This outline history has been compiled by John Bowie.
If you would like to see additions or ammendations please send him an E mail. moc.tenretnitbnull@3eiwobcj
Bronze Age presence at Windmill Hill. Well preserved scull and bones buried in a large decorative jar found.
c150 BC– 500AD
Iron Age and Roman occupation
(evidence of both found near Holbrook during by-pass work.)
Roman presence, (Coins of Emperor Tetricus, found at Sutton.)
871 – 899AD
King Alfred – one of our greatest Kings – fought, and defeated
the Danes – in the area. The town mill bears his name.
(He famously burnt some cakes at Meare, near Wedmore)
Wincanton is believed to have been a Saxon settlement.
Wincawel – Wincanton? – was mentioned in the Henstridge Charter.
Called Wincaleton by 1086.
An early Saxon church is believed to have been on the site of the Parish
church. (This is commemorated by a carving of the legend of Eloy, Bishop
of Noylan, in the north porch.)
January, King Edward, the Confessor, dies. King Harold takes the throne,
only to be defeated 9 months later, by William of Normandy.
(Apparently, an illegitimate heir, to the Kingdom of Wessex.)
Domes Day book records a Saxon settlement, Wincaleton ”Pleasant
town on the river Cale” as a village, but larger than a Hamlet or
Wincanton – Stavordale – Stourton formed part of the Barony of Castle Carey
A mill, worth 30d was recorded, likely to have been on the site of the town mill, presently the
location of Travis Perkins
Walter de Dowai, was holder of Crown Lands & collector of Tithes for Wincanton.
The Lords of Castle Carey formed Augustine Priory at Stavordale.
The Rectory of Wincanton was passed to the Augustinian Priory in Castle Cary
Evidence that the first stone church was built,
with a tower, nave of 4 bays, 3 narrow side aisles and a small chancel
(Purported to be the favourite church of Ine, King of Wessex 688 – 726,
(Patron of Sherborne Abbey &Glastonbury)
King Edward III reign`s, wheat costs 13/11d per quarter. Shows purchasing
power of £4 9s 4d contributed to King`s Wars
Lattiford House, owned by De Hammindo Filo Richardi – remains of old Chapel
shows earlier occupancy. The Latter feeds an ancient mill stream which had to be
forded – hence name?
First, historical, reference made, to a church on the present site.
Suddon Grange, probably has stood in part from about AD1000. Has more history
than any other part of Parish.
Bishop Harwell relieves the Priory of Duty of supporting the Vicar of Wincanton.
Thereafter a rota of 8 Canons conducted services. They received an extra 6/8d,
Plus an allowance for leather
7 Church Street – Prior`s House – believed to be the oldest remaining building in
First written, recorded evidence of the Town mill.
The spiritual care for the Town was passed to Taunton Priory
The Tithes, on the passing of Church lands to the Crown, were granted to,
William, Lord Stourton.
Great Plague – Sweating Sickness – in Wincanton, bodies buried wholesale with
their clothes on.
17th March 1556
Wincanton Charter was granted by Queen Mary. It permitted the holding of
two Annual Fairs & a Market every other Wednesday.
(Two merchants from town had gone to petition the Court. Viney/Vining?)
South St, Church St, Shatterwell Lane (North St), Silver St
19 Burbages north side of High St & 14 on south side, 10 plots in South St to
Thornwell Rd. 7 plots on Church St, and 7 ½ on North side of Mill St &
4 on south side, 2 on Shatterwell Lane, & a rent of 12d was paid for the Shambles,
in the Market Place at Mill St. These were not removed until 1879. A Market House
stood in the centre of town till 1768.
Thornwell was/is an ancient footpath from the common to the church path.
Thornwell had a strong spring that feeds it. It rises in `Rachel`s Pond` in the
`First Balsam` & is an important source of water for the area. Thornwell probably
named for a thorn growing there. `Rachel`s Pond` named after a woman drowned in it.
