Place:West Coker, Somerset, England

NameWest Coker
TypeAncient parish, Civil parish
Coordinates50.919°N 2.691°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoHoundsborough Barwick and Coker Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
Yeovil Rural, Somerset, Englandrural district 1894-1974
South Somerset District, Somerset, Englandnon-metropolitan district municipality covering the area since 1974
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

West Coker (#37 on map) is a civil parish with a large village of the same name in Somerset, England, situated 3 miles (4.8 km) southwest of Yeovil.

The manor descended with its neighbour East Coker (#10) until the 14th century when it passed to a junior branch of the Courtenay family. It was later held by the Dukes of Somerset and Northumberland, protectors of Edward VI (son of Henry VIII) and later still by the Portmans of Orchard Portman.

The original manor house burned down during an attack in the Wars of the Roses. Although the current hamstone manor house has medieval origins, the earliest surviving portions are probably of around 1500. It is a grade I listed building.

The village had a long history of growing hemp and flax for sailcloth manufacture, which made "Coker Canvas" highly prized by naval captains during the Napoleonic Wars. Dawes Twine Works was a late 19th-century historic building in the village used for the manufacture of rope and twine.

Image:Yeovil Rural 1900 small.png


West Coker was originally a parish in the Houndsborough Barwick and Coker 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 Coker joined the non-metropolitan South Somerset District which covers the southeast corner of Somerset.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI page on West Coker.
  • 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 provide any details on the parish and chapelries of Houndsborough 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 West Coker. 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.