Pen Hill

Pen Hill

The greater part of today's Wyndham Hill


The word 'Pen' comes from the Celtic word for a hill, found most frequently in Cornish and Welsh place names. Today's Wyndham Hill was formerly known as Kingston Pen, or Pen Hill (not to be confused with Yeovil's other Penn Hill which still retains the name although retaining the double letter 'n'), and the 1589 Terrier referring to part of today's Sherborne Road describes it as running along ".... the north side of Kingston Penne.... ".

Below is shown the notice of the annual letting of Pen Hill and Pen Field (which had traditionally been a separate field lying on the northwest slopes of the hill) from the Taunton Courier's edition of 19 August 1829, by which time both fields had been subdivided into several smaller parcels. At this time it was owned by Thomas Tytherleigh, Gent., of Norton Fitzwarren. For the complex ownership see the page of his younger brother who occupied it, brewer and baker Robert Tytherleigh of Pen Mill. After Robert's death it became part of the Newton Surmaville estate and was owned by the Harbin family.

In referring to today's Wyndham Hill, the 1846 Tithe Apportionment recognised the following parcels of land, all of which were owned and occupied by George Harbin unless other wise stated below -

Parcel 851 - Victoria Hill
Victoria Hill was recorded as pasture for grazing livestock measuring 13a 1r 30p. The tenant was William Pope. It remains today as open grassland.

Parcel 852 - Plantation
Today mainly a scrubby woodland hillside which rises steeply above Railway Walk, being too steep for any other purpose, was a plantation intended for timber. It measured 1a 1r 30p.

Parcels 853 and 853a - In Pen Hill
The northern slope of Pen Hill, today covered by houses and gardens of the south side of Sherborne Road and the Beaumont House flats, was recorded as pasture and orchard measuring 4a 0r 20p.

Parcel 854 - Pen Hill
The northeastern section of the hill from the summit to Sherborne Road and spanning the corner of the hill facing from halfway between St Michael's Avenue and Lyde Road to opposite the Pen Mill Hotel. It was recorded as measuring 8a 2r 16p and was used as pasture for grazing livestock, as it is today, although much is now covered with the houses of Wyndham View. Part of it was at one time occupied by the Vita Ray Laundry.

Parcel 855 - Higher Pen
The southern flank of the hill running down from the summit to the Pen Mill millstream. It was recorded as measuring 7a 0r 15p and was used as pasture for grazing livestock, as it remains today.

Parcel 856 - Lower Pen
The extreme eastern flank of the hill running down from the summit to Pen Mill. Also used as pasture, as it remains today, it was recorded as measuring 7a 0r 15p.


.... and some of the smaller parcels adjoining Sherborne Road


Parcel 518 - Cottages & Garden
Originally part of Pen Hill, in 1846 this was owned by George Ellis and occupied by William Phelps. It measured 0a 3r 6p and was noted as "Arable etc."

Parcel 519 - Old Nursery
This parcel, the Old Nursery, was owned by Rebecca Eason and occupied by Joel Hardy. The Tithe Apportionment recorded it as 1a 0r 0p and noted it as "Arable etc."

Parcel 520 - Withey Bed
Owned by George Harbin, the tenant was James Fox. It measured 0a 1r 36p and was recorded as 'Wood'.

Parcel 521 - Brewery & Garden
This was the brewery, malthouse, bakery and shop originally run by Robert Tytherleigh, mentioned above. In 1846 it was owned by James Ellis and occupied by William Phelps. It was recorded as "Arable etc." and measured 0a 1r 26p.


For a general overview of Wyndham Hill click here

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



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.


Again based on the 1842 Tithe Map, this enlarged view shows the various parts of eastern Pen Hill that had been sub-divided and sold off as described above.




The notice of the annual letting of Pen Field and Pen Hill (in all their various parts) from the Taunton Courier's edition of 19 August 1829.


Notice of the 1835 sale of both Pen Field and Pen Hill after the death of Robert Tytherleigh.


Parcel 851 - Victoria Hill


The western flank of Wyndham Hill seen from Summerhouse Hill. In 1846 the greensward running from Newton Road to the trees at the summit of the hill was known as Victoria Hill. Photographed in 2013.


Parcel 852 - Plantation


The eastern end of the Plantation seen from Railway Walk. Photographed in 2016.


Parcel 853 - In Pen Hill


From my collection

The photograph of this postcard was taken in 1913 from the top of Wyndham Hill. Across the centre of the photograph are the houses of Sherborne Road, at centre top is St Michael's church. The trees at right mark the boundary between In Pen Hill (Parcel 853) to the left of the trees, and Pen Hill (Parcel 854) to the right of the trees.


Parcel 854 - Pen Hill


Pen Hill is still used as pasture for grazing livestock. Photographed in 2013.


Parcel 855 - Higher Pen


Higher Pen seen from the northern end of Railway Walk. Photographed in 2016.


Parcel 856 - Lower Pen


From my collection

A postcard of about 1910 looking southeast and showing Pen Mill at centre. At bottom right is the Pen Mill Station engine shed and the signal box just below and to the left of the mill at centre. Between the engine shed and the mill is the mill stream and the Sherborne Road runs from just above centre left to the mill. Pen Mill Station is off image to the left. The photograph was taken from today's Wyndham Hill and Lower Pen is the field seen between the bushes at lower left of centre, the near side of the railway.


Lower Pen photographed in 2016 from the northern end of Railway Walk. Sherborne Road is off-photo to the right, running alongside the trees and bushes and Wyndham Hill is off photo to the left. The footpath seen here runs west to join Sherborne Road close to the Pen Mill Hotel.