`Rachels` Pond was probably were the garages are at Munday`s Mead/Balsam Field`s
Shatterwell Shoots -spring- was here under various name over the centuries, it had the
purest, but hardest water, said to be medicinal. It held out the longest (still runs). Flax
was washed here & spread out to dry, then sent to the weavers.
Sir James Dier, Lord Chief Justice of England died –
one of Wincanton`s greatest sons.
Clock Tower was built – (Town Hall)
November 5th 1605
Wincanton`s First Carnival. Went from, Bayford through Wincanton. This led by a sailor,
carrying the Union Flag. Followed by a band & Guy Fawkes, who was in
chains. Then townsfolk, in fancy dress, collecting for carnival. Flaming torches of bundles
of sacking -soaked for several days in, (paraffin?) – illuminating the way.
8 persons from Wincanton, left on the `Angel Gabriel` from Bristol for New
Amsterdam (New York).
162 members of the Puritan, Vining family- merchants- sailed for Michigan
& Weymouth, New England.
Rhode Island, was founded by, settlers from Wincanton.
7th March 1638
Portsmouth, Rhode Island, founded by William Dyer & 18 others
(Originally Pocasset, after one of the local tribes of Wampanoag`s)
Newport, Rhode Island, founded by William Dyer & other
Several cottages & Kings Head Inn recorded on corner of Market square
(site of Town Hall)
1st April 1645
1200 Dragoons & horse, were here under command of General Digby.
Captured 1 Officer & 12 men of Cromwell`s Force. The captured 100 men,
300 horse & 10 pistols & muskets from the Regiments of Col`s Popham &
Morley, 2 miles away
(Digby`s of Sherborne?)
Hugh Jones, of Wincanton, emigrated on ” Mr Stratton`s ship”, from
Weymouth to the Colonies, accompanied by Capt David Meade, of Wincanton,
`late of Cromwells Cavalry`. He resided in Salem, Essex County. It is recorded that
he swore Oaths in Salem, for Historical Register, in 1682. Hugh Jones married
Hannah Tompkins 26 June 1660. She died 10 May 1672, he then married
Wincanton trade tokens` issued.
First mention of, Aukers (Hawkers) Bridge.
White Horse (oldest hostelry). Had a brewhouse, a malthouse, stables and
a candle shop.
Trade tokens issued in the name of William Ivy at the Seven Stars
Mary Dyer, (Longe), of Wincanton, an uncompromising Quaker in the Colonies,
was saved several times from goal (jail). She was eventually accused of witchcraft,
and hanged from a tree at Boston. Herodias Longe, Mary`s sister, was married at 14 in
London to John Hicks, and went to New England, her husband robbed and deserted her.
She later married a George Gardiner, of Wincanton. That marriage failed and she married
John Porter. (Relative of Puritan preacher `Deliverance` Porter)
The Rev John Sacheverall was said to “overdose his parishioners with medicine that
did not agree with them.” He had three wives. No peace in the community. Commotion
all round, ignorance, and superstition were rampant. Was said `never was such a time,
known in this world before. Famine – Tempest – Flood – Plague & Earthquake, all
prevailed and all came at once.
29 May 1660
An effigy of John Sacheverall was burnt on Bayford Hill to mark the Restoration of
King Charles II. He was ejected from his position in 1662.
23rd January 1664
Elizabeth Styles, of Stoke Trister, was accused, along with other witches, Alice Duke, Ann
Bishop, and Mary Penny, of be-witching, a 13 year old girl.
They claim to have met a man in black they said, was their Master, The Devil, on the
Common, near Trister Gate. Elizabeth was sent for trial to Taunton. Was due to be
executed, but died before sentence could be carried out.
First mention of The White Horse Inn, tenant Mr John Vining
Re-built in 1733?
William Strode, gent, of Wincanton. Was one of 136 prisoners tried at Exeter
after Royalist rising.
