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Charlton Horethorne

Coordinates: 51°00′35″N 2°28′44″W / 51.0098°N 2.4788°W / 51.0098; -2.4788
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Charlton Horethorne
Manor Farm House
Stone building with square tower. In the foreground is a garssy area with gravestones.
Charlton Horethorne is located in Somerset
Charlton Horethorne
Charlton Horethorne
Location within Somerset
Population591 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST665235
Civil parish
  • Charlton Horethorne
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtDT9
Dialling code01963
PoliceAvon and Somerset
FireDevon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
WebsiteCharlton Horethorne Parish Council
List of places
51°00′35″N 2°28′44″W / 51.0098°N 2.4788°W / 51.0098; -2.4788

Charlton Horethorne is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated 5 miles (8 km) south-west of Wincanton and 5 miles (8 km) north-east of Sherborne in the neighbouring county of Dorset. The village has a population of 591.[1] The parish also includes Stowell.

The village lies on the Monarch's Way long-distance footpath that approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester.[2]

Charlton Horethorne in the 21st century is a village with successful businesses, a primary school and a village hall that was purchased in 1923 from the Army as a memorial to the fallen in the First World War. Despite its age and the fact that it was previously used as a wooden mess hall, it is used on a frequent and regular basis by a wide range of groups and activities.[3]

The village benefits from the presence of The Village Shop[4] and a pub called The Kings Arms that offers food and accommodation.[5]


Will of Wynflæd, circa AD 950, mentions land at Ceorlatune (11th-century copy, British Library Cotton Charters viii. 38)[6]

The village was originally known just as Charlton, meaning "the farmers settlement" and then known as Charlton Kanville by 1225. In 1084 Horethorn was added coming from "Hareturna" meaning "grey thornbush".[7] The parish was part of the hundred of Horethorne.[8]

Evidence of early human occupation of the parish is provided by three Bronze-Age barrows and a possible Iron-Age camp on the escarpment near Sigwells, an area to the west of the village where Mesolithic and Romano-British material has also been found. Around 950 the manor belonged to Wynflaed (d. c. 950), and may have passed to her daughter Aethelflaed. It was held by Vitel in 1066 and, by the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, by Robert son of Gerold (d. 1102),[9] who paid an annual rent of 100 cheeses.[7] In 1439 it was bought by Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, who gave the manor to the Hospital of St Cross, Winchester in 1445.[9]

The Manor Farm House in Horse Lane was built as the local manor house in 1608.[10]

RNAS Charlton Horethorne (HMS Heron II) was a Royal Naval Air Service station in nearby Sigwells. It opened in 1942 as a flying training base under the administrative care of HMS Heron. It closed in 1948 and has since been returned to agricultural use.


The parish council has 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.

From 1894 to 1974, the village was part of Wincanton Rural District,[11] and from 1974 to 2023, it fell within the non-metropolitan district of South Somerset. South Somerset District Council was 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.

It is also part of the Somerton and Frome 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 was part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament prior to Britain leaving the European Union in January 2020, which elected seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.

Religious sites[edit]

The 12th-century Church of St Peter and St Paul, Charlton Horethorne acquired its two-stage tower in the late 15th century. It has offset corner buttresses almost to the full height of the tower with small crowning pinnacles.[12] A Romano-British altar was discovered in the churchyard.[9]

Stowell's Church of St Mary Magdalene is Grade II listed.[13] VC holder Eric Charles Twelves Wilson (1912 – 2008) is buried in the churchyard; he wrote a booklet "Stowell in the Blackmore Vale".


  1. ^ a b "Statistics for Wards, LSOAs and Parishes — SUMMARY Profiles" (Excel). Somerset Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. ^ "The Monarch's Way". The Quinton Oracle. 2005. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
  3. ^ "History". Charlton Horethorne Village Hall Trustees. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  4. ^ "The Village Shop". Charlton Horethorne Village Shop. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  5. ^ "The Kings Arms". The Kings Arms. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  6. ^ Charter S 1539 at the Electronic Sawyer
  7. ^ a b Bush, Robin (1994). Somerset: The complete guide. Wimborne, Dorset: Dovecote Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN 1-874336-26-1.
  8. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  9. ^ a b c "Charlton Horethorne'". A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 7: Bruton, Horethorne and Norton Ferris Hundreds. 1999. pp. 84–93. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
  10. ^ Historic England. "Manor Farm House (1056363)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 October 2007.
  11. ^ "Wincanton RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  12. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Peter and St Paul, Charlton Horethorne (1056366)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 October 2007.
  13. ^ Historic England. "Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Grade II) (1366359)". National Heritage List for England.

External links[edit]