Hundred of Whitstone

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Whitstone Hundred
33,150 acres (13,420 ha)
 • HQShepton Mallet
 • TypeParishes
 • UnitsBatcombe, Croscombe, Ditcheat, Doulting, Downhead, Hornblotton, Lamyatt, East Pennard, Pilton, Pylle, Shepton Mallet, and Stoke Lane

The Hundred of Whitstone is one of the 40 historical Hundreds in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England,[1] dating from before the Norman conquest during the Anglo-Saxon era although exact dates are unknown. Each hundred had a 'fyrd', which acted as the local defence force and a court which was responsible for the maintenance of the frankpledge system.[2] They also formed a unit for the collection of taxes.[3] The role of the hundred court was described in the Dooms (laws) of King Edgar. The name of the hundred was normally that of its meeting-place.[4]

The Hundred of Whitstone consisted of the ancient parishes of: Batcombe, Croscombe, Ditcheat, Doulting, Downhead, Hornblotton, Lamyatt, East Pennard, Pilton, Pylle, Shepton Mallet, and Stoke Lane. It covered an area of 33,150 acres (13,420 ha).[5]

The hundred courts were held at Cannard's Grave, a short distance to the south of the town of Shepton Mallet.[6][7]

The importance of the hundred courts declined from the seventeenth century. By the 19th century several different single-purpose subdivisions of counties, such as poor law unions, sanitary districts, and highway districts sprang up, filling the administrative role previously played by parishes and hundreds. Although the Hundreds have never been formally abolished, their functions ended with the establishment of county courts in 1867[8] and the introduction of districts by the Local Government Act 1894.[9]


  1. ^ "Whitstone Somerset". A vision of Britain through time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Administrative Units Typology | Status definition: Hundred". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  3. ^ "The Shire and the Hundred". Somerset County Council. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Summary". Institute of Archaeology. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  6. ^ Farbrother, John E. (1872). Shepton Mallet: Notes on its History, Ancient, Descriptive and Natural (Memorial Edition). Bridgwater: Reprinted by Somerset County Library 1977. pp. 31–32. ISBN 0-9503615-3-4.
  7. ^ Davis, Fred; Blandford, Alan; Beckerleg, Lewis (1977). The Shepton Mallet Story (2nd Ed). Oakhill, Somerset: The Shepton Mallet Society. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-9500568-1-4.
  8. ^ County Courts Act 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c. 142) s.28
  9. ^ "Mapping the Hundreds of England and Wales in GIS". University of Cambridge Department of Geography. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2011.