The Rev Robert Gutch of Wincanton, was the first settler in Bath, New England (Maine)
In 1885, a clergyman from Bath, Maine, wrote requesting information on Robert
their first settler
Date of, Royal Arms in Church
Trade tokens issued in the name of Benjamin Lewis at the Black Lion
New Somerset – founded by Wincanton families`. (Became New Hampshire)
Edward Ewens Sr b1607, died in Exeter New Somerset
The Glorious Revolution of 1688
The Manor House on Tout Hill, South St., now known as “The Dogs”, was visited by William,
Prince of Orange on 1st December as he went from his landing in South Devon en route to accepting the Crown in London to become William III. Room still know as `Orange Room`
Burrough of Wincalton. Rents to the Burgesses & Feoffees – for those whose
goods were ten shillings or more. People objected to the many Public House
now being called `Tied Houses`.
Nathaniel Ireson, Delftware maker, Master Mason/Architect & latterly potter.
Many buildings and monuments show his talents- Ven House, Milborne Port –
and pottery on Windmill Hill off of Grants Lane, adjacent to his house.
The kiln is situated under the floor of Ireson Cottage.
A War Office survey shows that Wincanton had Inns with beds for 80 persons
but stabling for 254 horses.
(Wells had 492 beds & stabling for 595 horses)
First skirmish recorded between forces of King James II, and William Prince
of Orange (Nov/Dec). Fight took place around Flingers Lane area
Balsam House built, in Jacobean style.
Saturday 1st December Prince William stayed in the ¬Dogs¬ on route
to his Coronation.
William Dyer Jnr. died in Sussex County, New England
Wincanton had it`s own clock maker – William Cockey
In the accounts book of the Feoffees of the Fairs and Market it was written
Work house at West Hill, later known as the Union (Poor Law Union)
First Roman Catholic Services held in a room given by Thomas Clementina.
(Descendants have High St shop)
Destructive storms 26 – 27 November
Great Fire in Wincanton (several recorded later)
Devastating for parts of the community, ruin and destitution for others.
13th May 1707
Another fire recorded. Very dry from 12th March – 22nd May. Recorded as, dry
during day, cold at night, but parched winds`. Mainly thatch. Water scarce, only two
public wells, one at the common Turnpike, the other at the Post Office? There were
a lot of private wells then. Mill St, Market Place, High St, were destroyed. No Fire
Appliances`, or insurance, at that time. Made worse, by towns refuse flowing into a
large drain in Mill St, mill head. Uncle Tom`s thought to be only building in High
St to survive. The Old School House garden wall, in Flingers Lane
(once known as Primrose Lane) shows signs, (discolouration) of this fire.
Mr Flinger was the Principal of the school.
Another fire in May, believed to have started in The Bear Hotel. It destroyed
much of town.
(Possibly the one recorded above)
Wincanton by then had a Fire Appliance ( Parish Pump Act 1708, possibly a `Keeling`
pump. Stationed at Applegarth Arcade?) Water was still a problem though. Even with
several wells & springs. The water was calcareous and some impure. St Andrews well was
by the Town Hall, there was one conduit in the Market Place and the one at the Turnpike.
Conduit (Bayford) Hill was an old spring.The inn in the market square was the
Hare and Hounds
Smallpox, 88 dead.
Bear Inn re-built.
Urn of Roman Coins found
First of badly needed water pipes laid.
10th April 1722
Big fires in South St, – “Beere for Dragoons, for very active, and exemplary,
and painful duties.”
First of the Quaker Meetings.
Stukeley`s Bank opened in the High Street,(now Clementina`s) also known as
Stukey`s Bank. Only the National Provincial Bank of England had a larger
circulation of bank notes.
Ireson house was built by Nathaniel Ireson.
