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5 Crimchard House 1650
From 1650 home of the Wheadons family, rich dyers. Three generations of this family were Mayors of Chard. Bought by Dening Iron foundry 1884.Now a listed building.

A mid-seventeenth century frontage, building of white sandstone and squared flint quarried from Snowdon Hill. It was remodeled c1820 and again in c1860. The plan has been much modified but originally this was a three unit cross passage house with a rear wing at each end, the gap between the wings has been filled into the line of the shorter wing and this infill houses the main stair. This infill is almost certainly of 19C date it is possible that the rear wing at the South end remains from a slightly earlier house.

The dye house is later than the house itself, the dye house became a joinery workshop.

A list of some of the owners of Crimchard House

1718 Augustine Wheadon apothecary and Portreeve 1774

1774, 1791, 1797 John Wheadon Gent , Banker, Portreeve 1788 & 93 (was a freemason 1800 -20)

1848 & 1852 Mrs Mary Wheadon, widow (turnpike investments mentioned 1830 -80)

1859 & 1861 John Wheadon Esq wool dyer

1861 & 1866 Mrs George Wheadon

1872 & 1875 James Budgett Esq

1883 – 1914 Samuel Henry Dening JP, Mayor 1893 -99 1901 -4, 1907 – 11

1919 - after 1935, Earnest Arthur Dening, Herbert Edward Dening (mayor 1927 – 32), William Udal Dening

2000 – 1 Jean Smith Mayor

In 1842 George Wheadon of Crimchard House had recast and presented to the town a pair of cannon very solidly built and somewhat crudely designed with a cast iron inscription plate on their side which read:-

‘These two pieces of cannon were presented to Augustine Wheadon by his faithful servant William Burridge, who by his own industry became an eminent merchant of Portsmouth, and was recast by his grandson George Wheadon in the year of our Lord 1842’

These cannons were placed under the columns of the Corn Exchange, the cannon were regularly used to fire salutes on great occasions, they were extremely heavy and quite unsafe for anything other than small charges.

As may well be imagined the Chard Caves are credited with possessing legendary passages, now lost. Older Chardians talk of the underground passage that ran ‘before their time’ to Crimchard House almost ½ a mile away.

Combe Street leads to Crimchard and to the iron foundry of Dening and Co., makers of farm implements the picture is a sketch reproduced for an advertisement of 1903 and it appears that the artist had used his imagination for the whole works were not quite as extensive as drawn. The building in the foreground, facing the street, was at one time a rope-walk, the works being purchased by Denings in 1881 when the family also bought and occupied the adjoining Crimchard House.

Chard in old picture Postcards Chard Library.

An advert included in the program of celebrations for the extension of the borough of chard 1892.

Dening’s carpenters and pattern-making shop c 1928. Reginald Long, the foreman pattern-maker, wearing the white apron and trilby hat, was president of the Chard Co-op, and became a town councilor and Mayor of Chard.

Like many factory owners in the 19th century the Denings lived next to their works and before them this was the home of the Wheadon family who were blue dyers to the woolen industry.Crimchard’s connection with this trade is remembered in two local names – Dye House Lane and Rackclose (a field where woolen cloth was spread on racks to bleach in the open air)

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