Latest History Club News
2018 * Indicates change of date / details from previously announced. May. Thursday, 24th, * Village Hall, 7.30pm. ‘The Romans in Somerset’ a vivid recreation of roman life by seasoned local historian and presenter, John Smith. John will bring items from his collection of roman artefacts. All welcome, visitors £1. Suitable refreshments after – but no dormice. For the […]
Ahead of Independance Day 2015 Barton St David featured on the BBC Points West Show with an article about the village link to the 2nd and 6th US Presidents. BBC Points West Note that playback will only work in the UK.
For a round up of History Club activities click here.
AIMS. The club aims to collect and collate historical information about the village. New members are always welcome.
Are you able to assist the club by allowing us to scan old photos or records of Barton people, places and events?
Contact Peter Robinson on 851692 or email for details.
Benefits of Membership. Annual membership of Barton SD History Club is £10 per person and £5 for second family member . This modest outlay brings several benefits:
* We have a busy and varied programme to which we welcome everybody. Non-members will be charged – typically £1.
* Member-only outings to places of interest.
* Attendance at member-only focus meetings.
* Free entrance to all talks, lectures, activities.
* Discounts on History Club publications, DVDs/ Movies, Maps, etc.
So do please join us and get good value for your money, learn about your local area and contribute to our rapidly expanding knowledge bank.
Membership forms are available from Carolyn Browning, Churchbrook House, Church Street. Or firstname.lastname@example.org
New research into Barton land holdings
BHC member Rob Butt has completed a genealogical table of Barton landowners pre & since Domesday.
The small picture above is a teaser, the full details will be coming shortly.
Potted History of Barton St David
Norman holds Bertone from Roger. Alston held it before 1066; it paid tax for 1 ½ hides. Land for 2 ploughs. In lordship 1 plough; 1hide.
2 villagers and 4 smallholders with 1 plough & ½ hide. A mill which pays 5s; meadow, 24 acres; pasture, as many acres. 18 pigs.
The value was 40s; now 30s.
Keinton lay in this manor before 1066. 1 hide. The Count of Mortain holds it.
Domesday Book, Winchester, 1086
Collinson in his “History of Somerset” (1791) says that Barton-David, as he calls it, derives its name from the dedication of its church but he cites no authority that the patron Saint is St David. Browne Willis in 1733 assigned Barton David to St David but in Ecton’s “Thesaurus” the dedication is given as All Saints. This is confirmed by a charter of 1279 in the Buckland Chartulary wherein a yearly rent is to be paid “in the church of All Saints of Berton”.
Barton, however, is a prebend in the church of Wells and so there is much evidence as to the various forms of its name in the documents of the Dean and Chapter. In these the name Barton (Berton) stands alone with no addition to the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. But in 1605 there is “the prebend of Barton Davy” and this designation recurs in 1607. But, in 1632 it appears as Barton David and so it remains to the last entry calendared in 1713.
Turning to other sources, while it is still Barton on Bishop Bourne’s visitation of 1554–5, it is called Barton Davye as early as 1575 in a return of the clergy of Somerset in the time of Bishop Berkley.
In a Deposition Book in the Diocesan Registry, under 25 May1586, we find a deposition made by “Henricus Addams paroch. De Barton Davie”. Here the final e is so like a d, that the word has been misread as “David”, but a close examination of the handwriting leaves no room for doubt, and indeed the place is called Barton Davy shortly before in the same document.
In the Registers of Bishops Curle (1629 – 1632) and Piers (1632 – 1670) we find Barton Davy (1632) or Davie (1643, 1661)and it appears as Barton Davie in Bishop Kidder’s Visitation Book of 1701. On the other hand “the manor of Barton David” occurs in the record of the Quarter Sessions of 1617.
When the final form “Barton St David” was reached, is uncertain but……
From the Church Restoration Appeal, 1990
David is the English approximation of the Welsh Dewi, the name of the patron saint of Wales, to whom our church is dedicated. Dewi was born in the 520’s in Cardiganshire. He became a monk and the founder of monasteries of an extremely strict Rule which rested on vigorous manual work throughout the hours of daylight and reading writing and prayer in the evenings. Tradition has it that he went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was there created Bishop. At Mynyw, Pembrokshire, now St David’s, his principal monastery, he presided as abbot-bishop before his death in 589.
During the course of his career, Dewi had stayed for some time in Glastonbury where, it is said, he was responsible for the addition of a chancel to the church, later called the church of St Mary, which was already an ancient foundation.
In the 7th Century the Church made permanent provision for the development of monasteries like Glastonbury, as seats of learning and education; for the establishment of cathedrals like Wells, and other minsters and “mother churches” as centres for the spread of the Gospel; for the building of “lesser churches with graveyards” in established villages; and for the conduct of “field churches” for the benefit of communities on lands more recently brought under cultivation.
The memory of the lesser church was often preserved by an annual payment to the mother church. Barton used to have to pay 16 pence a year to the Abbey of Glastonbury; the money had to be taken every year by twelve men.
In the more settled years after the Conquest, Dewi’s shrine at Mynyw became a much frequented resort of pilgrims. In recognition of the veneration in which he was held, Dewi was canonised by Pope Calixtus II (1119 – 1124) who ordained that two pilgrimages to St David’s should be accounted equal in efficacy to one pilgrimage to Rome. In view of the Saint’s association with Glastonbury, it is not surprising that a local church, newly built during the course of the century, should have been dedicated to him or that its churchyard cross should carry a representation of the saint.
The Churchyard Cross
The practice in England of raising a standing cross goes back to the time of Archbishop Theodore (668 – 697) who, by a sentence in his book of canons, enjoined that when a church had been removed to another place, a cross should be erected on the site of the vanished altar. A century later, where a community was still unprovided with a church building, it had become the custom to raise a cross to mark the place of the daily service of prayer.
There is no way of telling to which of these strands of custom or to what other motive Barton’s cross owes its origin or whether the cross was raised up before or after the existing church was built. What can be said for certain is that the Christian community of the day thought it right to raise a cross that was truly worthy.
A visitor to Barton in the mid–1800’s found it possible to describe with confidence that the shaft was ornamented with the sculptured figure of a bishop wearing a mitre and habited in canonicles with a maniple on the left arm and, at his left side, a pilgrim’s wallet suspended by a string which passed over the right shoulder; the figure stood on a bracket beneath a weather canopy with crockets and filials. It was generally agreed, he wrote, that the figure was intended for St David.
The shaft is now so eroded that some of these details are no longer discernable. The worn and broken steps around the socket in which the shaft is set, were long ago covered by a grassy mound of earth.
In 1986, craftsmen trained in the preservation of stonework, during the restoration of Wells Cathedral, did all that could be done to preserve the cross against further deterioration.
“Barton St David, Church Restoration Appeal”
Barton St David.