(House can be seen from Flingers Lane, which was built in Victorian
times in front of Iresons House)
Wednesday 19th August
Jack White, while in a drunken state, killed William White (his brother), at the
X- roads of Wincanton/Castle Cary & Holton/ Bratton. He was tried in Taunton,
sentenced to be `Hanged in Chains` at the scene of crime. Not known if he was
hanged & placed in Gibbet or was placed in and starved.
(See book “Jack White`s Gibbet” in library.)
Parish Church enlarged and steeple heightened.
Donkey Stone of Patron Saint of Blacksmiths`- St Eligivis- medieval carving,
placed into north porch in 1892. This depicts the legend that a badly behaving
difficult to shoe. The Saint took over, removed the leg, shoe`d
it in peace, then replaced the limb
Ireson`s pottery working.
Proclamation of War, celebrated here.
South Bank House built. Earlier building was on this site.
13th August 1741
John Hacker was killed by a stone falling from a wagon, in Ireson`s Quarry
with a winged Angel, supporting a brass candelabra. The chancel was added at Ireson`s own expense The Greyhound Inn, & Posting House. Was a principle Inn in town before this date, with Post boys` & carriages waiting to carry urgent news from the arriving Coaches. It was given the Royal Coat of Arm for housing the body of the Duke of Sussex whilst being carried to London. Wincanton was an important converging point for Coaches to and from, London, Exeter, Bristol, and the West.
Town stocks replaced.
(where are they when needed?)
Under the guidance of Nathaniel Ireson, from above date, the church was re-built in accordance of the tastes of the times. The south aisle was widened, the nave heightened and celestory windows added. The old pitched roof was replaced with a flat plastered ceiling,
John Wesley first preached here.
The Market House, near the present Town Hall, being in a `ruinous condition` was pulled down
Nathaniel Ireson dies
New Market House and Town Hall was built, at a cost of £400
Shatterwell Bridge was built, by the waterfall that used to power the town mill.
(Posssibly part of the mill leat can be seen in the wall opposite the old Police Station. The outfall is/was just north of The Batch Bridge, under the foot bridge)
The Hare and Hounds Inn, Market Square, became The Five Bells
The Workhouse was recorded in Parliament, for 50 inmates. There was also
one at Charleton Musgrave for 24
1785 & 1790
Backsword was being played here for large sums of money.
Backsword, or Cudgels, was a form of Cutlass practice, turned into a
(In the 1820`s the Vicar of Wedmore was most displeased at the practice)
Coldest winter known, Pauper`s badges were worn.
A year of great destitution.
The church was described as “plain but handsome within”
Church bell tower raised to 50ft
Stavordale Fair was held on Wincanton Common.
8 Houses destroyed by fire in High St.
The Trooper, Coaching Inn? Built on site of older inn. Survived as Inn till 1872
then was a Temperance Hotel, run by Mr J Sweetman, before moving to a purpose
built hotel in Church St. Was used as a tailors`, A domestic bazaar and a grocer`s.
Now the Post Office
1st January 1798
Richard Messiter, a moving spirit for Reform, promoted a Bill, which passed in
Parliament. The Bill was headed “Anno Tricismo Octavo” `George III regi.cap.46`
.The Bill was for local Government here. Mr Sweetman opened the Temperance
Hotel in Church St. Now Sight & Sound
Weaving Shops were in Mill St., Silver St, And Church St. There were over 200
Looms and spinning wheels. The flax was spun by women & children. It was woven into
Dowlas cloth for bed ticking & cheesecloth. Last spinning shuttle was in Bayford.
Silver St was known as the `Rope walk`. Hemp was grown in the surrounding area.
During the Napoleonic Wars,(1805 – 1815) Massive orders came from the Royal
Navy, for rope and sails, came flooding in to Wincanton.
Great distress here gardens left un-dug and no seed potatoes to plant. Great poverty.
Even the seed potatoes had to be eaten. Waiting for hand-outs from `Poor Tax`,
(food, money, or in some cases both.)
