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Somerset Towns and Villages

(This site was last updated on 15th November 2017)

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The objective of this article is to record as much of the County of Somerset as possible before a lot of it is changed or gone forever. Post Offices, filling stations, shops, schools, pubs etc, are disappearing at an alarming rate. Old barns are either being converted or being demolished to make room for new bungalows or houses and green fields are being swallowed up for vast housing developments.

 

I’ve been photographing the towns and villages of Somerset for many years now and this is an on going project. People have contacted me from many parts of the world as regards their interest in places that they or their relatives have connections with. You are welcome to contact me and your suggestions are always welcome.

 

Photographs that are in thumbnail form only will be gradually updated to High Resolution.

 

One of the host sites for some of these articles is not working any longer. These will be re-instated as soon as possible. See below.

 

Extras : Places and events from my collection that are not necessarily directly connected with Somerset Towns and Villages click here

(New) On the Buses A look at buses and staff of days gone by.

 

 

 

Recent additions :     NEW : Holford    West Hatch (updated to Hi- Res)  Enmore

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Index

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***On This Day in Britain***

A

 

Alford       

Alford is a very small settlement about 10 miles southeast of Glastonbury. In 2003 the population was just 63.

 

Alhampton   

Alhampton Tin Tabernacle built in 1892.

 

Aller   

Aller lies 10 miles southeast of the Town of Bridgwater and 14 miles northeast of the County Town of Taunton. Nearby are the woods of Aller and Beer nature reserve where many woodland birds and butterflies may be spotted.

 

Allerford

Allerford is located within the Exmoor National Park. One of the village's main attractions is the much-photographed Packhorse Bridge. Built as a crossing over the River Aller, from which the village gets its name, it is thought to be medieval in origin.

 

Angersleigh       

Angersleigh is about four miles to the south west of Taunton and is situated near the Blackdown Hills. The Church is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel and dates from the early 12th century.

 

Ash

The small village of Ash is 6 miles northwest of Yeovil and 20 miles east of the County Town of Taunton. The name Ash comes from the Old English meaning a place with/near ash trees.

 

Ashcott      

Ashcott lies on the Polden Hills about five miles from Glastonbury, nine miles east of Bridgwater and fourteen miles north east of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Ashill    

Ashill is a small village situated 7 miles southeast of the County Town of Taunton. It has a small primary school, a village pub, a village hall and a playing field.

 

Ashington     

Ashington is a very small village about three miles north of the large market town of Yeovil in the south of the county.

 

Axbridge      

The medieval town of Axbridge lies on the southern slopes of the Mendip Hills. In the Square, you’ll see King John's Hunting Lodge, a half timbered building now owned by the National Trust.

 

B

 

Babcary       

Babcary is very small village situated five miles east of Somerton in the South Somerset District.

 

Badgworth   

Badgworth is a village in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset lying 20 miles southwest of Bristol and about 25 miles north of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Baltonsborough    

The village of Baltonsborough lies about four miles southeast of Glastonbury with views towards Glastonbury Tor and the Mendip Hills.

 

Banwell    

Banwell is a village in North Somerset that lies on the edge of the Mendip Hills. Unfortunately it also lies at the meeting point of several major roads that lead between Weston super Mare, Bristol Airport and the M5 motorway.

 

Barton St. David    

Barton St. David is a quite, peaceful village in the central part of Somerset. It lies about 25 miles from the Somerset coast and about 33 miles from the Dorset coast.

 

Beercrocombe 

Beercrocombe is a village near the County Town of Taunton between the Somerset levels and the Blackdown Hills.

 

Berrow and Brean  

Berrow has a medieval church dedicated to St Mary Magdalene and it dates from the year 1150. The magnificent stretch of sandy beaches run from the seaside resort of Burnham-on-Sea right up to the foot of Brean Down.

 

Bicknoller   

Bicknoller is a picturesque village on the Quantock Hills. The 12th century church is dedicated to St. George.

 

Bishops Lydeard   

Located in the Vale of Taunton Deane, Bishops Lydeard is a small village near the market town of Taunton. It lies at the foot of the Quantock Hills in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

 

Blackford (nr. Wedmore)      

Blackford is a small village about 23 miles south of the city of Bristol and about 25 miles north of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Blagdon   

The village is located on the northern edge of the Mendip Hills overlooking Blagdon Lake. The church, dedicated to St Andrew has a 116 foot high tower.

 

Bleadon  

Bleadon lies about four miles south of the popular seaside resort of Weston super Mare. The 14th century Church of St. Peter and St. Paul dominates the village and is a Grade 1 listed building.

 

Bradford on Tone     

Bradford on Tone is a village situated on the River Tone, four miles south west of the County Town of Taunton. The church is dedicated to St. Giles. During the 14th century the roads in the parish were much improved when the Fords in the Village were replaced with stone bridges built by the monks.

 

Brent Knoll   

The Church of St Michael dates back to the 11th century but has undergone several renovations. The village is only three miles from the seaside resort of Burnham on Sea and is only a short distance from the M5 motorway.

 

Bridgetown      

Bridgetown is a small village on the eastern side of the Exmoor National Park and is close to the beautiful Brendon Hills.

 

Bridgwater   

The town of Bridgwater is situated on the edge of the Somerset Levels with the Mendip Hills to the north and on the west the Quantock Hills. The town lies along both sides of the River Parrett.

