Place:West Camel, Somerset, England

NameWest Camel
Alt namesUrgashaysource: hamlet in parish
TypeAncient parish, Civil parish
Coordinates51.022°N 2.602°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoSomerton Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
Yeovil Rural, Somerset, Englandrural district 1894-1974
South Somerset District, Somerset, Englanddistrict council covering the area since 1974
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

West Camel (#35 on map) is a civil parish and a village in Somerset, England, about 7 miles (11.3 km) north of the town of Yeovil. It lies either side of the River Cam, just south of the A303 major road. Neighbouring villages include Queen Camel, and Bridgehampton (part of Yeovil). The parish includes the hamlet of Urgashay. It had a population of 459 in the UK census of 2011.

The earliest written reference to West Camel dates from 995AD, in the form of a grant of the village by Aethelred II to the monks of Muchelney Abbey. Produce exacted for the abbey grange was held in an extant 15th-century tithe barn.

Earthworks 100 and 250 metres north of Downhead Manor Farm show the early site of houses, possibly including a manor house, tracks and a fish pond. Though it had existed since before the Norman Conquest of 1066, this settlement had been abandoned by the late 18th century.

The Church of All Saints dates from the late 14th century. It is a Grade I listed building. Its rectory dates from the early 15th century. The older wing may form part of the Grange pertaining to Muchelney Abbey.

Image:Yeovil Rural 1900 small.png


West Camel was originally a parish in the Somerton Hundred, one of the hundreds or early subdivisions of the county of Somerset. From 1894 until 1974 it was part of the Yeovil 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. West Camel joined the non-metropolitan South Somerset District which covers the southeast corner of Somerset.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI page on West Camel.
  • An article on West Camel from the Victoria History of the Counties of England – History of the County of Somerset, produced by The Institute of Historical Research.
  • 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 West Camel. 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.