29 Apr

May 2022

It is with great pleasure that the Trim Schroder and the Trust welcome you to the Burton Pynsent monument o n Friday 3rd June. The Trust is most grateful to Tim for his generous offer to allow entry to the Monument for one day only in return for a donation to the Curry Woods Conservation Trust. The experience of climbing to the top of the monument and viewing the panoramic views of Curry Rivel and the Somerset Levels towards the coast. will only be available on this day in 2022. Please bring your friends and family to see the unforgettable views and take photographs. We are not charging a set amount for this but request a per person donation to help the work of the Trust. Specifically this money will be used to maintain and improve the steep footpath through the existing wood on the Trust land and to protect glades within the wood from hungry roe deer. These glades will then be planted with native saplings or allowed to regenerate naturally.I am sure most of you know the story of Pynsent and the Burton estate. We re-enacted some of the story for the judges in our 2017 Curry Rivel in Bloom entry. In the eighetenth century, as with many land owners in the West of England, cider production was a major industry on the Burton estate.. Many varieties of cider apple tree, Dabinet being a popular type, grew very well here. The resulting cider was a mainstay of the local economy, often being used to reward workers on the farm in lieu of cash, as well as being sold commercially. You may have seen Nick Showering on the recently ended “Apprentice” TV show. He is a scion of the Somerset Showering’s cider dynasty. His new business involved novel alcoholic drink production. However I digress! Back to the 1700s, when the production of cider was not taxed but the Governments of the day had its’ eye on the potential revenue it could get from West Country cider. There was a lot of opposition but notably from William Pitt the Elder, who had been lobbied for help by William Pynsent . Despite his eloquent opposition the tax was imposed but when Pitt became Prime Minister he lived up to his word and reduced its impact. Pynsent was so grateful that he bequeathed the Burton estate to William Pitt in his will and after his death Pitt duly took his legacy and arrived in Curry Rivel with his retinue of retainers all dressed in his colours of yellow and purple (the colour theme of our In Bloom entry in 2017). Pitt then erected the monument in recognition of the big hearted and generous act of Pynsent. So the monument is known as the Burton Pynsent memorial monument and also the Cider Monument!. So do come along in the afternoon of the 3rd June and celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of the greatest monarch Britain has ever had by climbing the monument and pausing at the top to remember the generosity of a great man, the genius of a British Prime Minister and his grateful gesture for his good fortune, though mainly to celebrate the love and dedication one woman has had for her Country for 70 years. Although leading a life of privilege Queen Elizabeth has always behaved impeccably in doing her duty as Head of State. No other man or woman in history has held such an onerous position for so long and managed to do so with such discretion and humility. Whether you are a monarchist or republican you must surely agree.There will be a reminder about this event in the June issue of the CRN, and the Trustees look forward to seeing you on the 3rd when they will be delighted to tell you about our conservation work in Curry Rivel.     

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