Porlock, Somerset

Historical Description

Porlock, a village and a parish in Somerset. The village stands on a rapid rivulet, about a mile from the shore of Porlock Bay, and 6 miles W of Minehead station on the G.W.R. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Taunton. Porlock is environed by a fertile vale, overhung by an amphitheatre of The Exmoor Hills; was known to the Saxons as Porteloca; was an important place, perhaps a seat of kings, in the Saxon times; was attacked by Danish pirates in 918, and burned by Harold in 1052; retains, to the .S of its church, remains of a camp formed by Harold. Agriculture, fishing, and a tannery work are the principal industries of the parish, but it is a favourite resort of summer and autumn visitors. The poet Southey made a sojourn here, and while staying at the Ship Inn wrote a sonnet containing the lines:-" Porlock! thy verdant vale, so fair to sight, Thy lofty hills -which fern and furze embrown, Thy waters that roll musically down, Thy woody glens, the traveller with delight Becalls to memory."

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Somersetshire
Ecclesiastical parish Porlock St. Dubritius
Hundred Carhampton
Poor Law union Williton

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

Ancestry.co.uk, in association with Somerset Archives & Local Studies, have images of the Parish Registers for Somerset online.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Porlock from the following:


Online maps of Porlock are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Somerset papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Somersetshire, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictWest Somerset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtTA24
Post TownMinehead