The Coppull Project





This website reflects work done on Coppull over the course of almost 25 years, albeit done very intermittently.

 The future plans for the Coppull project are as follows: 

  1. documentary transcription – I am currently transcribing documents relating to Coppull in the past, or for those documents such as leases where substantial sections are in a common form, abstracting the relevant information. These transcriptions are then added to the archive section of the website. The transcription and referencing of documents is regarded as extremely important. The two current published accounts of the history of Coppull by Hubert Walsh and MD Smith provide valuable introductions, but both contain no references to the sources of information and this seriously compromises their value to future researchers.
  1. thematic essays – following transcription of available documents, a series of short papers will be produced relating to aspects of the history of the village – such as coal mining, poverty, family life, migration, etc. Once again, the intention is to add these to the website.
  1. reconstitution of landholdings – one of the challenges of the Coppull project is to determine who owned which pieces of land and who lived where prior to the evidence provided by maps. The 1843 Tithe map shows precisely who owned which field, house, orchard and garden, and who lived there, and the 1812 map associated with the sale of the Manor does the same for tenants of the manor, but prior to that the evidence requires careful analysis and educated guesswork. The project will aim to map who owned and lived where back into the mid eighteenth century, and see if it is possible to guess what the seventeenth century, pre-enclosure patterns of landholdings looked like.
  1. Prehistoric Coppull – the  written evidence for the history of Coppull begins around 1200 with the first Latin leases and conveyances. The village’s history obviously predates this. Walsh speculated that the name Blainscough was a Saxon name. There has been discussion of the possibility of a Roman road to the south of the village. A bronze age axe head was reputedly found in the village in the 1980s. The plan for this phase of the project is to seek permission from landowners of the main estates to undertake fieldwalking shortly after the ploughing season in 2008. The purpose of this will be to find pottery sherds or similar evidence which would help determine both when the earliest settlement of the village began, and where evidence of such settlement was concentrated. It will also help to increase our knowledge of Coppull in the medieval period, because any pottery evidence will provide clues as to the wealth and status of the owners of the landholdings on which it is found. The specific properties initially prioritised for fieldwalking are: Coppull Hall, Coppull Old Hall, Blainscough Hall, Chisnall Hall, Bogburn Hall, Holt Farm, Coppull Mill Bridge and Clancutt House.
  1. Latin deed collection – there are a number of Latin deeds relating to Coppull, primarily from before the mid sixteenth century when English becomes much more widely used in documents such as wills and leases. Some of these have been catalogued by the archives offices which hold them, but others are uncatalogued. The intention for this phase is to identify the uncatalogued records and to acquire copies, with the hope that in the fullness of time these will be wither translated, or the key features abstracted from them so the evidence they contain can be added to the database of information for the village.
  1. Photograph archive – for over 30 years Geoff Bellis and others have collected old photographs of Coppull. Some of these have been published in the book and dvd version of “Coppull Memories”, whilst others were published in M.D. Smith’s “About Coppull”. The intention is that some photos which show topographical features (such as the houses and landscape of the village) will be included on the Coppull website.

 Offers of assistance with any of the above are most welcome!