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History of Rode

Welcome to the History of Rode

This part of the website provides information relating to the history of the village of Rode in Somerset, England. Much of it is based on the records collected over a period of 20 years, from a wide range of sources, by Peter Harris. These records take many forms, from copies or transcriptions of original old documents and copies of old images, to Peter’s own summaries of the history of village buildings and local families. The records have been grouped into twelve categories (set out below), and these are further sub-divided as necessary.

Peter has written two excellent books on Rode’s history:

“Discover Rode’s Past” – A fascinating collection of meticulously referenced material traces Rode’s evolution from a river crossing point for a Neolithic trackway, through Saxon settlement, Norman overlords, expansion during the centuries of trade in the woollen industry to the astonishing number of shops and pubs of yesteryear, all interwoven with accounts of the families who lived in and helped shape the village. Each chapter is illustrated by the evidence of Rode’s past that can still be seen today, and maps are provided to assist the reader in understanding the development and current layout of the village. The book contains 100 A5 pages, including appendices detailing lords of the manor, village priests and family trees of wealthier past residents.

‘”A Pictorial History of Rode – where Mr Whicher had his suspicions” – Over 50 A4 pages with 80+ rare and old pictures arranged in the form of a walking tour around the village. The images and accompanying dialogue provide a fascinating insight into Rode’s eventful history. Included are a timeline of the village, family trees of wealthier past residents and a map outlining the walk.

Unfortunately, the latter book is currently out of print. However, “Discover Rode’s Past” has been reprinted and is available from Rode General Store & Café, or direct from Peter Harris. All profits go to the maintenance of St Lawrence’s Church, probably the oldest building in the village.

If you have any information, documents, photographs, etc, that you believe could be of interest to readers of this website, or have a history-related question or comment, please follow the email link below:

9 February 2023
Last Updated
13 March 2024