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."
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Porlock St. Dubritius|
|Poor Law union||Williton|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
Ancestry.co.uk, in association with Somerset Archives & Local Studies, have images of the Parish Registers for Somerset online.
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:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Porlock (St. Dubritius))
Online maps of Porlock are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Somerset papers online:
- Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette
- Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser
- Western Gazette
- Wells Journal
- Somerset County Gazette
The Visitation of Somersetshire, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.