First Parish census, 1772 persons registered.
9th November 1804
Fire, in South St.
3 Corps of Infantry recruited
I Corps – Captain Uriah Messiter – Wincanton
II Corps -Captain Robert Gapper – Wincanton
III Corps – Captain William Webb – Wincanton
1 acre Hop garden – Flingers Lane
Napoleonic P.o.W`s were brought here from the colonies & from captured French
vessels. They were said to be from respected families. They had their own silk
factory here. 297 P.o.W`s including boys & women with infants. At times there
were over 500, many being housed at Bayford. They brought new & badly needed
wealth to Wincanton. Some reports say that the prisoners were paraded for roll call
one morning, then they were marched off, never to be seen again,
date unknown. (They probably went further north)
(This writer is sure that a notice concerning the treatment of PoWs was on the
wall by the Post Office in the late 50`s, They were `trustees`.)
More P.o.W.s arrive
Horwood Waters discovered, a Spa was established.
Now know as Physic Well House on Shaftesbury Lane off Common Road.
Violent hail storms, some stones with a circumference of 9 ¾ inches,(25 cms.)
A smuggler was sent to Ilchester Jail for helping French PoW`s escape via the Dorset
coast. This was very lucrative.
John Way, last tenant of `The Angel Inn` to hold a license `for people to be drunk
on the premises`. The building has been, apart from an Inn, a school for young ladies,
a drapery store, an Antiques shop, and now an Estate Agents
Wincanton Common Enclosed (and partially built over by 1840)
“Captain Messiter of the Yeomanry Cavalry, held a `Field Day` at King George IV`s
Coronation, in Wincanton. The Principle inhabitants partook of an excellent dinner,
given by their loyal Captain. Later several hogsheads of strong beer, and a plentiful
supply of bread & cheese was distributed to the multitude, assembled at the
Town Hall, to drink the King`s health.”
Princess Victoria, 7, stayed at the Greyhound Hotel In Wincanton
New organ installed in Parish Church
South aisle enlarged, pulpit removed and a north gallery was constructed
Baptist Chapel opens in Mill St
Milk Depot established. Forerunner of Cow & Gate
Greens Builders & Undertakers were established
30th December 1835
Wincanton `Poor Law Union`, formally came into being
Overseen by, a Board of Guardians, 43 in number. They represented the 39 constituent
parishes. The population within the Union area at the1831 census had been 21,096,
(Wincanton 2,123) Expenditure for 1833-35 was 14s. per head of population. First
Board meeting was 31st December 1835. 4th May 1836 .George Wilkinson was engaged to build a workhouse for 200. The commissioners` authorised expenditure of £3,300 for the building, proposed for 140. It was Completed in 1838, The site of the `Poor Union` is where Rodber Close is situated.
Wincanton first lit by gas
(Gas works were situated to the south of the church yard, now housing)
Wincanton had a Town Crier/Bellman, He wore a great coat with crimson
trimmings, and a cocked hat.
National Board School was built (North Street) Prior to this education was paid for.
Old School was in High St, by Flingers Lane.
Samuel Sly opened the White Horse as a wine and spirit merchant.
He later married a Miss Deane and combined both names to form Deansley.
14th July 1847
Harry Burton, King of the Gypsies died in the Workhouse – aged 94.
Police Station in North St was built, and the first Policeman to be stationed in Wincanton.
`Uncle Tom`s Cabin` public house. When the story was published in anti-slavery
paper in US, it did much to create the Civil war, when the news reached here the pub was
due to open, so that is the reason for the name. it was opened by one of the towns oldest
Families, the Green`s.
Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway opened here. Started in Highbridge went to Poole/
Bournemouth. Later it went to Bath, Green Park, via Evercreech Junction (Natterjack Inn).
Shatterwell Shoots were built by S&D JR, to drain water from west Hill (Springfield Road)
to protect the embankment. Gave an extra supply to town.
