Place:Yeovil, Somerset, England

Alt namesYeovil New Townsource: settlement in borough
Yeovil Old Townsource: settlement in borough
Yeovil Forest Hillsource: settlement in borough
TypeAncient parish, Civil parish, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates50.942°N 2.633°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoStone Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
Yeovil Without, Somerset, Englandcivil parish formed in 1894 to cover rural parts of Yeovil
South Somerset District, Somerset, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Yeovil is a town and civil parish in Somerset, England with a population of 45,000. The town lies within the non-metropolitan distict of South Somerset and is situated at the southern boundary of Somerset, 130 miles (210 km) from London, 40 miles (64 km) south of Bristol and 30 miles (48 km) from Taunton. Prior to the forming of the South Somerset District, Yeovil was a municipal borough.

Yeovil was on an old Roman road and was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as the town of "Givele" or "Ivle", and later became a centre for the glove-making industry. During the Middle Ages the population of the town suffered from the Black Death and several serious fires. In the 20th century it developed into a centre of the aircraft and defence industries, which made it a target for bombing in the Second World War. One of the largest employers was and is Westland Aircraft. Additionally, the Fleet Air Arm has a station RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron), the primary base of the Royal Navy's Westland Lynx and Sea King helicopters, several miles north of the town and is a major local employer (Ministry of Defence). Several other manufacturing and retail companies also have bases in the town.

Image:Yeovil Rural 1900 small.png

The following description from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 is provided by the website A Vision of Britain Through Time (University of Portsmouth Department of Geography).

"YEOVIL, a town, a parish, a [registration] sub-district, and a [registration] district, in Somerset. The town stands on the river Yeo, at a convergence of railways, 22 miles SE of Bridgewater; was known at Domesday, as Ivel; passed through various vicissitudes till comparatively recent times; is governed, under a local act of 1853, by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts; publishes a weekly newspaper; carries on kid-glove-making to a large amount, and brewing in two breweries; underwent material improvement, by reconstructions and new erections, in years subsequent to 1853; presents a well built and pleasant appearance; and has a head post-office, two [railway] stations with telegraph, two banking offices, two chief inns, a police station, a town hall in the Grecian style, built in 1849, a corn exchange and market house, erected at a cost of about £4,000, a fine later English church, restored in 1860, another church in the early English style, built in 1846, six dissenting chapels, an endowed grammar-school with £129 a year, two national schools, a literary institute and reading room, an agricultural society, alms houses with £300 a year, a workhouse with capacity for 300 inmates, aggregate charities £465, a weekly market on Friday, and fairs on 28 and 29 June and 17 and 18 Nov. Population in 1861: 7,957. Houses: 1,420.
"The parish includes 5 tythings, and comprises 4,056 acres. Real property: £31,544; of which £30 are in quarries, and £335 in gasworks. Population in 1851: 7,744; in 1861: 8,486. Houses: 1,526. Newton House, Hendford House, Pen House, Hendford Manor House, Kingston House, Kingston Manor, Yew Tree Close, Aldon, and Hollands are chief residences. Newton and Windmill hills command fine views. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value: £506. Patron: G. Harbin, Esq. The vicarage of Hendford is a separate benefice.
  • [Details for the registration sub-district and registration district omitted.]


Yeovil is near the southern boundary of Somerset, close to the border with Dorset. It lies in the centre of the Yeovil Scarplands, a major natural region of England. With the Local Government Act 1894 Yeovil became a municipal borough and its more rural sections both to the north and south were designated a separate civil parish named Yeovil Without in the Yeovil Rural District. (Sources: A Vision of Britain Through Time and the 1900 Ordnance Survey map of Somerset)

There were a number of suburbs to Yeovil within Yeovil Without. These included Summerlands, Hollands, Houndstone, Penn Mill, Hendford, Abbey Manor and Great Lyde. These have all been redirected to Yeovil Without. Over the 20th century the boundaries between Yeovil Municipal Borough and Yeovil Without have been altered and some of these suburbs were transferred into the Borough. This was also the case with the separate parish of Preston Plucknett which was abolished in 1930 and split between Yeovil and two other neighbouring parishes.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Yeovil.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI page on Yeovil.
  • 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 Stone 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 Yeovil. 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.