 

Broadway    

The earliest record of the village of Broadway is in the Domesday Book of 1086 where reference is made to the small settlement of Bradewei. It lies about 11 miles southeast of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Brompton Regis    

Brompton Regis was formerly known as Kingsbrompton. It lies within the Exmoor National Park and is at the southern part of the Brendon Hills.

 

Broomfield     

Broomfield is situated about five miles north of the County Town of Taunton. The village is the highest village on the Quantock Hills and lies on the Quantock Greenway footpath which travels through many different types of landscape.

 

Bruton    

Bruton is a picturesque Town on the River Brue founded in about the 5th century. Located in the Vale of Blackmore, it’s surrounded by tranquil countryside.

 

Burnham-on-Sea     

Collectively, Burnham on Sea, Berrow and Brean have one of the longest stretches of golden sand in Europe stretching to a total of seven miles.                   

 

Burrington  

There is a legend that Augustus Montague Toplady was inspired to write the hymn ‘Rock of Ages’ while sheltering in a cleft in the rock at nearby Burrington Combe during a thunderstorm in the late 18th century. The rock was subsequently named after the hymn.

 

Burrowbridge  

Burrowbridge is a village situated either side of the River Parrett and on the edge of the Somerset Levels. The road bridge over the River Parrett was built in 1826 and was the last toll bridge in Somerset until 1946. The village is overlooked by Burrow Mump, a natural sandstone hill owned by the National Trust. On the top are the ruins of an 18th century church. The Mump is also a memorial to those in the village that lost their lives during the first and second world wars.

 

Bury   

Bury is a very small village on the southern tip of the Exmoor National Park and about 25 miles west of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Butleigh 

The village of Butleigh lies about four miles due south of the Town of Glastonbury.

 

C

 

Cannington  

The village lies about three miles west of the town of Bridgwater. Continuing west for a few miles will bring you to the beautiful Quantock Hills. Travelling north from the village will lead to the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

 

Carhampton     

Carhampton is a village in North West Somerset 4 miles to the east of the seaside resort of Minehead.

Carhampton is famous for its wassailing celebration which was started in the 1930's by the Taunton Cider Company. Wassailing in Carhampton takes place each year on January 17th in the orchard of the Butchers Arms Pub. This is preceded by a smaller event in the Community Orchard in the centre of the village next to the pub. The villagers form a circle around the largest apple tree and hang pieces of toast soaked in cider in the branches for the robins, which represent the good spirits of the tree. A shotgun is fired overhead to scare away evil spirits.

                            

Castle Cary   

Castle Cary lies about 30 miles east of the County Town of Taunton and about 26 miles south of the City of Bath. It is a small, friendly market town with a beautiful winding main street of thatched cottages built of the local ham stone. There are many types of shops and several Inns in the town, lovely restaurants and tearooms making it a perfect destination for a relaxing country break.

 

Chaffcombe     

Chaffcombe is a quiet little village in the south of the County, about two and a half miles from the town of Chard and less than fifteen miles from the Dorset coast.

 

Chard     

Chard is a market town laid out in 1234 by Bishop Jocelyn of Wells. It grew into a prosperous wool town. In the 19th century cloth making was replaced by lace making and producing agricultural machinery.

 

Charlton Adam    

Charlton Adam is a small, quiet village in the east of the county. It's situated about three miles east of the market town of Somerton in the district of South Somerset.

 

Charlton Mackrell    

Charlton Mackrell has a long history and was mentioned in The Domesday Book. It's a small village on the eastern side of the county.

 

Cheddar   

Set in the Mendip Hills, Cheddar is famous for its Gorge, the largest in England and for the caves. Gough’s cave is where the remains of Cheddar Man were found dating from approximately 7150 BC. Cheddar cheese is now made worldwide but only one producer now remains in the village.

 

Chewton Mendip

Chewton Mendip is on the Mendip Hills and is situated 4 miles north of Wells, 16 miles south of the City of Bristol and is the source of the River Chew. The Monarch’s Way long distance footpath follows the route taken by Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The route enters Somerset near Chewton Mendip and crosses the Mendip Hills heading towards Wells.

 

Chilthorne Domer        

The village of Chilthorne Domer lies in the south of the County. It is just 3 miles from the large town of Yeovil and 26 miles from the Dorset coast.

 

Chilton Cantelo   

 

Chilton Trinity 

Although a very small village in its own right, it is more of a suburb, north of the town of Bridgwater just a mile or so away.

  

Chipstable     

Situated on the edge of the Brendon Hills in West Somerset, the parish of Chipstable also contains the hamlets of Waterrow and Raddington.

 

Chiselborough 

The village consists mainly of small cottages built of the local golden Ham Hill stone. It’s situated about five miles west of the town of Yeovil in the south of the County.

 

Churchinford  

Churchinford lies nine miles south of the County Town of Taunton. The village was known in the 13th century as Cheristone meaning stony settlement where cherries grow.

 

Churchstanton

The village is situated within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 5 miles south of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Clevedon  

The town of Clevedon is a seaside resort on the north coast of the County. Picture 2003 is of the Curzon Cinema. The Cinema is historically unique. It is the oldest continually running Cinema in the world. It opened on April 20th 1912, with a special matinee to raise funds for the Lord Mayor of London Appeal for the survivors and relatives of those lost in the RMS Titanic disaster a few days previous. The Cinema opened at 7:00 pm that evening with a full programme and the admission price was 3d, 6d and 1/-.

 

Coat     

A small village in the south of the County with at least one unfriendly person.