First locomotive arrives in January.
Wincanton`s last Cattle Market Show.
Shatterwell Shoots re-built.
17th November 1866
Great meteoric shower – 1265 counted in 4 hours.
Marks from a Cromwellian cannon ball, fired from “Mogg`s Copse”?
found in a Vetinary surgeons house in Angel Lane.
Parish Pump recorded in Market Place, but built before this time.
Bronze age burial found in Ireson`s Quarry on Windmill Hill
1st January 1871
Infirmary was built. Added to existing Workhouse?
Turnpike tarrifs` abolished. Turnpikes at Common Road –High Street,
cottage still standing, and at Moor Lane –Southgate, missing and at
Abergavenny Cottages, towards Castle Cary
(A list of tolls is on Cheriton`s Turnpike Cottage)
100 acres of Common was farmed with pigs for bacon etc and geese, for
feathers for bedding. Cavalry & Volunteers used it for exercises. Up to 17
carts etc would cross it daily, sometimes up to the axles in mud. Cudgels
(Backsword) & singlestick were played there.
(What remained of the Common was somehow sold for housing (Brambles))
Tradesmen would meet there for mutual protection when going to Bristol
to buy or sell goods, as Highway men or footpads were notorious on the route.
Mr S Deansley procured a water supply from Penn. In 1888 he also procured
20 cottages demolished in Grants Lane.
Wesleyan Chapel opened in North St
9th August 1877
Town Hall burnt down.
Town Hall re-built with the Clock Tower
Parish Pump removed from Market Place (Square)
Lamp Standard in it`s place
Town Mill, used as Stacey & Co, Boot & Shoe Manufacturers?
Burton`s Corn mill working?
Congregational Chapel opens in Mill St (now Social Club)
About this time the production of dried milk powder was started in England, at the rear
of the White Horse, (Deansley Hall) Wincanton became the home of the smiling
Cow and Gate baby
18th January 1881
Century`s greatest snow storm.
18th October 1881
Inauguration of a new Roman Catholic Mission on the feast of St Luke. The
Prior of Downside officiated, with the choir from the Benedictine Monastery.
With-in 1 year they undertook the pastorate of Clevedon.
The discalced Carmalite`s, of Kensington, took over St Luke`s Priory,
adding one Chapel & a new wing. Only the second Priory in England, after the
Reformation. It became a Red Cross Hospital during WWI. 898 sick or wounded
were nursed there.
The Cricket Club was formed. They played on Hole (Old) Hill. Pavilion erected
1884 – 1900
First First Roman Catholic School/Mission handed over to Ursuline Nuns from
First Parish Magazine Published.
Miss Chafyn-Grove, handed the tithes handed back to the parish
A priory with full observance of Monastic Rule was inaugurated.
Ebenezer Carrington, an eccentric Chemist with an extensive knowledge of potions,
a celebrated pill maker, well-known for his renowned cattle cures. He could make
whatever was required. He called on & administered to the poor of the town.
He was a strict Tee – Total Baptist and a true disciple of Martin Luther
7th May 1888
Work begins on new Carmelite Priory. The architect was Canon Scoles, and the
builder was Mr Kitch, both from Bridgewater.
Queen Victoria`s Jubilee – Great rejoicings held in Balsam Paddock.
Priory Foundation Stone laid
With the enthusiastic support of the vicar Rev Colin Dalton Grant, the church
was re-built in the “Gothic” style to the design of the Diocesan architect,
JD Seddon. It retained the tower, 4 piers on the south side, and the south porch,
which was taken down and re-built; it also made Wincanton church the largest
built in Somerset since the Reformation. Diocean architect describes church “as one of the ugliest in the country” with
all traces of window tracery and medieval architecture having been destroyed.
8 old cottages burnt down at `Millhead`
Consecration of Carmelite Priory and Chapel, completed on 18th
Foundation stone laid for new Carmelite Monastery,
Insufficient funds for new Catholic church.
