Hibbard's Orchard

Hibbard's Orchard

Remnant of the Medieval common field called Hewish Field


The great Medieval field called Northover (see first map below) was later broken up and part of it became a large common field called Hewish, or Hewish Field, stretching from Ram Park in the north, the boundary with the parish of Preston Plucknett in the west, today's West Hendford in the south and roughly as far as today's Clarence Street in the east. The parcels comprising the former great common field called Hewish Field are shown shaded green in the 1842 Tithe Map below.

The name Huish, in its various spellings through time, derives from the Old English 'hiwisc' meaning a household.

On 1 July 1415 Thomas, Earl of Arundel, granted the advowson of Yeovil Rectory to Henry V with "two acres in the field called Huysh".

It was recorded that in 1611 St Leonard's Fair for rother cattle was held in "the field called Huishe in Hendford" - in this instance Hendford being the Manor of Hendford, not the road of that name. As a sidenote; the word 'rother' is an old Anglo-Saxon word for cattle. The rother cattle were long-horned, fleshy beasts prized for their meat, milk, hide and horn (see photo here).

An indenture of 1715 remarks on six acres of arable land "lying in a common field called Hewish in the tything of Hinford.... lately enclosed" - the words 'lately enclosed' being a good indication of when this common field began to be parcelled up. By the 1750s the division parcels of Hewish Field were more or less finalised as shown in the 1842 Tithe Map below.

One of these division parcels of the former common field was Hibbard's Orchard (Parcel 311). The 1846 Tithe Apportionment noted that Hibbard's Orchard was owned by Sarah Dyer and the tenant was Charles Greenham. Hibbard's Orchard was recorded as measuring 2a 0r 38p.

Hibbard's Orchard was bounded on the north Priddle's Mead (Parcel 611) and Archer's Mead (Parcel 607), on the west by Leache's Mead (Parcel 312), on the south by Horsey Lane (today's West Hendford) and on the east by Salthouse Orchard (Parcel 310).

In the 1890s local businessman, town councillor and local 'character' Levi Beer bought Hibbard's Orchard and built his home West Hendford House on the plot.

Today the former Hibbard's Orchard is covered not only by West Hendford House and its grounds but also by the he houses and gardens at the very southern end of Richmond Road and also with Berkeley Road.

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



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.


This map is based on the 1842 Tithe Map with field names added from the 1846 Tithe Award. The area shaded light green was originally a large common field called Hewish Field that had been formed out of the earlier Medieval field called Northover. By the time of the 1842 Tithe Map, shown here, Hewish Field had been further sub-divided into many parcels as shown.

Hibbard's Orchard is in the bottom left quadrant.


The 1842 Tithe Map superimposed (roughly) over a modern street map showing where several modern roads, for example the rear gardens of the eastern side of Grove Avenue, follow former field boundaries.