Shepton streets – Darshill, Ham and Bowlish people and places

Over the years successive councils and developers have named streets in our town after people associated with the western hamlets of Darshill, Ham and Bowlish.

So, lets start with Barrington Place. Named after Barrington Court, the final home of Colonel William Strode, international woollen merchant, passionate Presbyterian, joint executor to his brother Jeffrey’s Will which bequested the Shepton Mallet Grammar School, committed supporter of the Parliamentarian cause and Member of Parliament for Ilchester until forceably ejected in 1648 as part of Pride’s Purge of moderates. William was born at Darshill.

Hyatt Place, named after a prominent Shepton family also remembered by a stone plaque near the entrance to the church. In particular, two 19th century brothers, William and George lived at Bowlish and William sold the factory there in 1836 including a fulling mill worked by an iron water wheel, a dye house and stove. Later around 1908, Dr James Hyatt and his daughter Dr Annie Hyatt were Shepton’s Medical Officer of Health and Deputy.

West Shepton, is a road as well as a locality which historically comprised the area around Kent Lane as can be seen from the remaining late medieval/17th century buildings. Once there was a mill pond and fulling mill here powered by the stream which flows from the higher ground, through Kent Lane and thence down Coombe Lane to join the River Sheppey. Church records from 1633 show one of the investors in this industrial complex was Henry Slade of Ham, who lived at what is now known as Old Manor on Ham Lane.

Strode Way, named after the family who from the turn of the 13th century until the turn of the 18th were major industrialists and merchants in the town, making vast fortunes and building their own chapel as a wing in the church, regrettably demolished in the 19th century.

Cazenove Close, named after the family which lived at Ham Manor on Ham Lane. The father, Brigadier Arnold de Lérisson Cazenove and his wife Elizabeth had four children, all brought up whilst they lived there. The most well-known was Christopher, an actor who appeared in numerous stage show, films and TV shows from the seventies into the naughties. Perhaps his most famous role was as Ben Carrington in the long-running American TV saga, Dynasty.

From top left: Christopher Cazenove, John Forsyth, Joan Collins and Kate O’Mara, on the 1980s ABC show “Dynasty.”
Credit: ABC, via Photofest

Whiting Close, named after Abbot Richard Whiting who was hung, drawn and quartered on the summit of Glastonbury Tor for refusing to hand over the Abbey to the Crown in 1539. Alice, his neice, married Darshill-born Edward Strode around 1530 and she had seven children with him. They likely lived in a now-demolished mansion adjacent to what is today called the Lower Silk Mill.

Allen Drive, named after the local farming and real estate family who owned the land upon which the St Peter’s estate was built. The senior member of the family at the time, Ernest George, lived at Coombe Lane and other members at Darshill.

6 Replies to “Shepton streets – Darshill, Ham and Bowlish people and places”

  1. I’m not sure you have Allen Drive correct – if it’s the Allen Drive above Bowlish/Coombe Lane you are referring to. The land, before the houses were built, was owned by my late grandfather E G Allen. His family were asked to suggest names for one of the roads and they chose Allen for obvious reasons, the Drive part was chosen because my Gramp suffered with rheumatoid arthritis for most of his life and he had an-built drive or determination not to let it get the better of him. Olive Bailey could tell you more.

    1. Thank you Hazel. We’re always happy to be corrected on points of fact. Your grandfather sounds similar to many of the people who made our fabulous town: in-built drive and determination! You must be very proud of him. We’ve uncovered remarkable women, too, but we’ve not found any from these hamlets who’ve been honoured by a street name. More of them in later blogs.

      1. Thanks Ian! My Gramp was also a councillor for many years (town, district and county I believe), he was also the treasurer of the Somerset Beekeepers Association – he won lots of trophies for his honey and honey products. He also raised a great deal of money for the ARC (arthritis and rheumatism council), also did fund raising for the town band and helped set up the town twinnng association with Germany. He was also instrumental in getting the November Guy Fawkes Carnival to come to SM. I’m sure there are many things that I don’t know about as well. He lived in Coombe Lane and was very well known in SM!
        I enjoy reading about Darshill and Bowlish on the web-site!
        Kind regards, Hazel

  2. Ian – I think you will find Barrington Place was named after the Barrington House along the road towards Wells – in the same way as Society Road was named after Society House Farm on the same road. Admittedly this Barrington House was named in the 1930s because the owners felt they had a family history connection with the Strodes!

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