History: Introduction

History: Introduction

East Harptree has been occupied from the earliest days.

In Anglo-Saxon times, East and West Harptree together formed a single large manor. The Harptrees held a strategic position at the point where the road between Bristol and Wells crossed a military road across Mendip (‘Herepath’ in old English). The Normans built a castle on the commanding promontory between the two manors.

Rights of pasture for sheep on the higher slopes were granted to medieval abbeys and other religious houses. In the 19th century, a model farmstead at Eastwood Farm was at the forefront of modern agricultural practice.

The lord of East Harptree was one of the four Lords Royal of Mendip and controlled lead mining in his area. Residues from refining the lead ore were reprocessed up to the 19th century.

Our Heritage and History