Local History Group

  • The group has been established for many years and was responsible for producing the book 'Sampford Brett - A Village History', now in its second edition.
  • The group is open to everyone and meets about four times a year in the Village Hall.
  • They have collected archive material over the years, including maps, photographs, press cuttings, taped recordings of residents, old minute books and census data.
  • There are current topics under investigation led by different people who have a particular interest, for example the history of the Courtenay family, who once owned the village.

Chairman - Capt. Ross McKee

Vice- Ch - Mr Bert Pearson

Secretary - Mrs Sheila Draper

Treasurer - Mr Phil Swan

Archivist - Mr Martin Blazey




Meeting held on 28th January 2015 at 7.00pm in the village hall.

Minutes (no agenda)

Present: Messrs R Mckee, B Pearson, K Woodland, P Swan, C Draper, R Currie and Mesdames  J Currie and S Draper.

The Chairman (Mr R McKee) opened the meeting at 7.00pm.  It seemed that not much progress had been made on any of the tasks that had been set. This was not surprising in view of inclement weather and sickness. However, Mrs Reed had supplied some pictures of the village in the 1920s and of the fire that had occurred at Woodburnes. As some repairs would have been carried out, both Ross and Bert  would like to investigate the style of these, but so far they had not been able to access the property. Mrs Reed also regretted that she and Rob would not be continuing their membership of the group, as Rob was not as mobile as he used to be.

One of the tasks had been investigation of the Rectory, but this had been delayed because a lot of work was going on there.

Turning to Manor Farm,  Ross said he wanted to give an up-date on this property. He and Bert had been there a couple of times.  Bert said  there were three types of stonework there, including high class stonework and random rubble, and it was an interesting structure. There was typical Saxon stonework but this could have been copied. It was possibly 13th or 14th century. He was of the opinion that the village of Sampford Brett was formerly a Saxon village, but this was difficult to prove. One of the first necessities would have been the water source, and there was also a wide roadway, which suggested fairs being held. Watchet was a very big Saxon centre and had its own mint, and Stogursey was also a Saxon village. There were also local remains of possible castles and this suggests resistance to incomers in some areas

It would be good if anybody could find bits of pottery, which could be identified as from Saxon times. These would probably be found about 1ft below ground, and Bert asked everyone to look out for this when disturbing the earth. Phil said he had found Victorian pottery on his property, but Mr and Mrs Currie said they had found nothing at all.

Bert said there was evidence of a mill (Torweston?) existing from the time of the Doomsday Book, and Ross said he knew about this and that it had been for water not grain.


Phil (Treasurer) said that subs would be collected next time. (£5.00).

Mrs Currie suggested looking at Val Colgan’s property as that seemed to be very old. Ross said that his house dated from 1690. It had been four cottages originally and had a large washroom at the rear.  Bert said that this was a good example of old stonework, and that there had been another cottage opposite. He thought a Mr Scribbins had lived there, but he had ended his days in the workhouse.

Mr Currie asked whether elm could be dendrodated. He had heard that it was not possible but Bert assured him that it was.

The meeting was closed at 7.30pm.



Ross McKee, Chairman

Tel. No. 632653

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