Over Stowey

Over Stowey is not like Nether Stowey. It is a tiny village on top of the Hill. It looks as if it has never changed.

  • 1930s photo showing the church, Parsonage Farm and a cluster of other buildings.
  • Three old cottages opposite a church. Many species of wildflowers grow undisturbed in the churchyard.

"What is Yellow?"

Click on the framed picture for tour stop 6

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  • Over Stowey churchyard

    Over Stowey in the middle of a much bigger group of hamlets and farms. It was a real community even though people didn’t live all in one place.

    We know a lot about life in Over Stowey from William Holland’s Diary


  • A memorial to Thomas and James Rich

    This carving in the church was made 200 years ago. It shows a rake, a plough, a pitchfork, a harrow and a bee-hive. Most Over Stowey people were farm workers, and used tools like this every day.


Around Over Stowey

Adscombe

  • Adscombe Farm postcard

    An old postcard of Adscombe Farm…


  • On the hill you can just see the conifer plantations of Great Wood. They were planted in 1949 by the Forestry Commission. This was a big change to the landscape. Quantock Hills.

    …and today.


  • Adscombe Barrier. Sign showing the summer closing times.

    This road leads through the conifer forest to Ramscombe. The barrier is to stop people driving in the woods at night time.


  • A woman and her dog are walking along the old street that went through Adscombe. Now it is just a long hollow way, the houses have disappeared, and the chapel is a ruin

    Adscombe used to be much bigger, with houses and a chapel. Now the chapel is a ruin, and this is what is left of its main street.


Adscombe used to belong to the monks of Athelney. The chapel stopped being used when King Henry VIII closed the monasteries. Monks also owned Friarn.

  • Friarn

"What is Red?"

Click on the framed picture for tour stop 4

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  • Aley Farm

    Close by is the hamlet of Aley. A few houses cluster around the farm.


  • Aley Farm

    You can’t miss this building on the corner at Aley


Marsh Mills

  • Marsh Mills leat

    Marsh Mills is a group of buildings at a cross roads. Now the houses are let to holiday visitors. Why were they built? The name and this picture give the clue!


  • Quantock Lodge gatehouse

    The well-known Poole family lived at Marsh Mills House in the 1800s. They had lots of connections. William Holland was their friend, and he wrote about them in his diary. Tom Poole of Nether Stowey was their nephew, (their daughter Charlotte didn’t like his friend Coleridge) and John Poole, vicar of Enmore was their son.

    This looks like the gatehouse of a medieval castle. In fact it is the entrance to the Quantock Estate. It was built in 1857 for Lord Taunton. The land you can see through the gate is now Pepperhill Farm.


  • Quantock Lodge

    The Stanleys lived in great style at Quantock Lodge. They gave grand dinners to important guests. They needed a lot of staff to run the Lodge and estate. Many local people worked for them. A young boy could earn 4 pence a day for bird scaring.


Plainsfield

  • Plainsfield Court

    Plainsfield is another very old settlement around a Manor and its farm.


  •  This water no longer turns a mill wheel so it is still and green with pondweed.

    The buildings of Plainsfield all had their special purpose.
    Here is the mill pond…


  • A traditional cob cottage that hasn’t been modernised.  The windows are small, there’s no electricity, so it was dark and probably damp inside.

    …and this is where the miller probably lived.


  • Old Forge Cottage

    There was enough work to keep a blacksmith busy in Plainsfield. The forge was still in use in 1910.

    Then the old forge became quite famous, because, in 1932, Miss Biddulph and Miss Dickenson bought it to use it as their workshop. They were called the ‘Quantock Weavers’ and were expert at the old Quantock ways of spinning, weaving and dyeing cloth.