Solve a Prescot Mystery… and Help a Somerset Town Keep Its Field

By on Thursday, April 11, 2013

(Read to the end to see how you can help!)

Campaigners in the town of Bridgwater, in Somerset, are asking Prescotians for help to save a piece of land earmarked for development.

Sedgemoor District Council plan to sell a corner of St Matthew’s Field, also known as Fair Field because of its use for Bridgwater’s annual carnival, so that developers Summerfield can build an access road to a nearby housing development.


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But critics say the local authorities have no right to sell the property, as it was gifted to the town by King John in 1280. The council dispute the claim, saying the only people who can intervene in the sale are the descendants of Maria Stilling, a local property owner who allowed the council to buy the land in 1929, under the conditions of a covenant that holds to this day.

Now Ursula Martin, a Somerset genealogist, has appealed for people in Prescot to help track down three sisters who may have a legal claim over what happens to the land.

All three were born in Prescot to Robert Rodger and Phyllis Mary Stiling. Lynne Rodger was born in 1953 and married Anthony P Grant in 1976. Susan Rodger was born in 1956 and married Peter Butler in Ulverston in 1981. The youngest sister, Jean Rodger, was born in 1959 and married Malcolm Crook in 1981.

Do you recognise any of these names? Contact Ursula at ursula@somersetgenealogy.uk.com if you think you can help solve this mystery.

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