Football club formed, pitch off of Dancing Lane
(Sold for housing (football Lane still exists). Monies raised used to
help purchase Sports Ground )
Silver Band formed, Achieved very high standards. Invited to play
at Crystal Palace Invitation Contest. A highlight in the South of England.
(Maintains standards today)
Railway bridge Built?
Wincanton became a Parish Council, with a Chairman but no Mayor.
17th December 1897
Wincanton Primary School opened by Lord Fitzmaurice. It was built by the `old`
local family, Greens the Builders
28th June 1897
Queen Victoria`s Golden Jubilee celebrated by town. Seats placed at points around town,
with commemorative plaques. Seats have been replaced, but one plaque is still in place on
Bayford Hill, others in Town Council care.
Isolation and Fever Hospital was opened at Verrington, a sanitorium for TB, hospital
for Fever. Built far from town, as not a desirable place to have too close.
Wincanton`s first Hospital opened at 18 High St
12th December 1902
The Priory establishment was ordered to be made a training place for noviciates,
only the second such place in England.
Wincanton Cattle Market was established by this time
The new Catholic Church of St Luke & St Teresa was Consecrated. Money
raised by Mr Clementina and others.
3-5 Church St had a roof garden with a beehive.
Rollerskating Rink in use in Coles Yard
(next to Thornwell Lane, now more housing)
Milk powder packed at site of roller rink
Balsam Park Built
Laundry was working at Laurence House
(behind Fire Station)
8th February 1922
The first Wincanton Memorial Hospital was opened, by Lady Theodora Guest of
Henstridge. This is Pine House, behind the Cobblers.
Dedication of a stained glass window in the Lady Chapel of St Luke`s Church, to
commemorate the use of the priory as an hospital during the 14-18 Great War.
Gifted by, the Wincanton & District Red Cross Society.
9th July 1923
Edward, Prince of Wales, future King, Edward VIII, visited. During a 3-day
visit to the area he opened Yeovil Hospital, at Higher Kingston.
First Wincanton Brownies formed in November. Registered 12 Jan 1926
Wincanton Transport & Garages formed to run & maintain Milk collection
Became Wincanton Garages in 1946
Wincanton Races began on present site, with the traditional Easter Monday Meet
Cricket moved to recreation ground.
Milk Factory built
(West Surrey Dairy Co.)
Cow & Gate came into being
Land for Recreation Ground purchased
“Old” Rickhayes built
15th October 1931
Foundation Stone for the Memorial Hospital, in Balsam Park was laid by
The Marquis of Bath
Saturday 16th July 1932
Princess Alice, Countess of Athalone, opened the third hospital to be built in
Wincanton, the `Memorial Hospital`. It was built as a War Memorial.
(Now it is the `Balsam Centre`).
Sidings from main line laid into Cow & Gate
Plaza cinema opened. The manager was a Stanley Coates, an
Modern Cow & Gate built
Pen View Built
Clemintina`s opened in High St
Yeomanry (TA) were camped at the Racecourse, terrible winter, with horses dying.
Mr Chinn started with (2) cars at Coles Yard, Acquired Bedford `O` type coaches,
moved to Southgate 1946? I can remember two Nissan huts on the site.
(Possibly part of Military in WWII). He built the business up. I remember several
coaches (13?) all going to Weymouth on a Sunday school outing. My father,
Jack Bowie, did all of the sign writing, `Rose of England`
was on the back of the coaches. It was taken over by, Wake`s of Marston Magna.
Now known as, `South West Coaches`.
Coloured American soldiers were camped where Anchor Hill filling station is now.
Segragated from the white soldiers in town.
Prior to D-Day, Moor Lane was an ammunition dump, it was the job of the
Anchor Hill detatchment to move it.
