Priddy Nine Barrows Cemetery and Ashen Hill Barrow Cemetery are a collection of round barrows, dating from the Bronze Age, near Priddy in the English county of Somerset. They are designated as ancient monuments.

The barrows sit on crests of land at either end of a field in an area of the Mendip Hills with several Neolithic remains.

  They are assumed to be related to the Priddy Circles which lie 750 metres (2,460 ft) to the north. Ashen Hill consists of six bowl barrows and two bell barrows aligned east to west while Priddy Nine Barrows divided into one group of seven round barrows and another pair slightly separated from the others.

Excavations in 1815 uncovered cremation burials and grave goods.

 A geophysical magnetometry survey suggested that there may have been three further barrows.


A Survey of the Somerset Fairs

The charter of king John also granted that the Dean and Chapter of Wells, and the prior and monks of Bath should be free of toll throughout the king’s land for all that they should buy and sell.

By fortunate chance an interesting example has survived of the careful way in which such privileges were safeguarded.

The following incident is given in full, both for the

quaintness of its language, and for the light it throws upon the

punctilious manner of such medieval transactions. The date

is 1250 :2S

Memorandum that on Sunday before St. Andrew 1250 (Sunday

letter B) William, de Beaumunt provost of Bristol gave back to H. subdean

of Wells one halfpenny taken of Walter son of the late Simon de Heanton

his man for toll of a fish sold there, and to John de Derham three farthings

taken of three men for wheat etc. sold there : and this was done towards the Avene bridge before the seld of Wm. the goldsmith, in the presence of

. . . Clerk of the Toll house, who read the king’s charter before the

said Wm. de Beaumunt in the street, by these tokens, that the said W. changed a penny with W. the goldsmith for four farthings whereof he

handed three to the said John, and the bell was ringing for Vespers.

And Wm. de Beaumunt added, after hearing the charter read, that he knew the canons’ men should be quit of toll, and if any had to pay, it was

for want of an oath that they were their villeins. Next day this was

repeated in the toll house by the subdean, and after by Wm. de Beaumunt

before Simon the clerk, mayor of the town, and several burgesses, and the charter read by Jordan the clerk, whereupon the subdean and the

said John by leave of the mayor withdrew with their toll repaid.

We have already noted elsewhere the transference of fairs to

Priddy and Binegar in time of plague, and the subsequent

duplication of fair days. The four seasons of the year—May,

June, October, and November were observed in Wells down

till the eighteenth century, the lists of 1729 and 1785 both

giving fairs at those times, though the precise date is not

always the same.

 Collinson, by a curious misreading of Calixtus, presents us with a fair on St. Catherine’s day.

To-day there are only two Wells fairs—one on the first

Saturday in May, now known as May Market, and the other

on the first Tuesday in December. This is the St. Andrew’s

fair. Both are now pleasure fairs, held in the street in front

of the Town Hall, though some cattle are sold at the

ordinary market during the day.

 The fairs last only one day, to which is attached an evening pleasure fair on the preceding

25 Calendar of MSS. of Dean and Chapter, vol. i, p. 88

cynuit and landscape priddy cheddar wookey axbridge banwell weston brentknoll bridgewater the levels archer athelney abbeys wells sheptonmallet ilcestre cadbury bury bristoll brislington keynsham bath wellow stantondrew watchet bats castle dunster dunkerry
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