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Stone building with arched window and square tower, separated from the road by a stone wall and railings.
Church of St Peter, West Huntspill
Huntspill is located in Somerset
 Huntspill shown within Somerset
Population 2,560 [1]
OS grid reference ST315455
Civil parish Huntspill
District Sedgemoor
Shire county Somerset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TA9
Dialling code 01278
Police Avon and Somerset
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Bridgwater and West Somerset
List of places

Coordinates: 51°12′18″N 2°58′55″W / 51.205°N 2.982°W / 51.205; -2.982

West Huntspill and East Huntspill are villages and civil parishes on the Huntspill Level, near Highbridge, Somerset, West of England. The civil parish of West Huntspill contains the hamlet of Alstone, and East Huntspill includes Cote.

The parish of East Huntspill has a population of 1,146 and West Huntspill 1,414.[1]


The first mention of Huntspill is around 796 AD, when the area was granted to Glastonbury Abbey by Aethelmund, a nobleman under King Offa of Mercia.

Huntspill was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Honspil, meaning 'Huna's creek' possibly from the Old English personal name Huna and from the Celtic pwll [2] as used in Welsh, e.g. Pwllheli. An alternative origin is from Hun's Pill in Old English, meaning a port on a tidal inlet, or pill, belonging to a Saxon lord, or hun.

The parish of Huntspill was part of the Huntspill and Puriton Hundred,[3]

The mouth of the River Brue had an extensive harbour in Roman and Saxon times, before silting up in the medieval period.

The village was flooded in the Bristol Channel floods of 1607.

In 1936 the village was the centre of an outbreak of Typhoid fever in which seven people died.[4]


The parish councils have responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.

The villages fall within the Non-metropolitan district of Sedgemoor, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Bridgwater Rural District,[5] which is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.

Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.

They are also part of the Bridgwater and West Somerset county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.

Religious sites[edit]

The Anglican parish Church of All Saints in East Huntspill was built in 1839 by G P Manners, with the bell-chamber being added in the late 19th century.[6] It is on the Heritage at Risk register because of the condition of the roof.[7]

The Church of St Peter in West Huntspill is much older having been established by 1208, rebuilt around 1400, and extended in the early to mid 15th century. It was gutted by fire in 1878 and restored over the next two years. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Statistics for Wards, LSOAs and Parishes — SUMMARY Profiles" (Excel). Somerset Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Robinson, Stephen (1992). Somerset Place Names. Wimborne, Dorset: The Dovecote Press Ltd. ISBN 1-874336-03-2. 
  3. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Sly, Nicola (2010). A grim almanac of Somerset. Stroud: History Press. p. 30. ISBN 9780752458144. 
  5. ^ "Brdigwater RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Church of All Saints". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  7. ^ "Church of All Saints, Church Road, East Huntspill — Sedgemoor". Heritage at Risk. English Heritage. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Church of St Peter". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 

Moore, R. (2005) A Parish Survey of East Huntspill and Bason Bridge (available via Somerset Studies Library, Taunton)

The People of the Parish (2001). The Book of West Huntspill: A Millennium Celebration. Tiverton, Devon: Halsgrove Publishing. ISBN 1-84114-108-9

External links[edit]

  • A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 8: The Poldens and the Levels: Huntspill (2004)
  • The Somerset Urban Archaeological Survey: Burnham and Highbridge by Clare Gathercole