An ancient field now part of the Pitch & Putt course
Combe Street Lane runs from Brimsmore Tree, via Noble's Nap, to the Mudford Road by the Hundred Stone but originally today's Combe Street Lane was part of an ancient ridgeway, the Harroway, an ancient trackway dating from the Neolithic period. It lies along a ridge connecting Ham Hill with the Corton Denham Ridge - the high ground to the east of Yeovil that includes Cadbury Castle, another Celtic hill-fort enclosure. Straet is Old English, derived from the Latin strata meaning a paved way, since the Saxons often referred to clearly-defined highways, especially Roman roads (which Combe Street Lane was not), as 'streets'.
The field named Combe Street was originally part of the great Middle Field of Kingston Manor. In describing the boundaries of the Middle Field, the 1589 Terrier refers to "In Thos Phelps's Close called Coomstreet". An enrolled deed dated 1613 refers to "Two closes of arable land called Combstrete."
Combe Street (Parcels 1092 and 1093) was bounded to the north by Combe Street Lane, to the west by Higher Elm Path (1094), to the east by Hutt Field (1089), and to the south by Stoney Field (1087 and 1088).
The 1842 Tithe Map shows Parcel 1095 as a thin strip (not shown on my map below) called Combe Street Plot - a thin wooded verge alongside Combe Street Lane. The 1846 Tithe Apportionment recorded Combe Street as being owned by Henry Goodford of Chilton Cantelo and the tenant was John Newman Berkley. The area was recorded as 5a 2r 0p and noted as pasture, next to the wooded verge.
An Agreement for a Lease dated 30 August 1849 between Henry Goodford Esq. of Chilton Cantelo and Nathaniel Bartlett, a baker of Yeovil, for "Land late in the occupation Mr John Newman-Birkley in Yeovil" included Combe Street but with a slightly different area of 5a 2r 10p.
Today the western third of Combe Street forms the northern part of the Pitch & Putt course of Yeovil Recreation Centre, affectionately known as 'Mudford Rec', and remains part of the only open green area in the Hollands section. The remaining two-thirds of the former field were built on after the Second World War with the cul-de-sac off Combe Street Lane to the immediate west of Combe Close.
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.
The Hollands area reproduced from the 1842 Tithe Map. Combe Street is top right.
The 1946 aerial photograph showing Combe Street as the large rectangular field at top right. At this stage it was not built on - the building works seen to its right was Combe Close under construction.
The 1842 Tithe Map superimposed over a modern map.
Combe Street today, as the northern section of the Pitch & Putt course, seen from the northeast corner of Higher Elm Path. Photographed in 2014.