Combe Down


Combe Down Holy Trinity church

Combe Down Holy Trinity church

Country England
County Somerset
Study Area Combe Down
About the Study When I started this, the idea was just to find out when our house was built.

We had some deeds that had been sent some years before, when the Land Registry rather than deeds became the prime register of property ownership, but had never really done anything with them.

Anyway, once I started I thought that finding out more about the people who lived in the house seemed a good idea too and, as our house is so intertwined with others in the block, looking at those houses and people came in and then that brought in other buildings built around the same time… and so on… until it expanded as a project to look at Combe Down – though not every house, that really would be insanity!

I also decided, early on, that I wanted the people and times to speak, insofar as that’s possible, by letting the images, words, newspaper reports etc. tell the story as much as possible. Sometimes the quality of those ‘cuttings’ is not very good, but seeing them and reading a story in the language and with the attitude of the time coming through gives so much more atmosphere than I ever could.

Another approach I have taken is to look at what’s happening in, roughly, 50 year tranches:

- on Combe Down, its people, buildings, institutions etc.
- in the world at large to give some basic historical context
- in the lives of the owners, occupiers and others for the block of houses to which I have, or have seen some of, the deeds

However, within those 50 year tranches I encompass the whole history in most cases, as it’s pointless to cover say Prior Park or Combe Grove or Midford Castle in a number of different chapters spread throughout. Having said that, some things just seem to fit in different places, so that’s where they are.

For each of the people I have tried to give a ‘thumbnail’ portrait of their life, but it’s easier for some than for others and sometimes they just seem to be ‘ghosts’ about whom nothing is known – at least in the places that I have looked. It may just be that I haven’t looked hard enough of course.

Contact Richard Hill