huish

huish

For generations nothing more than a field access track

 

The name Huish, spelt ‘Hewish’ on Watt’s maps of 1806 and 1831, was originally an Anglo-Saxon word ‘hiwisc’ meaning a household and would have been applied to an area of land of sufficient size to support one household. There is evidence that some of these family units may have functioned independently as farmsteads in the late Anglo-Saxon period. (Aston, 1988).

There was certainly a field in Yeovil called ‘Huwysh’ that was mentioned in a document of 1415 and in 1611 it was noted that the St Leonard’s Fair for cattle was held in the ‘field called Huishe in Hendford’ and was clearly part of the field system of the Manor of Hendford. Indeed, the common field called 'Hewish Field' stretched from Ram Park in the north, the boundary with the parish of Preston Plucknett in the west, today's West Hendford in the south and roughly as far as today's Clarence Street in the east. The parcels comprising the former great common field called Hewish Field are shown shaded green in the 1842 Tithe Map below. Hewish Lane (today's Huish) ran across this great common field.

For generations Hewish Lane (today's Huish) was nothing more than a narrow field access track that ran east-west across the common field.

Watt’s map of 1806 shows just one house situated along the lane which was described as "formerly a Barn Flax Shop and drying house but long since converted into a Public House called or known by the name or sign of the Chequers".

 Bidder’s map of 1843 shows the lane flanked only by fields and orchards from about where the Beehive Inn is today all the way west. Huish terminated then, as now, at the bottom of Huish hill where it now becomes Preston Grove; although before Preston Grove (actually in the parish of Preston Plucknett) was built in the 1930's there were just fields as far as Preston Road with simply a footpath linking Preston Road with Huish. The only buildings shown were one or two isolated houses and the row of cottages named Paradise Row, now under Tesco’s car park by the corner of Westminster Street and Clarence Street. In the early part of the nineteenth century Huish was often referred to as Paradise Street.

Huish was called Hewish on Watt's maps of both 1806 and 1831, it was called Huish in the 1841 census and in the 1851 census was referred to as "Huish (called Paradise)". It was named Huish Lane in the 1891 census.

The general area was later known as Paradise and included much of Huish opposite Paradise Row and as far as Wellington Street. The name Paradise came from the fact that there was a burial ground belonging to the Calvinist Tabernacle in Tabernacle Lane to the immediate east of the old National School, now under the Tesco store.

Huish originally started at the junction of Porter's Lane, now Westminster Street, and Clarence Street but was, of course, bisected by the Queensway dual carriageway and was further modified by the construction of the Tesco complex such that the eastern part of Huish is now called Queensway Place.

 

Map

 

This map is based on the 1842 Tithe Map with field names added from the 1846 Tithe Award. The area shaded light green was originally the large common field called Hewish Field that had been formed out of the earlier Medieval field called Northover. By the time of the 1842 Tithe Map, shown here, Hewish Field had been further sub-divided into many parcels as shown.

Hewish Lane (today's Huish) runs across the centre of the map.

 

gallery

 


From my collection

This photograph is taken from a postcard of 1934 viewed from Hendford Hill. Part of Huish, with an amazing amount of open space, runs across the centre of the image. At centre is seen the entrance to, and the rooftops of, Queen Street. At right is Huish School.

 

This photograph was taken in the mid-1960's in Westminster Street. The bus is turning the corner into Clarence Street and the two-tone van to its left emerges from the end of Huish. At this time you could drive into Huish from Westminster Street as indicated by the road markings. Douglas Seaton's tower is fondly remembered as a landmark by older Yeovilians and right of centre is the Heart of Oak pub, now called the Westminster.

 


Courtesy of Vivien and John Cornelius

Tony Chant's Car Centre in Huish, on the corner of Richmond Road. Now, unsurprisingly, a block of flats is on the site. Photographed in 2005.

 

Looking back towards Richmond Road and Chant's garage in the mid-1960s.

 

The salt-house from where the name Salthouse Lane derives. Probably photographed in the 1890s and seen from Huish with Salthouse Lane running off to the right.

 

Looking along Huish in the 1970s with the Crown at left and Yeovil Town FC at right.

 

This photograph, from around 1955, was taken outside the Crown Inn (at left) and looks west.

 


Courtesy of the Western Gazette

.... and nearly opposite the Crown Inn, a memory for thousands of Yeovil Town FC supporters, the entrance to the Huish ground with its famous sloping pitch.

 

 

An unusual photograph of 1972 showing Fairfield, off Huish, with the Post Office sorting office being constructed in the foreground and the fair set up in the background.

 


Courtesy of the Western Gazette

A little further west along Huish and looking west in 1977. The building at left is the Post Office sorting office and the road running off to the right is Queen Street. The bottom half of this photograph is now where Queensway runs across, bisecting Huish.

 


Courtesy of the Western Gazette

Almost the same view, but photographed in 1984 after Queensway bisected Huish.

 

This photograph dates to about 1900 and shows the junction of Queen Street. The shop on the corner was also the Victoria Inn from about 1850.

 


Courtesy of the Western Gazette

Huish looking east and photographed in 1977. By this time the Victoria Inn had been demolished but the building at centre with the arched windows is the same building at the centre of the previous photograph but converted into a shop.

 


Courtesy of the Western Gazette

.... and the same shop in the 1970s - now the site of the slip road from Queensway into Tesco's.

 


Courtesy of the Western Gazette

.... and next door in the 1970s - now the site of the slip road from Queensway into Tesco's. I used to walk past these buildings every day on my way to work and didn't take a bit of notice of them - now that they're long gone it does bring back memories.

 

Taken in the mid-1960's, this photograph was taken from the top of the hill looking west with Orchard Street, built by Levi Beer in the 1890s, at left. The scene has changed very little in the last fifty years, although the houses at left no longer have little front gardens and their windows are now right on the path overlooked by anyone - a good case for a decent set of net curtains unless, of course, you're an exhibitionist.

 

...and looking back up the hill from the junction with West Street, built in 1906, at right, even less has changed in this scene during the last half-century.

 

Huish at the junction with Grove Avenue, again in the mid-1960's. This was as far as Huish ever went and from this point onwards was fields until Preston Grove, at left, was built in the 1930's. Many older Yeovilians remember the tin St Andrew's church on the corner.

 

This aerial photograph shows the complete length of the original Huish running across the centre of the picture. At extreme left Grove Avenue runs off in the top left corner while at centre is Queensway with its infamous 'quarter mile' Huish footbridge. Centre right is dominated by the Tesco store and its car park with the old line of Huish, now called Queensway Place running across in front of Tesco as far as Clarence Street at the eastern edge of Tesco's car park. At top right is the hospital and the Queensway / Kingston / Reckleford roundabout. 

 

The remains of Huish, looking west from the Queensway bridge. Photographed in 2013.

 

Looking back up Huish hill from the junction with Preston Grove in 2013.