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East Brent, Somerset

Historical Description

Brent, East, a village and a parish in Somersetshire. The village stands 1½ mile from Brent Knoll station on the G.W.R., and 6 miles WSW of Axbridge. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Highbridge (R.S.O.) The parish includes also the hamlets of Rooksbridge and Edingworth. Acreage, 3631; population of the civil parish, 716; of the ecclesiastical, 683. Brent Knoll, on the southern border, is a conical hill 883 feet high, commands an extensive view, and is crowned with vestiges of a doubly entrenched Roman camp. Roman coins and other relies have been found here, and King Alfred is said to have fought with the Danes at Battleborough, at the foot of the hill. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells; value, £666 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Bath and Wells. The church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, is an interesting edifice, with a spire 140 feet high, and has several windows of ancient painted glass. There is also a Methodist chapel, and there was anciently a cell to Glastonbury Abbey.

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 CountySomersetshire 
Ecclesiastical parishEast Brent St. Mary 
HundredBrent with Wrington 
Poor Law unionAxbridge 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1556., in association with Somerset Archives & Local Studies, have images of the Parish Registers for Somerset online.


Church of England

St Mary the Virgin (parish church)

The church of St. Mary the Virgin is a building of stone in the Transition style, consisting of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower of five stages, with low pinnacles and a lofty spire, and containing a clock and 6 bells: on the south side of the chancel, which has been rebuilt, are two sedilia: the nave has a coved roof with pendants, one of which bears the date 1637: the organ gallery has a carved front dated 1635: the pulpit is apparently Jacobean, and is approached through the south wall; the north aisle, re-ceiled with oak about 1890, has some remains of a stone seat on the north side: the east window of the north aisle is filled with ancient glass illustrating the "Passion and Ascension of Our Lord," and the "Coronation of the Virgin;" there is another window in this aisle containing 16th century glass of figures of saints, and in some of the remaining windows are figures of winged seraphs: in the south aisle is the recumbent effigy of a priest in eucharistic vestments with the head on a double pillow, and in the splays of the window above are niches: at the east end of the aisle there remains a piscina: on the exterior of the church over the west window are several elaborate carvings in the canopied stages, representing the "Virgin and Child," "God the Father, holding the Crucifix on his knees," "Christ enthroned crowning the Virgin:" at the south-east angle of the church are the stairs formerly leading to the rood loft: the church also contains some tablets and monuments, including a large tablet to the Reed family, and one, placed in 1895, to commemorate the jubilee of the Ven. George Anthony Denison M.A. vicar 1845-96: there are in all eighteen stained windows: the nave is seated with fine oaken benches of the 15th century: the south aisle has been restored since 1873 at a cost of £500, and affords sittings for 450 persons. At the west end of the churchyard lies a mubilated effigy of a layman, temp. Rich. II. and on the south side are the remains of a cross, on an octagonal stepped base, restored in 1895.

St. Mary the Virgin, East BrentNave of St. Mary the Virgin, East Brent

The Good Shepherd, Rooksbridge

The chapel of ease of The Good Shepherd, at Rooksbridge, will seat about 60 persons.


Baptist Chapel, Rooksbridge

There is a Baptist chapel at Rooksbridge, built in 1850, and enlarged in 1887, and now seating about 150.


Wesleyan Chapel

The Wesleyan chapel is a building of stone in the Gothic style, erected in 1871 at a cost of £450, and will seat 140 persons.

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 East Brent from the following:


Online maps of East Brent 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.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtTA9
Post TownHighbridge