 

Combe Florey

The village is situated about seven miles north west of the County Town of Taunton and beside the main A358 Taunton to Williton road. The first part of the name of Combe Florey comes from cwm meaning valley, and the second part from Hugh de Fleuri who was Lord of the Manor around 1166.

 

Combe St. Nicholas    

The villages lie about 11 miles south east of the County Town of Taunton in the South Somerset district on the edge of the Blackdown Hills in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A number of villagers are known to have emigrated to America in 1642, sailing from Weymouth in Dorset and settling in Massachusetts.

  

Combwich    

Combwich (pronounced "Cummidge") is about 5 miles from Bridgwater on the road to Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station. It lies beside the River Parrett and served as a port for the export of local produce and the import of timber from the 15th century. It also served the local brick yard from 1842 until the creek silted up in the 1930s.

 

Congresbury  

The village is in the north of the County, about six and a half miles west of Bristol International Airport and 13 miles south of the City of Bristol. The River Yeo flows through the village.

 

Corfe     

Corfe village is four miles from the County town of Taunton and lies at the foot of the Blackdown Hills.

 

Creech St. Michael  

The village is situated three miles east of the County town of Taunton. The name is derived from creek, on the River Tone, which creates an island in the river to the south of the village and the 12th century Church which is dedicated to St. Michael. The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal carries pleasure boats through the village and the tow path is open to pedestrians and cyclists.

 

Crewkerne    

The Georgian market town of Crewkerne lies in South Somerset which is near Ham Hill where splendid churches and villages are built of the golden coloured stone which is still quarried on Ham Hill to this day.

 

Cross   

The village of Cross is now by-passed by the A38 main road. The village was once the hub of the stagecoach trade that used the Bristol to Bridgwater turnpike road. It lies about 18 miles south of Bristol.

 

Crowcombe  

Crowcombe lies at the foot of the Quantock Hills, just off the A358 road that runs between Taunton and Williton on the way to Minehead. Crowcombe has the only Church in the country dedicated to the Holy Ghost.

 

Curry Mallet 

The village is situated about eight miles east of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Curry Rivel  

Curry Rivel is situated ten miles east of the County Town of Taunton. The name of the village comes from the Celtic word ‘crwy’ meaning boundary and Rivel from its 12th Century landlord Sir Richard Revel.

 

D

 

Dinnington     

Dinnington is in the south of the County and only about 17 miles from the Dorset coast. The local pub, Dinnington Docks which was once the Rose and Crown, contains a lot of memorabilia to continue the myth that there was once a railway line and dock here. The 2002 village census showed a population of 65.

 

Ditcheat  

The village is in the Mendip District of the County and lies 26 miles due south of the City of Bristol. 

 

Dodington  

Dodington is a small village in the parish of Holford on the northern slopes of the Quantock Hills.

 

Doulting

The village of Doulting lies 22 miles south of the City of Bristol and 34 miles East of the County Town of Taunton. The village dates from the 8th century when King Ine of Wessex gave the local estate to Glastonbury Abbey after his nephew St Aldhelm died in the village in 709. Today it is a thriving community revolving around the Church with numerous pleasant walking routes around the village and the surrounding countryside.

 

Dowlish Wake

The village is situated 2 miles south of Ilminster and 5 miles north east of Chard in the district of South Somerset. Cider is produced at Perry's Cider Mill, manufacturers of several award winning Ciders. The barn is used as the Cider Mill, and now contains a museum. A cafe opened at the mill in 2008.

 

Drayton        

Drayton is a village situated about a mile from Curry Rivel and five miles southwest of Somerton in the district of South Somerset.

 

Dulverton  

Dulverton is situated on the south edge of Exmoor. The town stands between the Rivers Barle and Exe, which meet a little further down the valley. The River Barle is crossed by an attractive five arched bridge where artists are often to be found painting down by the river.

 

Dunster    

Situated in the hills of Exmoor National park, Dunster is an idyllic medieval village that is an ideal base for a holiday in the South West of England.

 

Durleigh   

Durleigh is a village on the outskirts of Bridgwater in the Sedgemoor District of Somerset. The village lies on Durleigh Brook, which was dammed in 1938 to form Durleigh Reservoir.

 

Durston    

The village of Durston lies about 5 miles northeast of the County Town of Taunton and is on the main A361 road between Taunton and Glastonbury.

      

E

 

East Huntspill  

East Huntspill village lies about 20 miles north of the County Town of Taunton and 30 miles south of the City of Bristol.

 

East Lambrook      

East Lambrook is a delightful little village in South Somerset about 20 miles east of the County Town of Taunton.

 

East Lyng      

East Lyng is a small village 8 miles east of the County Town of Taunton and 14 miles west of the Town of Glastonbury. Most people are just passing through but it’s worth stopping off if you want fuel or a meal in the local pub.

 

East Pennard 

East Pennard is a very small village about five and a half miles from the town of Glastonbury in the Mendip district of Somerset. The 14th century Church has the heaviest peal of five bells hung for English change ringing by rope and wheel.

 

Enmore

Enmore is a village 2 miles west of Bridgwater on the Quantock Hills in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset.

 

F

 

Fitzhead     

The village is situated approximately nine miles north west of the County Town of Taunton. Fitzhead is a small, rural village set in beautiful countryside and surrounded by Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the Quantock Hills and the Blackdown Hills and it is close to Exmoor National Park and the North Somerset Coast. In the past the village had its own Smithy and a Forge, a School (dating back to 1787), a shop, a butcher’s, a Post Office, a Petrol Station, 3 shoemakers, and at one time there were about 7 pubs in Fitzhead. These have now all gone.

