Friday, 18 December 2009



This was another interesting church. It was almost as if I was making an approach up a private roadway. It was quite compact and the bell ropes were hanging in the porch looped up out of the reach of temptation for small children. There was a notice to one side of the porch to the effect that you did not enter whilst bell ringing was in progress.

I mentioned a week or so ago that my great grandparents were landlords of 'The Phelips Arms' in Montacute at the time of the 1861 census. There are Phelips buried at Montacute, but, I feel, not so many as there are here in another churchyard from which you have magnificent views over miles of British countryside.

The Phelips are connected with the Fane family in Montacute and various of my kin from the line of James Fane, who married at St. Mary's, Stoke-sub-Hamdon in 1761 would like to think that we have this aristocratic connection. If we have, there is no history for James: he may have been a younger son or even an unofficial one. Something could come to light one day, but I am one member of the family who is not holding my breath!

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Friday, 11 December 2009


"The Phelips Arms" at Montacute

My cousin Kathryn advised trying 'The Phelips Arms' for a meal when cousin Maureen and husband Bert were with me a few weeks back. We had a good meal there and it was excellent value.

For the last couple of years cousin Marcia, her husband, Melvyn, and I have had a birthday celebration meal at a local pub so this year I suggested that we come here and that Kathryn join us. Time passed very quickly with meals we all enjoyed interspersed with a good deal of chat.

For me 'The Phelips Arms' has a special significance as when viewed at the time of the 1861 census the landlords were my great grandparents, William and Elizabeth Stanton. Also present was my grandmother aged nine months. William was a butcher by trade but he and his wife were in training to take over 'The Rose and Crown' at Birdsmoorgate in Dorset from his parents when they retired. My grandmother was later passed over to her childless aunt Sarah at 'The Fleur de Lis' in Stoke-sub-Hamdon for upbringing and training in the licenced trade. Eventually she ran the 'Fleur' and her four children, including my father, were born there.

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