The village of Odcombe seems to have acquired its own identity in the Anglo-Saxon period prior to the Domesday survey of 1086. The evidence for this is in the name of Odcombe itself which appears in the Domesday Book and must therefore have been in use before 1086.
It appears as “Udecome” and is usually translated as meaning either the broad valley or the valley belonging to Uda or Oda - a local Saxon landowner. There is further evidence in the surviving line of the parish boundary of Odcombe which can be seen in the image above.
On the eastern edge of the parish, the boundary follows a deep gully in the hillside which cannot have been formed naturally. This is fully consistent with the gully being the boundary between lands of Odcombe and those of ‘West Hescombe’ - a settlement that was lost in the middle ages but has been located recently within the modern parish of West Coker.
West Hescombe also has an entry in the Domesday book and scholars have linked the two settlements of ‘Hescombe’ and Odcombe. Along the southern edge of the parish, the boundary lies close to the line of ‘Landshire Lane’ whose name provides the strongest clue that this is an ancient boundary between Odcombe and East Chinnock.
The Tithe Map drawn in 1814 shows seven field names in this area which include the element “Lancher”, which is clearly a corruption of “Landshire” meaning “land share” or boundary. These features can be seen in there image below.
You may have walked or cycled along this important ancient boundary without even knowing it !