 

Four Forks  

Four Forks is a hamlet of the village of Spaxton situated four and a half miles from Bridgwater.

             

G

 

Glastonbury     

Glastonbury is a small town situated 31 miles south of Bristol and is steeped in history, myths and legends. The town is reputed to have had the oldest Christian Church in England and has a long history as a place of pilgrimage. In more recent times it has attracted 'pilgrims' from many faiths and beliefs and remains a spiritual centre to this day.

 

Glastonbury Abbey   

The Abbey Ruins are in 36 acres of beautiful grounds which include a fish pond, duck pond, herb garden, cider orchard, and picnic and wildlife area. It is also possibly the burial place of King Arthur.

 

Goathurst  

A small village about three miles from Bridgwater at the foot of the Quantock Hills. On the outskirts of the village is the Temple of Harmony, a folly built in 1767 by Sir Charles Kemeys Tynte and is a replica of the Temple of Fortuna Virilis in Rome.

 

H

 

Halse     

Halse is a village situated 6 miles north west of the County Town of Taunton. The name of the village derives from the Old English heals meaning a neck of land.

                 

Ham    

A very small village near the River Tone about five miles southwest of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Ham Hill  

Ham Hill is the site of a very large Bronze Age and Iron Age Hill Fort. There are fine views to the Mendip Hills, the Blackdown Hills and the Quantock Hills. It’s located about 20 miles to the east of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Haselbury Plucknett    

The village is situated six miles south-west of Yeovil in the South Somerset district. There is a small village shop and Post Office, also the White Horse pub and restaurant.

 

Hatch Beauchamp  

Hatch Beauchamp is situated five miles south-east of the County Town of Taunton. The village has an Inn, and a Manor House, Hatch Court, built around 1750. In the Churchyard is the grave of Colonel John Chard VC, RE (21 December 1847 - 1 November 1897) a British soldier who won the Victoria Cross at the battle of Rorke’s Drift during the Zulu Wars of 1879. Colonel John Chard was played in the film ‘Zulu’ by Stanley Baker.

 

Heathfield    

287 entrance to St. John the Baptist church. 288 remains of the 15th century Church Cross in the churchyard. 289 St. John the Baptist Church. 290 the south porch and entrance. 291 the west tower. 292 the south face and the churchyard. 293 the Font, a modern perpendicular type of 1869. 294 the Nave. 295 the Pulpit thought to have been carved from old 16th century pew ends in 1841. 296 the Chancel was rebuilt in 1841. 297 a monument of 1595 on the north wall of the Chancel commemorating two members of the Hadley family. 298 a list of the Rectors of Heathfield, the earliest being Gilbert Foliot in 1130 who was the Bishop of Hereford and London in 1163. He was one of the instigators of the murder of Thomas a Becket. 299 the east window over the Altar. 300 a candle chandelier in the Chancel. 301 looking from the Altar. 302 a north window in memory of Robert Popham Spurway, Captain in the Royal Scots Guards who died 4th December 1898. 304 looking south towards the Blackdown Hills outside the Church entrance. 305 Jockey Cottage just off the main road. 306/307 Heathfield House.

 

Hestercombe Gardens   

Acknowledged as one of the ten most important historic gardens in Britain, Hestercombe is a unique combination of three distinctive gardens, designed over three centuries. There are breathtaking views across the Vale of Taunton to the Blackdown Hills. Note that Hestercombe House is an administrative centre for the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and is not open to the public.

 

High Ham

The village is recorded in the Domesday Book (1086) as Hame meaning ‘home’ from the Old English ham. It is situated on an elevated peninsular 280 feet above sea level, with panoramic views across the Levels. In times past it was an island rising from the surrounding marshes. There is a fine village green surrounded by trees and a fine group of listed buildings. The village lies 15 miles east of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Highbridge   

Highbridge is situated on the edge of the Somerset Levels near the mouth of the River Brue. It grew to importance with the railways, but has suffered with their decline.

 

Hillfarrance  

Hillfarrance is a small hamlet 3 miles from the M5 junction at Wellington, in the Taunton Deane district.

 

Hinton St. George          

Hinton St George is situated 3 miles from of Crewkerne, ten miles south west of Yeovil in the south of the County.

 

Holford

Holford is a village in West Somerset within the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and about 10 miles west of Bridgwater.

 

Hornblotton     

Hornblotton is a small village just off the A37 about 8 miles Southeast of Glastonbury. A most unusual feature is the interior of the Church.  It is decorated using a technique known as sgraffito. Here two layers of different colour plaster are laid on the walls and then one layer is carved to reveal the other colour below. It is probably the only church interior in the country to be wholly decorated by this technique.

 

Horner  

Horner lies in the Exmoor National Park between Porlock and the village of Luccombe. It is on the eastern bank of Horner Water which is crossed by a Packhorse Bridge.

 

Horton      

The village is in the south of the County about two and a half miles from the town of Ilminster and about 17 miles from the Dorset coast.

 

Huish Episcopi               

The village lies about 15 miles east of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Hutton     

The village of Hutton is four miles from Weston-super-Mare and the Bristol Channel. The village was recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086, and the earliest known buildings are the 13th century Church and the Manor House of Hutton Court. 

 

I

 

Ilchester    

Ilchester lies 4 miles southeast of Somerton, 5 miles north of Yeovil, and 122 miles southwest of London. The town stands on the south bank of the river Yeo, over which is a stone bridge that connects it with the parish of Northover.

