The last Invasion...

Then the Dragon of Wessex
Was dragged in the dust;
And Cole, the old squire,
The last of the Saxons
Was despoiled, driven from his place,
His estate seized by Turgis,
Turgis, the Norman…

Cole or Colo, was the last Saxon. He was dispossessed by the Norman Turgis, who swore faith and fealty to his liege lord, William de Mohun. The extent of the village was now 500 acres, a fifth of it woodland, the remainder mainly arable and pasture, indicating the agricultural nature of Saxon settlement. At this time Nunney is mentioned in the Domesday book as Nonin or Nouin, and is recorded as being given to William de Mohun, Lord of Dunster and Brewham, who received Dunster Castle and fifty-five manors in Somerset from his patron, Duke William. The village now consisted of two manors: Nunney Glaston was connected with the Abbey of Glastonbury, a connection which can be traced from a charter made by King Edred, in which the village is called Nuni. The manor of Nunney Delamere (or Delamare), which took its name from that family, provides the main connection with the castle. In 1260, the manor was recorded as belonging to Henry de Montfort, one of the many sons of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester. He obtained in 1260 a royal grant for a market to be held in Nunney every Wednesday, and permission to hold a fair once a year for three days, on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Martin – 11th November. The market died out many years ago, but the fair continued into the nineteenth century. It is not known exactly when the church was built, but some Saxon fragments survive which indicate the existence of the church in those turbulent days, and a heavy Norman font represents a later period of history. In the thirteenth century a de Montfort re-built it, and Arthur Mee tells us that the proud possession of the church is a stone effigy of Sir John Delamere. He lies on a windowsill in the north aisle, above four other tombs which seem to have been casually disposed near him. Two are of Sir John Paulet and his wife Constance, he wearing a tabard and a Lancastrian collar, his lady a long veil. The two other figures, in Elizabethan costume, no doubt represent the successors to the Paulets – Richard Prater and his wife.

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