the altar. The church is open during daylight hours and a leaflet on the history of the church and
the village is available there. The church is part of a wider Benefice with Woolavington and Cossington.
On leaving the Church turn right and leave through the gate into Church Path
2 CHURCH VILLA
The rear of the building is on Church Path and is of red brick construction with a portico front porch, recently restored. In 1835 Thomas Crocker was the owner but the house could be much older. In 1857 it is described as a dwelling house, turf house and a garden of 10 perches. The outbuilding at the side was the tailor.
Crocker sold land and Linham Cottage was built, now St Michael’s Cottage (No 6). On the Tithe Map land opposite was farm buildings including a slaughter house, later converted to a a wash house by the side of the now 12a Church Path. At various times the cottage at the end of Church Path has been a butcher and a bakery.
At the end of Church Path turn left into Church Road and follow the road around until you reach
3 THE LITTLE HOUSE
Built early 19th Century. Possibly the smallest, detached period house in Britain! With a doorway of 4’8” (1.43m) and a footprint of 36.74 square feet (11.2m²), it is a tiny one-up, one-down with a steep ladder stair and hob-grate fireplace. In 1836 it was used as a shop by cobblers Richard and Charles Crocker. Alongside the Little House was the Old Smithy; John Staples was the blacksmith here between 1871 and 1901. The Smithy was demolished in 1976.
Bear left following Church Road and on your right will be
4 THE OLD RECTORY AND ROADSIDE WALL
The first reference to the building is in 1330 when Sir Simon de Bradney “endowed the priest with a house to live in and 18 acres of land in Bawdrip”. In 1606 the buildings included a bake house, barn, stables and cattle stalls. The Mistletoe Bough legend of the demise of Eleanor Lovell, who tragically died in 1681, is said to have originated here. It has a principally Georgian facade. Alterations and additions were made in 1848. The Rectory is now 2 dwellings.
Continue along Church and turn right into Eastside Lane. After a short distance on the right you will reach.
5 TUDOR COURT FARMHOUSE
This is the old Manorial House dating back to 1532 where the Manor Courts were held every 3 weeks; records for this still survive (1550-1634). The house stands on the site of a 12th century medieval manor and is a beautiful atmospheric house of high-status origin, with much 16th century painted plaster.
A short distance further on the right-hand side will be
6 BARKER’S FARM
This farmhouse has a painted plaster panel with decorative wreath, inset with the date 1705. It is thought the house may be much older and 1705 could relate to the date of alterations by John and Mary Barker. The wreath was viewed from the train by June White as she travelled to school in the 1950s; little did she realise that one day she would be living there as the farmer’s wife. During that time the lean-to on the
left was used as a shop selling meat from their farm. Note the old stand where the milk churns waited to be collected.
Retrace your steps to the village green which is the site of the former
7 CHURCH FARM
Church Farm dates from the reign of Elizabeth I, being a Glebe farmhouse, belonging to the Church. Its early history cannot be traced as there were no copyhold tenants. At one time it was a Cider House. In 1902 Walter and Ella Crane were the occupiers and, along with their son, Jack, they built up the farm purchasing it in 1936. It remained in the family until Jack died in November 1998. The farmhouse was subsequently demolished in 2001 to make way for redevelopment of the site and the creation of a village green.
8 UPLANDS (not shown on Map)
The first known recording of the property Uplands House in Bawdrip Lane was in 1822. It was rebuilt as a vicarage in the late 1850s and had ten bedrooms and a large service wing. From 1901 successive Vicars lived in the Rectory. Uplands was later known as Bawdrip House and was leased in the 1940s by Somerset County Council for use as a ‘sick bay’ and for evacuees. In October 1944 it was used as a residential nursery and in 1988 as a family residential centre. It was sold in 2010 and is now a private house again.
9 SHAW’S ORCHARD
Shaw’s Orchard, which was part of the Grange Cottage holding, has been documented as an orchard since 1575. The modern housing development takes its name from the owner of Grange Cottage. Apple trees were planted when the houses were built in the publicly owned land as a link to the past. A rare Saxon comb was found in an archaeological investigation prior to building.