Of Stone Farm, a detached part of Preston Plucknett
Lower Ground was a large field at the northern end of Stone Farm to the east of Stone Lane.
This area is actually a detached part of the parish of Preston Plucknett, known as Preston in Stone, and the Preston Plucknett Tithe Map of 1849 shows Lower Ground as Parcel 156. It was bounded on the east by Furze Leaze (Parcel 157) and Square Orchard (Parcel 164), on the south by Middle Ground (Parcel 166), on the west by Lower Five Acres (Parcel 155) and to the north by a small brook marking the parish boundary, the other side of which are fields in the parish of Mudford.
The Preston Plucknett Tithe Apportionment of 1848 notes that Lower Ground was in the ownership of Henry Goodford Esq. of Chilton Cantello and occupied by Mrs Phillis Coles, as indeed was the whole of Stone Farm at this time. The Tithe Apportionment reckoned Lower Ground to be 11a 3r 20p.
Other known owners / occupiers had been James Harris (1800), Mr Pester (1810), Mr Spear (1818), Stephen Coles (c1821-1827). Phillis Coles, in her later years assisted by her sons, ran Stone Farm after the death of her husband Stephen until her own death in 1877. Her son Edmund ran the farm after her death until his death in 1885. By 1889 a Mr Russell was farming Stone Farm but his widow sold up and retired in February 1900. In 1901 the tenant farmer was John Sawtell.
Lower Five Acres and Lower Ground have very recently been combined to form one very large arable field - see photo below - but Google Earth still shows them as two separate fields.
The Stone area reproduced from the 1849 Tithe Map. Lower Ground is at top centre.
The 1946 aerial photograph showing Lower Ground as the large field at centre right.
The 1849 Tithe Map superimposed over the current Google Earth image. Although the field boundaries do not align precisely, remember that the 1849 survey was undertaken by hand using primitive surveying equipment. Lower Ground is at top centre.
Lower Five Acres is today combined with Lower Ground to form this large field of some 17 acres. Lower Ground was roughly the two-thirds of this field right of centre. Photographed in 2015.