Watchet, a small seaport and watering-place in St Decumans parish, Somerset. It stands in the mouth of a fine oblique valley, flanked by cliffs of blood-red conglomerate on the G.W.R., 175 miles from London, and 17 NW of Taunton. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. It was known to the Saxons as Wecedport, suffered devastation by the Danes in 987 and 997, was given at the Norman conquest to the Mohuns, and sent members to Parliament in the time of Edward I. It carries on a considerable trade in flour, meal, coal, timber, and cement. It has a long tidal harbour of 10 acres, well sheltered from all winds. There is a coastguard station, a lifeboat station, an esplanade, recreation ground, Baptist, Wesleyan, and Bible Christian chapels an iron-foundry, paper, saw, and flour mills.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Hundred||Williton and Freemanners|
|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.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Watchet from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Watchett)
Online maps of Watchet 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.