Place:Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England

NameShepton Mallet
Alt namesShepton-Malletsource: Family History Library Catalog
Shepunsource: Family History Library Catalog
Bowlishsource: hamlet in parish
Downsidesource: hamlet in parish
Charltonsource: hamlet in parish
Hamsource: hamlet in parish
TypeAncient parish, Civil parish, Urban district
Coordinates51.2°N 2.55°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoWhitstone Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
Mendip, Somerset, Englandnon-metropolitan district covering the area since 1974
the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Shepton Mallet (#SM on map) is a civil parish and a small rural town in Somerset, England. Situated approximately 18 mi (29 km) south of Bristol and 5 mi (8.0 km) east of Wells, the town is estimated to have a population of 9,700. Bowlish is a hamlet within the parish located on the A371 road between Shepton Mallet and Croscombe. Other hamlets within the parish are Downside, Charlton and Ham.

The Mendip Hills lie to the north, and the River Sheppey runs through the town. Shepton Mallet lies on the route of the Fosse Way, the principal Roman road into the south west of England, and there is evidence of Roman settlement. The town contains a fine parish church and a considerable number of listed buildings. Shepton Mallet Prison is England's oldest prison still in use.

In medieval times, the wool trade was important in the town's economy, although this declined in the 18th century to be replaced by other industries such as brewing; the town continues to be a major centre for the production of cider.


Shepton Mallet was a parish in the Whitstone Hundred, one of the hundreds or early subdivisions of the county of Somerset. From 1894 until 1974 it was an urban 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. Since 1974 Shepton Mallet has been in the non-metropolitan Mendip District where it contains the administrative headquarters of the district council.

Image:Shepton Mallet Rural small.png

Research Tips

  • GENUKI page on Shepton Mallet.
  • 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 Shepton Mallet. 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.