Saturday, 19 March 2011

Felsham History Quiz

In 1951, Sir John Tilley who was Chairman of the Parish Council, wrote some Notes for a history of Felsham.  This quiz is based on his article which can be read in full at:

All extracts within quotation marks and coloured blue are from his Notes.

1.  Sir John had a record of the “beating of the bounds” made in 1810.  “The Beating of the Bounds in those and earlier days was the occa­sion of an annual procession, including some of the parish officials and a number of small boys, who at chosen points were beaten to ensure their recollection of the exact line of the parish boundary”.  But who was “bumped” at Hill Farm?

The Felsham Parish boundary can be seen to run right through the farmhouse on the this map of 1838

2.  “Felsham, from its name, was the "home" of Faele”.  What is the meaning of the Saxon word “faele”?

3.  Sir John describes the Church in considerable detail.  For example, “Rood Lofts were to be found in nearly all old Churches and were in many cases, and probably at Felsham, removed after the Reformation.”  Where can the remains of the staircase leading to the Rood Loft be seen from outside the church?

4.  In 1857,“A man was brought before the Justices … charged with disorderly conduct in Felsham Church. He had made a disturbance in the gallery, being ‘in a beastly state of intoxication’ and having to be carried down and laid in the belfry.”  How much was he fined?

5.  “The East window [of the Church] is in memory of the Rev. Thomas Anderson, so long Rector of the parish, and the West window in memory of John Anderson, his son and Mrs Anderson's husband.”  The Rev. Anderson was Sir John’s great-uncle.   Which part of the country did the Anderson family hail from?

6.  “The Bells [public house] is first mentioned by name in 1754” in the Easter Church Accounts.  At about this time who had dinner at the Bells for ten shillings?

7.  “About 1866 or 1867 my grand­mother was coming from Ayrshire to stay with her brother.  Just before she was due to start her lady's-maid fell ill, so she brought in her place a young, strong Scotch housemaid, Ellen by name, a girl of much courage….”  When a burglar tried to enter the house, “she seized him by the hair and yelled at the top of her voice till everyone in the house came to see what was the matter.  The village policeman was fetched and the man taken away...”   How did the Rector reward her?

Former rectory. Early C19 with earlier core, perhaps of C17. Timber-framed,
part clad in C19 gault mathematical tiles, part plastered. A band at 1st
floor level of entrance front; dentilled eaves cornice. Plaintiled roofs, the
front range hipped. Two early C19 chimneys, each with a group of 4 circular
shafts of gault terracotta tiles, moulded in the C17 manner. 2 storeys. 3
windows. Small-paned C19 sashes, those at ground storey with sidelights. 2-
storeyed semi-circular flat roofed bays were added in early C19 to either
gable of the entrance front, with 3 sashes to each storey. Pair of early C19
half-glazed panelled entrance doors: Roman Doric portico porch with columns
and flat entablature. The slightly lower rear service wing probably comprises
the C17 hall range, and the attached crosswing was converted to form the
entrance front in C19. The use of mathematical tiles is a rare feature in
8. “Although the Risbys were the principal family in Felsham in the 17th century, there were a fair number of payers of the "hearth tax," a very unpopular tax of two shillings per hearth, which was abolished in 1689.”  How many households in Felsham paid this hearth tax in 1674?

9.  “As to the name Mudlin End, I once tried to think that Mudlin might be a corruption of Magdalene and that there might have been a Chapel dedicated to that Saint; but experts would not have it…”   What did the “experts” think the name derived from?

10.  “There was a Fete, so far as I know the first in Felsham, held in honour of Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887 on the meadow whose real name is Settletons, but which is now generally known as the Jubilee Meadow.”  What did a Mrs Avis have to do to win a prize at this Fete?

  1. The Rector
  2. Good or faithful
  3. Through the loophole in the buttress on the north wall
  4. Five shillings with four shillings costs
  5. From the extreme north of Scotland
  6. The Rector, Churchwardens, Sidesmen, Overseers, and perhaps a few others
  7. She was presented with a silk dress
  8. 99
  9. That it was merely the end of a mud lane leading from Felsham to Cockfield
  10.  Mrs. Avis won the prize for grinning through a horse collar.
Section of north wall of Felsham Church

Note: "Beating the bounds".  A very useful overview of this practice can be found at

Boundary farm: as the name suggests the Parish boundary passed right through the middle of the farmhouse - straight through the front door!

The Felsham Circular Walk touches the Parish boundary at some points.  See: A circular walk around Felsham

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