Middle Marle Close
Middle Marle Close
A former part of the great West Field of Kingston Manor
Marl (from the Old French marle) was originally an old term loosely applied to a variety of materials, most of which occur as loose, earthy deposits consisting chiefly of a mixture of clay and calcium carbonate. It has been used as a soil conditioner and acid soil neutralising agent and was spread on sandy soil by the Celts before the Roman occupation. Its value was realised, and its use revived, by the 'improvers' of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
On the other hand, Marl was also an ancient term used to describe human waste and remote areas of sunken ground were used as a dumping ground and designated as 'marl pits'.
Originally part of the great Medieval West Field of Kingston Manor, Marle Close had been a very long, thin field running south from a field access track called Lower Larkhill Lane that would become today's Stiby Road. By the time of the 1846 Tithe Apportionment Marle Close had been split into two fields; Higher Marle Close (Parcel 1440) and Middle Marle Close (Parcel 1440a).
The 1846 Tithe Apportionment noted Middle Marle Close as 3a 3r 36p and used as meadow. The Apportionment noted that the owner was John Moody and the tenant was John Turner (who were also the owner and occupier of Higher Marle Close).
Middle Marle Close was bounded on the north by Higher Marle Close, on the west by Drang Ground (Parcel 1442), to the south by the Union Workhouse (Parcel 1456) and the Brickyard (Parcel 1457) owned by William Baker, and to the east by Lower Parcroft (Parcel 1439).
Today the former Higher Marle Close, Middle Marle Close and the Brickyard are occupied by the houses and gardens of Westfield Road as it joins Stiby Road and Preston Road.
For details on historic land measurement (ie acres, roods and perches) click here.
maps & Aerial Photographs
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 Larkhill area reproduced from the 1842 Tithe Map. Middle Marle Close is at centre.
The 1946 aerial photograph - Westfield Road running from its junction with Stiby Road at top centre to join Preston Road at bottom, was built on the former Higher Marle Close, Middle Marle Close and Brickyard.
The same area today 'borrowed' from Google maps.
The 1842 Tithe Map superimposed (only very slightly out at the bottom) over a modern map.