Home History of Rode General Village History & Antiquities of the county of Somerset

History & Antiquities of the county of Somerset

by J Collinson, 1791 (An extract from Volume 2)


FOUR miles northeast from Frome stands Road, formerly a large market town, now only a village, consisting of one hundred and seventy families.  This parish and that of Wolverton compose one tithing. In the time of King Edward the Confessor it was held by seven different lords, and in that of William the Conqueror by Geoffrey bishop of Coutances, for three distinct manors, as appears from the following record:

“The Bishop holds Rode for three manors.  Seven thanes held it in the time of King Edward, and gelded for nine hides.  The arable is nine carucates.  Thereof holds of the Bishop, Robert one hide; Moyfes (Moyses) half a hide; Robert one hide and a half; Roger two hides and a half; Sirewold two hides and a half; Richard one hide. In demesne are seven carucates, and six servants, and three villanes, and twenty-nine cottagers with four ploughs and a half.  Out of the mills issues a rent of twenty-seven shillings.  And there are thirty-three acres of meadow, and thirty-three acres of wood, and twenty-five acres of pasture.  The whole was worth seven pounds and ten shillings; now amongst them all it is worth eight pounds and five shillings.”a

After the death of Geoffrey bishop of Coutances, this land was bestowed upon one Ranulf de Farfy (Farsy), a Norman,b in whom it continued till the sixth year of King John, when the estates of the Normans in England being seized, this manor resorted to the Crown, but being again disposed of, became the property of the ancient family of St Maur.  Milo de St. Maur was the first of that name who resided here, and his descendant Laurence de St. Maur obtained from Edw. I. a grant for a market upon the Thursday of every week in this his manor of Road; and a fair there yearly, on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Margaret the Virgin.c  From which family of St. Maur the manor passed to that of Zouche in like manner, as did Castle-Cary, and other lands of the St. Maurs.  But in the time of Hen. VII. this manor is found to be the joint property of the families of Stawell and Bampfylde, descendants of the sisters of Sir William St. Maur, knt. lord of Beckington and Babcary.  8 Eliz. a moiety of the manor was sold by John Stawell, esq. to Thomas Webbe, who afterwards became possessed of the whole, and 31 Eliz. sold it to the Hungerfords.  It was afterwards in the possession of the Hortons of Chatley-house in Wolverton, who sold it to Robert Holton, of Farley, esq, who sold it to the grandfather of Edward Andrews, of Mangotsfield in the county of Gloucester, esq. the present possessor.

The rectory of Road was in 1292 valued at seven marks.d  It is now consolidated with Wolverton, and in the patronage of Sir Edward Bayntun, of Spy-Park in the county of Wilts, bart. whose son, the Rev. Henry Bayntun, is the present incumbent. The church is dedicated to St. Laurence, and is composed of a nave and side aisles, with an embattled tower at the west end, containing six bells.

On the north side of the chancel is a stone to the memory of James Hillman, rector of this parish, who died Nov. 24, 1738, aged 53 years.  There is likewise a memorial to John Hellierd, gent. who died Dec. 13, 1623, and to Nathaniel Hellierd, rector of Road, who died Nov. 20, 1650.

The annual number of christenings is forty, and of burials thirty-eight. Thomas Webb, esq. in the 20th of Elizabeth, gave one pound yearly to be distributed among the poorest inhabitants. William Yerbury, in 1703, gave a rent charge of £2. 10s. per annum, for the payment of ten shillings, on every Friday for five weeks in Lent, to be distributed amongst the poor.

Henry Whitaker gave a chief rent of eight shillings for the benefit of the poor.

a Lib. Domesday.     b Rot. 6 Joh. de terris Norm. 70.     c Cart. 11 Edw. I. n. 7.     d Taxat. Spiritual.


LIES to the west of Road, eight miles from Bath, and in the turnpike-road from that city to Frome.  In ancient times it was a member of the manor of Road, or rather one of those three manors which are described in the Norman Survey under that appellation.  In the more modern records it is stiled Wolfrington, and in the time of Edw. IV. was held by the family of Turney.  19 Edw. IV. Walter Turney died seized of this manor, which he held of John Wadham, esq. leaving issue Philip Turney his son and heir.a  This family bore Argent, a chevron between three bulls passant sable, attired or.  They were lords also of Telsford.  By an inquisition taken at Norton, 1 July, 6 Hen. VIII. it was found that Philip the son of John Turney, by Elizabeth his wife, died that year seized of the manors of Woolverton, Weke, Telsford, Chatley, and Swainswick, and that John Turney was his brother and next heir, of the age of twelve years.b  The manor of Wolverton was then held of Walter Hungerford, as of the manor of Farley-castle.  After this it got into the same hands as Road, and now belongs by inheritance to Edward Andrews, esq. Chatley-House in this parish, situated one mile north from the church, belongs to Kingsmill Bury, esq.

The church of Woolverton was valued in 1292 at one hundred shillings.c  It is a rectory in the deanery of Frome, and being consolidated with that of Road in 1739, has since been held by the following incumbents:

     The Rev. John Rolt, first rector of the united parishes

      Rev. Mr. Oswald

      Rev. Mr. Beatson

      Rev. John Collinson, of Bromham, co. Wilts

      Rev. Mr. Yescomb

      Rev. Henry Bayntun.

The church is a small structure of one pace, with a tower at the west end in which arc three bells. On the north side of the church-yard is an old tomb, encompassed with an iron railing, to the memory of Edward Horton, esq. and several of his family.

a Efc.          b Inq. poft mort. Philip Turney.         c Taxat. Spiritual.

6 August 2023
Last Updated
6 August 2023