Place:Sparkford, Somerset, England

TypeAncient parish, Civil parish
Coordinates51.033°N 2.567°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoCatsash Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
Wincanton Rural, Somerset, Englandrural district 1894-1974
South Somerset District, Somerset, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Sparkford (#31 on map) is a civil parish and a village in Somerset, England. Since 1933 the parish has included the village of Weston Bampfylde (#35). Sparkford village is situated near the junction of the A303 from London to Exeter and the A359 from Frome to Yeovil. Most of the inhabitants live along the old A303 and Church Road, which runs down to the former water mill and the church. The population, according to the UK census of 2011, was 617.

The Church of St Mary Magdalene is still as described in 1868 in The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (see GENUKI), but the parish is now part of a benefice known as "Cam Vale" which includes Queen Camel (#26), West Camel (not on map), Corton Denham (#12), Weston Bampfylde and Sutton Montis (#34). The building dates from the 14th century with the nave built in 1824. The first known incumbent of the church was in 1297 and the monumental inscriptions date back to Johes Clyke, who died in 1513. It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building.

The Church of the Holy Cross in Weston Bampfylde was built in the 13th century.

There is evidence for continuous occupation from Roman to Saxon times. The village is listed in the Domesday Book for Somerset of 1086 as "Spercheforde" when it was held by Fulwin from Walter de Douai having been held by Alwakin before the Norman conquest of 1066.

In about 1335 the manor was held by Nicholas de Hanyton, while by 1370 it was held by John Lovel of Titchmarsh. The next known owner is Sir Thomas Essex who held the manor in about 1554. Richard Newman acquired Sparkford manor in 1610 and this family held it until 1792. It then passed to the Bennett family of North Cadbury.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Sparkford.

Image:Wincanton Rural 1900 small.png


Sparkford was originally a parish in the Catsash Hundred, one of the hundreds or early subdivisions of the county of Somerset. From 1894 until 1974 it was part of the Wincanton 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. Sparkford joined the non-metropolitan South Somerset District.

Research tips

  • GENUKI page on Sparkford
  • The Victoria History of the Counties of EnglandHistory of the County of Somerset, produced by The Institute of Historical Research at the University of London, does not currently provide any details on the parishes and chapelries in the southern half of Catsash Hundred.
  • 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 Sparkford. 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.