 

Ilminster

Ilminster lies in the beautiful countryside of South Somerset about 15 miles west of Yeovil and 12 miles southeast of the County Town of Taunton, close to the A303 and within easy reach of the M5. Fishing, walking and cycling routes can be easily accessed from the town without having to use a car and Ilminster has a range of good quality accommodation of Hotels and Guest Houses.

 

Ilton  

Ilton is a small village situated 8 miles southeast of the County Town of Taunton and 50 miles south of Bristol.

To view a slide show click here

 

Isle Abbots  

 

Isle Brewers   

 

J

 

 

 

K

 

Keinton Mandeville      

Keinton Mandeville lies about 23 miles east of the County Town of Taunton. At the time of the Domesday Book it was known as Chintone meaning the Noble's enclosure. The Mandeville part of the village's name came from Stephen de Mandeville in about 1243.   

 

Kewstoke       

Kewstoke is three miles from Weston-super-Mare and twenty miles southwest of the City of Bristol overlooking Sand Bay. Amenities in the village include a shop, post office, takeaway, hairdresser, public houses, restaurants, cafes and two hotels.

 

Kilton   

 

Kilve     

Kilve is situated on the main A39 road about halfway between the Towns of Bridgwater and Minehead and lies within the Quantock Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the first A.O.N.B. (area of outstanding natural beauty) to be established in 1957. The village is served by a Post Office, public house and general store with the beach approximately one mile away. For those who enjoy the countryside, there are footpaths enabling superb walks on the Quantock Hills.

 

Kingsdon      

Kingsdon is situated 21 miles east of the County Town of Taunton near the Fosse Way Roman road. The village name is derived from Kingsdon Hill which is in the north west of the parish.

 

Kingston Seymour    

Kingston Seymour is a small village near the Bristol Channel about 15 miles southwest of the City of Bristol. The village suffered serious flooding in the Bristol Channel Floods of 1606 when the sea walls were breached and the Church was said to have 5 feet of water in it for ten days.

 

Kingston St. Mary   

 

Kingstone  

 

Kingweston 

 

Knole  

 

L

 

Langport    

Langport lies on the east bank of the River Parrett and is 15 miles east of the County Town of Taunton. During the winter the low lying areas around Langport are sometimes flooded.

 

Lilstock   

 

Limington

 

Litton

Litton is a very small village between Chewton Mendip and West Harptree on the Mendip Hills. The village lies about 16 miles south of the City of Bristol and was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Litune, meaning 'The small enclosure'.

 

Long Load      

The village is situated on the River Yeo five miles south of Somerton and about fives mile north of Martock in the district of South Somerset. A bridge over the river is known to have existed by 1335, while by 1448 there were wharves for the loading and unloading of cargoes from boats using the river. The river was the subject of the abortive ‘Ivelchester and Langport Navigation’ in 1795, and although the works were never completed, traffic on the river was sufficient for the coal merchants Stuckey and Bagehot to establish a coal yard near the bridge by 1824. Cargoes arriving at the wharves included slates, bricks, tiles and coal, while the main export was timber.          

 

Long Sutton   

 

Lopen   

 

Lovington  

 

Low Ham      

At the time of the Domesday Book Low Ham was part of the estate of Serlo de Burcy, and was later known as Ham Burcy and Nether Ham. The village lies 16 miles east of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Luccombe   

Luccombe is a quiet backwater village with traditional thatched cottages lying in the Exmoor National Park.

 

Luxborough  

 

Lympsham  

 

M

 

Mark  

 

Marston Magna

  

Martock   

The name Martock comes from the Old English words "mart" meaning market and "ac" for Oak and relates to an Oak tree on the spot now occupied by the Market House. The Town lies 22 miles to the East of the County Town of Taunton and 40 miles South of the City of Bristol.

 

Mells  

 

Merriott   

 

Middlezoy  

Middlezoy, meaning the middle stream island, is situated on the Somerset Levels, 13 miles north east from the County Town of Taunton. At one time the village had three shops but all were eventually closed including the village Post Office. After a lot of hard work by the villagers, the Post Office and shop were reopened in the grounds of the Chapel opposite the village school.

 

Milverton

  

Minehead  

The seaside town of Minehead is on the north coast 21 miles north-west of the County Town of Taunton and is just outside the boundaries of Exmoor National Park.

 

Monksilver    

Monksilver is a village is on the eastern side of the Brendon Hills and on the border of the Exmoor National Park. The name of the village means Monk's Wood. In the Domesday Book it was simply Selvre, from the Latin silva for a wood.

 

Montacute   

Montacute lies 4 miles west of the town of Yeovil and 23 miles east of the County Town of Taunton.  The village is built almost entirely of the local hamstone.  From the 15th century until the beginning of the 20th century it formed the heart of the Estate of the Phelips family of Montacute House.

 

Muchelney   

The village is best known as the site of Muchelney Abbey, a Benedictine Abbey founded by King Athelstan in 939, and largely demolished in the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry V111.

 

Mudford     

Mudford is a village situated three miles from the large town of Yeovil in South Somerset on the River Yeo. I received a very warm welcome at the 15th century Church by the then Churchwarden Dr. Bill Watkins who very kindly unlocked the Church to enable the interior shots to be taken. The village lies on the Monarch’s Way, a 615 mile long-distance footpath that follows approximately the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated at the Battle of Worcester.

