The Saxons

A large quantity of Roman pottery was recovered, together with household objects of iron, and below the level of Roman building, a rough stone hearth, iron arrowheads, pottery and flint flakes, pointed to the site having been occupied in the early Iron Age.

Yeovil was one of several communities forming the Hundred of Stone. A ‘hundred’ was an administrative division of the county, probably established in the tenth century and thought originally to have contained a hundred families or tithings. A moot, an assembly of head men from each constituent tithing, met at frequent intervals to deal with legislative matters brought before it. This was conducted in the open, perhaps sheltered by trees and the hundred to which Yeovil belonged took its name from the stone around which the meeting took place. Still known as the Hundred Stone it is situated at a crossroads at the highest point in Mudford Road which overlooks the whole of the domain.
The Hundred Stone comprised residents of Ashington, Brympton, Chilthorne Domer, Limington, Lufton, Mudford, Preston Plucknett, Preston Bermondsey and Yeovil. The early importance of the Hundred court gradually declined as parochial, manorial, and judicial bodies superseded its authority. The last gathering of Hundred officials at the stone took place in 1843 when a bailiff, two constables, and tithingmen were appointed. After a libation of port was poured on the stone the meeting adjourned to a local hostelry for dinner.

Evidence of a Saxon church in Yeovil is contained in the will of a wealthy lady named Wynflaed, owner of property and lands in Berkshire and Somerset. Her bequest, in 950, included ‘half of one pound’s worth for soulscot to Gyfle’ (Yeovil) from her estate at ‘Cinnuc’ (Chinnock). Soulscot was a gift by the deceased to a parish priest to pray for the soul of the departed.

Kingston is a reminder that the manor, which originally embraced Yeovil Marsh, was once owned by Alfred the Great, inherited from his father, King Ethelwulf, and passed on to his youngest son, Ethelweard, by his will of 880.