Great MeAdway

Great MeAdway

Once part of the great Medieval East Field of Kingston Manor


The southern part of today's Lyde Road was originally known as Meadway, Mead Way or Medway and is noted as such in the Terrier of 1589 ".... from Meadway Gate, the lower part of the way, unto Reckless Gate...." and ".... from Reckless Lake in the outpart of the Meadway unto the River before Compton Mill....". In 1754 it was referred to in a document as "Master George Prowse's Mead-Way" - George Prowse being the Lord of Kingston Manor at that time.

On the corner of Meadway (today's Lyde Road) and London Road (today's Sherborne Road) was a large field that had once been part of the great Medieval East Field of Kingston Manor. This field was called Meadway, or Medway and in today's terms stretched along Lyde Road from the junction with Sherborne Road as far as the Lidl store and stretched along Sherborne Road from the junction with Lyde Road to beyond the railway line.

By the time of the 1743 Terrier, Meadway (the field) had been broken up into several smaller fields, or parcels. The largest of these, known as Great Medway (Parcel 865) still ran as far as the railway along Sherborne Road but along Lyde Road stopped around the site of today's Camborne Grove. Great Medway was part of Pen Mill Farm.

A lease for seven years dated 17 February 1800 between George Bragg Prowse of Yeovil, Esq., and Robert Tytherleigh of Penn Mill, Yeovil, Miller, refers to ".... meadow or pasture called Great Meadway 15a, meadow or pasture Jacobs Meadway 8a in Kingston juxta Yeovil."

The 1846 Tithe Apportionment noted that Great Medway was owned by William Jones Prowse (Lord of Kingston Manor at that time) and the tenant was Thomas Frost. The Apportionment noted that it was used as meadow and measured 11a 2r 30p.

Great Medway was bounded on the west by Meadway, on the south by London Road, on the east by Pen Mill Inn & Garden (Parcel 863) and Plot (Parcel 864) and on the north by Drang (Parcel 866).

A Counterpart of Lease for seven years dated 25 March 1859 between Captain William Prowse of Enham House, Southampton, Retired Captain RN, and John Stone of Pen Mill Inn for both the inn and the adjoining farm, included Great Medway. The acreage of the field, however, was noted as 7a 2r 31p but this discrepancy is due to the fact that the eastern part of Great Medway had been sold to the Great Western Railway Company. Pen Mill railway station was built on this part of the field and opened on 2 February 1854.

After the arrival of the railway the Pen Mill Hotel  was built in Great Medway adjoining Sherborne Road and during the 1920s houses were built along both the Lyde Road and Camborne Grove edges of the field. Today the remainder of the field has recently been filled with the new Harbin's Close infill housing estate.

For details on historic land measurement (ie acres, roods and perches) click here.


maps & Aerial photograph

This map, based on the descriptions in the 1589 Terrier and the 1846 Tithe Map of Yeovil shows the approximate boundaries of the Manors of Kingston and Hendford as well as the manorial three-field system used in Kingston.


A map of the great Medieval East Field of Kingston Manor showing conjectured locations of several fields based on descriptions in the 1589 Terrier.


This map is based on the 1842 Tithe Map with field names chiefly added from the 1846 Tithe Apportionment.


The 1842 Tithe Map superimposed (roughly) over a modern street map. Bearing in mind the relatively primitive surveying equipment of the 1840s they weren't all that far out.


By the time of this 1901 Ordnance Survey Great Medway had been further subdivided but the houses along Lyde Road and the western side of Camborne Grove had yet to be built.


A modern aerial photograph 'borrowed' from Google Maps with the approximate boundaries of Great Medway (Parcel 865) outlined in red. The field at centre has now been built on. That part to the right of the yellow line being the conjectured area sold to the GWR for Pen Mill Station.




This notice in the Western Gazette's edition of 18 August 1882 was for the sale of "Unsold Lots of the Pen Mill Estate" including Great Meadway.


Great Medway remains an open field no longer as work begins in the new Harbin Close housing estate that will eventually fill it. Photographed in May 2013.


The last bit of 'green' of the former Great Meadway (yes I know the contours have changed over the years) and this will finally disappear with the new proposed traffic control system. Photographed in February 2016.


.... and there it was - gone. photographed 23 September 2016.