Place:Crewkerne, Somerset, England

Alt namesAsh in Crewkernesource: hamlet in parish
Black Downsource: hamlet in parish
Clapton in Crewkernesource: hamlet in parish
Coombesource: hamlet in parish
Easthamssource: hamlet in parish
Furlandsource: hamlet in parish
Greenhamsource: hamlet in parish
Hewishsource: hamlet in parish
Hornsource: hamlet in parish
Laymoresource: hamlet in parish
Woolminstonesource: hamlet in parish
TypeTown, Urban district
Coordinates50.884°N 2.796°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoCrewkerne Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
South Somerset District, Somerset, Englanddistrict council covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Crewkerne is a town in Somerset, England, situated situated 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Yeovil and 7 miles (11 km) east of Chard in the South Somerset District close to the border with Dorset. The town lies on the River Parrett, A30 road and West of England Main Line railway.

The earliest written record of Crewkerne is in the 899 will of Alfred the Great. After the Norman conquest it was held by William the Conqueror and in the Domesday Survey of 1086 it was described as a royal manor. Crewkerne Castle was possibly a Norman motte castle. The town grew up in the late mediaeval period around the textile industry and its wealth was preserved in the fifteenth century Church of St Bartholomew. During the 18th and 19th centuries the main industry was cloth making, including webbing, and sails for the Royal Navy.


The name Crewkerne is thought to be derived from Cruc-aera; from the British cruc - a spur of a hill, and the Old English aera - a house, especially a storehouse. The town was known as Crocern, or Cruaern in the 899 will of Alfred the Great when he left it to his younger son Æthelweard, and by 1066 the manor was held by Edith Swanneck mistress of King Harold. After the Norman conquest is was held by William the Conqueror and the church estate was given to the Abbaye-aux-Hommes in Caen, Normandy.[1] In the Domesday Survey of 1086 it was described as a royal manor.

In 1499, John de Combe, a precentor of Exeter Cathedral and former vicar of Crewkerne, founded Crewkerne Grammar School. The school survived until 1904.

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

"CREWKERNE, a town, a parish, a [registration] sub-district, and a hundred in Somerset. The town stands in the valley of the river Parret, on the Yeovil and Exeter railway, surrounded by a wide amphitheatre of hills, 2¼ miles N of the boundary with Dorset, and 8½ SW by W of Yeovil. It dates from ancient times; was known to the Saxons as Crocern or Cruaern; is now a busy place; publishes a weekly newspaper; and has a head post office, a railway station with telegraph, a banking office, two chief inns, a market-house, two churches, four dissenting chapels, a free grammar school, another endowed school, two alms-houses, and other charities with a total of £524. One of the churches succeeded a previous edifice, given by the Conqueror to Caen abbey; and is itself a beautiful cruciform structure of the 15th century, in perpendicular English, with richly-carved doors and windows, and with a lofty central tower, surmounted by turrets. The other church was built in 1853; is also in the English perpendicular style; and consists of nave, north aisle, chancel, and bell-turret. The grammar school was founded in 1499; has an endowed income of £320, with four exhibitions; and had for a pupil Mr. Justice Best, afterwards Lord Wyndford. Markets are held on Saturdays; and a fair on 4 Sept. Manufactures of sail-cloth, webbing, and girths are carried on. The father of Tom Paine, author of the "Rights of Man, " was a native. Population: 3,566. Houses: 725.
"The parish includes also the tythings of Clapton, Coombe, Easthams, Furland, Hewish, Woolminstone, Laymore, Horn, Ash [in Crewkerne], Greenham, and part of Black Down. Acres: 5,331. Real property: £22,025. Population: 4,705. Houses: 942. The property is subdivided. The manor belonged, at Domesday, to the Crown; and passed, through the Redvers, the Courtenays, and others, to the Pouletts. Wulfric, the anchorite, who was visited by Henry I. and Stephen, lived in a cell at Hasilborough; and St. Ranns was buried in a chapel on Ranna-hill. The living is a vicarage, united with the {perpetual] curacy of Christ Church, in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value: £300. Patrons: the Dean and Chapter of Winchester.
"The [registration] sub-district contains eight parishes; and is in the [registration] district of Chard. Acres: 13,103. Population: 8,084. Houses: 1,659."

The hamlets listed in italics, being within Crewkerne parish, have all been redirected here.

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 Crewkerne. 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.