21 – Bridge Farm

Percy Gane on his tractor in the Bridge Farm yard. 19??

Butleigh was part of the Glastonbury Abbey estate until 1536 and they built this high-status house in the very early 14th century. Smoked-blackened roof timbers indicate that this it had an open hall with an open fire, typical of houses of that period and dendrochronology shows that one of these timbers was felled in 1305. This means that it is the oldest house in Butleigh and pre-dates the abbey barn in Glastonbury (now the Rural Life Museum), which has a very similar roof design. A carved stone basin (known as a laver) is incorporated into the wall on a spiral staircase and this would have been used by the monks for ritual washing. Bridge Farm is named after the bridge, which you are standing on, over the Wash Brook (an important source of water for the village) that now runs in a culvert under the road. Bridge Farm was tenanted by the Gane family and then purchased by them at the 1947 Estate sale.