Securing our history for the future

Peasey Farm

Tithe No. 224, Bradney Lane

1558 land at Pesoye is mentioned in a Manor Court Roll “Agreement between Thomas Wroughton and all the free tenants regarding the division of an acre of land in the common fields behind Pesoye.  Agreement also allows them to keep up to 20 oxen there.  Thos. Wroughton, Sydney Roger, gent; Richard att Yoolve, Thomas Durnford present.” This agreement is written on what looks like hide parchment and stitched together, it is very difficult to read, but this is the gist of the agreement.

C1575 John Gilbert is shown on the rent roll as paying a rental of £4.6s8d.[1]

21.08.1583 George Musgrave Junior has an agreement for 9 years for Peasehay containing 80 acres at a rental of £4.6s8d

23.10.1588 Giles Gilbert is shown as a free tenant.  The Gilberts are shown on various entries in the Manor Court with mentions of Peasehay up until 1612.

22.10.1589 Manor Court Roll “We do order that Giles Gilbert shall scowre his ditches, watercourses or ditch leading from his house to Jones ditch between this and St Andrews tyde next, upon paine to forfeit for every pole left undone 3s4d.” 

Pre 1578 The Manor Court Rolls record James and Giles Gilbert as holding 2 tenements and 1 cottage.  One of these was Peasehay, the other Knowle Farm.

1578 James died and the holding passed to Giles Gilbert.

By 1596 Giles Gilbert is dead.  His Will made in June 1595 leaves Peasey with 140 acres to his son John Giles.

1612 A Mr Giles (presumably John) is recorded at the Manor Court of Henri Long where it is “Ordered that Peasehay ryne be made 9 footboards between Stonyinge Bridge and the great lake before the last day of October.  Upon payment of 12d for every roope not done accordingly by Mr Gilbert.”

Some time after this the Giles family emigrated to America.

1.11.1650 the land at Peasehay formed part of the Demesne holdings.  The entry refers to 80 acres which were late in the tenure of Musgrove.  The Lord’s rent for the land at that time was £3.10s – a high premium so the land must have been very fertile and productive.  It consisted of The Hill 32 acres, the Leaze 28 acres and The Meadow 20 acres.  .

Peasehay is mentioned again in 1685 in the account of the Battle of Sedgtemmor.  The Rebel Army, led by Monmouth, marched past on their way to the Bussex Rhine.  This particular account was written by the Vicar of Chedzoy immediately following the battle and states that the army had to take the route along Marsh Lane (which lies opposite the current Bradney House so as to avoid the house of someone who was loyal to the King in Bradney Lane.  Unfortunately, the account does not specify who this person was.  The account goes on to tell us that Marsh Lane was very inhospitable and when they reached the Black Ditch (now the King Sedgemoor Drain) they turned and took a route behind Peasey towards Bussex Rhine.

Peasey Farm has also been referred to as Pezoy House.

28.01.1703 a document refers to “Tucker, John and Thomas owned Pezoy containing 80 acres”

1730 Edward Cadby was the lessee

25.03.1736 Mrs Exon (previously Cadby) on the lives of Robert Cadby and John Sellick

1749-1764 Mrs Exon shown as leaseholder

13.11.1754 Lease Culverwell on the lives of Thomas Exon son of Thomas Exon

1765-1768 John Turner tenant, lessee Mrs Exon.  The rental is still shown as £3.10s.

8.11.1769 Survey of the Manor shows that Mrs Exon still retains the lease on the lives of John Sellick, aged 48, Edward Cadby aged 52 and Thomas Exon aged 21.  This lease refers to “One close of meadow or pasture called Peazoy.  80 acres.  Rent £3.10s Herriott £5.  Est. yearly value £84.3s”.

01.10.1770 Lease and release of Peasehay 80 acres to Mrs Culverwell.  Rent £3.10s.  Herriott £5.

1773 Sherborne & Yeovil Gazette advertisement for the sale of the tenancy of Great  Peasey Farm prospective purchasers to apply to William Crocker.

1841 Tithe shows Henry Brown as the occupier, owner Anna Gatcombe of Gatcombe House, North Petherton

1851 census Edward Collings jnr, aged 29.  Wife Sarah, aged 25.  Brother John aged 18 and daughter Mary Burgeside 8 months.  Servants Harriet Lovibond aged 23 and Jane Staples aged 13.  Holding 160 acres.

1861 census occupier Edward Collings Jnr aged 34.  Wife Sarah aged 35.  Son Edward 13, daughter Mary 10.  Son John 8 and Henry 7.  Servants Isabella Orchard aged 20 and Mary Jane Doones aged 18.  Holding still 160 acres.

1871 census Edward Collings aged 48, farmer of 240 acres.  Wife Sarah aged 45.  Son Edward 27, John 19 and Henry 17.  Servants Caroline Fry aged 21 and Susanna Gilbert aged 18.

1874 purchased by Oxford University, leaving Collings as the tenant.  Sarah Collings, his wife was charged at Wells Assize of starving a servant girl and following that whenever they travelled through the village it is alledged they were booed and hissed by the villagers.

1881 census Edward Collings aged 33, farmer of 165 acres, brother John aged 28.  Kezia Paul aged 53 housekeeper and Emily Crocker aged 15 servant.

1891 census Edward Collings aged 43.  Wife Laura Jane[2], aged 31.  Daughter Mary Collings aged 6.  Servant Alice Gore, aged 13 from Combwich.

1901 census Edward Collings aged 53.  Wife Laura Jane, aged 41.  Daughter Mary aged 15

1906 Kellys Directory shows occupier as Charles Denning who farmed there for a short period until 1914 when the Heal family took over and remained in situ until 1950.

In 1950 Fred and Audrey Heal are shown as tenants, although we believe they were not related to the former Heals.

As at 2000 Tony Bradford and his wife Pamela (nee Heal) were tenants.

Off to the left to the front of Peasey is Northmoor Drove, which is menionted in Parish Vestry meeting records of the early 1800s as being maintained by the Parish.  Between Northmoor Drove, and including the present Northmoor Cottage, there were in 1841 ten narrow strips of land running at right angles to the road.  These strips of land were owned by different people and listed variously as orchard and garden, orchard, garden only and, so far, we have not found out the reason for these.


[1] The Will of John Gilbert shows that he is also the leaseholder of Knowle Farm and Yowes Farm in Bawdrip.  His own residence was at Dunweare.

[2] Laura Jane, nee Brake daughter of  Emmanuel Brake of Knowle Manor

The History Articles reproduced are owned and were researched and produced by Suzie Lewis and her father (now deceased), John Jenkins.