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NOTES ON PITMINSTER

Originally called Pipeminster, meaning ‘the minster or mother church of Pippa’s people’, the small village of Pitminster lies at the edge of the Blackdown Hills to the south of the county town of Taunton.

In 938 King Athelstan, Alfred’s grandson, gave the estate to the Bishop of Winchester and thereafter it formed part of the huge manor of Taunton Deane.

During the Civil War Lord George Goring lodged in the village, where trees were hastily felled to act as barricades for holding back the pursuers.

Following Monmouth’s defeat, fugitives sought refuge in the countryside hereabouts.

A double locked wooden coffer containing a horde of French coins, probably intended to have been retrieved by the rebel followers, was discovered by accident in a local farmhouse.

A similar hoard was found at nearby Blagdon Hill.

The 13th century church of SS Margaret and Andrew contain impressive effigies of the Colles family of Barton Grange.

Sources: The Somerset Book of Villages by Sheila Bird and Somerset The Complete Guide by Robin Bush.

 

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