 

N

 

Nether Stowey  

 

North Curry   

 

North Newton   

The village is just over seven miles north east of the County Town of Taunton. The Newt Beer Festival is held every year in the village and is host to some of the finest beers to be found in the Country.

 

North Perrott  

 

North Petherton   

 

Norton sub Hamdon 

 

Nunney  

 

Nynehead  

 

O

 

Odcombe  

 

Old Cleeve  

 

Otterhampton  

 

Over Stowey     

The village of Over Stowey consists of a half dozen dwellings clustered around the Church. It lies in the foothills of the Quantock Hills, about 8 miles north-west of Bridgwater.

 

Over Stratton     

A very small village about 20 miles southeast of the County Town of Taunton, 21 miles North of the Dorset Coastal Resort of Lyme Regis and 60 miles South of the City of Bristol.

 

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Pawlett  

The village is well served with amenities. There are two shops, one of them also being a Post Office, two social clubs, a superb village hall, a school, two parks and children’s play areas, a sports field, a church, a chapel, a garage, a cafe and a thirty minute bus service to either Bridgwater and Taunton in one direction or Highbridge and Burnham on Sea in the other.

 

Penselwood   

Penselwood is a small village on the east of the County near the Somerset – Wiltshire border. It lies about 42 miles east of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Pensford   

Pensford lies in the Chew Valley 7 miles south of Bristol and 8 miles west of Bath. It is on the A37 road from Bristol to Shepton Mallet and is on the route of the 615 mile Monarch's Way long distance footpath.

 

Pilton       

Lying just over six miles to the east of the town of Glastonbury, Pilton is famous as the location of the Glastonbury Festival, which is run by farmer Michael Eavis and his daughter Emily. Pilton is now almost 20 miles from the sea but is on the edge of the Somerset Levels which has now been drained but was once a shallow tidal lake. In Saxon times Pilton, then known as Pooltown, was a harbour and according to legend it is where Joseph of Arimathea landed in Britain in the 1st century.

 

Pitminster     

 

Pitney 

 

Podimore     

Podimore is a very small village in the south of the County lying about 8 miles north of the town of Yeovil and 26 miles east of the County Town of Taunton. The village lies beside the A303 trunk road which runs between Basingstoke in Hampshire and Honiton in Devon.

 

Porlock    

Porlock is a charming village with narrow streets and many interesting shops. Its origins can be traced back to the 12th century and has some lovely old thatched buildings, an ancient parish church and a museum.

 

Puriton

Puriton is a village and parish at the Westerly end of the Polden Hills, in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset. The village has a full range of facilities, such as a primary school, parish church, pub, shop (general store and newsagent), butcher and hairdresser.

 

Puxton   

The small village of Puxton is situated on the road from Bristol to Weston-super-Mare, and near the river Axe. It’s very sparsely populated and the Church was made redundant in 2002.  

 

Q

 

Queen Camel    

Queen Camel is a village on the River Cam in the South Somerset district of Somerset about 7 miles north of Yeovil and 30 miles east of the County Town of Taunton. The name "Camel" derives not from the animal but from "cantmael", the name of the village in the 10th century. The "Queen" in the village's name is probably Queen Eleanor, the wife of Henry III, who owned land in the area in the 13th century.

 

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Raddington

Raddington, along with the hamlet of Waterrow, is one of the three hamlets that make up the parish of Chipstable. It is a very scattered community of a few farms but even they are a long way from the Church. It must be one of the most peaceful places on earth.    

 

Rickford       

The village lies about 13 miles southwest of the city of Bristol. The seaside resort of Weston super Mare and the caves at Cheddar Gorge are in the vicinity.

 

Roadwater  

 

Rodney Stoke  

 

Rooksbridge    

The village of Rooksbridge lies about 15 miles north of Bridgwater and about 21 miles south of the city of Bristol. The bridge on the main A38 trunk road that crosses the small Mark Yeo River is probably where the name "Rooksbridge" came from as on 16th century maps it's shown as 'Rokes Bridge' which means "A Bridge over a River".

 

Ruishton    

The village of Ruishton is close to the River Tone and took its name from the rushes that grew there. It's only two and a half miles from the County Town of Taunton but the pace of life is much more relaxed and tranquil.

 

S

 

Sampford Brett  

 

Seavington St. Mary  

 

Seavington St. Michael 

 

Selworthy

Selworthy is a small village 3 miles from Minehead located on the Northern fringes of Exmoor National Park. At 1,010 ft Selworthy Beacon, rising above the village, is one of the highest points on Exmoor. The village and the surrounding Holnicote estate were given to the National Trust in 1944 by Sir Richard Acland, having been passed down through the Acland family for nearly 200 years.

 

Shapwick  

 

Shipham    

Shipham is a Village on the Western edge of the Mendip Hills approximately 15 miles south of Bristol. It is in the district of Sedgemoor.

 

Somerton 

 

Spaxton 

The name of Spaxton originates from "Spakr", a Dane who settled in the area in about the 9th century. It was recorded as Spacheston in the Domesday Book of 1086. The village lies about 6 miles west of the town of Bridgwater at the foot of the Quantock Hills.

 

Staple Fitzpaine  

 

Staplegrove     

The village of Staplegrove is situated about one and a half miles north west of the County Town of Taunton. For walkers, there is an excellent network of footpaths leading from the heart of the village.

 

Stocklinch 

Stocklinch is 13 miles South East of the County Town of Taunton. The village is one of Somerset's nine Thankful Villages (from a total of 52 villages in England and Wales) in which all the men who served in World War 1 came home, and one of only 14 doubly-thankful villages in the country as it also did not lose any soldiers in World War 2.

