Janet Tall, Head of Archives and Local Studies for the South West Heritage Trust, spoke about the Hyltons of Ammerdown. The Somerset Heritage Centre holds sixty boxes of papers making up the Hylton archive and containing records stretching back to 1659. Ammerdown is near Radstock and the house has been handed down through the Jolliffe family to William Jolliffe, a politician, who was made Baron Hylton in the mid-19th century and on to the present owners, the son and daughter in law of the 5th Baron Hylton, the current Lord Hylton.
The archive contains the oldest surviving map of coal mines in England. They are in the manor of Kilmersdon, which was purchased in 1659 by an ancestor of the Joliffes’ and brought in an eight share in the profits of the mines. In 1679 the estate passed to two daughters who fought each other over their inheritance. This leaning towards litigation also occurred in the 19th century when the owner of the estate found his heir speculating on his inheritance, so promptly disinherited him resulting in legalities when one branch of the family bought out the other.