The scope of the St Petrock’s History Group covers Timberscombe and the surrounding area of Exmoor. We aim to arrange interesting talks over the coming months which will represent the wide diversity of interests of our members. Suggestions are always welcome! Details of our talks can be found in the “https://timberscombe.wordpress.com/events/”>events section of this website
OUR NEXT MEETINGS
The 16th of September, Monday at 7 PM, with Dr. Jerry Sampson, a leading buildings archaeologist and former president of the Somerset Archaeological and National History Society. He will speak on the mediaeval fabric of St. Petrock’s Church. He has undertaken detailed research into a variety of source materials and has some very interesting theories to bring to our attention. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about them! This coincides with the Historic Buildings Festival taking place in September, organized by ENPA and is sponsored by them. Each day between the 16th and 22nd there will be a walk, talk or demonstration held across Exmoor, looking at various aspects of historic buildings and settlements.
The 18th of September at 6pm, Clare Maryon Green. She is a local craftswoman who has extensive knowledge of the tradition of the production of stained glass. This will be an interactive talk to learn about the history of stained glass and learn some of the techniques used in its production. Light refreshments provided. This free event is sponsored by the Historic Buildings Festival organised by the ENPA.
The 27th of September, Friday at 7 PM, with Christopher Chanter, a Trustee of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, will give a Victorian Magic Lantern Slide Show on LORNA DOONE. This year is the 150th anniversary of the Exmoor romantic novel, which has never been out of print.
Stuart R. Blaylock, B.A., Ph.D., F.S.A., Independent Scholar and Archaeologist from Cullompton, Devon, came to Timberscombe on the 10th of June 2019. He spent two hours in the afternoon discussing specifics of St. Petrock’s Church and in the evening gave a presentation on the art and science of how to “read” and explore the history of a West Country building.
In 1955, when the Tudor south doorway of St. Petrock’s was uncovered, a medieval wall painting of King David playing his harp (seen above to the right) was rediscovered along with accompanying fragments of English text-that have not been able to be deciphered. The climax of Mr. Blaylock’s talk was his belief that there were two texts here. He proposes that the lower text, from the Book Of Common Prayer read “Take the psalm, bring hither thetabret (a tambourine), the merry harp with the lute” and more chillingly, the upper text states (from Ps 112 v 10) “The wicked shall see it, and be grieved, he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away, thedesire of the wicked shall perish“.
Photographs by Richard Jeffrey
Rob Wilson-North, Head of Conservation & Access for ENPA was the History Group’s third speaker on the 19th of November 2018, with a talk about Timberscombe’s local iron age fort, first reported as an archaeological site in 1992. On the 5th of June 2019, Mr. Wilson-North returned for a walk to the site, entitled “AN EXPLORATION OF THE TIMBERSCOMBE HILL FORT”.
Sir Antony Acland, the President of the Exmoor Society, was educated at Eton and earned his BA in Philosophy , Politics and Economics at Christ Church, Oxford. Entering the Foreign Office, he has served as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Luxembourg, Spain and the USA. The Acland family has been associated with Exmoor since 1155. In 1745, Sir Thomas Acland, the 7th Baronet, married Elizabeth Dyke, altering his family name and gaining control of the Holnicote Estate. In 1944, Sir Richard Thomas Dyke Acland , the 15th Baronet, presented the estate to the National Trust.
Sir Antony, accompanied by his wife, Jennifer, spoke to the History Group about his life, his family and his Exmoor.
June 4th meeting agreed that Marion Jeffrey would co-ordinate the History Group for the first year, Carl Farmer would be Treasurer, Tom Sperling would be Photo Archivist and Paul Sheldon would assist with Archiving of objects and images. Gabrielle Horrobin would provide creative input to the production of posters to advertise the meetings, and take photographs of the meetings, along with Richard Jeffrey, to add to the archive. Meetings would be held in St Petrock’s Church on the the third Monday of alternate months and annual membership should be £10, with £1 additional per meeting and £4 per visitor to encourage membership. In view of the support extended by other villages it was decided to name the group Local History Group for Timberscombe, Wootton Courtenay and Neighbours.
Mary Siraut, County Editor of Somerset Victoria County History, kindly gave a Lecture titled Timberscombe and its Neighbours in June 2017 at the invitation of the St Petrock’s Timberscombe Parochial Church Council (PCC), as part of a weekend of celebration of the patronal feast which historically has been celebrated at the beginning of June.
Packed attendance at her Lecture in the Village Hall clearly demonstrated the level of interest in matters historical and so in July 2018 a new local group was formed : St Petrock’s History Group for Timberscombe and its Neighbours.
There are a number of interesting websites and history societies which cover our area of Exmoor and some of them are listed here: