Place:Castle Cary, Somerset, England

NameCastle Cary
Alt namesCastle-Carysource: Family History Library Catalog
Clanvillesource: Family History Library Catalog
Cockhillsource: Family History Library Catalog
Dinnersource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeAncient parish, Civil parish
Coordinates51.1°N 2.517°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoCatsash Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
Wincanton Rural, Somerset, Englandrural district 1894-1974
South Somerset District, Somerset, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Castle Cary (#8 on map) is a civil parish and small market town in southern Somerset, England, 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Wincanton (#37) and 8 miles (12.9 km) south of Shepton Mallet (not on map). The town is situated on the River Cary, a tributary of the Parrett. Castle Cary railway station is on the main Reading to Taunton line and the Heart of Wessex line. The station is a distance from the centre of town. According to the UK census of 2011, the parish had a population of 2,276.

The site of Cary Castle is above the town. It was built either by Walter of Douai or by the following owners, the Perceval family, after the Norman conquest. It was besieged by King Stephen in 1138, and again in 1153. By 1468 the castle had been abandoned in favour of a manor house which was built beside it. The site was excavated in 1890 and demonstrated the foundations of a 24 square metres (258 sq ft) square tower, although only the earthworks are visible today.

The manor was held by the Lovels and descended by marriage in 1351 to the St. Maur (Seymour) family and in 1409 to the Baron Zouche. The manor was bought in the 1780s by the Hoares of Stourhead in Wiltshire.

The town grew around the mediaeval weaving industry and is home to a horsehair weaving factory.

Image:Wincanton Rural 1900 small.png


Castle Cary was originally a parish in the Catsash Hundred Hundred, one of the hundreds or early subdivisions of the county of Somerset. From 1894 until 1974 it was part of the Wincanton Rural District.

In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, all urban and rural districts across England were abolished and counties were reorganized into metropolitan and non-metropolitan districts. Castle Cary joined the non-metropolitan South Somerset District.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI page on Castle Cary
  • An article on Castle Cary from the Victoria History of the Counties of EnglandHistory of the County of Somerset, produced by The Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
  • The Somerset Heritage Centre (incorporating what was formerly the Somerset Record Office and the Somerset Local Studies Library) can be found at its new location at Langford Mead in Taunton. It has an online search facility leading to pages of interest, including maps from the First and Second Ordnance Survey (select "Maps and Postcards" from the list at the left, then enter the parish in the search box).
    The Heritage Centre has an email address:
  • Three maps on the A Vision of Britain through Time website illustrate the changes in political boundaries over the period 1830-1945. All have expanding scales and on the second and third this facility is sufficient that individual parishes can be inspected.
  • Somerset Hundreds as drawn in 1832. This map was prepared before The Great Reform Act of that year. Note the polling places and representation of the various parts of the county.
  • Somerset in 1900, an Ordnance Survey map showing rural districts, the boundaries of the larger towns, the smaller civil parishes of the time, and some hamlets and villages in each parish
  • Somerset in 1943, an Ordnance Survey map showing the rural districts after the changes to their structure in the 1930s
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Castle Cary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.