Place:Orchard Portman, Somerset, England

NameOrchard Portman
Alt namesOrchard-Portmansource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeAncient parish, Civil parish
Coordinates50.988°N 3.077°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoTaunton and Taunton Deane Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
Taunton Rural, Somerset, Englandrural district 1894-1974
Taunton Deane District, Somerset, Englandnon-metropolitan district covering the area 1974-2019
Somerset West and Taunton District, Somerset, Englandnon-metropolitan district covering the area since 2019
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Orchard Portman (#21 on map) is a civil parish and a village in Somerset, England, situated 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Taunton. The village had a population of 150 in the UK census of 2011.

Since 1933 the parish has included the hamlet of Thurlbear (#32). St. Thomas' church in Thurlbear is home to the heaviest complete set (cast together at the same time) of four church bells in the world. The parish of Thurlbear was part of the North Curry Hundred, while Orchard Portman was part of the Taunton Deane Hundred.

The Church of St Michael in Orchard Portman has Norman origins with the chancel being rebuilt in the early 15th century. It formed part of the former Portman family mansion on the site. The Portman chapel was erected as the south aisle around 1450, demolished in 1844 and rebuilt again in 1910. The church tower was rebuilt in 1521.

Image:Taunton Rural 1900 small A.png


Orchard Portman was a parish in Taunton Deane Hundred, one of the hundreds or early subdivisions of the county of Somerset. From 1894 until 1974 it was part of the Taunton 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. Orchard Portman joined the non-metropolitan Taunton and Taunton Deane District in 1974.

In May 2019, the districts of West Somerset and Taunton Deane merged into a single district named the Somerset West and Taunton District. The new district is not a unitary authority, and has not taken any county level functions from Somerset County Council. West Somerset covered a largely rural area, with a population of 35,300 in an area of 740 square kilometres (290 sq mi) and is the least populous non-unitary district in England. Taunton Deane's population was over 100,000, but it was still not considered a large enough district to be kept on its own.

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