Yatton is a village and civil parish within the unitary authority of North Somerset, which falls within the ceremonial county of Somerset, England. It is located south-west of Bristol. Its population in 2011 was 7,552. The parish includes Claverham, a small village which was originally a farming hamlet.
The origins of the village and its name are unclear, however there is evidence of Iron Age hill fort and a Roman villa in the area. The arrival of the railway in the 19th century and more recent road building have led to expansion of the village with Yatton now acting as a home to many commuters, while also supporting manufacturing industry and commerce. The village is located on the North Somerset Levels, where the low lying land, a mixture of peat, estuarine alluvium and low hills of sand and gravel, is crossed by a myriad of watercourses, providing a habitat for several scarce species.
St Mary's Church dates from the 14th century and there are a range of other places of worship. In addition to religious groups, Yatton has several sporting clubs and other community groups.
The origin of the name Yatton is uncertain. It may come from the Anglo-Saxon 'gatton' meaning 'village on the track'; the track in question is a path of limestone leading from Cadbury Hill. The village has at one time or another been called Jatune, Eaton (from ea (river) and tun i.e. the settlement on the River Yeo and Yatton Blewitt, and is recorded as Lature in the Domesday Book.
Situated on an area of slightly higher, drained ground surrounded by moorland (locally called a 'batch'), Yatton was a well-established village by Norman times. The remains of an Iron Age hill fort at Cadbury Hill have been discovered, as well as a Roman villa, temple and hoard of coins. Older Christian burial grounds have also been discovered on Cadbury Hill.
In 1840s, the Bristol & Exeter Railway, with Isambard Kingdom Brunel as consulting engineer, was opened. It was initially leased to the Great Western Railway but taken back into full ownership in 1849 and gained its own individuality which lasted until 1876 when all the broad gauge companies in the West Country merged into an enlarged GWR. The station was originally called Clevedon Road and renamed Yatton Junction when the Clevedon branch was built in 1847. Other branches followed, to Cheddar/Wells (1869)] and the Wrington Vale Light Railway (1901) to Blagdon from Congresbury.
Although the branch line to Blagdon was closed to passengers in 1932, and the Clevedon and Cheddar/Wells lines were closed during the 1960s, the classically Victorian station designed by Brunel is still in use. From 2001 to 2006 the station was operated by Wessex Trains when, in an echo of 1876, it was again absorbed into the new Greater Western Trains Co. It is now possible to walk or cycle along the former route of the Strawberry Line (so called because of the trade in Cheddar's strawberries) from Yatton to Cheddar. A local group successfully raised funding to establish a community cafe in the old waiting room building at the station, and the cafe opened for business in December 2010.
In 1922 the site formerly known as 'The Pound' was purchased and the Yatton Parish War Memorial was erected. The memorial is located at Top Scaur, at the Congresbury end of the High Street, and is inscribed with the names of Yatton villagers who died in the First and Second World Wars. Each year on Remembrance Sunday a march is held from St Mary's Church to the memorial, where wreaths are laid by villagers and local organisations.
The village has continued to increase in size with several new developments planned or currently being constructed north of the railway station near North End Road and Arnold's Way. Development to the south and east of the village has made the villages of Yatton, Claverham and Cleeve almost continuous as far as the A370. Cadbury House Country Club is being developed to become a 60-room hotel and leisure centre.
The hamlet of North End lies to the north of the Arnold's Way roundabout, just before the junction for Kingston Seymour, and contains between 15 and 20 properties, including a number of farms and the Bridge Inn hotel.