Wytherston

Wytherston is the most north- easterly part of the benefice.  It was unusual, compared with, for example, West Milton or Nettlecombe in that it was originally an independent parish with, until the Reformation, its own chapel.  Roman remains have been found to show that, as in much of the rest of the area, it has been settled for millennia, even if not on the site of the present farmhouse.  The main estate belonged first to Abbotsbury Abbey then to a sequence of absentee local landowners up to the 1920s when, for the first time, the estate was lived in by its owner.  Since then the bulk of the old parish has belonged to a succession of three families, and the house was significantly modernised twice, in the 1930s and again in 2005- 9.

Apart from Wytherston farmhouse itself, the other estate was centred around Grey’s Farm, on the border with Toller.  This seems to have come into existence when the poor soil was drained in the early nineteenth century.  The evidence for this lies in the unusual names of the fields: one group have Napoleonic names: Wellington, Blucher, Elba, and another are named after the Whig government of the 1830s, Althorp, Melbourne and [Earl] Grey himself.

In the mid nineteenth century, the greatest population of the hamlet was thirty- nine, but the number of houses was not significantly more than survive now.  The economy has always been mixed agriculture: many sheep, some cattle, a few arable fields, timber and, for a time, peat.

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