St Margarets Holiday Cottages in Tatworth South Somerset
History of St Margaret's Lane
St Margaret's Cottage and Rose Cottage -
Holiday Lets are located in St Margaret's Lane.
St Margaret’s Lane is the oldest part of the village
and a great place to stay for your holiday whether
it is a couple fo weeks or just a few days.
A roman villa or farmhouse was discovered at the
back of St Margaret’s Lane this may be connected
with a Roman Tessara which was found in the area
and was excavated in 1967. Pottery and Paving
from there are displayed in Chard Museum.
During the Norman era, a Chapel of Ease
dedicated to St Margaret was built in St
Margaret's Lane This chapel was the earliest
placeof worship in the village and may have been associated with pilgrims on their way to Lyme bound for Santiago de Compostela.The Old Chapel in St Margaret’s Lane andthe two cottages adjoining to the east are grade 2 listed. St Margaret’s Chapel was built circa 1400
The medieval chapel was converted into a Baptist Church and manse with a second cottage added in 1836. The church was converted into a dwelling in the late 20th century but is still owned by the Strict Baptist Church. This building is currently undergoing a lot of renovation so that it can be offered as a holiday let but only to people who adhere to the Strict Baptist faith. The pulpit from the Chapel is now displayed in Chard Museum.
We own both St Margaret’s Cottage and Rose Cottage and they are next door neighbours in the lane. St Margaret’s Cottage is thought to have been built in the late 19th century and was originally owned by ‘The Firs’ which is the larger house to which it is attached. At that time it was a Coach House to ‘The Firs’. St Margaret’s was later sold off to be used as a household dwelling in its own right.
Rose Cottage was built in the late 19th century and was originally 3 dwellings. One of the dwellings was knocked down and the 2 dwellings left were converted into one house. There were further extensions built to the cottage in the 20th and 21st centuries.
History of Tatworth
The current Parish of Tatworth and Forton was created in 1986 from several hamlets which were once separate: Tatworth, South Chard, Perry Street, Chard Junction and Forton. The first three merged during the 18th century. Chard Junction dates from the coming of the railway in the Victorian times. However the history of these villages go back to Roman Britain. Tatworth is derived from the Saxon "Tata's worth" ( the enclosure of Tata, probably a local tribal leader) and "Ford tun" ( the homestead by the crossing place).
Medieval agricultural prosperity led to the construction of some of the buildings that still survive throughout the parish, cob and thatch long houses, some being "manors" and others being farms or "bartons". By Tudor times milling, glove making and especially woollen cloth weaving started to appear. As these activities turned into lace and net manufacture , mills started to appear at Forton, Blacklands and Perry Street. During the Industrial Revolution brought more factories and village expansion.
Some ancient routes pass through the parish. The oldest is the Fosse Way built by the Romans soon after their invasion of Britain in the first century AD. The Fosse Way stretched from Lyme Bay to the Humber and divided "Romanised" lowland Britain from the wild upland regions. The name "Fosse" or "Foss" comes from the Saxon for "ditch" or " defensive embankment". The 'Fosse Way' follow the B3167 through Perry Street and South Chard.
Another ancient road dating from mediaeval times was the old pack-horse way once called the "Cloth Road" (now the B3162) through Forton. Along this route wool traders carried their goods to Bridport and then on to West Bay harbour. A third very straight track known as The Drift was created at the time of the "enclosures" in the 19th century to give local farmers access to their newly-created fields.
A more recent route through the parish runs along the line of the old railway from Chard to Chard Junction is the "Stop Line , a defensive barrier created during the Second World War from Seaton to the Severn estuary at Burnham effectively cutting off the South West peninsula in case of a German invasion on the Devon coast. The route is marked by lines of pill boxes and "dragons' teeth" concrete bollards. Many of these still survive today.
There are many springs in the area, one of which rise in the ancient water meadow called Stowell Meadow, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Following the commons enclosure in the early part of the 19th century Stowell Meadow in Tatworth remained common land. The farmers with grazing rights agreed to let this watercress meadow annually. Every year an unusual custom called "Stowell Court" is still held at The Poppe Inn, one of the oldest inns in the county. Certain properties in the parish retain the right to Stowell Meadow and their owners attend an annual auction at The Poppe Inn.
One inch of candle is lit in a securely locked room and the bidding begins. Bidding ends when the flame expires and the last bidder has the meadow for one year. T
Acknowledgement: Our thanks to the authors of the Parish Plan for allowing us to draw on the content of their history section. Much of this information chas been derived from the Tatworth and Forton website.