Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Y is for Yatton Keynell

Here are the local dialect words starting with Y.  Do you know why someone would be described as yea-nay?  What is a yees?  What are yellow-cups?  the answers will be at the end of this post.
Today we are travelling 19 miles north of Trowbridge to the village of Yatton Keynell.
The church of St Margaret of Antioch was built in 1250 by Sir William Keynell as a token of thanks for his safe return from The Crusades, hence the unusual dedication.  The tower is a 15th century addition and contains a rare panelled belfry with a peel of 4 bells; two of the bells can be dated to 1658 and a third to 1675.  The church plate dates back to 1576.  Very little of the original 13th century building remains as the church was extensively restored in 1868 by George Edmund Street.

There is a strange tale about the eldest son of a Rector of Yatton Keynell, William Stump, which I read on this site.  Aged only 16 the son, Thomas Stump, described as having 'too much spirit to be a scholar' left with his uncle on a sea voyage to Guyana in 1632 or 1633.  When the ship put in to land four or five men, including Thomas, strayed too far and were left behind when the wind picked up and the ship set sail.  Their ordeal is described in the book (The Natural History of Wiltshire by John Aubrey, c.1868):
"It was not long before the wild people seized on them and strip's
them, and those that had beards they knocked their braines out,
and (as I remember) did eat them; but the queen saved T. Stump,
and the other boy. Stump threw himself into the river Pronoun
to have drowned himself, but could not sinke; he is very full
chested. The other youth shortly died. He lived with them till
1636 or 1637. His narrations are very strange and pleasant; but
so many yeares since have made me almost forget all. He sayes there
is incomparable fruite there, and that it may be termed the paradise
of the world. He says that the spondyles of the backbones of the huge
serpents there are used to sit on, as our women sitt upon butts. He
taught them to build hovels, and to thatch and wattle. I wish I had a
good account of his abode there; he is "fide dignus". I never heard of
any man that lived so long among those salvages."
Thomas Stump escaped when he swam out to a passing Portuguese ship and he worked his passage home.  When the ship was near Cornwall he climbed out of a porthole and swam ashore and found his way back to his father's home in Yatton Keynell.  When he arrived in the village the only person to recognise him was the local carpenter and, once he had managed to prove who he was, described as 'he recounted so many circumstances' (presumably of the people he'd known and the things he'd witnessed in the village as a child),  he was accepted back into the community.  In 1642 he gained a commission as Captain of Foot in the army of King Charles I.
Yatton Keynell (pronounced 'Kennel') was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086; at that time the village was known as 'Getone' and since then there have been many variation on the name.  At the centre of the village is a market cross; built in 2010 it has the distinction of being the first traditional market cross to be built in Wiltshire since the 1800s. 
To commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, a set of granite stones were set around the market cross, each stone recording the various transformations of the village name from 1086 to the present day.  The names and dates recorded on the stones are:
Getone 1086 DB :  Jettun 1245  :  Yeton 1247  :  Iatton 1258  : 
Yatton Kaynel 1289  :  Yatton Kaignel 1306  :  Yetton Caynel 1334  : 
Yatton Kynel 1346  :  Yetton 1348  :  Yeatton Kaynell 1522  : 
Churcheyatton 1530  :  Yettonkenell 1553  :  Yatton Keynell  1618  :
Yatton Keynell Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee 2012
The village has a couple of unusual milestones.  This one led to the 'Wrong Way Round' sponsored bike ride organised for villagers, where they started at Hyde Park Corner and cycled the 97 miles back to the village.  This year the event is called the 'Wrong Way Round & Round' and the plan is to complete circuits of the village, cycling 6 circuits to complete the 97 miles.

The other milestone is just outside the village.  It is called The Long Stone.
And I can't leave without mentioning the hamlet of Tiddlywink which is part of the Parish of Yatton Keynell.  Isn't that a delightful name to have as part of your address?  There are only 8 houses in the hamlet and they had to campaign to get the signs returned and the name of Tiddlywink officially recognised on maps.   
The name is thought to be rhyming slang for 'a quick drink' as one of the cottages was known to sell beer to the passing cattle drovers.   
I'll finish with the answers to the dialect words:
yea-nay - someone who doesn't know his own mind
yees - an earthworm
yellow-cups - buttercups
I'll be back tomorrow with the letter Z.

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