Sunday 25th June 1944
`Old Faithful` an American “Flying Fortress” from RAF Bassingbourn, Cambs, crashed onto Snagg Farm, after missing the town, killing all on board. It was damaged during a raid on Toulouse in occupied France, tried to make RAF Zeals, but in danger of coming down on Wincanton, deliberately turned away, saving many lives. Memorial Plaque is on the wall on Bayford Hill, over-looking crash site.
3 bombs landed on or near Wincanton. One hit the National Westminster Bank, killing the manager`s daughter, one landed in South St, third hit Brains Farm, Moor lane.
A Carnival. On a Grand scale. To raise funds for the Memorial Hall. Previous
Carnival was in 1930.
(I was given to understand that the towns folk wanted a Swimming pool, as in the 30`s
when they got the shelter in the recreation ground. But the hall has done better
than a pool, on the evidence of other places.)
16th June 1946
Born in Overton Terrace
“New” Rickhayes started
We moved into Rickhayes. Mother is still there, the longest resident.
Balsam Fields built
King Arthur`s, Secondary Modern School, was opened in July/August. Official opening on 10 October by, Field Marshal, The Rt Hon, Lord Harding of Petherton. Mr E Murray was
the first Head. Mr Shapley was the Deputy, he was the Head of Wincanton
Previously, site of an Army Camp during WWII.
Was camp site for Hampshire RegtWWII then, Rear HQ of Gen Patton`s
Bayford Builders lost their carpentry shop ect. due to a fire. They were in Coles Yard.
They were responsible for the general maintenance for the Milk factory
Laundry, at Laurence House was closed, between Southgate Garage and
The Annual Walking Race was started by Ruby Murray, a popular singer from the
50`s & 60`s. Won as usual by John Chilcott.
Last Cattle Market held. Wednesday was a fun day for the school children, being
adjacent to the school, seeing all the animals (over the wall, break times or going home.)
The market was important to the town, recorded as far back as 1799 when a well known
Seedsman would visit. The last 20 years were good, with buyers from all over the midlands
buying stock by the train load. The sidings were just over the road (Pines Close). The wide
section of footpath alongside of the School was the way cattle were driven to market in the
20`s & 30`s (according to my mother). Site is now being used for housing.
Last Train ever, after 104 years loyal service
After amalgamation of Cow & Gate and United Dairies, `Unigate` was formed.
Aldermeads Bulk Transfer Station opened. (I remember the workshops as just nissen huts.
Was site of tented camp for Hampsire Regt. during WWII, then moved to
West Hill/Dancing Lane. Possibly used by American Supply troops)
Carrington Way Health Centre, Police Station & Library, were built, along with
Higher View ( Carrington House). This was done by demolishing several cottages and
a butcher`s. Coopers, formerly Safeway, was the site of Budgen`s Garage.
This had petrol Pumps on the pavement with the tanks below.
A slaughter house was where Carrington House is now.
Library opened by Princess Margaret
(The previous library was in what is now the Town Office.)
19 July 1975
Twinned with, Gennes & Les Rosiers, France
Our Lady of Mount Carmel- Catholic School- taken over by Somerset County Council.
Roman & Medieval pottery found during construction of Greenway Close.
Wincanton had it`s first Town Council, and a Mayor, Mr Anthony Tucker.
(From 1894, it was a Parish Council, with a Chairman.)
The last lorry of churns of milk collected from the local farms was off
loaded from Mr Laurie Greens Bedford TK
16th October 1991
Twinned with Lahnau, Germany
The sad withdrawal of the Carmelite Community, after more than
100 years, to serve in a mission in Nigeria
Twinned with Ankh-Morpork
Wincanton got it`s outdoor War Memorial, alongside the Memorial Hall.
A focal point of Remembrance, away from the confines of the church.
Police Station moved, again, to Council Offices in Churchfields
Aldermeads vehicle workshop demolished to make way for Aldi Markt.
Bulk milk transfer moving to rear of site