Castle Cary, Somerset
Castle-Cary, a small town and a parish in Somerset. The town stands on slopes, amid charming environs, and has a station on the G.W.R., 121 miles from London. A castle was built here by the Lovells, and made a figure in the civil wars of the time of Stephen, but was then destroyed. The foundations of the keep were uncovered in 1890. A manor-house adjacent, or a smaller house, gave shelter to Charles II. after the Battle of Worcester, but has been entirely rebuilt. A beautifully-broken hillside, called Castle-Cary Park, commands an extensive view. The principal street of the town runs up a steep hill. The market-house is an elegant edifice, built in 1855 at a cost of £2300, and contains an assembly-room upwards of 50 feet long. The parish church stands on a rising ground, has a tower and spire erected in 1855, is itself partly Perpendicular English of the time of Henry VII., partly recent reconstruction, and contains an old font and a richly carved 15th century pulpit with modern figures. There are Congregational and Wesleyan chapels. The town is paved and well drained, and is supplied with water from springs at the source of the little river Carey. It has been much improved in recent years, and several new houses erected. The Boyd Liberal Institute was opened in 1885. The town has a bank and a head post office. Every alternate Tuesday there is a cattle market, and fairs are held on the Tuesday before Palm Sunday, 1 May, Whit Tuesday, and the Tuesday after 19 Sept. Some trade is carried on in flax spinning and hair-cloth weaving. The parish includes also the hamlets of Clanville, Dimmer, and Cockhill, and the manor of Fox-combe. Acreage, 2629; population, 2096. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells; value, £260 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Castle-Cary All Saints|
|Poor Law union||Wincanton|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1564.
Ancestry.co.uk, in association with Somerset Archives & Local Studies, have images of the Parish Registers for Somerset online.
Church of England
All Saints (parish church)
The church of All Saints, situated on a hill, is a building of stone in the Perpendicular or in the Third-Pointed style, and was enlarged and nearly rebuilt in 1855, at a cost of £3,000; it consists of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles, north and south porches, and an embattled western tower with pinnacles and lofty octagonal spire, containing a clock and 6 bells: the east window and four others are stained: part of the finely carved rood-screen has been restored, and now incloses the vestry: there is also a carved pulpit, a very good font of the early 15th century and a brass eagle lectern: an organ chamber was built in 1891, at a cost of £300, and a new organ was then presented by the late John S. Donne at a cost of £500, as a memorial to the late T. S. Donne and Harriet, his wife. The church affords 700 sittings. In 1908 a sum of £500 was left by the late John Stephens Donne for the maintenance of the churchyard and the fabric of the church.
There is a Congregational chapel, erected in 1816, with 200 sittings.
There is a Wesleyan chapel.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
The old round-house, one of only four in the country, was erected in 1779 by Mr. William Clark, as a temporary prison or lock-up. It still stands in the centre of the Market place, and is 7ft in diameter and 10ft high, with two iron grills for ventilation.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Castle Cary from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Castle-Cary (All Saints))
Online maps of Castle Cary 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.