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Wiveliscombe, Somerset

Historical Description

Wiveliscombe (popularly Wilscombe), a small town and a parish in Somerset. The town stands on a low hill, with a station on the G.W.R., 168 miles from London, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office. It is traditionally said to have been built by the Saxons when driven by the Danes from Castle Hill, which had been occupied by the Romans, was given by Edward the Confessor to the cathedral of Wells, and had a palace of the Bishops. It is now a seat of petty sessions, and consists of several streets with some good modern houses and a number of old ones, and has two banks, two chief inns, a police station with courthouse attached, a town-hall, a free library and reading-rooms, a dispensary, a large brewery, a weekly market on Tuesday, and a cattle market on the third Tuesday in each month. Acreage of parish, 6105; population, 2246. The chief residences are Oakhampton House, The Castle, Ford House, Abbotsfield, and Court House, noted for its carvings. There are remains of Roman and Danish camps. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells; net value, £340 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Bath and Wells. The church, a building of sandstone in the Gothic style, was rebuilt in 1829. There are Wesleyan and Congregational chapels.

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 parishWiveliscombe St. Andrew 
Poor Law unionWellington 

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

Church Records, 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 Wiveliscombe from the following:


Online maps of Wiveliscombe 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.

DistrictTaunton Deane
RegionSouth West
Postal districtTA4
Post TownTaunton