A Pictorial History of Rode


As well as being the home of Camden, not to mention Chocolate on Chocolate and Andy Fussell's Fine Foods, Rode has some greater claims to fame. Supposedly Henry VIII's 'Cloth of Gold' was woven in the village and it was certainly where the colour 'Royal Blue' was created for Queen Caroline, the long suffering consort of George III, both these facts reflecting Rode's importance as a site of weaving in the Mendips wool industry - the last, and very large, mill remaining open just in to the 20th Century.

But Rode became internationally famous (or infamous) 160 years ago when young Saville Kent was most foully murdered, plucked from his bed in Road Hill House, and his very dead body disposed of down an outside privy. Quite who carried out this deed, which worked the Victorian public into a fine frenzy, is open to debate even today, although his step-sister eventually confessed. A whole host of books have been wriiten on the subject, the most recent being the mega-selling "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, which became a major TV drama, although not shot in Rode (too far from London, so overtime would have had to have been paid to shot here!).

Described in this 58 page A4 format book is a walk around the village, with a map and 83 B&W photographs showing the village at various times over the last century or so, the whole selection and text devised by Peter Harris (no relation) in aid of updating our local church, almost certainly the oldest building in the book.

So, if you know the area, would like to know what a Somerset village looked like in days of yore, or would just like to help us preserve our church as a centre of village life, please do order a copy of this book. Softcover and published on behalf of the Heart of Rode Committee

See also: Discovering Rode's Past by the same author