Place:Chew Magna, Somerset, England

NameChew Magna
Alt namesChew-Magnasource: Family History Library Catalog
Bishop's Chewsource: ancient name for parish
Chew Episcopisource: ancient name for parish
Bishop Suttonsource: tything in parish
Knighton Suttonsource: tything in parish
Knowle in Chew Magnasource: tything in parish
Stone in Chew Magnasource: tything in parish
North Elmsource: tything in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.367°N 2.583°W
Located inSomerset, England
Also located inAvon, England     (1974 - 1996)
See alsoChew Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
Clutton Rural, Somerset, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1974
Wansdyke District, Avon, Englanddistrict municipality in which it was located 1974-1996
Bath and North East Somerset District, Somerset, Englandunitary authority which took over from Wansdyke on its abolition in 1996
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Chew Magna is a village and civil parish within the Chew Valley in the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset, in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England. The parish had a population of 1,149 in the UK census of 2011.

The parish was part of the hundred of Chew and the Clutton Rural District (1894-1974).

To the south of the village is Chew Valley Lake and the River Chew flows through the village.

The village is on the B3130 road, about 10 miles (16 km) from Bristol, 15 miles (24 km) from Bath, 13 miles (21 km) from the city of Wells, and 6 miles (10 km) from Bristol Airport.

The village is close to the northern edge of the Mendip Hills. There are many listed buildings reflecting the history of the village.


the text below is a condensation of the "History" in Wikipedia

The manor of Chew was held by the Bishops of Bath and Wells from 1062 to 1548, and therefore was called Chew Episcopi or Bishop's Chew.

Since about 1600, the name changed to Chew Magna because the parish has been the most important of the several along the banks of the River Chew. Earlier names were dropped, reflecting the reduced wealth of the established church from the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1538) onwards.

Around 1700 the Lord of the Manor was Sir William Jones, the Attorney General of England and in the 1820s it was the seat of Lord Lyttelton.

By 1848 the population was partly employed in coal mines in Bishop Sutton, and, to a limited extent, in the manufacture of stockings and of edge tools. Formerly there has been a considerable factory for cloth. Until about 1880 the village had toll roads and a toll house to collect the fees.

During the late 19th and 20th centuries the importance of the wool trade in the village declined and it became largely a dormitory area for the cities of Bristol and Bath, although it has continued to be the commercial centre of the valley.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Chew Magna from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"CHEW-MAGNA, a village, a parish, and a [registration] sub-district, in Clutton [registration] district, Somerset. The village stands on an affluent of the river Avon, 3 miles W by S of Pensford, and 5 SE of Bourton [railway] station; has a post office under Bristol; is a seat of petty sessions; and was once a borough and a market-town. The parish includes the tythings of Bishop-Sutton, North Elm, Stone, Knowle and Knighton-Sutton; and both it and the village are sometimes called Bishops-Chew. Acres: 1,006. Real property: £1,230. Population: 1,855. Houses: 394.
"The property is much subdivided. The manor belongs to the Bishop of Bath and Wells. Chew Court is a ruined mansion of the middle ages. A Druidical circle is at Stanton-Drew; and a Roman camp, at Bow-Ditch. The living is a vicarage, united with the [perpetual] curacy of Holy Trinity, in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value: £634. Patron: alternately the Bishop and others. The church is decorated English; and was restored in 1860. The [perpetual] curacy of Dundry is a separate benefice. There is a chapel of ease at Bishops-Sutton. There are also chapels for Baptists and Wesleyans, an endowed school, and charities £36."

Smaller places in the parish

The tythings of Bishop Sutton, North Elm, Stone in Chew Magna, Knowle in Chew Magna and Knighton Sutton have all been redirected here. Some of these places have short articles in Wikipedia, but they are all in Chew Magna parish.

Research Tips

  • 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 Chew Magna. 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.