 

Stogumber    

Stogumber is set in a valley between the Quantock and Brendon Hills in the west of the County. It lies 13 miles northwest of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Stogursey

The village is situated near the Bristol Channel, 8 miles west of Bridgwater. Stogursey was given to William de Falaise by William the Conqueror to reward his faithful service and is recorded as Stoche in the Doomsday Book of 1086.

 

Stoke St. Mary

Stoke St. Mary is a little over 2 miles from the County Town of Taunton. The earliest recorded mention of the village is in a Saxon charter dated 854 AD, when a West Saxon King gave the clearly defined lands at ‘Stoc’ to the Church at Taunton.

 

Stringston  

 

Swell  

 

T

 

Tarr Steps

The ancient 3000 year old bridge of Tarr Steps is a well known visitor attraction but the beautiful wooded valley of the River Barle is also worth exploring for its wildlife. Located within the Exmoor National Park it lies 29 miles west of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Thorney

Thorney is a very small village within the parish of Kingsbury Episcopi. It lies about 45 miles south of the City of Bristol and 16 miles to the east of the County Town of Taunton.

 

Thurloxton    

Thurloxton is 5 miles north east of the County Town of Taunton and 5 miles south west of Bridgwater on the south-eastern slopes of the Quantock Hills. The village probably takes its name from Reyner Thurlac, the 12th-century lord.

 

Timberscombe     

The village lies within the Exmoor National Park and is about 25 miles North West of the County Town of Taunton. The Church is dedicated to Saint Petroc, who probably visited the area in the 6th century.

 

Treborough

Treborough is a very small village 7 miles south of Dunster, lying amongst the Brendon Hills and within the Exmoor National Park.

 

Trull    

The village lies about two miles south of the County Town of Taunton. The name Trull is thought to derive from the word ‘Trendle’ meaning circle or wheel.

 

U

 

Uphill    

Uphill is situated at the south end of Weston Bay, where the River Axe flows into the Bristol Channel, and was once a busy port. There is evidence of a port at Uphill since Roman times, probably for the export of lead from the Mendip Hills. The village is dominated on its southern side by a large hill. On top of the hill stands the unroofed Norman "Old Church of St Nicholas". The present day Church of St Nicholas is situated on lower ground towards the north end of the village.

 

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W

 

Watchet  

A charming little seaside town on the north coast of Somerset with an active marina, excellent holiday accommodation, quaint cottages and shops. An ideal place to stay for a few days or even longer, with many walks in the beautiful countryside, along the lovely coastline or just sit on the Esplanade and relax by the harbour.

 

Waterrow  

Waterrow is half way between Wiveliscombe and Bampton on the B3227 and is on the southern fringe of the Exmoor National Park.

 

Wedmore  

 

Wembdon  

 

Wells  

 

West Bagborough     

The village of West Bagborough lies on the slopes of the Quantock Hills about five miles from the county town of Taunton. When the Doomsday book was compiled in 1086 the village was mentioned as Bageberge.

 

West Bradley    

The very small village lies about five miles east of Glastonbury in the Mendip District of the County.

 

West Buckland  

 

West Camel    

West Camel is a village about 7 miles north of the town of Yeovil and about 25 miles west of the County Town of Taunton. The name "Camel" derives not from the animal but from the word "cantmeel" by which name West Camel was formerly known. The earliest evidence of a settlement on the site dates to the tenth century in the form of the remains of a Saxon Preaching Cross dated to before 940 AD which is on display in the Church.

 

West Coker 

The village lies 3 miles west of Yeovil and about 26 miles south east of the County Town of Taunton.  The name Coker comes from Coker Water (crooked stream from the Celtic Kukro). The village had a long history of growing hemp and flax for sailcloth manufacturing, known as "Coker Canvas" which was highly prized by naval captains during the Napoleonic Wars.

 

West Hatch

West Hatch is a hamlet situated 5 miles south east of the County Town of Taunton.

 

West Lydford  

 

West Monkton   

West Monkton is a village situated 2 miles north east of the County Town of Taunton. The Monks from Glastonbury Abbey gave the village its name ‘Monkton’ and was West of the other Estates of the Abbey.

 

Westonzoyland    

Westonzoyland is in the District of Sedgemoor and lies about 14 miles north east of the County Town of Taunton and is the site of the last battle fought on English soil in 1685.

 

West Pennard  

West Pennard village lies on the main A361 road 3 miles east of the town of Glastonbury.

 

Wheathill     

Wheathill is not a village as such but a couple of farms and a church that is now privately owned. It lies about 9 miles southeast of Glastonbury.

 

Whitelackington

 

Whitestaunton 

The parish of Whitestaunton, known as Staunton until the earlier 14th century, lies in the south of the county, 3 miles northwest of Chard.

 

Wick St. Lawrence

The village lies on a small creek known as Slutspill near the River Yeo which was inundated in the Bristol Channel floods of  1607. It is about 17 miles southwest of the city of Bristol. To see a hi-res slideshow click here Press F11 for larger screen.

 

Williton      

Williton is situated in the north of the County about equal distances from the towns of Bridgwater, Minehead and the County town of Taunton. The quite large village is home to one of the ten stations on the West Somerset Railway which is the longest private railway in the country. Williton is a good centre for visiting the Quantock Hills, the Brendons and Exmoor as well as the coastal resorts of Minehead, Dunster, Blue Anchor and Watchet which are on the West Somerset Coast Path.

