St John the Baptist's Church
St Aldhelm's Church
|Chilcompton shown within Somerset|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Police||Avon and Somerset|
|Fire||Devon and Somerset|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Chilcompton is a civil parish and village in Somerset, England, situated in the Mendip Hills two miles south of Midsomer Norton and 3.0 miles south-west of Westfield, close to the A37 (between Shepton Mallet and Bristol).
The village's history is mainly that of farming and mining. There is a coal waste mound in the north-east end of the village. The village used to have Chilcompton railway station on the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, which closed in 1966.
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.
The village falls within the Non-metropolitan district of Mendip, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Clutton Rural District, 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.
It is also part of the Wells 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.
Chilcompton has a population of 1,918. The village is situated one mile west of the Fosse Way Roman road, Downside Abbey, and Downside School, and one mile north-east of Blacker's Hill fort. Chilcompton has two main First Bus lines running through it, one between Bath and Wells, and another between Frome and Bath. There are also several bus routes running between neighbouring villages and the town of Midsomer Norton.
The village has a well called Fry's Well which lends its name to a road.
Chilcompton has a primary school called St. Vigor and St. John. The village also has four nearby state secondary schools, The Blue School in Wells, Norton Hill School and Somervale School in Midsomer Norton and Writhlington School in Radstock. There are two private schools nearby, Wells Cathedral School and Downside School. The nearest universities are in Bath and Bristol.
There were four pubs in the village some time ago; currently there are two left - The Somerset Wagon (previously The Railway) and The Redan Inn. The Britannia and Naishes Crossing had been the other two - The Britannia being the later of the two to close its doors one last time in the 80s. There is a local store which belongs to the co-operative society, as a branch of the Radstock district co-operative society. There are also two hairdressers in the village, along with a small industrial estate in the north-east of the village. This estate has a few units of small businesses such as Nova fitness equipment and a small fruit machine distributor. Chilcompton is the headquarters of the fashion company Mulberry Group plc.
The Church of St John The Baptist dates from the 15th century and was largely rebuilt in the 19th. The perpendicular embattled tower dates from around 1460 and contains six bells. The nave and aisles were completed in 1839 by Jesse Gane and the chancel and flanking chapels in 1897 by Frederick Bligh Bond. An enclosed modern structure links it to the adjoining parish hall. It is a Grade II* listed building and lies a short distance to the north of the village. The ecclesiastical parish is now united with that of Saint Vigor's at Stratton-on-the-Fosse.
The former Christ Church on Stockhill Road, Downside, was built in 1838 by John Pinch the Younger. It was a Commissioners' church which means it was built with money voted by Parliament as a result of the Church Building Acts of 1818 and 1824. The 1818 Act supplied a grant of money and established the Church Building Commission to direct its use, and in 1824 made a further grant of money. The building is no longer used for its religious function.
There is a skateboarding park in the north end of the village on the recreational ground, which also has a football pitch, a sports clubhouse and a tennis/basketball court. There are two more parks in the village, one of which is in the south end with a 5-a-side football pitch and a small playpark. There is another in a small cul-de-sac in the east side of the village. The primary school also hosts a multi-sports facility.
The village holds a village day fete every year, hosting live acts, games, stalls and foodstuffs, along with guest speakers such as Michael Eavis (owner of Glastonbury Festival). There have also been some charity events such as sports relief run-a-mile held in the recreational grounds. The primary school hosts summer and winter fairs. The village hall holds many events from the team at Take Art, a group providing lots of various entertainment, such as stand-up comedy, musical acts and other entertaining acts. The local actors guild (CADS — Chilcompton Amateur Dramatics Society) led by a headmaster of a nearby school, Andrew Morris, put on productions every year, traditionally comic, though recently they have moved to more serious plays, such as Shakespeare's Macbeth.
The Chilcompton football team is in division 2 of the junior league. A cricket team is being organised to play the local village rival Stratton-on-the-Fosse.
- "Chilcompton Parish". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- "Clutton RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- "Ashwick,Chilcompton and Stretton ward 2011.Retrieved 6 March 2015".
- "River Somer". Somerset Rivers. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Mulberry Group plc Homepage". Mulberry Group plc website. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Church of St John The Baptist". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Former Christ Church". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Mendip in Bloom – The Winners" (PDF). It's your Mendip. Mendip District Council. 2006. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
- Strawbridge, David J. (1989) Chilcompton in Focus. 2 vols. Chilcompton: David J. Strawbridge, 1989–94
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