Place:North Petherton, Somerset, England

NameNorth Petherton
Alt namesHampsource: settlement in parish
Huntworthsource: settlement in parish
Melcombesource: settlement in parish
Woolmersdonsource: settlement in parish
Petherton-Limitsource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish, Town
Coordinates51.094°N 3.016°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoAndersfield Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was part located
North Petherton Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was part locatedSedgemoor District, Somerset, England|district municipality 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

North Petherton is a small town and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated on the edge of the eastern foothills of the Quantocks, and close to the edge of the Somerset Levels. The parish had a population of 6,730 in the UK census of 2011. The parish includes the smaller settlements of Hamp, Melcombe, Woolmersdon and Huntworth.

Dating from at least the 10th century and an important settlement in Saxon times, North Petherton became a town only in the late 20th century, until then claiming to be the largest village in England.

A former market and administrative centre, North Petherton is now largely a dormitory town for workers in Bridgwater, 3 miles (5 km) to the northeast, and Taunton, 8 miles (13 km) to the southwest. It is now part of the Sedgemoor District.

Long before the Norman Conquest, during Saxon times North Petherton was at the centre of a large royal estate, located on one of the historic communication routes through Somerset, and was both an important centre and the meeting place for the Hundred of North Petherton although the Petherton limit tithing of North Petherton was in the Hundred of Andersfield from the 1670s.

At the time of the Norman invasion the Hundred covered a large area corresponding, today, roughly to a north–south corridor along the M5 motorway from Junction 25 near Taunton, to north of Junction 23 at the hamlet of Stretcholt, and east–west from Athelney to Goathurst. The Parish of North Petherton continues to be one of the largest in Somerset to this day.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article North Petherton. Wikipedia also contains sources for the facts quoted above.

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 North Petherton. 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.