 

Winscombe

Situated on the western edge of the Mendip Hills, the village of Winscombe is a thriving community with many shops selling a vast range of goods with a greater selection than some small towns.

 

Winsford     

The village is within the Exmoor National Park and around 10 miles southwest of the coastal town of Minehead. The village has two hotels, the Karslake House Hotel and the Royal Oak both dating to before the start of the 16th century. The name comes from the Ford across the Winn Brook, where it meets the River Exe. There are eight bridges over the many small streams that run through the village; one is a Packhorse Bridge which is thought to be several hundred years old.

 

Withycombe

Withycombe is a village 2.5 miles south east of Dunster and 5 miles from Minehead within the Exmoor National Park.

 

Withypool  

Withypool is a small village near the centre of the Exmoor National Park and close to the Devon border. It lies 30 miles west of the County Town of Taunton and about 38 miles north of the Devon City of Exeter.

 

Wiveliscombe  

Wiveliscombe is a small town situated 9 miles west of the County Town of Taunton. It is situated just 5 miles from the border between Devon and Somerset at the foot of the Brendon Hills and is a gateway to the Exmoor National Park.

 

Wookey     

The village lies about two miles to the west of the City of Wells and is not to be confused with the village of Wookey Hole which is about two miles to the north. It is a charming little village with very friendly people. There is a 12th century Church and an Abbey which is now a care home.

 

Wookey Hole      

This is the village of Wookey Hole where the famous caves are situated. There are plenty of other web sites to see the caves so we'll leave that to them. The village lies just over two miles northwest of the City of Wells.

 

Wootton Courtenay 

Wootton Courtenay lies entirely within the Exmoor National Park in the West Somerset district of the County. In the Domesday Book it was recorded as Otone, meaning settlement by the wood. Courtenay was added to the village name in the 13th century when the Courtenay family became owners of the Manor.

 

Wrantage   

The village lies about seven miles east of the County Town of Taunton. Work on the Chard Canal actually started at Wrantage in June 1835 and by the autumn of 1837 work on the tunnels at Crimson Hill and Lillesdon was sufficiently advanced to enable the cutting of the canal on the Chard side of Ashill to begin. Remains of the Aqueduct can still be seen today. 

 

Wrington

Wrington lies in the valley of the River Yeo (often referred to as the Congresbury Yeo, after the village of Congresbury through which it flows, to avoid confusion with other similarly named rivers) about 9 miles east of Weston super Mare and about 12 miles southwest of the City of Bristol. The village dates back to Roman times and there is strong evidence of Saxon occupation.

 

Y

 

Yatton     

Yatton is a very large village in North Somerset located 11 miles south west of the city of Bristol.  The village has at one time or another been called Jatune, Eaton and Yatton Blewitt, and is recorded as Lature in the Domesday Book of 1086.

 

Extras:

 

On the Buses (new)

Buses and staff of days gone by, mainly in the Bridgwater area plus a few others.

 

St. Ives, Cornwall, England 

St Ives is situated on the shore of St Ives Bay on the north coast of Cornwall. Once it was commercially dependent on fishing but the decline in the industry caused a shift in commercial emphasis and the town is now primarily a popular holiday resort.

 

Bridgwater Firefighters in the 50s  

B&W pictures of Firefighters of Bridgwater, Somerset, England in the 1950s and 1960s.

 

Paignton and Goodrington, Devon, England    

Torbay in the South of Devon is known as the English Riviera. This article shows just a very small part of it.

 

Starcross and Dawlish     

Starcross is a village situated on the west shore of the Exe Estuary. Brunel's Atmospheric Railway is commemorated in the Atmospheric Railway pub located opposite the present day railway station. Note that the Brunel pumphouse now houses the Starcross Fishing and Cruising Club rather than the museum that was dedicated to the Atmospheric Railway, as quoted in many guide books. Dawlish is a small town and seaside resort on the southeast coast of Devon. Tourism is still its main industry attracting many thousands of visitors during the spring and summer months.

 

Clovelly, Devon, England     

This lovely village dates back over a thousand years. Situated on the north coast of Devon it is a step back in time.

 

Funeral of the Last Tommy        

The funeral took place on the 6th August 2009 at Wells Cathedral in Somerset of Harry Patch who was the last of the soldiers of the First World War who fought in the trenches.

 

British Icons.....RED Telephone Boxes

The red telephone box was once a familiar site in the UK but they are getting rarer. This album is constantly being added to.

 

Whitby, Yorkshire, England      

This traditional maritime town, with its old cobbled streets, picturesque houses and sandy beach is a great place for a holiday or short break.

 

Western National Bus Company

Western National Bus Company Reunion held at the Rugby Club, North Petherton, Somerset in November 1990.

 

Westonzoyland Secondary Modern School (invitation to add photos connected with the school)  

A collection of old black and white pictures taken in the 1950s. 

 

Tribute to William Keirl, Middlezoy, Somerset

William Keirle died on the 8th September 2007. He loved Harvest Festival and this was the theme held at the Holy Cross Church in his memory on the weekend of the 27th and 28th September 2008 with the beautiful displays made by many volunteers from the village.

 

The Brecon Mountain Railway, South Wales    

The railway located just off the Heads of the Valleys trunk road - about 3 miles north of Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. Follow the Mountain Railway signs from the A470 and A465 and you arrive in the large free car and coach park. For those of you travelling by public transport, it is close to the 35 bus route from Merthyr Central Bus Station.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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