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Seaborough, Somerset, England

About

Oliver Cooke Spurdle (1833-1911) and his parents were born in the village of Seaborough. The book Spurdle Heritage has descriptions of Seaborough and reports of visits by New Zealand family members.

Seaborough

Seaborough is a small village on the Dorset and Somerset border, England. Seaborough was in the County of Somerset until 1896 when it was transferred into the County of Dorset. The parish consisted of one farm and had an area of 585 acres (237 ha).

The small Hamlet of Seaborough consists of some 24 dwellings and 4 farms situated on the South side of Seaborough Hill between Crewkerne and Broadwindsor.

Seaborough location map

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19th Century

The following description of the parish and village was given in The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868).

SEABOROUGH, a parish in the hundred of Crewkerne, county Somerset, 3 miles S.W. of Crewkerne, its post town. The parish, which is of small extent and wholly agricultural, is situated on the river Axe. The land is divided between arable and pasture, with about 15 acres of garden and orchard grounds. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £130, and the glebe comprises 28 acres. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £150. The church, erected in 1729, has a tower containing two bells. The register dates from 1662. The parochial charities produce about £4 per annum. There are day and Sunday schools adjoining the church.

In the 1841 Census there were 18 inhabited houses and 84 people living in Seaborough. Occupations included: farmer (2), dairyman (2), shepherd, agricultural labourer (13), shoemaker, milliner and clergyman. In the 1851 Census the population had increased to 104 people.

In 1841 John Stevens was recorded as a farmer of 670 acres employing 37 labourers, 25 men, 8 boys and 4 women. He employed William Spurdle and Jonathan Sibley, both agricultural labourers and grandparents of Oliver Cooke Spurdle.

St Johns Church

A church building, in one form or another, has stood on the site of the present St Johns since 1415 when land was gifted by John Golde during the reign of Henry V for the building.  The donor of the land was a direct descendent of an earlier  John Golde (or Gole) who distinguished himself at the Siege of Damietta in 1219 during the 5th Crusade to the Holy Land.  On his return to England, and in recognition of  his service, he was granted an estate at Seaborough in 1229 by the descendant of the Norman Knight whose forebears' military service commitment he had been nominated to fulfil and duly discharged during the Crusade.  The Church contains a rare early stone effigy of a 13th Century Crusader which is believed to be, and almost certainly is, that of John Golde.

Major alterations to the Church building occurred in 1728 and 1882. Seaborough's name in Anglo-Saxon times was Seveberge and was listed as such in 1085 in William the Conqueror's Domesday Book.

Seaborough Church

St. Johns Church, Seaborough
© Copyright Chris Downer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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